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Thread: Three Questions for the Experts

  1. #1

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    Three Questions for the Experts

    I bought some sand to mix in with my peat, I read a few places that desert sand isn't a good
    thing. Is the desert sand bad? It came from Lowes in a small bag by the orchid mixes.

    The only peat I could find that wasn't the dreaded "miracle grow" was in a huge cube, so I just bought some more long fibered peat. I want to plant some ebay VFT seeds, and I took my old coffee grinder and ground the Long Fibered Peat into pretty much dust. Would that be a good medium for my seeds, or do you think I still need the sand?

    If grinding the peat is a good idea, should I put my other VFT's in the ground up stuff and sand?

    Thank for you answers in advance, don't want to kill any others, or pay to replace them lol!!
    MyHumminbird

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    dashman's Avatar
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    I wouldn't consider myself an expert, but I am going to chime in anyway on peat moss....

    For the peat, that is what I have. I bought a hugh 3 Cubic Foot bale of Canadian Gold Peat Moss. It isn't that expensive if I recall (about 10-20 bucks) and I have been using it for 3 years and still have quite a bit left.

  3. #3
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Desert sand is not really a type of sand so much as a marketing name. What you need is a sand that won't break down and leach minerals into your water. Limestone sand is bad; it will break down into calcium over time. Sand from quartz or silica is the kind you want. An informal test is to take a small amount of sand in a bowl and pour white vinegar over it. If it fizzes, it's probably limestone or some other soluble mineral, and you shouldn't use it. If it doesn't fizz, it should be safe, but there's no guarantee.
    You should just buy the huge cube. Believe me. Ground up LFS will work but is not ideal.
    LFS is not peat. Peat is Sphagnum that has been buried under many years of growth of live moss, crushed by a good deal of pressure and exposed to both aerobic and anaerobic bacterial cultures, as well as many seasons of hot and cold weather, and finally rinsed thoroughly by rain making its way down to the water table. Peat moss consists of far more fiber than LFS, and it's broken up into much finer pieces. Basically, it's the part of the Sphagnum that doesn't decay over time. If you try to substitute LFS for peat, even if you grind it up, you'll find that it rots easier, grows weeds faster, and adds more to your TDS than peat would.
    Finally, if you do insist on grinding dry LFS yourself (you can get it pre-ground - it's called milled Sphagnum and that stuff is actually quite useful when properly prepared,) do it outside and wear a respirator or at least a hankerchief over your mouth and nose. The dust from LFS can give you a very nasty respiratory infection that is potentially fatal. Grinding it wet with a food processor would probably be safer. It's also a good idea to wear gloves when handling it, although I'll admit I don't.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    instigator thez_yo's Avatar
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    Why don't you buy a couple gallons of premixed cp mix from flytrapshop to get your first plants started while you research what you need to buy from lowes/home depot/wherever? Your wallet might be a little lighter now, but it would be later anyway if you bought the wrong stuff and had to re-buy all of your plants because the ones you have now accidentally die.

    I bought premixed-mix from online shops in the beginning too before I figured out what/where/why to buy. Or you could ask on the trades section of the forum for help (for free if anyone is nice enough) or for a trade (within the rules), in exchange for something else of value you have to trade. For instance, massmorels crashed this party by trading spiders and morel mushrooms for plants and look at everything he already has

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    That's a good idea, just easier to find it on the net and use my credit card instead of making a mess and looking for things all over!!! By the way, I did try the sand trick and it didn't fizz, lol
    MyHumminbird

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I would buy one of the 2.2 cm bales of sphagnum peat. It should be $8. As for sand, the play sand from building materials is only a few dollars. I would also buy a bag of orchid moss, which is the good LFS, for $4.24. Rinse all media before use.

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    I hate bugs. Carnivorous plants get me. jpappy789's Avatar
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    I have done what jimscott did minus I didn't buy orchid moss, but some cheap LFS that was packaged as such. I wasn't aware that "orchid moss" was LFS...good to know!

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    There's this stuff being sold as LFS, that is a buck cheaper, by Mosser Lee. It had some filler material in it. That was one of those, "You get what you paid for" experiences. So I spend the extra dollar and get the real deal. The worst you get with that is sedgegrass.

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