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  • 1 Post By chemist
  • 1 Post By chemist
  • 2 Post By raybark
  • 1 Post By Jx3

My Tap Water is Atrocious - Can I use Drinking or Spring Water?

This is a discussion on My Tap Water is Atrocious - Can I use Drinking or Spring Water? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; My tape water is atrocious. Lets just say even I wouldn't drink it nor did ...

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  1. #1
    scot4402 is offline Junior Member
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    Default My Tap Water is Atrocious - Can I use Drinking or Spring Water?

    My tape water is atrocious. Lets just say even I wouldn't drink it nor did I want to give it to my new orchids from Hawaii. We don't have access to well water or rain water (aluminum spouts). I tried distilled water with 1/4 food solution but every time I try that some leaves go yellow and drop off my dendrobiums.

    Looking closer at these new orchids I noticed time release fertilizer balls, so I think I should use only water on these for the first year.

    If I had the choice between store bought Drinking water or Spring water, could either of these be used?

  2. #2
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    chemist is offline Senior Member
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    I think both water should be ok. If you look on label it should tell you concentration of minerals. So you can decide what is better. But i would think it will be pretty much the same.
    Probably, im not expert here, your problem is slow release ferilizer. Maybe with your watering schesule it releases more fertilizer than its needed, your condition definitely is different from green house it came from. So what was good for GH maybe not good for you.
    There was another post where roots were dying after growing inch inside the medium. The bark also contained slow release fert.
    How long ago did you got plants, maybe its just stress from shipping?
    I dont have any dend yet, maybe its just the time to drop leaves?
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  3. #3
    scot4402 is offline Junior Member
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    I read the label on the Drinking water - it says "Municipal water" "filtered". That's out then.

  4. #4
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    Its hard to say if its bad. i dont know your location but NY municipal water is not bad. And it does not taste differently from bottlrd spring water.
    You need to look on mineral concentration : calcium,magnesium, sodium, potassium etc.
    I just took bottle of poland spring water and realise they dont post concentration but they say you can find it online.
    If to eliminate your "drinking water" you probably better use spring water or distilled with out adding any fertilizer since your medium alredy has it.
    If i would be you i might think to repot it in to new medium making sure it does not have any slow release ferilizer. Miracle-grow adds slow release fert to its bark so i stopped buying it.
    Anyway wait for more replys, here are many dend owners who im sure will give advise.

  5. #5
    scot4402 is offline Junior Member
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    Default

    Thanks for the quick reply. The water makes brown rings in the toilets in a couple of months and tastes bad.

    The slow release fert balls are caught in the roots and I am using Miracle Grow Bark (how did you know?). No wonder I was loosing leaves. 1/4 mix fert, fert in the bark and slow release fert balls stuck in the roots. Arrrgh!

    Going to look for better bark (without fert) and use the Spring water.

    Thanks Mucho!

  6. #6
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    Your water probably has a lot of calcium and magnesium, so called hard water, that's why you have deposits.
    If you have only few plants you definitely can use spring or distilled water ( you can add your fert to distilled when you repot to bark w/o slow release fert).

    How do i know?! I used it for my very firts repotting. That time i did not know any other brands and that you can buy different type of mixes online.
    My issue at that time was that roots were rotting no matter what, plus there were very small creatures i did not wanted to have. And of course slow release fertilizer. I changed bark for better-gro product and my phals are pretty happy since .

    If you can post pictures of your dens people can see and advise more what is going on with your plants.
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  7. #7
    ksriramkumar is offline Senior Member
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    What is good for drinking is good for orchids. if your water tastes bad/hard to drink then it is most likely not suitable for orchids. You could get hold of a RO system or I understand you can buy RO water from some of the super markets till you get a RO system for your own.

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    A couple of comments: Are you making your water quality assessment based upon your opinion, or do you have an analysis from the utility?

    Spring water is often just as "hard" or harder than municipal water supplies.

    The fact that you have aluminum gutters and downspouts is irrelevant. The contact time with the rain water is so minimal, the pickup of aluminum will be negligible.

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    I agree with Ray's 3 points. I happen to have Dasani water in front of me, and measured the conductivity. It gives 160 microS/cm (which is about TDS of 80-100ppm). So it is fairly decent, but it has additives (Mg SO4 and K Cl). If you are buying water, it seems that it is better to get RO/distilled water, so you can add a controlled amount of mineral nutrients.

    If you use distilled/deionized/RO water, you'll need to pay a bit more attention to the fertilizer. Many fertilizers don't contain essential mineral nutrients like Ca, Mg, and S. Tap water generally has sufficient supply of these 3 elements, and making complete fertilizers with these elements are a bit trickier because precipitation could happen (especially if you try to use concentrated solution). So either you can use fertilizers formulated for RO water (e.g. MSU for pure water, K-Lite, Dyna-Gro Hi-N Pro or Grow 7-9-5) or you can add back a bit of tap water. Those cheap TDS or EC meter is pretty handy to decide how much tap water you want add to purer water. If you have lots of orchids, getting RO System is the cheaper way to go.

  10. #10
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    I am going to agree with Chemist and Ray. First get rid of the MG orchid mix, i have truly found it does way more harm then good. Its way too dense and too concentrated with fertilizer.
    I have aluminum gutters and downspouts, i have been catching rain for years in 5 gallon water jugs. My plants couldnt be happier. I let it rain for a few mins to wash the roof and gutters out and then put my containers under them, my plants love the rain water more than all others ive tryed.

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