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

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By P A U L
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Joined:  Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:04 am
#370762
- I assume this question in VFT subforum would apply equally to any other CP.

So... I believed that rainwater/distilled/reverse osmosis water was critical to raising these plants. But I guess that isn't completely true.

Sometimes when I go to the market to pick up a jug of distilled water, for some reason it's not available, and all that's left on the shelf is filtered or purified water. I would leave and come back some other day.

Is purified or filtered water OK to use?

(I always wondered why people are taking up the distilled water because there have been a few times where specifically distilled water was all gone.)
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By Apollyon
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#370764
The idea is to keep the TDS under 50 ppm. Reverse Osmosis generally has something like 2-20, distilled water has been stripped of everything, so it should have 0 ppm. Plants can usually tolerate more than 50 ppm but when it's being tray watered and the water begins to evaporate; the minerals do not evaporate so the water gets progressively toxic until it disappears. It's why trays will register something over 150 ppm even though you've used RO water the entire time.

As for purified or filtered water, it all depends on the supplier. For instance, my local grocery store has purified water which has been through the RO process so it is safe though some will carry a ppm over 150. So it all depends. The only way to know would be to check it with a TDS meter. You may find another usable water source.

I found it easier to use the RO machines (those water machines at the front of most grocery stores) and fill 5 gallon jugs instead of buying gallons over and over. It's more cost effective as well. Just need to be mindful of its last service date and it doesn't hurt to check the PPM. I check mine regularly when I use RO water. These days I just use my own RO system or I'd go broke lol.
By hungry carnivores
#370775
I come from the Bay Area where tap water is safe. I will say this - I have watered pinguiculas with dolomite water (over 250 ppm ) to raise the pH of their medium, and they do better as the tds increases, to a point. To those not wanting to use distilled water, get yourself a Mexican Pinguicula. I recommend Pinguicula Gina, Pinguicula Agnata, or Pinguicula x Aphrodite.
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By Matt
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#370785
To be safe and be able to make a blanket statement about what water is OK to use, most growers agree that anything 50ppm or lower in total dissolved solids is safe to use on all carnivorous plants. However, some water that is 500ppm could also be safe to use depending on what minerals are in the water. I think it is primarily calcium and magnesium in large quantities that are toxic to most carnivorous plants. And those two minerals are quite common in areas where the ground rock is largely made up of limestone, which is most of the central US.

"Purified" water could be OK to use because in some cases it is equivalent to reverse osmosis water. Do you have a TDS meter so you can check the ppm of the water?
By steve booth
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Joined:  Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:15 am
#370804
I agree with everything that has been said above, but would add that some water is better than no water, i.e. if you are short of rain, distilled or RO water and the plants are drying, then use some tap water for a day or two, as long as you rinse the plants through with the purer water a few of times once you have it, that will wash the impurities out.
Cheers
Steve
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By oval
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Joined:  Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:36 pm
#370810
You can also try diluting your pure water with some tap water to make the pure last longer, just so you can keep the ppm at a low enough level.

I am enjoying the Zerowater filter pitcher I bought a while back. It comes in different sizes, but the filter is the same. You could even conceivably just buy the filter and pour water through it over a bucket. The pitcher makes it easier, but it is just a few cents worth of plastic that you are paying for.
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By P A U L
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#370917
I don't have a ppm thingamajig. I visit a nursery for random houseplants once in awhile...I'll take a jug of purified water and the regular filtered water to measure the ppm there. I'm pretty sure they'll have the tool on-hand.

Thanks for the input, all! Sure would be nice if I could use purified water in case the next time distilled water has mysteriously been bought out.

I did consider buying a reverse osmosis machine, but I figured the 89 cent jugs of water I buy in a year, is equal to the cost of the machine itself (and cost of annual maintenance). So I just decided to buy the water.
By hungry carnivores
#370919
oval wrote: Tue Dec 15, 2020 1:33 pm You can also try diluting your pure water with some tap water to make the pure last longer, just so you can keep the ppm at a low enough level.

I am enjoying the Zerowater filter pitcher I bought a while back. It comes in different sizes, but the filter is the same. You could even conceivably just buy the filter and pour water through it over a bucket. The pitcher makes it easier, but it is just a few cents worth of plastic that you are paying for.
This. It's basic chemistry or even algebra.

If your water is 200ppm and plants are happy at 50, 25% solution.
If it is 100ppm, 50% solution.
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By P A U L
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#373728
OK so I finally used a TDS thingamajigger.

"Drinking Water"
Contains: Purified water, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride.
Source: From a municipal water source.

PPM 27~33


"Spring Water"
Label does not specify what's in the water.

PPM 51~57


Home tap water. Also tested water after it's gone through a Brita filter.

PPM 297~304
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By optique
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#373729
try the "zero water" pitcher it really is 0ppm. my tap water is 24ppm very safe but i use the filter on my house plants so i don't have to flush pots as often. rain flushes my outside plants.

After about four to five months of topping off water treys with tap water my inside sundews will stop growing until i flush the pots.


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By P A U L
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#373730
Would pouring water over the top truly flush it out? When I think minerals, I am thinking the same white stuff that has hardened over the stainless steel of my faucet. This stuff is so hard the only way I can clean it is to first soak it in vinegar.

Do these minerals behave differently in soil? Do they not harden while merging with the soilstuff or cling itself to the roots?
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By optique
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#373749
flushing a pot may not remove all minerals, i mean i have no means of testing that. i can say flushing a pot in my sink will make growth resume.

I have started using LFSM for my long term inside plants because it less of a hassle to keep flushed. I have been saving plastic jar lids and placing them between pots and water treys as a spacer to keep excess water from wicking back into the pot. I feel this helps to keeps the media from being sloppy wet and helps with control mineral build up.

Take into account my tap water comes from a mountain top lake fed by melting snow with sarracinia growing wild down stream. The mineral content is not the same as what you would find from other sources. When i travel to southern SC i cant even make coffee out of tap, spoiled i guess.
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By ApgarTraps
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Joined:  Mon May 28, 2018 2:22 pm
#377057
P A U L wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:20 am Would pouring water over the top truly flush it out? When I think minerals, I am thinking the same white stuff that has hardened over the stainless steel of my faucet. This stuff is so hard the only way I can clean it is to first soak it in vinegar.

Do these minerals behave differently in soil? Do they not harden while merging with the soilstuff or cling itself to the roots?
The key is whether the minerals are still dissolved vs crystalized.

After watering with tap water, the next heavy rain will flush out the existing water in the medium.

However, if tap water is routinely used (and allowed to dry between waterings), over time the minerals will form crystals (known as "scale"; the white stuff that requires vinegar to dissolve).

An occasional watering with significant ppm will likely do no harm as long as the minerals aren't allowed to accumulate.
By Benchgrow
#377182
I agree with the message that water is more important than what type of water...this year the lack of rain destroyed all our work...
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