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

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By Intheswamp
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#424859
I've got some containers of rainwater that I collected that has a handful of oak leaves with a few acorns sunk to the bottom. I removed a handful of floating leaves, too. Their are a couple of roughly 2-gallon pots and a ~12-gallon cooler. These have been sitting for probably a week now. The TDS to start with ranged from 2-3ppm in each container...but we got more rain (and leaves) the a couple of days ago and the TDS now reads 1ppm in all three containers. Would the TDS meter pickup the tannins? Will the oak debris in the water leach enough tannins into the water that will affect plants negatively? I've used it before like this but just got to thinking about it.

Carrying this a bit further... If there was enough oak debris to "stain" the water I would think that would show a lot of tannins. Would you use that water?

Thoughts?
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By Intheswamp
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#424872
Thanks, optique, for the feedback! I figured as clear as it is that it should be fine for a while but didn't know for sure. I rinsed some peat moss this afternoon with some of the water in my 32-gallon "strategic reserve" :mrgreen: garbage can (21-22ppm). I'm going to rinse a batch of perlite tomorrow. When I'm finished I'm going to top the garbage can back off with this water, which should lower the bulk water's TDS measurement a bit. The rest will go in the humble gallon milk jugs. :D The last rain we got was a really nice, *clean* rain, that fell onto a recently rain-rinsed roof. ;) It looks like we may get another good rain (1+" possible) tomorrow afternoon/night so I need to get things done and set up the pots and cooler!

With rainwater being *free* I'm a sucker for collecting it...much more than I need for the number of plants that I have. BUT, late this past summer we hit a dry spell and I began to approach needing to tap into the strategic supply. I max out at around 60 gallons of stored water...buckets, jugs, and garbage can. I need to start thinking about streamlining my setup a bit.

Anyhow, I was wondering about the leaves and acorns in the water. Thanks for quelling my concern! :)
By Huntsmanshorn
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Joined:  Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:32 am
#424873
Intheswamp wrote: Mon Nov 28, 2022 8:14 pm Would the TDS meter pickup the tannins?
If there was enough tannin in the water, then yes, but it would take quite a bit to make much of a difference.
Intheswamp wrote: Mon Nov 28, 2022 8:14 pm Will the oak debris in the water leach enough tannins into the water that will affect plants negatively?
Nope, no way.

Intheswamp wrote: Mon Nov 28, 2022 8:14 pm Carrying this a bit further... If there was enough oak debris to "stain" the water I would think that would show a lot of tannins. Would you use that water?
Yes, absolutely.
Intheswamp wrote: Mon Nov 28, 2022 8:14 pm Thoughts?
Tannin makes the water a bit more acidic, and is something naturally found in Sphag bogs, so within reason, the more, the merrier.
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By Intheswamp
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#424874
Thanks Huntsmanshorn! I'm no chemistry whiz but had wondered about the place of tannins in the scheme of things. Seems they're ever present but the biggest thing I've been concerned with is the tannins that stains our plants. I really hadn't thought about them possibly doing positive things.
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By steve booth
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Joined:  Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:15 am
#424883
I deliberately add pine bark to my outside bogs to increase the acidity in the substrate, open it up for oxygen exchange, and inevitably it releases tannins. Whilst I appreciate that a release from bark will be a lot slower than leaves and made even slower because of the acid nature of the substrate, it has never caused any problems for me.
As has been said, if the leaves release enough tannins the TDS meter will pick it up
Cheers
Steve
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By Intheswamp
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#424892
Well, I got my peat and perlite rinsed...didn't quiet have enough left in the cooler and pots to refill the strategic reserve but I've got the receptacles waiting on the rains that hopefully come this afternoon and evening. ;) The rainwater I added to the garbage can dropped the TDS from 21-22ppm to 14ppm. FWIW. :)
By davinstewart
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#424904
I get that all the time and it doesn't seem to be a problem at all. I've checked the total disolved solids and they're still well below 50 ppm even with a ton of debris in there.

I wouldn't worry about it too much but if you're concerned then grab a tdd meter and check!

Davin

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