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Type of water

This is a discussion on Type of water within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi everyone! I'm new here and new to orchids so I've been doing a lot ...

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  1. #1
    Elena's Avatar
    Elena is offline Senior Member
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    Default Type of water

    Hi everyone! I'm new here and new to orchids so I've been doing a lot of reading recently to learn as much about growing the 'chids as I can.

    Now, I have a question about water used for watering. I know that different growers will have their own prefernces and methods that they find work best for them so I was just curious to hear what you all use just to see what the different options are, really.

    I live in the area with fairly soft tap water do you think that just leaving it for 24 hours or so is enough before watering or should I boil it first? Or is rain water the best option?

    Also we have a tropical fish tank with Amazonian set up. My OH insists that because the water in it is soft, slightly acidic and full of nutrients it's great for using to water the plants. What do you think? I think he might have a point BUT it might be harder to have control over how much of the nutrients the plants will receive especially if they get fertilised as well?

    Anyway, sorry for rambling anfd I'm looking forward to reading your views.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    smartie2000's Avatar
    smartie2000 is offline Senior Member
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    The common options are tap water, rain water, reverse osmosis water, and distilled water, their purity from lowest to highest. Do not use softened water because they are softened with table salt.

    Fish tank water should be fine if you are not adding salt. Do not use the water if you're using one of those water softening pillows because they use table salt to replace the hard water salts! Fish don't react to NaCl the way they react to the hard water salts. NaCl equals disaster in orchids! (and not only for orchids, although some houseplants are more tolerant of NaCl)

    I use tap water. I let the water sit in jugs so that it get to room temperature and the chlorine can disapate. I am hearing that some local growers are melting snow water for slipper orchids because the water is being treated differently, but I didn't get enough detail (something about chlorine. I would guess a switch from chlorine to chloramine? Having aquariums too, I read that chloramine doesn't disapate, but can be neutalized, which I barely do for my aquariums unless I change large portions of water. My plants/aquariums aren't dead if there was a chloramine switch). If I ever needed to change the water I used, I would buy reverse osmosis water and mix it with the tap water. I think its better to mix some tap water with the purified water because it buffers it. Melting snow would take long hours to get enough of it.

  3. #3
    Elena's Avatar
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    Thank you. There are no salts used in the tank, the only thing that gets added to the tank water is the conditioner that neutralises chlorine & chloramine during the water changes but when I tried using it on my other plants I would use the water which is taken out of the tank during the water changes and which therefore has been in the tank for a couple of weeks if that makes sense.

    I think my main issue with tank water was the lack of control over how many nutrients there are in it, especially if fertilizer is added as well. It did no damage to my other plants though so I might try it on one or two orchids too.

  4. #4
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    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Hi Elena. There was a discussion about PH and fish tank water awhile back. Here is the Link: FISH TANK PH

    Hope it can help too.

    Cheers,
    BD

  5. #5
    Elena's Avatar
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    Thank you BD, very informative. Fish tank, here I come (even if it does mean that OH was right again)

  6. #6
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elena View Post
    Thank you BD, very informative. Fish tank, here I come (even if it does mean that OH was right again)
    Glad to help, Elena.

    Cheers,
    BD

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