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Thread: Expanded Clay?

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    Expanded Clay?

    Hey all. I'm new to this, so bear with me. I was wandering, seeing as it is difficult to obtain many of the growing mediums reccomended for Nepe growth, could I use a mix of activated carbon, expanded clay (for drainage), the small amount of coco peat I have managed to scrounge up and then some spag upon the top? Its a big terrarium and I'm planting the plant straight in. Ideas?

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    where abouts do you live and what are you calling expanding clay?
    cervid serial killer
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    South West of Western Australia. Expanded clay, as in what is used for Hydroponics. I know the old school VFT growers use to use it alot.

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    thats what i thought you were talking about but figured i would check........yeah should work.......warning though, if yah get patch of solid cocopeat it tends to break down and turn to sludge.......so long as its mixed well with the other material so that air can get to it, it should be fine.....

    also i tend to recommend against doing that kinda planting with neps because if one gets sick or infected with pests its hard to remove it for treatment but push comes to shove they are your plants, a suggestion would be to put them in pots and than sink the pots into the substrate as this would make it easier to remove them if it becomes necessary.....

    oh and welcome to the forums!
    cervid serial killer
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    Light Expanded Clay Aggregate, or LECA for short, is a great media. I have planted a N. Judith Finn in LECA once. It was doing fine and now in a friends care. I actually grow all of my orchids in LECA. I use the Semi-Hydroponic method (S/H).

    This method uses a plastic container without regular drainage. About 1 inch from the bottom of the pot two holes are drilled into the side. This allows a constant source of water to be available. LECA has great wicking abilities. Basically it is constantly drawing water up to the roots like a wick in an oil lamp. The roots don't suffer from rot if you have plenty of airflow. Rot is caused by anaerobic bacteria. With the airflow moving the rot won't start. This also allows a lot of O2 to get to the roots, something that is difficult in some of the soil mixes. I have not tried this method with any other carnivorous plants other than that one Nep. I only have one other Nep that I may transplant to this method when it is time.

    I wrote a tutorial on how to use this method on an orchid forum. PM me if you are interested in the link.
    Feed me Seymour.

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    Quote Originally Posted by requiemsong View Post
    I was wandering, seeing as it is difficult to obtain many of the growing mediums reccomended for Nep growth, could I use a mix of activated carbon, expanded clay (for drainage), the small amount of coco peat I have managed to scrounge up and then some spag upon the top?
    Is it really that difficult to find perlite and peat? I guess cocopeat would do instead of peat. I'd go with the tried and true mix of 2 parts perlite, 1 part peat. Or maybe a little more perlite.

    The soil mix you've mentioned WILL work though.

    Quote Originally Posted by requiemsong View Post
    Its a big terrarium and I'm planting the plant straight in. Ideas?
    Putting a plant straight in a terrarium will give it no drainage. Also, if your soil starts to break down or you get a slime mold attack, your whole tank could be a ruined, ugly mess... I'd go with a potted terrarium if you really don't like how pots look. At least then you can remove plants whose soil had broken down.

    Good luck, and have fun!

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    Hey guys, thank you for the answers. I was actually only putting the one species in the tank for the moment as it is a smaller tank and just wanted to let the one species get nice a thick in there. Yeah, peat is a pain to find. The only time you find it, it is always with some chemical, food, nutrient or other. Everything has crap added to it. It's very annoying. I can get spag, dried, and thought I might just use that with some clay and carbon underneath. I designed the tank with a small central vent at the bottom which kicks in when the water raises up to the 1" mark, thus removing water when it gets too much. There is also a fan positioned above it as to allow for constant air circulation both upon the surface and through the media. Thanks guys, this has been a big help though and I think I know what I am doing now :P. However, I would like to hear more about your semi hydro orchid setup. It sounds great. What species of orchids do you grow. (slippers ).

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    requiemsong, I grow all kinds of orchids, hybrids and species. I think I have more Paphiopedilums than any other genera. I also have quite a few from the Catasetinae sub-tribe, although 50 or so are from a flask this past year. Check your PM for more information.
    Feed me Seymour.

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