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  #31  
Old 02-26-2016, 08:22 AM
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Helene, that water analysis is great for letting you know the level of contaminants, but it's really only that last item that is of value in this context, and that is VERY low-solids water (Ca + Mg = 21.6 ppm), I'd definitely point you in the direction of Akerne's Rain Mix for use with that.
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  #32  
Old 02-26-2016, 10:25 AM
Michelle15 Michelle15 is offline
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[QUOTE=terryros;793209]I am a long term Green Jungle (Orchids Limited) user alternating with K-Lite.

Why do you alternate? And do you alternate every other feeding?
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  #33  
Old 09-19-2021, 04:28 PM
YetAnotherOrchidNut YetAnotherOrchidNut is offline
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Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
Carbon dioxide dissolved in water produces carbonic acid. This is the exact process producing acid rain. It has a very low pH and, as bil posted above, can damage plants. Did you ever get some carbonated beverage sprayed in your eye? Not soon forgotten.
Acid rain is when the rain mixes with pollutants to form strong acids like nitric or sulfuric acid. Carbonic acid is formed naturally when water and carbon dioxide mix in the air and is the reason normal rain water is normally slightly acidic with a ph slightly below 7. The carbonation process, like sodastream, just speeds up the reaction that would happen naturally to vaporized water in the air given enough time.

I routinely use sodastream to acidity my tap water, dropping it from 7.5-8ph to about 6. With my tap water and single sodastream charge it comes out about ph4.5-5, so i mix it with further tap water to dilute it into or closer to the ideal range. I use this water on all my plants 3 waterings out of 4, and mix fertilizer and occasionally kelpmax with it too. I use the "weekly long soak" watering method so the root are completely submerged for fairly long periods, many hours even, and my plants are super happy with the water regimine. Phals (hybrid and species), Dens, Paphs, Oncidiums, etc. Mature plants and seedlings as well. They are all vastly happier than when I did not ph adjust with sodastream. I also have the impression the roots on my phals go a brighter green and turn color from silver to green much more quickly with the ph adjust than without.

While I'm sure you had a bad experience I can tell you quite certainly that properly used carbonated water is a safe and reasonable if expensive way to ph adjust tapwater and your plants will thank you for it.

Pouring pure max strength sodastream water also has not had negative results on other houseplants I have, eg curry leaf plant. Anything that likes an acidic soil probably can handle it, and if you have plants with calc build up from not flushing then it can actually greatly benefit the soil. Not sure what happened to you, but carbonated tap water is pretty much the same thing as rain, at least when diluted appropriately.
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  #34  
Old 09-19-2021, 04:42 PM
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Hi YANON

I see you have dug up a 5 year old fertilizer thread. Lots of them going around but welcome to the OB.

I found your post informative, thx.

Adjusting the ph is more important than what fertilizer to use as if the ph is off then the plants can't even absorb the nutrients...

So what is more important that you feed them right, or that you make sure they can absorb their food properly?
Well you have seen for yourself.

I actualy had to think if I have ever gotten carbonated water directly into my eye, maybe cola. AS far as I remember that stings. But cola is highly acidic so that makes sense.

Isn't that a bit like saying taste petrol, it tastes nasty so don't use it. I dunno lol, I've been told only to use citric acid to adjust ph and I think a lot of people believe in it religiously but there is the other side to the story that citric acid actually interferes with growing hormones the plant produces.

I use phosphoric acid and would never use citric acid for that reason.

Others use citric acid and would never use phosphoric acid as they would say phophoric acid is what car batteries are made of.

Everyone has their own little beliefs. Where carbonated soda machines fit in I am not sure.

I can't see any disadvantage, even acid rain is not harmful, it is only harmfu because it is acidic so if you raise the ph of acidic rain it is no longer acidic and thus no longer dangerous.

whether this post will help anyone I don't know, I haven't bothred to read this whole thread, just repsonding to using a carbonated soda machine to adjust ph and I don't see any disadvantage in theory and it's good to hear from someone first hand that no negative effects have been observed but the opposite.
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  #35  
Old 09-19-2021, 08:20 PM
terryros terryros is offline
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[QUOTE=Michelle15;793258]
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Originally Posted by terryros View Post
I am a long term Green Jungle (Orchids Limited) user alternating with K-Lite.

