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Thread: HighTDS levels

  1. #1

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    HighTDS levels

    After seeing some 'burning' on a few leaves I thought I'd test the TDS levels of the water and make sure that there were no organics. Turns out the levels in the water were above 100 ppm and after test flushing some pots, one pot ended up being around 650 ppm.

    I discarded the soil, repotted (peat and sand) what I wanted to keep and cleaned the tray out. I have Drosera, Byblis, Stylidium, and Sarrs seeds/seedlings sitting in the tray. This seems to be a re-occuring cycle and I'd really like to stop it! None of the soil had the 'egg smell' this time from cyano-bacteria which I use to get as well. I let the tray dry before adding more water. Does anyone have experience with this issue? Where are these TDS coming from?!

    The only additives I've used is neem oil. Does it eventually break down into organic compounds? Would adding a sulfur based fungicide to the water help keep the organics off the soil due to the H+ ions bonding or would the organics hold there place in the soil?

    Just some thoughts, any help is VERY appreciated, thanks for reading.

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    RL7836's Avatar
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    I didn't see you mention the obvious - what's the TDS of the components of your media mix? Even though my sand is close to 100% quartz, I find that I must wash it before use as the dust (& whatever) on it provide high TDS readings if I don't. A friend also washes his peat before use due to high TDS... I've found similar issues with APS & perlite.
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    I've tested each individual component individually before mixing and the TDS meter reads 0ppm for the sand and usually around 10 ppm for the sphagnum peat moss. The pots that do have perlite have been in use for no more than 2-3 months tops so I seriously doubt that it is due to it breaking down as from what I've read usally takes 1-2 years.
    I suppose washing would help get rid of the extra ppm in the peat but at 10 ppm I really have never had any issues with it. The outdoor pots do not have this problem and I've also never treated them with neem.
    Does anyone have any sort of info as to if and how quick neem breaks down?
    I've also tested the ppm of the neem I'm using in the diluted concentration and the meter is blind to it. My water is also at 0 ppm.


    Edit: Looking at the neem composition percentage wise, it looks like all of the components have hydroxyl groups and nothing in terms of N-P-K. Seems that I'm blaming the wrong thing...

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    SDCPs's Avatar
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    Test your water

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    BigBella's Avatar
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    I agree that it sounds more like an issue with your water than with your media. What is its source and do you regularly test it? Mine seldom rises above 10 ppm and is generally lower.

    Also, I have never washed media before using it -- ever . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

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    Lucky Greenhorn Lil Stinkpot's Avatar
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    I had mine checked, and it's in the 60's. Good for most, all except Sphagnum and the really picky. By the time anything builds up, the rains come and flush it out.

    We were having fun checking other water around. Janet's water read in the 200's, and the bottled water? Don't ask! My bottled water was a different brand, and we got NO reading at all!
    If you shake a rain stick, you get rain. I need a hamata stick.
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    Thanks for the help everyone;

    I do regular checks on my water as I use a RO/DI system. I purchased it about 2-3 months ago and only get about 6 gallons a week out of it so I do not think my filters would need replacement yet.
    On another note, my Nepenthes do not have this issue and are growing just fine. The TDS meter reads 0ppm as of yesterday for a fresh batch of RO/DI water.

    I want to point the finger at the medium since one pots had ppm values of 600+ while some were around 100+. I've never added fertilizer of used hard water so how the values were raised so high is a real head scratcher. There will occasionally be algae in the tray indicating that there is some nutrients in the tray. It's also not the first time that I've had these levels occurs, meaning something must be STILL in the tray or I am still doing/using something that cause these high levels.

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Perhaps it's the sand. Do you flush it well before using it? What kind is it?
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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