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Effective alternatives to silica sand and perlite?

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Effective alternatives to silica sand and perlite?

Postby pieguy452 » Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:04 pm

I cannot find any perlite or silica sand thats within 2 hours of where i live. so are there any effective alternatives that can work just as better as silica sand or perlite? and also, i did manage to find medium grade and fine grade commercial sand. could one of those be my best alternative?
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Re: Effective alternatives to silica sand and perlite?

Postby Darkrai283 » Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:25 pm

I use silver sand and perlite and they work just as well as silica sand and perlite. I've also read on the web somewhere that sharp sand could be used as well.
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Re: Effective alternatives to silica sand and perlite?

Postby fuddmain » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:45 pm

A good replacement for perlite is Turface (also called Aquatic Plant Soil). It's a high-fired clay that's porous and inert. It doesn't float like perlite which is nice.

My VFT/Sarr mix is 2 peat, 1 silica sand, and 1 Turface. I use it all by itself for Pings. I even us it for non-CPs, mainly succulents. For Lithops and the like I use it 50/50 with crushed granite. For things like Jade plants I use it with equal parts crushed granite and fine fir bark. It's good stuff.

The bad news is it may not be easy to find. Many bonsai folks use it, so you could check with any bonsai clubs or stores in your area. Turface is used on baseball fields, so a company that deals in that area might have it. It's also used in pond applications. It goes by Aquatic Plant Soil in that context.

If you do find some, be sure to give it a good rinse before use. It's quite dusty out of the bag.
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Re: Effective alternatives to silica sand and perlite?

Postby Nats » Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:06 pm

pieguy452 wrote:I cannot find any perlite or silica sand thats within 2 hours of where i live. so are there any effective alternatives that can work just as better as silica sand or perlite? and also, i did manage to find medium grade and fine grade commercial sand. could one of those be my best alternative?



Why dont you just buy the pre-mixed potting media from FTS, it has everything (sand included) already in it, and you
get more then enough for many plants.

To me, it's a no-brainer ;)

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Re: Effective alternatives to silica sand and perlite?

Postby SnapSnapIOM » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:57 pm

Cant you just use the Internet hehe not being funny but thats where i get all my stuff :)
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Re: Effective alternatives to silica sand and perlite?

Postby BenWilliam » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:25 am

Just a thought, but how about those little foam bean bag balls?
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