Why do you alternate? And do you alternate every other feeding?
Michele, time has now passed and I think simpler is usually better overall. I use Green Jungle routinely but once or twice a month I use KelpMax instead of Green Jungle. With my growing media I feed my plants every 3-4 days so the concentration of fertilizer they get is about half what you would give if you are feeding once a week.
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  #36  
Old 09-19-2021, 09:12 PM
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To me, the most significant improvement they brought to “orchid food” was the inclusion of calcium and magnesium, which are uncommon in commercial blends.
It seems very odd to me that we are still discovering this sort of thing in the 21 century. I suppose it is probably because commercial greenhouses don't water with RO. The following is probably not new to the regulators, but I like telling it.

For the last two years I watered my orchids with RO. I had walkeriana growing in scoria where new growths were often dying at about 1/4 inch and the new growth leaf tips often turned black. In fact, I through away one walker that had gone almost 2 years with successfully producing a new growth. A few month ago I began using a calcium supplement and haven't seen new growths turn black since.

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  #37  
Old 09-20-2021, 12:05 AM
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Calcium doesn't play well with other nutrients. It precipitates out. Thus most fertilizers don't have any, or enough.
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  #38  
Old 09-20-2021, 06:56 AM
YetAnotherOrchidNut YetAnotherOrchidNut is offline
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Originally Posted by Shadeflower View Post
Hi YANON

I see you have dug up a 5 year old fertilizer thread. Lots of them going around but welcome to the OB.

I found your post informative, thx.
Sorry about that, I was doing some research, and i noticed the post I replied to and wanted to correct it. Glad you found it helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadeflower View Post
just repsonding to using a carbonated soda machine to adjust ph and I don't see any disadvantage in theory and it's good to hear from someone first hand that no negative effects have been observed but the opposite.
I use it because its hard to screw up and I don't have to worry about spilling acid, nor do i have to worry about the acidifier negatively affecting the plant, since its a natural process the plant is used to in the wild. It is however a *really* expensive way to ph balance your fertilizer. If I was to stop it would be for that reason alone.
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  #39  
Old 09-20-2021, 07:03 AM
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It seems very odd to me that we are still discovering this sort of thing in the 21 century. I suppose it is probably because commercial greenhouses don't water with RO.
Orchid culture is constantly evolving, as are the demographics of orchid growers.

Early on, potting media were based upon leaf litter, twigs and sharp sand. Fertilizer tended to be manure-based, and water was whatever was available. Only the super-wealthy grew orchids, often under the care of specialized staff. Most were in Europe, with a contingent of neofinetia growers in Japan, but culture was very tradition-based there.

As people experimented, different media components were tried, blended, and gained acceptance “because they worked”, with little understanding of the “why”. The same thing happened with nutrition.

Over time, commercial growers in Europe began to sprout up, often more-or-less as “spin offs” of the growing staff of royalty. That led to larger-scale cultivation and grasp of the plants’ needs.

Some orchid firms sprang up in the US, again mostly specialized in catering to the wealthy, but around the time of WWII, a large percentage of the orchids in England were sent to the US for preservation. That’s probably the beginning of their spread to more growers, but still, culture was passed down and copied, more than studied and improved upon.

When the oldest of us were kids, our parents may have had some tropical houseplants, but the vast majority of horticulture was farming and flowers and shrubs in the yard around the house. That has evolved, as well, and domestic horticulture is now far more prevalent than it was.

As folks got more interested in plants as a whole, the niche of orchids started to grow, as well, but new growers tend to think in terms of terrestrial plant culture as they expanded. Having a wide array of nutrient in the soil means that “feeding” was primarily NPK, with little thought about minor or trace elements or what was in the water.

Fortunately, people in general have become more analytical, so nurseries began experimenting with media for uniformity, availability and cost, leading to “soilless” ones based upon peat, wood and the like. Understanding plant nutrition became more important as less was provided by the soil.

As far a water was concerned, commercial growers used what they had because purification processes either didn’t exist or were too costly, especially considering the volume used.

I think that it has been well understood in the commercial sector that nutrition derived from a combination of media, water and fertilizer, and that is why there are so many formulas available. Having the ability to manage nutrition by adjusting media and fertilizer around the water-chemistry variable is relatively easy, compared to orchid growing, where we really only have two variables to contend with, but most growers - especially less-experienced ones - are conditioned to think in terms of their terrestrial plant experience, which is more forgiving.

Thinking historically again, orchid growing by “the common man” is relatively new. When I started, a cattleya hybrid was $40-$50 in a 4.5” pot. In today’s money, that would be $300 or more! There were no “grocery store phals” to be had. It’s only been within the last decade that orchid sales surpassed poinsettias as the largest decorative crop, so I don’t think it’s so surprising that the science - or at least the broader recognition and acceptance of it - is relatively new, as well.
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