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Thread: Tray-Water Changes and Cleaning

  1. #9
    theplantman's Avatar
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    1) The yellow coloration is caused by the tannins in peat. In large quantities, tannins create the "Blackwater effect" so popular in aquaria. Also happens a lot in the south, where I've lived most of my life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackwater_river
    2) Algae eat nutrients and don't hurt plants. It's actually working in your favor. The most algae ever does is overgrow tiny seedlings. If it bothers you feel free to add surface-dwelling water plants like Duckweed, Azolla, or Utrics. Large trays you might could get away with a waterlily.
    Last edited by theplantman; 06-21-2014 at 02:13 PM.

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    I have a terrarium setup for for well over 10 years that has never had any of its medium changed or drained or anything. I've added ferts to the terrarium more times than I can count also. The only CP in there is Utric graminifolia and it grows like the weed it is.

    I've been using communal trays since I got more than one CP and never gave a second thought to cleaning a tray for the plants health, I've removed a lot of unsightly stuff over the years, but never because I thought it was harmful to the CPs.

    All this is complicated by your water quality and the sensitivity of the plants your growing...if you have really bad water I'd be more watchful of what I'm doing. Your rare or sensitive plants trays should be given more attention also.

    I've also never dumped watering trays, they evaporate and I replace the evaporated water. If your really concerned I'd just get a TDS meter and a few times a year check the TDS of the water trays, if its higher than you like do a good cleaning of the tray and recheck in a few weeks.

  3. #11
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zath View Post
    Huh...I didn't think of it that way. I guess so. I took algae to mean there were -too many- nutrients, and I need to flush the pots and change the water more.
    Many cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) are nitrogen fixers so they will take nitrogen gas from the atmosphere and "fix" it into NH3, NO2 or N03 which can be absorbed by the plants. A component of many rice paddies are nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria which provide fertilizer for the rice.
    Last edited by Not a Number; 06-21-2014 at 07:57 PM.
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  4. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zath View Post
    So I'm curious as to how often I should dump it out and rinse it, as opposed to just topping off water-loss? I'm sure people have different methods, so hearing a few different perspectives and anecdotes will help.
    I dump my trays once or twice a season, if I think of it..
    I havent done it yet this season..
    I consider it a very low priority.
    I only dump because of mosquito larva, and only if I know a good rain is coming in the next day or two, to refill the trays naturally.

    Scot

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    Quote Originally Posted by RSS View Post
    If your really concerned I'd just get a TDS meter and a few times a year check the TDS of the water trays, if its higher than you like do a good cleaning of the tray and recheck in a few weeks.
    Why would one use an instrument for checking the efficiency of the filters in a RO unit in this way? What would the reading be compared against?

    Quote Originally Posted by Not a Number View Post
    Many cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) are nitrogen fixers so they will take nitrogen gas from the atmosphere and "fix" it into NH3, NO2 or N03 which can be absorbed by the plants. A component of many rice paddies are nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria which provide fertilizer for the rice.
    And we know what else goes into the rice paddies as fertiliser, I doublt Zath will be doing that. At least not in daylight.
    Last edited by fredg; 06-22-2014 at 12:46 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredg View Post
    Why would one use an instrument for checking the efficiency of the filters in a RO unit in this way? What would the reading be compared against?
    I'm suggesting using a TDS meter to measure the buildup over time of the evaporated/leached solids that are building up in a watering tray if you don't dump the tray and allow evaporation to dry out the tray as many people do. For example if you take some 0 TDS water and add it too a watering tray after a day or so that same 0 TDS water will no longer read 0, the plant pots you are watering will leach something into that water and offer a higher reading. Using 0-1 TDS water I have tray ranging from 10-20, 50-75, 125+ depending on the mediums used. TDS meters are great tools if used properly.

    Using some type of meter is not a bad idea to insure the water you got out of your RO unit last week/month/year is the same quality of water you are getting out of it this week/month/year. RO units do fail, and I never mentioned RO units or RO water in my reply as I use NON-RO water for many plants/setups and have in the past used NON-RO water for CPs. Something a TDS meter is very useful for when doing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RSS View Post
    TDS meters are great tools if used properly.
    They are intended to measure the efficiency of RO filters, that is proper use.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredg View Post
    They are intended to measure the efficiency of RO filters, that is proper use.
    We clearly have a difference of opinion here, so for all those lurking...a third party opinion. They are a tool nothing else, they are used with RO filters and ALOT of other applications.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TDS_meter

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