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By ironjaws
Posts:  574
Joined:  Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:28 am
#259609
Hey all! I'm so happy that spring is finally here!!! My flytraps and sarracenias are looking great!

So, on to the topic: When I first got into CP's with my first two flytraps the water situation was easy to deal with; one gallon of distilled water about every week to a week and a half... however, with an increasing grow list the amount of empty bottles are building up in my yard and taking up too much room in my recycling bin.

Here in California, we've been in a bit of a drought and rain is difficult to come by. I've looked into RO systems and they are pretty pricey, also they don't seem too efficient as they produce a lot more "waste" water.

For those who have a large collection of CP's, how do you supply your plants with the appropriate water, besides collecting rain water and/or buying distilled water?
By Smooter80
Posts:  1038
Joined:  Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:33 pm
#259610
Do a web seach for solar still plans. I made a small box type prototype last week to see how well it would work and what could be improved. I'm in CA too and we have basically year-round weather to use a solar still.
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By nimbulan
Posts:  2076
Joined:  Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:03 pm
#259634
I've read about solar stills and it seems like they are VERY slow to produce water. I doubt you'd be able to provide enough water for your collection just with that.
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By Smooter80
Posts:  1038
Joined:  Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:33 pm
#259638
nimbulan wrote:I've read about solar stills and it seems like they are VERY slow to produce water. I doubt you'd be able to provide enough water for your collection just with that.
Unless you have 100+ plants, medium size one will produce more than enough, at least here in CA. I'll post the numbers once I get around to making my larger one.
By ironjaws
Posts:  574
Joined:  Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:28 am
#259710
Smooter80 wrote:Do a web seach for solar still plans. I made a small box type prototype last week to see how well it would work and what could be improved. I'm in CA too and we have basically year-round weather to use a solar still.
Thanks for the info! I looked into them and I'm interested to know what your results are. I'll probably build one as well and see how that goes.
By ironjaws
Posts:  574
Joined:  Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:28 am
#259711
nimbulan wrote:I've read about solar stills and it seems like they are VERY slow to produce water. I doubt you'd be able to provide enough water for your collection just with that.
It does look like it is slow to produce clean water, but it also appears that the size of the still correlates to the amount of clean water it produces.
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By Nauz
Posts:  727
Joined:  Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:39 am
#259910
Look into a distiller, I've been eyeing the "pure water mini classic ct distiller". A bit pricey oop, but you'll be able to produce 3/4 gallon every 3.5 hours. Beats having to run to the store and purchasing distilled gallons all the time. If your in an apartment like me that's the best option. RO isn't so good to filter out bacteria or viruses. Rain water is out of question because I rent.
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By Nauz
Posts:  727
Joined:  Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:39 am
#260622
Or small scale distilled that's more affordable to the small grower is a countertop distiller. Think most do 2L an hour, I don't know about their quality but I mean as long as it's clean your good.
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By nimbulan
Posts:  2076
Joined:  Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:03 pm
#260623
Distillers use a LOT of power. I'd be surprised if that was ever a more economical choice than reverse osmosis.
By ironjaws
Posts:  574
Joined:  Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:28 am
#260627
So I've looked into the countertop distillers and they are a bit out of my price range. They are, however, an interesting choice.

I'll see if I can wrangle up some parts and build me a solar distiller on the cheap.
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By Nauz
Posts:  727
Joined:  Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:39 am
#260697
The small countertop distillers make 2L every 1.5hour. 7.73 cents a kilowatt where I live. That's about 7 cents to run it for 1.5hours 2$ a month and 25$ a year if you ran it that 1.5h a day every day. Based off a random machine that runs 580watts. Beats paying 1$ a gallon at the store and having all that plastic jugs if you ask me. RO doesn't remove bacterial and viruses from water either. Just minerals.
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By nimbulan
Posts:  2076
Joined:  Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:03 pm
#260701
I'm talking about in comparison to a reverse osmosis system - of course buying jugs of water is more expensive. The distillers I'm seeing are 750W for 1L per hour or 580W for 1 liter per ~1.5 hours. That's a bit higher cost than your estimate but still a lot less than I thought it was. So I suppose distillation is a viable option for smaller collections.
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By Nauz
Posts:  727
Joined:  Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:39 am
#260706
nimbulan wrote:I'm talking about in comparison to a reverse osmosis system - of course buying jugs of water is more expensive. The distillers I'm seeing are 750W for 1L per hour or 580W for 1 liter per ~1.5 hours. That's a bit higher cost than your estimate but still a lot less than I thought it was. So I suppose distillation is a viable option for smaller collections.
I didn't do cost effective research on the RO systems. Personally I like using distilled water and either system works for cp's. I grabbed a random countertop distiller and added it all up to the cost of my kw/h in my area. Beats paying 1$ a gallon or so at stores.
By ironjaws
Posts:  574
Joined:  Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:28 am
#271851
So I've considered RO systems and countertop distillers and find them to be out of my price range at the moment.

I haven't been able to scrape together parts for a solar still and, honestly, I got lazy.

However, I took a chance on the water from the vending machines outside of grocery stores. I tested them out for several weeks and haven't seen any ill effects.

I purchased a new TDS meter(lost my old one) and found the water to consistently be less than 5 ppm, depending on when the vending machines were last serviced.

Since the water is intended for human consumption and because the machines are maintained often, I don't have to worry about bacteria and the like.

I can get 5 gallons for$1 to $1.5! So as of now, I think I've found a solution!

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