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Re: Soil mix - grit - aquarium gravel?

  • Subject: Re: Soil mix - grit - aquarium gravel?
  • From: Dan Levin <levin@pixar.com>
  • Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2002 10:24:04 -0600 (CST)

>   My main concern was just to make
> sure that there was no harm in using the stuff.


I'd like to interject one caveat with regard to using "aquarium"
or other graded sands/ gravel... Rinse them very well before use!

It's not uncommon for some of these materials to have a high salt
content when new if they originated from coastal deposits or mines
(even ancient sea beds... ).  Such is the case where I live, anyway.

I have personally used graded sand/ aquarium gravel* in my aroid
mixes, but no longer.  I find it's nowhere near as effective as small
3/8" clean lava rock or pumice for increasing porosity.  At this
point (for me) the only value added in using graded sand is in adding
ballast to the pot for otherwise top-heavy plants.


* Most aquarium supplies buy their "gravel" from rock yards as stock
graded sand then simply repackage it for retail sale in smaller quantities,
now calling it "Aquarium Gravel".  No magic here.  If you don't mind
schlepping an 80 lb. sack home, you can go to any rock yard & buy the
same stuff at 1/10th the cost.  Unless of course, you already have a 30 gal.
can full sitting in your basement...

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