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Discuss water requirements, "soil" (growing media) and suitable planting containers

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By Nikson
Posts:  103
Joined:  Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:47 am
#387636
I guess this is more of a general growing media question, but I was thinking about maybe adding soil to some of my potting mixes (not just carnivorous plants), and some guides I've read kept talking about cutting the soil with "builder's sand" in order to improve drainage.

I have a bag of "multi purpose sand" from Lowes (https://www.lowes.com/pd/Sakrete-50-lb- ... 1000489239) lying around unopened, and when I search builder's sand at Lowes website this is all that comes up.

Are builder's sand and multi purpose sand the same thing? Can you use either of them in CP mixes, or do you need to get horticultural sand?
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By Panman
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Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
#387639
Either sand can be used for general plant potting. For carnivorous plants you want to make sure it is silica sand. You can check this by pouring some vinegar on some of the sand. If it fizzles then it is not silica sand and not CP safe.
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By optique
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Posts:  1099
Joined:  Fri May 24, 2019 11:15 pm
#387640
just get pool filter sand to be safe. the general/builder/play sands are inconstant even from bag to bag. you could buy 2 bags at the same time one could be safe why the other one kills your plants.

my local pool place its 6.50$ a bag.

WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including Silica,
which is known to the State of California to cause cancer.
For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.

sand gives you cancer now?
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By MikeB
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Joined:  Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:13 pm
#387660
optique wrote: Tue Aug 31, 2021 10:24 pm WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including Silica,
which is known to the State of California to cause cancer.
For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.

sand gives you cancer now?
I don't know about cancer, but breathing sand dust (or perlite dust) can lead to a nasty case of silicosis over time. Always wear a dust mask when working with these products.
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By MikeB
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Joined:  Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:13 pm
#387661
Nikson wrote: Tue Aug 31, 2021 10:06 pm Are builder's sand and multi purpose sand the same thing? Can you use either of them in CP mixes, or do you need to get horticultural sand?
This product would be a better choice:

QUIKRETE Pool Filter Sand, 50-lb bag
$8.28
https://www.lowes.com/pd/QUIKRETE-50-lb ... id/3595316

However, it isn't ideal because the sand grains are so small, 20/40 gradation. An better grit size is 12, 14, or 16 (the lower the number, the bigger the grains) like the sand shown here. I used this stuff in the past, when I didn't need large amounts of sand. However, it's kinda expensive for the amount that you receive. If you need a lot of sand, check for local stores that sell farm or sandblasting supplies. I buy a cubic foot of medium-grit filter sand at a local farm supply store for $10.
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By nimbulan
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Posts:  2241
Joined:  Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:03 pm
#389271
From my experience, builder's sand is typically silica, though it tends to be quite fine. All-purpose sand is just whatever's available locally and the chemical composition can vary widely. You will absolutely need to test it yourself to see if it's safe.
By davinstewart
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Posts:  91
Joined:  Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:29 pm
#391243
Coarse silica sand seems to be a dying breed, at least in my neck of the woods (Chapel Hill, NC).

I can't find this anywhere.

Might be a better idea to just go with perlite for your soil mixes and use fine gravel or live sphagnum moss for top dressing.

Or better yet, 1:1 sphagnum/perlite mix. :-)
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By evenwind
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Posts:  1427
Joined:  Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:16 pm
#391244
Some types of chicken grit are pure crushed granite and should work ok. Just be sure to read the label - some brands have added nutrients and/or probiotics, which you don't want. Here's a discussion:
http://www.flytrapcare.com/phpBB3/post3 ... ml#p367844
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By Kapahulu
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Posts:  61
Joined:  Mon Oct 04, 2021 9:13 pm
#391251
I keep neocaradina shrimp. We use pool filter sand for white substrate, and Black Diamond blasting sand for black substrate. Ive been using both products for 8 years. These shrimp are very sensitive to any chemicals. And all the aquatic plants the tanks thrive very well. The Black Diamond comes in med and fine grit. Can be found at Tractor Supply.
Im using Black Diamond in my soil mix.
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By MikeB
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Joined:  Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:13 pm
#391263
davinstewart wrote: Wed Oct 27, 2021 6:25 pm Coarse silica sand seems to be a dying breed, at least in my neck of the woods (Chapel Hill, NC).

I can't find this anywhere.
There's a Tractor Supply Co. store in Hillsborough (1701 NC Hwy 86 South). They carry sandblasting supplies and filter sand.
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By MikeB
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#391300
davinstewart wrote: Wed Oct 27, 2021 11:30 pm Thanks MikeB! I checked the Tractor Supply site and didn't see any coarse silica sand though. Are you thinking of a particular product?
I saw the Black Diamond products and thought they were sand-based; instead, they're coal grit (unusable).

I Googled "farm supplies chapel hill nc" and found these:

The Unique Plant Inc
4207 Oak Hill Road, Chapel Hill

Tony Merritts Gravel Pit
3200 Damascus Church Road, Chapel Hill

Town & Country Hardware
Timberlyne Village, 1129 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill

Southern States
300 N Greensboro Street, Carrboro

One of them is bound to have some usable sand. I buy medium-grit filter sand from Agri Supply in Garner, but that's over an hour's drive from Chapel Hill.

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