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Thread: Water Tray Maintenance

  1. #9
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Valid arguments on both sides.

    Things to consider.

    The membrane on RO filters eventually clogs and will just pass unfiltered water. A TDS meter and pressure meter will tell you when to replace the membrane and other filters. If you buy water from RO filtered vending machines you have no way of knowing if the filter is in working order or properly maintained without testing the water.

    While Hollywood and horror novels may depict bogs as dead-end death traps filled with stinking stagnant water, many sphagnum bogs are open-ended living ecosystems. Water circulates and drains out - slowly perhaps. And living Sphagnum will absorb many dissolved solids through cation exchange. You might be surprised if you took a TDS measurement from the "ground water" from under the floating Sphagnum mat in a "quaking bog".

    Now it is generally accepted that in high enough concentrations around the roots nutrients will have a negative even lethal effect on most, if not all, carnivorous plants. This is no doubt true for just about any plant but the threshold for carnivorous plants is much lower than your typical house or garden plant. The nutrients (mainly nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium) are commonly found in ground water in the form of salts. The easiest way to test for these is with a Total Dissolved Solids meter (TDS). While these meters will normally give you a reading in parts per million (ppm) the meter won't tell which and how much of each dissolved solids are present - just the total.

    The answers given most often to "What ppm is safe for CPs?" are usually 100ppm or less or 50ppm or less. You will also find a few long time growers (over 15 years growing) that will tell you they use well or tap water that measures in the 200-250ppm range. Usually you will find these growers top water their plants and not let them stand in water. While these levels are "safe" the problem is that these dissolved solids (salts) will accumulate and build up in the media, more quickly when using trays (the salts have nowhere else to go). Eventually you should replace the medium. Peat moss will breakdown/decompose and release the nutrients contained in it. Plus you can get nutrients introduced by other organisms.
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  2. #10
    Gardening freak! tommyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottychaos View Post
    Another thing to consider..
    I have been growing VFT's and Sarrs for 20 years now, using the tray method..
    I have never once used, or considered using, a TDS meter! and I never will..
    I collect rain water, and have never bothered to test it..
    its simply not a concern for me to know its TDS, since im confidant it is low enough..

    Basically what I'm trying to convey is, if you have good water (RO, distilled or rain water) you dont really need a TDS meter at all..
    you might be over-thinking it! What are you using as your water supply?

    I dump my water trays perhaps once a month, but its not on any set schedule..
    I mainly only do it if I see mosquito larva in the trays.
    If I know we are going to get a nice day-long soaking rain, I will sometimes remove
    the pots from their trays to let the rain "flush out" the pots..but I only do that if conditions
    are right and I happen to think of it..I dont consider it a "normal" or necessary part of my CP growing..

    Scot
    Agreed! The only thing I do is add a little bit of "Mosquito dunks" to my trays/rainwater buckets to kill the larvae. I may also dump and clean the trays once or twice during the season but I don't have as many trays as some of you do.
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  3. #11
    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    A couple pics of a surprise I found when cleaning out my tray:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Water Tray Maintenance-leech2-jpg   Water Tray Maintenance-leech3-jpg  

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  4. #12
    Gardening freak! tommyr's Avatar
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    Last year I got startled a little when a frog jumped out of one of my water trays! LOL! He ended up coming back though and I left him alone.
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