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Thread: Tap or distilled water?

  1. #9

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    I've watered all my CP with Brita "4-stage" filters (so phony) for over a year and a half, no ill effects (the water in my area is considered ultra hard). I do have a new RO unit though, and I definitely prefer it over the former.

    Cheers

  2. #10
    swords's Avatar
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    Like I say, hard water is better than the softened apartment water as the plants can use the minerals in the hard water they can not use sodium for anything. Sodium filters are plant killers! Your brita was merely making the water taste good for you (my dad has one of these) it wasn't doing much else for the water. I'm glad to see you've gotten on the boat and got a R/O. Make sure you never take a nap while making a pail of water! That's courtin disaster! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_n_32.gif[/img]

  3. #11
    Jeremiah Harris's Avatar
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    I use our tap water on all my cps. Our water has a very low TDS today it was 34 ppm.

    Thanks
    -Jeremiah-

  4. #12
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Sodium actually poisons a plant so water softeners are bad bad for plants. Hard water, ie water high in calcium and magnesium, has different issues. While these minerals are indeed needed by the plant, in excess they can burn/inhibit root growth.

    What happens when you water a plant with 200ppm water and then half the water is transpired/evaporated from the potting mix? Is the remaining water 200ppm? You bet it's not! The water around the roots is now 400ppm! What happens to the root hairs and fragile cells on the roots growing tips when they hit water with a high osmotic potential like that? They get the H2O sucked right out of them and burn (die).

    Can you use tap water? Maybe... depends on your tapwater. Quality can vary vastly. Some plants can handle higher mineral concentrations better. Nepenthes for one. Other factors can play a roll too. Are the plants overhead watered and allowed to drain freely on an almost daily basis? Do they sit in trays where minerals will continue to collect? Do you repot frequently to remove mix that has become loaded with minerals? Don't forget that even high quality water 25ppm or less will eventually cause a problem if a plant is on the tray method, rarely flushed from above and repotted very infrequently. Naturally the better the water the less likely and less frequently problems with minerals will occur. So everyone needs to be aware of the POTENTIAL danger when watering and the long term care of their plants and how they are all interrelated with type of watering method, potting mix composition, frequency of watering, any use of fertilizers etc.

    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  5. #13
    Always a newbie glider14's Avatar
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    just use rain eater! rain water is P-U-R-E and plus it is naturally more acidic than distilled/RO water so that could be a plus. Besides rain is free!
    Everything is explainable. The seemingly unexplainable is but a result of our insufficient knowledge.- Hans Brewer

  6. #14

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    swords, do you think this happens in the wild anyway? i mean not the tap water but the salt/minerals content in the wind and salt/minerals in the ground? i think they already had some time to adapt to take higher than normal salt/mineral content in the ground/water that they are in or along with rain.

    and another question, do you think rafflesiana is pick about the water you give it?

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]rain water is P-U-R-E and plus it is naturally more acidic than distilled/RO water so that could be a plus. Besides rain is free!
    are you sure its P-U-R-E?! do you really think that neps need acidic soil?
    \"Nepenthes, the Devil's Cup\" - Santos
    Updated 5/27/06 Grow/Want List
    Updated 4/4/06 My Nepenthes Photo Album
    Feel free to call me @: (562)528-6223 - seriously!

  7. #15

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    Hi all:

    I am with you Santos, i still don't understand why we have to generalize these issues!.

    I bet that the neps from kinabalu or Mulu may love RO or rain water because they live in higher altitudes and the water may be very pure, so these plants have adapted to that type of water. if they get water with minerals they may get sick and die as Tony elegantly mentioned earlier, but what about N. Viking which lives near the ocean or Northiana living in limestone cliffs?. it is very possible that some neps are sensitive to minerals in the water, but others may be very resistant to hard or softened water.

    Gus

  8. #16
    swords's Avatar
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    The frequent downpours of rainwater from the sky flush the minerals from the soil, moss or whatever the plants are growing on. Even on the limestone dwellers and those from ultramafic and serpentine soils such as those N. rajah occurs on are subject to rainfall almost every day. The water on the forest floor is very acidic (low Ph) and very low in nutrients (see Neps of Borneo Ampullaria case study for soil mesurements)

    I did a test a few years back growing some N. rajahs potted in home made serpentine and ultramafic soil recipes. At first the plants doubled in size quickly but eventually about a year later they died but they also did not get flushed on a daily basis. Had I watered them through daily they may have done swimmingly as the nutrients would not have a chance to buildup.

    It is the buildup that Tony talks about that is the deadly part. Of course you can water with Tap water if you HAVE to one time but if you do it on an ongoing basis you will poison the plants with too much nutrients (or sodium). Other than outgrowing a pot the reason you have to replace the soil around the roots when you repot is because the soil becomes nutrient laden which is toxic to the Nepenthes (as well as orchids). These plants come from rain soaked and low nutrient environments don't blame me and my generalizations, blame the rainforest! Why not get that guy selling the N. vikings to o some water tests done in their environment and post them here. Even when I use nothing but R/O water I have to replace the soil after a couple years because even it eventually becomes poisonous to the plants.

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