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Thread: Artificially acidified water

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    agentrdy's Avatar
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    Artificially acidified water

    I have an idea I would like to throw at the more technically/scientifically inclined growers here:

    I am considering replacing peat media with water as a growing media for CPs. I want to hear what you guys think could be drawbacks to this or if anyone has tried it. Completely soilless. I am interested primarily in Sarracenia, Drosera, Dionaea, and Nepenthes.

    Other questions:
    1) What effects does the pH or properties of peat have on CPs that is necessary to their survival other than a low pH?
    2) Do roots perform as well in water as not?
    3) Is artificially acidified water equal to the effects of peat but without using peat?

    Even conjecture would be useful to me. I'm very interested to see what everyone thinks about this.

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    The acidity comes from the lack of minerals which gives a larger proportion of free Hydrogen ions making the water acidic. Make sure you also take out minerals to a level of less than 50 ppm.

    A big myth is that the roots of carnivorous plants absorb no minerals. This is false, they do abosrb some nutrients, just A VERY VERY MINUTE amount. The peat also allows the plant 'to grasp' onto something rather then float. Just like you need ground to walk on, rather then walk in oxygen rich air. There may be some importance to the peat for the plant other then the acidity. They live on land for a good reason, I would imagine you would get limited even possibly no positive results using just water.

    A very important factor too is that with soils such as peat/perlite allows for aeration of the soil. This allows for oxygen to circulate through the soil. I bring this up because lack of oxygen often leads to root rot. I would try to have the water circulate a little as to give better aeration.

    Answers to your question:

    1) The acidity isnt necessary, the lack of nutrients is necessary, they just go hand in hand...a lack of nutrients (like I said above) allows for more Hydrogen ions
    2) Good question, I dont see why not as some plants can live for days even submerged under water. Dont think it would work though continuously.
    3) As long as your water is nutrient free and doesnt introduce other ions or chemicals potent to the plant I dont see why you should see different results.

    Keep us posted! Maybe a picture here and there to would be interesting!
    Good luck!

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    The Consuming Flame EdaxFlamma's Avatar
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    Number one I can't really answer. I do know that the pH affects what nutrients are available to the plant but that's about the extent of my knowledge there.

    For number 2, roots need to be able to breathe. Even if you somehow infused a huge percentage of oxygen into your water, I can't imagine the roots liking it that much. Land plants grow on land for a reason

    For number 3 on your list I would have to say no because nutrients are absent and the micro organisms found in peat would most likely be absent. So personally I would say they aren't equal.

    CP's have been grown hydroponically. A grad student at UD did some work with Dionaea and Sarracenia and was able to grow them hydroponically but the plants didn't seem that different from "land grown" plants, they were smaller if anything. But this person used rockwool not pure water. In pure water the roots would have a hard time breathing. In soil there should be equal numbers of pores containing both air and water.

    Just my 2 cents I'll probably get proven wrong by the experts on here though.
    Whoops I was beaten to the punch. haha.
    Trying to rebuild. Feel free to PM me with questions.

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    Halt's Avatar
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    Aren't (Plant) Roots like (Fish) Gills, they can absorb oxygen through the water?

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    Hear the Call of Nepenthes carnivoure12's Avatar
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    I believe so, but if there isn't enough oxygen in the water the roots will suffocate and rot.
    -Carnivoure12
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    klasac's Avatar
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    Agentrdy: low pH of water/soil (in other words high acidity) has 2 major effects on plants:
    - it makes it almost impossible to absorb nutrients from soil (if there are some)
    - the bacteria that decompose organic tissues cannot function well in acidis medium therefore the dead organic material doesnt decompose only gets waterlogged and can stay there for years-that means low nutrient content of peat and also low oxygen content (plants need CO2 from air not oxygen from water!)
    To answer your question about soilless medium for growing....its minerals content and acidity must be well adjusted (organic buffers+polymers),,,,if you put too much inorganic ionic compounds the solution will tear the plants tissues as result of osmosis. I bet there are many receptures somewhere on the internet:-) GOOD LUCK GROWING!:-)

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    cmm889's Avatar
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    if you used a spray hydroponics system I cant see how it wouldnt work...

    I've seen systems like it before... usually they have small amounts of the neutral bead like media they use in hydro set ups, only for about an 1'' or so, so the roots hang out of the bottom,

    the hydro setup is rigged with small nozzles that spray water onto the roots at whatever increment of time you set for the system,

    a very pricey solution, but theres no reason it wouldnt work to my knowledge...

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    cp-connection's Avatar
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    People ask me all the time if Sarracenia are aquatic plants. I tell them, "No they're marginal". But I assume you already knew that. Are you curious just as an experiment?

    Don't bother messing with garden sulfur. It makes too many minerals as it decomposes... I've tried it!

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