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Tap water vs. rain water

This is a discussion on Tap water vs. rain water within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi Guys, I have been collecting rain water and storing it in large containers for ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Tap water vs. rain water

    Hi Guys, I have been collecting rain water and storing it in large containers for watering and feeding. I was just reading an article that indicated that rain water might make my feeding solution too acidic. The idea being that the fert manufacturers compensate in the chemistry of their product to allow for the tendency of tap water to be on the basic side. Does this mean that I am better off mixing my fertilizing solution using tap water? I live in Stuart Florida and I'm not sure what the PH factor is in our water. I know it is quite soft. There is no water softener in my townhouse so I guess the city water is fairly alkaline. Also our water has flouride added much to my displeasure. What effect would this have if any? Any thoughts on this. I'm mostly interested in fertiliser mixtures. Right now I use a commercial 20-14-13 fertilizer and a 11-35-15 bloom booster when spike appears. Any advice would be appreciated.

    This is an exerpt from the article I read ......"Without going into solubility details of the specific ions, research has shown that a pH of around 5.5-6.5 is ideal for the vast majority of orchids. Remember that the chemistry of your nutrient solution is determined by both the fertilizer and your water supply. Figuring that most people will use tapwater, most general-purpose formulas are designed with a generic array of dissolved solids in mind, so will provide a good pH when used out of the box. If those are used in pure water - reverse osmosis, distilled, deionized, or collected rainwater - it is likely that the pH will be extremely acidic and not suitable for the plants. In that case, the addition of a neutralizer is necessary, whether that be aquarium "pH-Up," Dyna-Gro ProTekt, or some other means. Recognizing the importance of pH in the overall equation of plant nutrition, the blend developed for Michigan State University's study was designed to provide the proper pH when used with pure water."
    Last edited by fbashplant; March 5th, 2012 at 10:01 PM.

  2. #2
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    I've never checked into the pH of either the rainwater or my tap water, however I tried mixing the fertilizer with rainwater and my plants suffered severe root burn. It was only at 1/4 strength. I've been mixing it with RO water ever since and have not experienced the problem ever since. Just my two cents...

  3. #3
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    Thanks Kevin. It sounds like the article I read may be correct. I would think that high acidity would cause root burn. I supose there could be acid rain in certain areas as well which would exacerbate the problem. Perhaps one of our knowledgable senior members could shed some light on this. You are the only reply I've had to this post so far. Maybe no one knows.

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    I found an online vendor recently that asks you to specify what kind of water you use so they can provide the right kind of fert when you order. There's probably something to that logic Fred

  5. #5
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    Thanks Ali, Sounds like the right aproach to me. I don't think you can give the name of the vendor on this forum but maybe you can let me know how you found them. Or: FredAshplant@comcast.net

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    Tried to send you a PM but I guess you can't receive them? I've emailed you the info

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    Thanks Ali. Got the e-mail. I think it's just what I'm looking for.

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    Glad to have helped!
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    Fred, I do use rain water "when" I can get it. ( I live in Texas, LOL ) I use 30-10-10 during active growth periods, & 10-30-20 as a blossom booster when I know its time for buds to develop. Hope this helps...Betty

  10. #10
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    Thanks Betty. That is along the lines of what I have been using. I think I may try a mixture that is specifically designed for pure (Rain) water. I'm really not having problems but maybe growth can be improved. We'll see. Thanks again, Fred

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