Safe or Not????

Ok well, i went to home depot to do some research on supplies for the cage im building,before i left i stoped at the Nursery to check out some plants, they had almost all the ones on the list, but i think ive decided on getting the Ficus benjamina.....but i noticed there soil has those little white fertalizer balls in it.....is it safe to put a plant that has been grown with that in a cage...should i chg to all soil.....???????
 

ChameleonsTree

New Member
now i was told by home depot people vermiculite and perlite are the same but perlite doesn't have the cancer causing effects. I know you are somewhat of an expert in that area so can you tell me if their info was wrong and what the difference is.
 

lowendfrequency

New Member
ChameleonsTree said:
now i was told by home depot people vermiculite and perlite are the same but perlite doesn't have the cancer causing effects. I know you are somewhat of an expert in that area so can you tell me if their info was wrong and what the difference is.
Perlite is a volcanic glass that is soaked in water and heated to extreme tempuratues. This causes it to expand and turn white. Vermiculite is a naturally occuring non-toxic mineral that is also expanded by heat. They can both cause cancer, the same way asbestos does. Not by toxicity but by scarification of the lungs if inhaled. It is always advised to add water to either before use to keep the dust levels down.

As for chameleon keeping, I'd keep them both away from your chameleon. While perlite poses a more immediate danger because it is larger and brighter, both are very rough on the digestive system. I still use them in my potting mixes, but I fill the top 2" with regular topsoil.
 

Jerm

Avid Member
I use either spagnum moss or coconut bark soil over the top of my potted plant soil. I've witnessed a panther trying to eat it in the past and didn't want to take any chances.
 

ChameleonsTree

New Member
lowendfrequency said:
Perlite is a volcanic glass that is soaked in water and heated to extreme tempuratues. This causes it to expand and turn white. Vermiculite is a naturally occuring non-toxic mineral that is also expanded by heat. They can both cause cancer, the same way asbestos does. Not by toxicity but by scarification of the lungs if inhaled. It is always advised to add water to either before use to keep the dust levels down.

As for chameleon keeping, I'd keep them both away from your chameleon. While perlite poses a more immediate danger because it is larger and brighter, both are very rough on the digestive system. I still use them in my potting mixes, but I fill the top 2" with regular topsoil.
Well ok goes to show...you leqarn something new eveyrday. I had been using it with my soil for egg laying purposes but I guess I won't anymore...thanks for the info.
 
The hazards posed by both are purely mechanical - they are not toxic. Most of th etime, what you're finding in the soil with your plants is either fertilizer balls (which are probably toxic), or foam balls, which are used to make the soil loose, like pearlite or vermiculite, only cheaper. Either way, repot your plant - wash off the root balls, and repot with clean, fertilizer and perlite free dirt. Chameleons will sometimes eat those foam balls, and can become impacted. they can also eat the fertilizer - which may be even worse.

I like to repot them, and then cover the top with soil, moss, or large gravel - just to prevent the balls from surfacing.
 

voxxom

New Member
haha due to my poor acknowledgement.
my cham ate perlite and died.. :(

so now i tear up paper towels and layer it over the soil, about 5 layers and then soak it down with water.
 
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