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

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By septembersapphire21
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Joined:  Tue Apr 13, 2021 6:26 pm
#383159
I've been noticing that the sphagnum moss for my four fly traps and nepenthes is turning green, like algae or mold is growing. I have a picture of what the media looks like. Is it normal for this to happen or would it harm my CPs? :?
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By tommyr
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#383162
It shouldn't be a problem but how are you growing the plant? Indoors or outdoors? What's the airflow like around the plant?
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By septembersapphire21
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#383168
My plants r grown indoors. And the air flow should be fine since they r on my bay window facing east in my living room. The front door to my living room is regularly opened and the AC and ceiling fan is now often in use because the weather is getting hotter.
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By Shadowtski
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Joined:  Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:19 am
#383169
A dark green color usually means algae is growing.
It can overwhelm and smother small plants.
I deal with it by burying it under a thin layer of silica sand top-dressing.
A light green color with fluffy new growth points means that you have Sphagnum Moss coming to life from dormant spores.
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By septembersapphire21
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Joined:  Tue Apr 13, 2021 6:26 pm
#383174
Shadowtski wrote:A dark green color usually means algae is growing.
It can overwhelm and smother small plants.
I deal with it by burying it under a thin layer of silica sand top-dressing.
A light green color with fluffy new growth points means that you have Sphagnum Moss coming to life from dormant spores.
Where do I get the silica sand top-dressing? And what brand do you recommend? My VFTs are small but have been growing great with no problems, I just hope I'm not too late saving them because Idk how much algae is growing under.
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By Shadowtski
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#383180
septembersapphire21 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:51 pm
Where do I get the silica sand top-dressing? And what brand do you recommend? My VFTs are small but have been growing great with no problems, I just hope I'm not too late saving them because Idk how much algae is growing under.
You can use Marble or Granite aquarium gravel from your local pet shop.
You can also use pool filter sand from your big box building supply store or pool/spa store.
Pool filter sand usually is sold in a 25 or 50 pound bag bag for $20 or less.
I usually rinse it first.
Then I sprinkle on a few drops of vinegar.
If the vinegar starts bubbling, rinse it again and try the vinegar test again.
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By septembersapphire21
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Posts:  65
Joined:  Tue Apr 13, 2021 6:26 pm
#383201
Shadowtski wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 5:23 pm
septembersapphire21 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:51 pm
Where do I get the silica sand top-dressing? And what brand do you recommend? My VFTs are small but have been growing great with no problems, I just hope I'm not too late saving them because Idk how much algae is growing under.
You can use Marble or Granite aquarium gravel from your local pet shop.
You can also use pool filter sand from your big box building supply store or pool/spa store.
Pool filter sand usually is sold in a 25 or 50 pound bag bag for $20 or less.
I usually rinse it first.
Then I sprinkle on a few drops of vinegar.
If the vinegar starts bubbling, rinse it again and try the vinegar test again.
I actually have a bag of pool filter sand from the Mystic White II company, I can check if I have vinegar and try the method u mentioned above. Thank u so much!
By PC_Chua
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Joined:  Sun Sep 05, 2021 5:16 pm
#387964
Shadowtski wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 5:23 pm
septembersapphire21 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:51 pm
Where do I get the silica sand top-dressing? And what brand do you recommend? My VFTs are small but have been growing great with no problems, I just hope I'm not too late saving them because Idk how much algae is growing under.
You can use Marble or Granite aquarium gravel from your local pet shop.
You can also use pool filter sand from your big box building supply store or pool/spa store.
Pool filter sand usually is sold in a 25 or 50 pound bag bag for $20 or less.
I usually rinse it first.
Then I sprinkle on a few drops of vinegar.
If the vinegar starts bubbling, rinse it again and try the vinegar test again.
Hey Shadowtski, thanks for the tips! I'm also looking to use some silica sand for top-dressing to avoid problems with algae. I have a couple of questions:

1. What causes the vinegar to bubble?

2. Why won't the algae grow on top of the sand?

Thanks for reading and the tips!
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By Shadowtski
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Joined:  Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:19 am
#387965
1) Vinegar is an acid. If there is any alkaline material in the sand then the acid reacts with the base and it creates bubbles.
2) The sand acts as a top dressing and doesn't wick up as much moisturefrom the water tray as peatmoss/perlite mixes. So the sand on top is too dry for the algae to grow. Also the sand blocks light to the algae it's covering up so the existing algae dies from lack of light.
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By nimbulan
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Joined:  Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:03 pm
#387969
I feel like I should note that the flytrap pictured hardly qualifies as a small plant that could suffer any ill effects from algae growth. It's unsightly, sure, but nothing to worry about.
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