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Thread: So...perlite is no good.

  1. #9
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Never thought I would be in a discussion form with impassioned debates about soil media! Kinda strange when you sit back and think about it objectively. Anyways, yeah, perlite floats, turns green, and has that nails on chalkboard quality about it. Open tray has been a subject of debate in another topic. To me it is a logical artificial way of mimicking nature, since all plants are getting rained upon and the water leaches into the ground, washing what ever impurities there might be. I, too, belong to the muddy arm club. Haven't tried nuking my media yet, but it might be viewed as a grossout factor, since the family likes to re-heat food and "Hot Pockets". [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

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    "Muddy Arm Club" I like it. Yup: old peat is sweet, new peat is beat (or can be).

    Drosera don't HAVE to sit in tray water, it's just convenient to have them so. I always let the trays stand dry for 1-2 days. Pygmy species seem to appreciate drier conditions especially.

    Perlite has it place. I use it with the Petiolaris species, combining it with some laterite and LFS but in general reserve it for the less wet crowd of plants since it seems to support algae growth in wet conditions. I don't like the way it floats either and I do suspect it absorbs salts although I have never tested this.
    "Grow More, Share More"

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    So...if it crumbles and grows algae, an plant competitor/enemy, why is it used in gardening at all? Wha's good about it that nothing else can do?
    If the dragon is bigger than his treasure, it's not worth the effort.

    My Growlist

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    It is readily available and really not very expensive(though it is if you compare it by weight instead of cubic feet, or compared to the right kind of sand via truckload). It keeps the soil fluffier than sand, while providing drainage. The white silica sand I have around ehre is very fine. I may talk to a pool place today and check that route out.
    If people could find pumice by the truckload, like Dean Cook can in Oregon, I imagine a lot of people would go that route.

    Cheers,

    Joe

  5. #13
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Perlite is fine for some things but has different properties than sand. So they act differently in the mix. If you use horticultural grade perlite there is no risk of the perlite being toxic. The algae issue is because the perlite acts like a sponge and holds moisture but also allows a large surface area with lots of oxygen so algae collonize it rapidly, particularly the parts that are sticking up above the rest of the potting mix and able to allow better gas exchange.

    Peat is generally fine to use although you may get a batch that is high in minerals for some odd reason. So it doesn't hurt to soak it and flush it just in case.

    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  6. #14

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    I use perlite and having good success with my plants... when I tried the sand thing they looked like crap. could have been the wrong sand I rekon.
    http://webpages.charter.net/dwhupp/CP.jpg

    \"You think the riddle of steel was bad, wait'll you try to wrap yer head around the riddle of peat\" ~mabudon

  7. #15

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    Perlite is a great aerator, but LFS can also work like that if your silica sand is too fine it's put into the mix in "chunky" form.
    "Grow More, Share More"

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (jimscott @ Oct. 11 2004,5:19)]Never thought I would be in a discussion form with impassioned debates about soil media! Kinda strange when you sit back and think about it objectively. Anyways, yeah, perlite floats, turns green, and has that nails on chalkboard quality about it. Open tray has been a subject of debate in another topic. To me it is a logical artificial way of mimicking nature, since all plants are getting rained upon and the water leaches into the ground, washing what ever impurities there might be. I, too, belong to the muddy arm club. Haven't tried nuking my media yet, but it might be viewed as a grossout factor, since the family likes to re-heat food and "Hot Pockets". [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    Oh they shouldn`t mind. I mean I put peat in the fridge,freeze worms in the freezer.....Lol. How any of this is "gross" I just can`t say. Hmm....I guess grossness is in the stomach of the beholder [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img] . I also drain my gastric fluids in public,unfortunately it looks like I`m peeing on the parking lot because it`s often of a yellow hue and the tube comes out of my shirt right above my shorts(although the actual incision is about 3in. above my navel)
    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/pondboy/Neps/Neps%20sig..JPG[/img]

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