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Thread: water notes

  1. #1
    An orchid fancier with a CP problem chibae's Avatar
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    water notes

    Although we won't be moving into the new house until April, my husband is excited to leave the rain barrels behind. Our current well water is extremely high in iron and is very hard. it goes through a whole house sediment filter than water softener. The PPM at the sink shows .61, while at the refrigerator after a second filtration it shows .52 PPM. because of the softener I have relied on rain barrels and buying water for many, many years.

    While at the new house yesterday i ran a check. It has a sediment filter but no water conditioner/softener. At the sink the reading was 82 PPM, the refrigerator filtered water .20PPM and the RO unit .18 PPM.
    It's a tough life being a Sarracenia farmer
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  2. #2
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    I assume you did not mean to put the decimal, because all of those would be amazing number! 18 at the RO is pretty good, but I would guess could be better. I get my water down to about 3ppm after my best RO unit... At your old house I would have ran a line from the tap water before the softener to a RO. lol Now you just gotta decide how to store the RO water!
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    An orchid fancier with a CP problem chibae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adnedarn View Post
    I assume you did not mean to put the decimal, because all of those would be amazing number! 18 at the RO is pretty good, but I would guess could be better. I get my water down to about 3ppm after my best RO unit... At your old house I would have ran a line from the tap water before the softener to a RO. lol Now you just gotta decide how to store the RO water!
    Thanks for the correction. At my old house I have an outdoor tap that bypasses the water softener, but the water turns orange almost soon as it comes out from the iron. between that and the sediment it would have taken a full prefilter unit before the RO. Something I could not convince my husband to do.
    The RO unit in the new house has a 25 gallon holding tank and a seperate water tap line to draw from. Not sure yet how and where to store it.
    It's a tough life being a Sarracenia farmer
    My Grow List http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=123776

  4. #4
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    That's pretty good size! In my bigger greenhouse I have a few tanks tied together, the biggest ones being 14gal (capacity 10.5). The cheapest (but probably most difficult to work with) is grety brute garbage can(s). A trick I learned from the reefing community is that these things do not leach anything into the water even with us storing 0ppm RO/DI water in them. You can then add something to the bottom to drain water into containers, or scoop from the top.
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    Lechenaultia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adnedarn View Post
    I assume you did not mean to put the decimal, because all of those would be amazing number!
    Thank you very much for the clarification. To tell the truth I had been confused.

    I'm not familiar with measuring equipment, so I may be saying something wrong.
    All the equipment that I have are EC meters (Electric conductivity meters). Not for cps, but for tomato etc. Most are a little bit expensive because they also control the liquid fertilizer concentration. I have other decent EC meters (with temperature correction) but those devices do not display PPM. A very cheap gadget (looks like a toy) displays PPM numerical value as well as EC numerical value. However, the PPM numerical value looks like a numerical value that is just 500 times the EC numerical value. Actually, however, PPM numerical value may be between 400 and 1000 times EC numerical value.

    I wonder how do those equipment you guys in the United States use measure PPM?
    Are they expensive?

  6. #6
    Admin- I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az. adnedarn's Avatar
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    I'm probably not the best to give this answer but I'll give it a shot, maybe someone better ( @Est ?) can chime in and make sure I'm right/clarify

    EC is a more accurate way to measure and is more common in science and agriculture in general. I believe most of us use a pen style tester and they're $10-$25 typically. Here is an example (one I use): https://www.chewy.com/hm-digital-tds...BoCeFQQAvD_BwE
    Why do we use PPM over TDS generally in CPs? I couldn't tell you, but I don't think it matters much when we're looking for such low numbers. Most meters read in EC, and then use a conversion to get PPM, (mine than I linked above uses the conversion .50) the problem there is there are 3 common conversion methods used (.50, .64, and .70) so there will be some variance between tools using different conversions. But since we're looking for low numbers for CPs, the variance is much lower than if we were all trying to match 600ppm from one tool or another for example.
    On the low end of the TDS scale where we want to be for example here is an example conversion:
    EC: ms/cm2 0.1
    EC: uS/cm2 100
    PPM: x.50 50
    PPM: x.64 64
    PPM: x.70 70

    These are numbers quite a bit higher than I try to maintain, but could still be acceptable for some CPs and depending on how you water (tray or top). So you can see how lower numbers where we like to be would even have less variance between conversion methods and higher numbers (that we don't use with cps) would have more variance. So I don't think it matters much for what we're doing. =)

    What numbers do you usually see for the water you use on CPs?

