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Thread: Supplies and sources

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2005
    King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA
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    I'm a newbie and just got my first two VFTs from Lowes. I had some trouble finding my first choice in materials and then when I settled on alternatives I was faced with the uncertainty of whether the brands I purchased would be suitable for successful results.

    I thought it might be helpful if the experienced, successful growers here could share with us newbies......

    1. Where you buy your supplies(chain stores, independent nursery, or alternative source....please be specific)

    2. Which brandnames of common supplies work and which ones to avoid

    Personally, I'm interested to know where you get Long fiber Sphagnum moss and Washed horticultural sand(Silver sand?).


  2. #2
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Olympia, Washington
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    I just go to any old hardware store for most stuff. For most growing mediums, I buy whatever is cheap and accessible. I understand that sphagnum is not locally available everywhere (it's easy to find here in Washington state) but a number of online CP stores offer it in various quantities. (the site that hosts these forums) might offer it - I dunno off the top of my head - but if you look around I'm sure you can find some. If you buy it at a store, make sure the bag says that it's exclusively sphagnum, and take a look at the moss itself, if you know what sphagnum looks like.
    I'm still kind of new to it, but from what I can tell, raising CPs is more about the quality of your growing conditions than your equipment. Cheap light bulbs work, cheap fixtures work, cheap pots work, cheap plastic terrariums work. All manner of growing mediums seem to work to some degree as long as they're nutrient free and appropriately drained - somebody here on the forums grows Pinguicula on foam rubber sheets.
    Avoid any moss that's not sphagnum (unless you know about mosses; apparently there are some non-sphagnous mosses used in terrarium culture that work with CPs.) Green moss, decorative moss, etc. are all a quick kill for CPs.
    Peat moss is hard to go wrong with from my understanding. All the major potting soil brands seem to sell it. Just make sure it's made from sphagnum and you'll be OK.
    For sand, I use quartz sand that's sold as a substrate for reptiles - you can find it at most pet stores. I had a hard time finding horticultural sand. I understand that silicon sand that's used in pool filters also works, but you should do some research on that before taking my word.
    Other soil items are simple enough that it's hard to go wrong. Don't use barbecue charcoal - it's different than horticultural charcoal. Perlite and vermiculite are good soil aerators, but I've also had success with scoria (lava rock,) ceramic chips and grit (both of which are used for cacti and replacing perlite and vermiculite in other mixes.) I understand that rockwool is good for many CPs as well.
    Good luck,
    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//~

  3. #3
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    Western New York
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    You're from KOP? I'm in Wyomissing (Reading) Elgecjko is in Red Lion. JBL is in Norristown. There is also someone in Lancaster. We have a local cp group. Here is the link:


    Welcome to the forums! LFS & Canadian peat can be purchased at Lowes or Home Depot. I use pool filter sand at a place called NAMCO.

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