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So, early in November (2013) I was inspired to try and recreate the natural habitat soils of Central America. - going only by what I have read and seen in photos of lophs in natural habitat. this article gave me some examples that tipped me over the edge! >> http://www.cactusconservation.org/CCI/library/2009_Snicer_TheLittlestLophophora.pdf Apart from wanting to provide an optimal grow medium, I am also totally taken by the creamy limestone "clay" with the deep cracks emanating from each plant. I have often seen limestone chunks dropped on top of soil in pots but it looks clumsy and I doubt that the low surface area is effective in distributing mineral from the limestone (especially if bottom-watering). Limestone is not freely available where I am and I wanted to use something locally and easily available, so basically I wanted to make a limestone soil, without limestone. Limestone is essentially calcium carbonate CaCO3, so are seashells, so are eggshells, so that's what I used. I decided the medium should be ground finely if it was to produce a smooth consistency that would crack between waterings. The eggshells were by far easier to grind in the mortar and pestle than the seashells (of which I washed the salt off first) but the seashell "flour" is absolutely divine, sings like porcelain when you stir it with a teaspoon! :-) I had also been recommended gypsum, for it's calcium content and ability to turn clay friable. But because of it's neutral pH it would not be a substitute for the slightly alkaline sea and egg shells. (alkaline like limestone) Gypsum did however prove useful in enhancing the cracking effect on the surface... The final mix included: seashells eggshells gypsum clay I kept a fair amount of the plants' previous mix around the roots so as not to shock them, including pumice, scoria, "cactus mix", and coco-coir. I was a bit worried that I was almost setting them in plaster! the medium dries quite hard, but can be broken apart when wet... They are watered with worm tea, and are looking pretty healthy almost 2 months on... here is an example of growth below ^November ^January others... The only variation I have used since, is adding some perlite to avoid compaction, but I didn't like the grey colour it gave... although I am germinating 100 fricii seeds in it with a 41/100 rate so far and all are looking delightfully bright... If anyone has some tips or cautionary advice, please lay it on me! :-) Thanks for looking!