Should I get a Reverse Osmosis unit?
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  #11  
Old 05-22-2020, 06:23 PM
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SouthPark SouthPark is offline
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I think that since it is possible to purchase these systems for relatively low-cost, and if water test details suggest that the water probably isn't going to be suitable for say the orchids, then might as well try an R.O. system - preferably one with good reviews (if there are reviews, from lots of customers).

I've never used an R.O. system - as the tap water in my city has been no problem for my orchids. But I would get a system if it had been a different situation - regarding water suitability.
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  #12  
Old 05-22-2020, 07:05 PM
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SP, what you need in the way of water quality depends a lot on what you are growing. Catts, Phals, most Oncidiums, Aussie Dentrobiums, Zygos, Vandas... hybrids especially, are not very fussy. Most "drinkable" water is fine for them. In fact, where I live, some areas have "liquid rocks" come out when turning the tap, and people still can get away with it. (My water isn't that bad but some inland areas have it pretty awful) Where the need for more water purity kicks in is for a lot of the cloud-forest species, especially the miniature plants. While some of those will put up with less-than-wonderful water, some won't - so if one wants to grow those successfully, that's where stronger measures can improve the success rate.
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  #13  
Old 05-22-2020, 07:24 PM
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I have mostly catts, phals, phrags, paphs, and dendrobiums (of various types). but I also have a Stelis, a Ponerorchis, some Coelogynes, a few Angracoids, and two Dendrochilums (which I have heard are more picky about water). I would also like to try growing Disa at some point.
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  #14  
Old 05-22-2020, 07:33 PM
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If they have been growing well, then no worries. I have some bulletproof Dendrochilums (like glumaceum and cobbianum), some of the little ones seem to do better with more pure water but I wouldn't put them in the "really fussy" category. I'm guessing that your water is a lot better than mine to start with. (Phrags can be a bit fussy, Paphs totally don't care) Disa definitely need pure water. Den. cuthbertsonii is also really fussy (also hates heat) Sophronitis tend to be picky. Masdevallias and Draculas (most Pleurothallids, in fact) do best with good water.
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  #15  
Old 05-22-2020, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
I suspect DI is overkill.. one has to put SOME minerals back into the water at any rate (Cal-Mag)
Probably overkill most of the time. For me it was necessary due to the mineral/salt buildup I was seeing from the misting. Orchids do not like salt deposits lol. Any other minerals they need, they should be getting through the fertilizer I believe.

Quote:
With DI, when the cartridge fails, it does so abruptly, so one goes from very pure to "untreated" quickly.
The DI cartridge I use has a color-changing resin, so it's easy to see when it's getting exhausted and needs changing.

I should note that I originally got the RO/DI because I needed it anyway for my saltwater aquarium. And since I has it ANYWAY, I've been using it for the orchids as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchid Whisperer View Post
A basic water test is cheaper than an RO unit. I would start there. Your county agent, or an agricultural lab, can do.
Oh! In my area home depot will test your water for free, actually.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:20 AM
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A residential RO membrane will typically reduce the dissolved solids content to 1%-2% of the incoming content, so if you’re starting with 250, it’ll bring it down to under 5 ppm. In my opinion, the lower, the better, but if your water supply is under 50 ppm to start with, it’s probably not worth the expense.

DI takes that down to just about zero, and to me, that’s overkill and a waste of money.

Both Lowe’s and Home Depot will test your water for free here too, but all they evaluate is hardness so they can talk you into buying a water softener. An analysis by an agriculture-focused lab will provide a whole lot more info. Here’s mine from the summer of 2017:

http://firstrays.com/PDF/OKIWater.pdf
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  #17  
Old 05-23-2020, 03:16 PM
Oyarzabal Oyarzabal is offline
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I got mine done by Peters too. Your water is much better than mine. I have massive amount of calcium in my water. A water analysis is probably the best thing to do before start fertilizing. You really do not know what it is your water and you run the risk of get toxic in some element if you start fertilizing blindly.
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  #18  
Old 05-24-2020, 10:45 AM
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I think Oyarzabal states it well. First, get the water tested. Then you have a solid basis to decide what you need or don't need for water, fertilizing, etc. Otherwise it's a guessing game. And Afid, you're already orchid-nuts enough to KNOW you need to know.
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  #19  
Old 05-28-2020, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
I am not a proponent of the RO system Marty showed, as it uses proprietary filters.

Gimme good ole' standard generics any day.
Ray, I've gone the generic way for years, wasted time and energy and ended up throwing out box of unused filters when I switched, as I no longer wanted to deal with generic units.

Last two I got were zero waste from costco, ended up breaking the housing of the filter on one and another unit that was injecting waste water into the hot water line, ended up rupturing something inside my hot water tank that resulted in no hot water, flooded laundry room and replacement of the entire HWT...just don't have good experience I guess and for that reason, I ended up sourcing and modifying one that I would want to use myself.

If they work for you great, but I just want to know instantly what quality water I'm producing, how much life I have on the filter and I want to be able to change the filter in 3 sec and never look at it again.

You should know that there are different consumers for every product and while some would do their own tire rotations and oil changes all day long, others don't even want to look at their wheels, just want to get to their destinations LOL - I'm in the 2nd group, but I've been in the first for years, so I understand both positions.
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  #20  
Old 05-28-2020, 07:35 PM
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I just got a water test probe (not sure how reliable it is, it was a pretty cheap one) but it looks like my water is around 125-135 ppm currently, but I suspect it may go up as the amount of rain entering the system goes down.
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