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This is a discussion on Using aquarium water? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi everyone, When I change the water in my aquarium, I use the old water ...
When I change the water in my aquarium, I use the old water (which is high in nitrates) to water my other houseplants. They seem to love it.
Do any of you do this with orchids?
Do you think it'll make a positive difference?
It depends if you are adding salt to the aquarium, such as cichlids or goldfish. Or if you are using a water softening pillow such as for dicus or other tropicals. These water softeners use table salt to replace the hard water salts.
If you haven't been adding salt and the water isn't too dirty, I'm sure it should be fine.
I certainly use some of my fish water to water the plants, however not all the time. I cannot store 25-50 litres of water outside of the tank without it becoming a bit smelly and unpleasant. So I will only use it fresh from the tank.
The other thing that I find is that when I "hoover" the bottom of the tank when taking the water out, there is so much stuff in the water that I wouldn't put it near the plants!
But I have a 450 litre fish tank and doing a water change is a military operation in our home, and generally gets done in the evening. Not always the best time for me to start watering the orchids.
Basically, I have used it a lot less than I thought I would. However, as long as you are not adding to the water significantly, like Fren queried, then there shouldn't be any problem at all using conditioned tank water.
No, I don't use any artificial additives. My tank is full of live plants so I don't typically vacuum the junk off the bottom (the plants & snails love it).
I watered my orchid today. Since I only have one (at the moment :P) it's easy enough just to take a cup and scoop some water directly out of my tank.
I wonder - is temperature an issue at all? I keep my main tank at 82 degrees F.
It is certainly likely to be warmer than your room temperature, and you might need to be worried about those plants with more delicate roots. You will notice posts where people talk about using clay pots to help to cool the roots.
Adding warm water may be stressful for plants who are already warm, and in the middle of winter if the ambient temperature is lower you might do them harm. I am not sure really, there are definitely people out there on this forum who know a lot more about roots than I do!
It might be a good idea to let the tank water sit for a while to bring it down to room temperature, before watering your plant (s) - (we know you'll get more!)