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Thread: Hoffman Western Desert Sand good or bad?

  1. #9

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    You can raise your plants anyway you want, DM, but straight peat is good too. Never be trapped into thinking there is only one way to grow any CP. I use straight peat on all my plants, and get excellent growth and size on my babies. Never feel cornered because you don't have sand, and I personally will use about anything, except perlite. If I don't find it in nature, I won't use it. Perlite is too messy for me, and I hate it when it floats and spreads itself elsewhere. I limit myself to natural media as it makes me feel better that I am growing them as close to natures way as possible, and with my flowing water bog, I mimic the Green Swamp as close as is possible. My plants show their appreciation by being bigger and healthier every year. My Red Dragons are considered huge by some, but their health is more important than their size. Some years, a huge plant, maybe stressed somehow, can become a midget in no time. Then the reasons have to be found lest your baby dwindle into death.
    45 yrs. growin\'
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  2. #10

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    Peat and perilite should be fine. The perilite should air out the soil enought to give the roots some oxygen. Just keep in mind that, as you probably know, it may be best to keep the soil a little more dry than usual for a few weeks as the plants wake up. If the soil is too wet you may rot the roots (duh). I grew my first FTV's in pure peat and they did alright, so don't be too awful worried -as everyone else has said.
    Sand is popular because it is acidic. Now I know that peat is rather acidic by its self, but I wonder if leaving out the sand may render the soil a little too neutral in terms of Ph? Anyone know if this is true?
    I suppose you could just buy a Ph meter and see for yourself if you were curious.

    But man... you should be able to fine *some* sand. I'd think that Home Depot would sell silica sand, or sandblasting sand, or whatever they may have it labeled as... it's weird that your local store has none. I'm sure that if you looked in the yellow pages for a pool supply company and gave them a call, that they would have some filter sand.

  3. #11

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    For VFTs, Peat and perlight, or peat and large grain sand like pool filter sand are the most reliable mixes. Pure peat works better then the mix for some plants and will kill others so it's a trial and error sort of thing. I've only had one plant that prefers the pure peat and two others that tolerate it, but I definetly get the most reliable growth and health from the corsely airaited mixtures... Pure sphagnum hasn't gone over well with any of my vfts, but I have not yet tried a LFS peat mix, but I would guess it's too wet since that mix is usually used for more swampy growing plants like P. primulaflora.
    There is no item greater in value than life, for without life value would cease to exist.
    My Grow List

  4. #12
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Deja vu! I posted about the same product a couple months ago. It didn't go over too well. The concensus on sand has been sandblasting and & pool filter sand - whichever you can access. I couldn't readily locate the sandblasting sand, but a co-worker had aname and place for the pool filter sand. Seems to work just fine.

  5. #13

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    Could any one name a few store's that they bought there sand from? i am going the no sand rout now like bugweed does i would like to try a few different mixes tho just out of curiosity and to get some experience under my belt. i did try home depot and every nursery in the phone book i called didn't Carry silica sand only Hoffman "western desert sand" i found and was suggested by the clerk but i didn't use it because i didn't quite trust there opinion as they didn't grow or sell cp's. and tho i only have about 9 diff types of cps i worked #### hard and long to collect them and i don't want to kill them. i noticed a decline in healthy growing recently an i suspected the potting mix maybe i just need to reduce the watering. or try some new tactic. any info suggestions or help of any kind would be most appreciated. to recap on how i grow I'm currently using a new system i gave up on terrarium growing i grow in 6" inch green plastic bots with i" tall saucers on the bottom. i have two 48"(inch) 40 Watt florescent bulbs one is a cool white bulb the other is a full spectrum sun bulb. i use a tropicare humidity system suspended 1 inch above the 6 pots currently growing in 70% Schultz peat moss 30% Schultz per lite. (hand washed by me before use) the lights is on a 10 hour timer i grow mostly vft's a few drosera and my ping just recently died.... i believe of fungal infection but I'm not 100% sure on that. i use super thrive monthly to bi monthly. 3 drops per gallon. and i keep the soil wet but much less so lately trying new things since I'm noticing failure... thx for reading
    -Steve/James
    Steven S.
    21 ST. Benedict Circle Stamford C.T. 06902

  6. #14

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    Hey Steve -

    I noticed from your PFT profile you are also up here in Connecticut. I'm in Wallingford.

    Anyway, last year I bought and used a big bag of "Playsand" I got at at Home Depot. I lucked out and had no problems. The bag is almost empty now, so I'm going to replace it with one from a swimming pool supply store.

    Right now my non-dormant and younger VFTs are under lights on shelves in a basement room. If fluorescent light is the only light source your plants get, my guess would be they need a longer time period with them on. My plants are doing well and the lights are on 17 hours a day. The plants are 6 inches or less below the lights. A few of the plants on the bottom (floor-level) shelve croaked after we had those very cold temperatures up here about a month ago. They started to turn yellow at the edges and then black, then mush. I believe it was the cold temps that shocked them since the temps at the floor level are much much colder in the room. All the plants on the higher shelves are fine and recieve a bit of warmth from the fluorescent light fixtures mounted below each shelf.

    I hope this info helps.

    WildBill

    PS: Do you know about NECPS? We'd love to have you at a meeting!

  7. #15

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    Hoffman "western desert sand" didnt cause bubbles in red wine vinegar. any other tests i can do to find out if it will work with cp's?
    Steven S.
    21 ST. Benedict Circle Stamford C.T. 06902

  8. #16
    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    You could rinse it with distilled or deionized water and then test the water with a TDS meter to see if any soluble salts are rinsed from it. Many sands are useable, just be sure the sand is free of undesirable soluble minerals before using it on valuable CP.
    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

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