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Marcia

Distilled water

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We're having really hot, sunny weather at the moment and it looks like it's set to continue until next week. I'm running a bit low on rainwater and I know you can't use tap water. I've looked around and I can't find anyone selling distilled water. Where can I buy it? Also could I use tap water if it's been boiled first?

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If you're desperate you can go to an aquarium shop and buy some reverse osmosis water. Usually costs about 50p per gallon.

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Deionised water is sold at Asda in the car accessories aisle, in Morrisons in the clothes washing aisle and in Halfords in the battery section. Alternatively, for large quantities of RO water you could try a local aquatic stores. Just make sure they don't put it in one of their containers that have been previously used for marine water.

Boiled tap water will not suffice, it'll just concentrate the minerals.

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I can't get to asda or morrisons. I have a local reptile/fish pet shop so I can ask there. I've looked in my local garage and tesco and they don't have any

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Do you have a Maidenhead Aquatics store in Swansea? You're bound to get RO water there.

Edited by Richard Bunn

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What is the quality of your local tapwater? If its from a welsh resevoir theres a good chance it will be very soft and slightly acidic, mine is as it comes from lake vyrnwy. Haven't used rainwater for years.

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I can't get to asda or morrisons. I have a local reptile/fish pet shop so I can ask there. I've looked in my local garage and tesco and they don't have any

I suspect that your tap water comes from the same place as mine or near so would be ok to use. I have used tap water for short periods of time without ill effect. Dont know how the plants will do if used continuously but I can see no reason why they would drop dead. If it was unsuitable you would have plenty of time to change to something else as they would decline slowly possibly over a couple seasons and wont drop down dead immediately

Edited by mantrid

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Thankfully i've found rainwater :) I went down my house that's been done out and there were a couple of buckets of rain water that i can use.

I don't know where my tap water comes from exactly. I think it may be either the Beacons Reservoir or somewhere in the Powys region. All i do know is that the company that supplies it is Dwr Welsh water.

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Sorry to hijack, but I have the same problem. Rain water has run out, water butt not installed yet, and some plants are dry. Both next door neighbours have ponds. Will this water be any good or will it have nutrients in that I don't want? Another option is walking down to the canal and filling up a bucket. Final option is to get distiller water. Is distiller the same as deionised? I didn't think they were. Thanks for your help

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Pond water could have all sorts of unknowns in it, such as fish waste, fertiliser and mineral run-off, minerals from any tap water used to fill it etc. Canal water could be even worse, containing all sorts of contaminates and possible even diesel from boats. Whilst distilling and deionising are different processes they both remove minerals

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Yep, distilled water is neutral in every respect, ort use RO water from a tropical fish tank shop or I'm surprised you cant get battery top up water (which is distilled water) or steam iron water from a supermarket, without addative perfumes obviously.

Otherwise if you have a freezer that furrs up you can use that ice as it is essentialy distilled water or distill your own with a saucepan or kettle if you can. Pond and canal water, if used can distort the plants and eventually kill them if used regularly.

Good luck, it does seem strange to be bemoaning the lack of rain after about two days though, ahh well thats the UK for you.

cheers

Steve

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Sorry to hijack, but I have the same problem. Rain water has run out, water butt not installed yet, and some plants are dry. Both next door neighbours have ponds. Will this water be any good or will it have nutrients in that I don't want? Another option is walking down to the canal and filling up a bucket. Final option is to get distiller water. Is distiller the same as deionised? I didn't think they were. Thanks for your help

The first think you should do is to find out if your tap water is suitable, at least for the short term. Either test this yourself with a meter or contact the water board and ask what type of water it is (soft hard etc) they might be able to give other info about how much dissolved solids are in it.

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The first think you should do is to find out if your tap water is suitable, at least for the short term. Either test this yourself with a meter or contact the water board and ask what type of water it is (soft hard etc) they might be able to give other info about how much dissolved solids are in it.

