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High TDS

This is a discussion on High TDS within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi fellow community, Nowadays I'm reading Understanding Orchids by William Cullina. He mentions that in ...

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  1. #1
    Firochromis's Avatar
    Firochromis is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Question High TDS

    Hi fellow community,

    Nowadays I'm reading Understanding Orchids by William Cullina. He mentions that in the nature orchids benefits the rains so under cultivation it is better to use "soft" water. He also mentions that a beginner must deal with the lighting and watering periods first but I'm familiar with the water chemistry from aquariums so interested in this topic.

    My tap water has 190ppm of total dissolved salt, which is quite high. According to Cullina, tds readings is best when lower than 60ppm, while 60-120ppm is ok. What do you do about tds?

  2. #2
    Ennui's Avatar
    Ennui is offline lurker
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    z5 NEO


    While I do not measure or monitor my actual TDS,
    I have read the water reports for my area specifying
    160 mg/L (same as ppm) ave.
    Realizing it is on the higher side of acceptable,
    I use DI water for filling the S/H resevoirs,
    and the saucers of those who like wet feet.
    I flush all pots with tap, and non-S/H plants get fertilized with tap as well.
    My understanding is that water quality is really only an issue
    in the case of Very high TDS,
    and sensitive (paph/phrag/masd/disa) genera.
    If you have concerns the top options, I guess, are to
    invest in a RO system, collect rainwater, or buy distilled.
    Alternately, if you do nothing to lower the salts level,
    I suppose you could flush your pots
    thoroughly and frequently
    to prevent deadly salts buildup.
    Also, fertilizer increases the overall TDS,
    so you might cut back on that,
    but that would be one of the last options I'd consider.

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