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  #11  
Unread 07-08-2010, 11:06 AM
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When I switched to S/H I followed the procedures outlined on Ray Barkalow's website, First Rays LLC.

Used Dyna-gro and tap water, also with a regular plain water flush. Our city water is considered to be moderately hard with total hardness of 170 mg/L CaCO3.

Regardless of the fertilizer brand you use, the ppm calculator on his site might be helpful. Check it out under 'Free Information'

Have enjoyed great results. I was amazed with the fantastic root growth my plants made in the new media.

Good luck with your move to S/H!
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  #12  
Unread 07-08-2010, 11:07 AM
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Boiling will actually increase the mineral content (that causes hardness).

What happens when you boil is that the water that boils away leaves behind the mineral in remaining water... so overall the mineral content is higher per amount of water.

The only way to reduce mineral content through boiling is to collect the steam and re-condense it to water in a clean container. This is called distillation and often has a whole compex set of glass tubing to carry it out. Not sure if there is a simple way in a home enviroment (I've only carried it out in a chemistry lab at school).
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  #13  
Unread 07-08-2010, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscarman View Post
When I switched to S/H I followed the procedures outlined on Ray Barkalow's website, First Rays LLC.

Used Dyna-gro and tap water, also with a regular plain water flush. Our city water is considered to be moderately hard with total hardness of 170 mg/L CaCO3.

Regardless of the fertilizer brand you use, the ppm calculator on his site might be helpful. Check it out under 'Free Information'

Have enjoyed great results. I was amazed with the fantastic root growth my plants made in the new media.

Good luck with your move to S/H!
Oscarman : Hmmm?? I didn't know there was actually a calculator for ppm...but I'll deffinitly check that. Seeing that you are using regular hard water, have you ever encountered any issue with acidity going up in your growing medium? I didn't know there was so much chemistry to consider when going with S/H. But I'm quiet happy with the information the orchidboard community is contributing to this post.

Thanks people!
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  #14  
Unread 07-08-2010, 12:12 PM
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in very hard water the high carbonate levels will tend to buffer any changes in pH. My water is so soft and so little is from carbonate that I sometimes add a touch of calcium carbonate to my water in situations where the pH might drop to acidic.
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  #15  
Unread 07-08-2010, 09:51 PM
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I've got hard well-water and my results so far with S/H are so-so. I have been alternating well with distilled or rain water and things seem to be better. I've had a trial going with 2 Phal schileriana that I bought at the same time and put one in S/H and one in bark- inconclusive so far I would say. I'm hoping to put in an RO system. For now I am collecting rain water, and during the winter I got distilled from the lab at the clinic where I practice. Tedious though.
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  #16  
Unread 07-09-2010, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Connie Star View Post
I've got hard well-water and my results so far with S/H are so-so. I have been alternating well with distilled or rain water and things seem to be better. I've had a trial going with 2 Phal schileriana that I bought at the same time and put one in S/H and one in bark- inconclusive so far I would say. I'm hoping to put in an RO system. For now I am collecting rain water, and during the winter I got distilled from the lab at the clinic where I practice. Tedious though.
Hey Connie Star,

Actually I did the same thing. I devided some of my Catts, one remained in Bark and the other on S/H. As for water...I'll probably go with Bodnsoul's idea...take my water from Walmart and actually head out this weekend at a local orchid vendor to pickup my fertilizer supply.

I think S/H can be tedious to start but gets easier to manage in the long run.

Last edited by alexdg; 07-09-2010 at 03:57 PM..
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  #17  
Unread 07-09-2010, 04:28 PM
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I currently use rain water as much as possible. When my rain barrel runs dry, I use filtered water from a Britta water filter that I bought at Target. They come in all sizes and I bought the largest one, which I believe holds just over a gallon of water. I keep old milk jugs, rinse them out and fill them with the filtered water so they're ready when it's time to water. Since I started doing this over 4 months ago, I have noticed a significant decrease in mineral build up in the LECA.
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  #18  
Unread 07-09-2010, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grasshopper View Post
I currently use rain water as much as possible. When my rain barrel runs dry, I use filtered water from a Britta water filter that I bought at Target. They come in all sizes and I bought the largest one, which I believe holds just over a gallon of water. I keep old milk jugs, rinse them out and fill them with the filtered water so they're ready when it's time to water. Since I started doing this over 4 months ago, I have noticed a significant decrease in mineral build up in the LECA.
Hmmm?? I wonder which is more economical? Refill's of those big water bottle's at walmart or the britta filter system...Certainly something to consisder. As for the milk botlles...deffinetaly a great idea + eco friendly.
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  #19  
Unread 07-09-2010, 07:15 PM
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Best way is if you can.........collect rain water! it's cheapest - I remember putting any kind of, bowl,bucket etc out every time it rained to collect rain water. I set up a rain water tank (250 L) & it has been a godsend for all my plants & the cats prefer rain to tap water too! (and ours is not hard water)
& I agree, Rays ppm counter is ace! thanks Ray!
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  #20  
Unread 07-10-2010, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexdg View Post
Hmmm?? I wonder which is more economical? Refill's of those big water bottle's at walmart or the britta filter system...Certainly something to consisder. As for the milk botlles...deffinetaly a great idea + eco friendly.
BRITA filters do nothing to remove dissolved minerals. It's for removing chlorine and other organic components only.

An RO system is probably the most economical way to get pure water (unless you have a means to collect sufficient rainwater, of course), but whether it's worth it depends to some degree on your demand.

I use about 200 gallons of water a week on average, and at my retail prices, that would cost $0.01 per gallon for the first 2 years (purchase price + filters), then less than 1/3 cent per gallon after that (replacing membrane and filters).

What's also nice is that they are easily expandable with your demand - increasing the capacity of a system is simply switching to a different membrane (which fits in the same housing) and restrictor.

If you are considering going to RO, DO NOT go with a Culligan system. They are way too expensive. Another forum member was planning on financing through them at somewhere around $60 or $80 per month for a year, when they could buy one with greater capacity for less than $200!!!
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