    Speaking of, I guess I should have asked @chibae if she meant to leave out the decimal or didn't mean to put PPM and instead was giving an EC number.

    Andrew
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  7. #7
    I hate bugs. Carnivorous plants get me. jpappy789's Avatar
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    I think you basically hit the nail on the head, @adnedarn. Mostly just a matter of context. EC is certainly used more in the specific "scientific" sense as an indicator for salt content in water, soils, etc. since it's a more accurate representation of what is actually being measured. I can only speculate, but using TDS for water specifically might stem from the fact that the U.S. EPA (via the SWDA) lists the more encompassing TDS term for drinking water quality regulation (although, its only a secondary contaminant) and so there's now a whole industry around detection, filtration, etc of TDS. For instance, a lot of commercially available RO/DI units come with a TDS meter built in-line. Heck, even my Zerowater filter pitcher came with a TDS pen-meter. And I agree that since the assumption is that most of us are wanting to get to "zero" TDS (whether for drinking, plants, etc), the scale isn't super important at such a low concentration.
    Last edited by jpappy789; 01-16-2020 at 11:40 AM.
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    Lechenaultia's Avatar
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    Dear Andrew-san,
    Dear Jpappy789-san,

    Konnichiwa!

    Thank you very much for your reply.

    In many parts of Japan, tap water comes from rivers and is soft water and high quality. Unfortunately, in my area, tap water is a mixture of well water and river water. The water quality of the two wells on the farmland I can use is terribly bad, and the EC of the better one is EC (mS / cm) = 0.4. I once considered rainwater use, but inflexible laws have prevented me from making a decent pool to collect water on farmland. All I need is a 150 to 300 tons covered pool. In this country, water rates are considerably lower than in the United States (probably), so I considered using tap water. However, the mixed water from river supplied from K city and well water from K town pumping 400 meters below the ground was previously EC (mS / cm) = 0.4. After K town was merged into K city, the EC (mS / cm) dropped to 0.25. It is speculation that the mixing ratio has changed. I use this tap water now.

    EC (mS / cm) of the well in my farmland I mentioned earlier is of 0.4, the main problems with this water are bicarbonate ions and iron. Iron removal is a bit easier, but excess bicarbonate is troublesome. The pumped well water gradually becomes alkaline by contacting the atmosphere.
    However, with this well water, tropical Byblis grew without problems, although I put charcoal (made from rice seed husk) in the bottom of the pot.
    Please go to:
    http://icps.proboards.com/thread/524...panese-hybrids
    http://icps.proboards.com/thread/2348/scented-byblis
    https://www.cpukforum.com/forum/inde...andular-mucus/

    Distilled water, RO water or extreme high quality river water, etc., can cause a bit of trouble in solution culture (nutriculture) or hydroponics. I think some members of this forum do Tissue Culture. I think many of them have the same experience. In Japan, this is a phenomenon often called "pH jump". When adjusting the pH of nutrient solution, at some point, the pH changes suddenly and dramatically, even though we are adding small amounts of acid or alkali substance. I use NaOH (or HCl) for TC and orthophosphoric acid for solution culture. Earlier I wrote that excess bicarbonate ion causes problems, but traces of bicarbonate ion act like a buffer and make pH adjustment easier.


    Quote Originally Posted by adnedarn View Post
    Speaking of, I guess I should have asked @chibae if she meant to leave out the decimal or didn't mean to put PPM and instead was giving an EC number.

    Andrew
    Reverence for your style.

    Kind regards from the Far East
    Last edited by Lechenaultia; 01-17-2020 at 07:33 AM.

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