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Is rain water collected from roof safe?

This is a discussion on Is rain water collected from roof safe? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Originally Posted by Brutal_Dreamer I have never collected rain water for the orchids, but it ...

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  1. #11
    sewcrazy64 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brutal_Dreamer View Post
    I have never collected rain water for the orchids, but it sounds like it should work. Maybe do a water test and see what the water is like (ph, etc). That should give you a more scientific answer.

    Cheers,
    BD
    We finally got some rain (almost 5 in. since Thursday!) so I collected and tested the ph. I set out 3 containers at the beginning of the rain. After it had been raining awhile, I put out 2 more which collected roof runoff.

    I tested the ph of each container using an aquarium testing kit. The group of 3 containers tested acidic 6.0. The 2 with roof runoff were 6.4.

    I assume the water I use on my orchids (Paphs, Phals, Dends) should be near neutral, so I mixed 3 parts rainwater & 1 part tap and got a ph of 7.0.

    We have hard tapwater that is alkaline 7.8 and has 40 ppm sodium (according to the city's report.), so I was hoping to use rainwater to flush through the pots once a month to remove the deposits.

    My question is: Would it be good to use this 3-to-1 mixture to flush through the pots?

    I will appreciate your thoughts! Dana

  2. #12
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    Brutal_Dreamer is online now Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Hi Dana,

    Neutral ph is 7.0 so it seems your rain water is fairly close already. The roof runoff seems to be the best (maybe your containers caused the acidic rise in ph in them?). Mixing your 6.4 roof runoff rain water with your 7.8 (which is moving into being a base and out of neutral) tap water should be fine to use on your orchids in just about any combination.

    Any true scientist here with more specific information for Dana? Please feel free to speak up and give her a more accurate analysis/ recommendation.

    Cheers,
    BD

  3. #13
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    All the water samples collected should be fine. The pH 6 or 6.4 is a good indicator and should be good as it is. You do not need to mix this waer with your tap water. Instead of mixing both the waters try alternating between the waterings. And use the rainwater all by itself for foliar sprayings and flushing. See from your data you can see theory in action: The original rain water is more acid pH6, when it hits the roof the acid is used up in small quantities to dissolve stuff in it and hence there is a slight increase in the pH.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halloamey View Post
    All the water samples collected should be fine. The pH 6 or 6.4 is a good indicator and should be good as it is. You do not need to mix this waer with your tap water. Instead of mixing both the waters try alternating between the waterings. And use the rainwater all by itself for foliar sprayings and flushing. See from your data you can see theory in action: The original rain water is more acid pH6, when it hits the roof the acid is used up in small quantities to dissolve stuff in it and hence there is a slight increase in the pH.
    I knew there was a scientist among us to answer this question. Thanks Amey.

    Cheers,
    BD

  5. #15
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    I only use rainwater from the roof . It´s filtered befor it goes in the tank . Than I fill it in a bucket of 10 l and give 10 ml 30 % H ˛ O˛ to it . It should be kill the bacillus from the roof and what the bird makes on it ,too . It ´s stay for 24 h and than I use it .
    Our tapwater is to much alkaline for Lepanthes and Masdevallia ect.
    But two times of the year I use lime from algae ,the substrate otherwise is to acid .
    Somebody use tapwater mixed with distilled water .

  6. #16
    sewcrazy64 is offline Member
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    Thank you, everyone, for being so helpful!

    Amey, for your especially useful advice!

    Take care, Dana

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