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

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By Dini
Posts:  42
Joined:  Wed Dec 09, 2020 3:25 am
#371552
i recently just learned that you can use tap water to water my carnivorous plants but i heard they have to be a certain ppm number to use the tap water and to check that i have to buy myself a tds meter. Is there another way to check it without having to buy this? i currently live in New zealand auckland if that helps, and also we do drink our tap water since its safe to do so but personally i use a water filter to drink my water.
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By ChefDean
Location: 
Posts:  3092
Joined:  Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:44 am
#371556
Auckland tap water is considered soft, that would put it about 70 to 140 ppm TDS. Many carnivorous plants do better a TDS of 50 ppm or less; Flytraps, sundews, etc., while others can tolerate higher levels of TDS.
My tap water (Clarksville, Tennessee) is between 100 and 110 ppm. I use it to water my Sarracenia, Pinguicula, and Nepenthes. My Sarrs sit in water, but the Nep and Ping just stay moist. I water the Nep and Ping until water flows out the bottom before I put it back in its hanging basket or tray, whichever the case may be. My VFT's, Utricularia, and sundews get distilled, and they generally sit in some water to a lot of water.
All that being said, there are other growers close to me, some on the same municipal water system, that exclusively use tap water for all of their carnivorous plants without an issue.
If you can find out your TDS, and it's low enough, you could potentially use tap water for all of your plants. But maybe flush them with distilled water each Spring and Autumn to remove any buildup of minerals.
However, even if you're not sure, and you have to use tap water; any water is better than no water.
Just a thought.
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By Panman
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Posts:  1480
Joined:  Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:41 pm
#371558
I also use tap water for all of my plants (VFT, sarr, sundews, neps). My TDS is 72. All of my plants are outdoors all spring and summer so they regularly get flushed with rain water. Occassionally, I will dump the trays they are sitting in and refill them, if I find that the TDS for the tray water has gotten very high. I'm going on 4 years now doing this with no problems but I have only had bulletproof plants up to this point. I'm adding some more finicky species now, so we will see how they do.
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By Matt
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Posts:  22300
Joined:  Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:28 pm
#371574
Like everyone else has stated, it really depends on the quality of your tap water and you'll need a TDS meter to determine if it might be safe. And then, you'll need to experiment with it to test the level of safety. We too are able to use tap water in Ashland, Oregon. But many places in the US, particularly in the midwest where using wells and groundwater for tap water is common, the TDS of the water is far too high in calcium and magnesium to be suitable to use for most carnivorous plants. Sarracenia are far more tolerant than Flytraps so, as others have already mentioned, it really depends on the species of carnivorous plant you will be watering as well.
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By cryostasis
Posts:  116
Joined:  Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:53 am
#371648
Dini wrote:i recently just learned that you can use tap water to water my carnivorous plants but i heard they have to be a certain ppm number to use the tap water and to check that i have to buy myself a tds meter. Is there another way to check it without having to buy this? i currently live in New zealand auckland if that helps, and also we do drink our tap water since its safe to do so but personally i use a water filter to drink my water.
Buy a PPM/TDS meter fairly inexpensive but it will be your bff. I used it to measure our tap water and during summer we get 55 to 58ppm when rainy season it gets roughly 60 to 70+ppm.

During emergencies Inuse our tap water but I leave it for 48 hours for the minerals to settle down usually get 40ppm after.

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