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Can I use Aquarium water on my orchids?

This is a discussion on Can I use Aquarium water on my orchids? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have a 55 gal aquarium with very healthy Koi in. Is it safe to ...

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  1. #1
    lady slipper is offline Junior Member
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    Smile Can I use Aquarium water on my orchids?

    I have a 55 gal aquarium with very healthy Koi in. Is it safe to recycle the water from the tank if it has an 'aqua safe' in it, which neutralizes chlorine and
    heavy metals for the fish. I also have 1 1.5 tablespoons of salt added to 55 gal of water. Does this water neutralize or is it safe to use for the plants. I would think otherwise the algae and fish fertliizer would be beneficial? Can someone address this please.
    Llewellyn

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    smwboxer is offline Senior Member
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    I would not use it due the salt added. I use aquarium water for the NOIDS I have in my office but there is no salt in it.

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    I have a 150 gal. horse trought with goldfish in it. I use water from that for my Catts., Odonts. and Oncidiums. I agree, however, that the salt will be an issue. I am not sure why you are adding the salt to the tank anyway. It is a great way to remove lice and anchor worms from koi and goldfish but using it regularly is dangerous. Your water evaporation will concentrate the salts and adding new water with salt added will make the salinity stronger. Salt should be used only in a dip when you notice an issue with your fish.

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    Some aquarists recommend adding minute amounts of table salt to the aquarium to affect the pH of the water.
    But since I have a saltwater aquarium, I never really had the need to explore that.
    Of course, water from saltwater aquariums should not be used to water orchids anyway

    Some considerations for freshwater aquariums:
    1. Some of the chlorine/chloramine "removers" do not actually remove the chlorine and heavy metals from the water. They simply bond with those substances to make them inert and thus pass through the fish' body harmlessly.
    However, would there be a difference in chlorine/metal content from your aquarium water and the fresh (tap/RO/well) water that you would have used to water your plants anyway?
    If the bonded chlorine/chloramine is harmless for the fish, would it be harmless to the plant?

    2. The organic waste contained in the old aquarium water might actually feed the plants. Perhaps along the same lines as compost tea but to a lesser degree.
    I just do not know personally if the puzzle pieces line up. Are the nutrients contained in the old aquarium water the same nutrients required by the plants?

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    Hi Don,
    My koi are very healthy guys and (5) eat out of my hands. I was told that a very small amount of salt was good for their gills and helps them breath better? That is why I started to use it and when I add more water between water changes I do not add more salt, only monthly with water changes. But maybe I should rethink the path here and decide it is not good to be using....and then perhaps I could use the water for my orchids too?

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    I always use aquarium water on my orchids; it is tropical freshwater. I also rinse the filter sponges in the 'used' water. I don't know if broken down fish poop is beneficial to the plants but it is certainly better than the water that comes direct out of our taps. I do a weekly water change, 25 litres RO water and 25 litres tapwater treated with aquasafe.

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    One other thing to think about, too many bacteria from the water may cause the media to break down faster. Just a thought.

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    lady slipper is offline Junior Member
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    Dragonn,
    Thanks much. Sounds like you have been having success with the fish water so I guess it can not be too harmful and maybe even good for the plants.
    LK

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    I have never tried this as I do not "do" fish. Once upon a time I did know woman who watered all her plants (though she didn't have orchids) with the aquarium water and the plants seemed to do very well. It would seem likely that orchids might also benefit from it. As far as salts go ... all commonly used fertilizers contain salts too -- hence the reason it is recommended to flush out soils with pure water/rainwater/etc every so often.

    You could always experiment and choose a few candidates as you experimental subjects...........

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    lady slipper is offline Junior Member
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    In fond Memory. Yes, thank You Pavel. I think I will select a few plants and water and
    see how they look after a time, maybe as long as a year and do flushing out of water as usual and see if the plants do well . Thank you for the post

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