Water info on my area taken from Severn Trent:

Hardness Level Slightly Hard No Standard Applies

Hardness Clark 9.00 No Standard Applies Degrees Clark

Hardness French 13.00 No Standard Applies French Degrees

Hardness German 7.00 No Standard Applies German Degrees

Aluminium 11.61 200 μgAl/l

Chlorine 0.34 No Standard Applies mg/l

Coliform bacteria 0.00 0 no./100ml

Colour 1.54 20 mg/l Pt/Co

Conductivity 359.66 2500 μS/cm at 20°C

E.coli bacteria 0.00 0 no./100ml

Fluoride 0.33 1.5 mgF/l

Iron 16.49 200 μgFe/l

Manganese 2.94 50 μgMn/l

Nitrate 11.10 50 mgNO3/l

Odour 0.00 Acceptable to customers and no abnormal change Dilution Number

Pesticides 0.00 0.5 μg/l

pH 7.42 6.5 - 9.5 pH Value

Sodium 20.50 200 mgNa/l

Taste 0.00 Acceptable to customers and no abnormal change Dilution Number

Plumbing Metals

Copper 0.02 2.0 mgCu/l

Lead 2.45 25 μgPb/l

Nickel 4.04 20 μgNi/l

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Hardness Clark 9.00 No Standard Applies Degrees Clark

Hardness French 13.00 No Standard Applies French Degrees

Hardness German 7.00 No Standard Applies German Degrees

These are (archaic) measures of your water total hardness, it's the hardness that CPs dont like.

The above measurments are equivalent to about 125parts per million expressed as calcium carbonate.

ie. a tad high for CPs which would prefer less than about 50ppm I think.

Beware, geek ,, >

Degrees Clark are an ancient English measure against a standard of 1grain of CaCO3 equivalent per gallon.

French degrees are a little more 'realistic' and are measured against 10mg of CaCO3 per litre.

The German measure is a bit weired in that it uses CaO (quicklime, a chemical you dont want to mess with!) as its reference standard.

The English Clark scale derives from the days when the hardness was measured in terms of standard soap solution producing bubbles -lather, defined by a Prof. Clark long ago, really obsure !

I dont know why the water companies persist with this ridiculous obfuscation.

However all three can be reduced to a common familiar standard of parts per million calcium carbonate equivalent as I give above.

Edited by MalcolmP

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Thankfully i've found rainwater :)

Good !

For the future :

beware deionised water sold for battery /steam iron etc. purposes, this is produced in ion exchange resins which are recharged with 'strong' chemicals (hydrochloric acid -cation and sodium hydroxide -anion) which can be carried over into the product if wash and quality control is not good. Traces of these are not a problem for the intended use, but soft water tropical fish dont like them and I would be reluctant to give them to my CPs !

Reverse osmosis as supplied by tropical fish emporiums is good ( if they monitor the lifetime of their membranes!)

However the south, south-west and west coastal regions of Wales, which includes Swansea, are generally ( except perhaps the Cardiff area) soft water regions and thus tap water may be acceptable for your CPs. ( apart from Mantrid I know of one other experienced forum member not far from you that uses tap water on CPs ) (let it stand overnight to de-gas chlorine and check with your water company that they nolonger use chloramine in your area - most dont any more)

Edited by MalcolmP

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Well I've just been out and topped up all the plants with halfords car battery top up water. It states it's de-ionised water on the label. Can you please let me know if this is okay or have I just killed my plants?

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I've used small quantities of deionised water in the past with no noticeable ill effect and there seems to be quite a few references to using it on carnivorous plants when Googled: carnivorous+plants+deionized+OR+deionised+water. Given MalcolmP's warning though, it might be prudent to not use it long term.

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or have I just killed my plants?

Fingers xxed :)

I only said "beware", didnt say "death warrant" !

I agree with Mobile.

It may be that quality control is better now than when I was keeping fish

and it maybe that all the users have been lucky not to get the first batch after resin re-charge ! I dunno.

If there is no alternative, ie. the plants would be dead for lack of water, then that's a different matter.

I've just seen another good reason to use RO water, cost, Loakesy said 50p typical for about 5L, might be worth asking round the tropical fish forums for a supplier (or fishkeeper with a surplus) near you.

Halfords online show £4 for 5L DI

Maidenhead Aquatics show £3.50 for 25L RO !! Link

there is a branch at the Trowell Garden Centre about 2ml from Ilkeston according to yell.com

and East Midlands Aquatics at 1.5ml

maybe worth giving them a ring.

Edited by MalcolmP

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Do you have access to a laboratory? I used to be able to take home free deionized water at one lab and now can do the same where I currently work.

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Do you have access to a laboratory? I used to be able to take home free deionized water at one lab and now can do the same where I currently work.

I project managed the installation of a deionised water plant at the last company I worked. The system consisted of a water softener, feeding a reverse osmosis unit, which would remove almost everything from the water. It got stored in a large tank and would get circulated through ion exchange resin cylinders to further reduce and maintain the conductivity.

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I used to use a cation exchange (to remove calcium and magnesium ions>to hydrogen) resin in the days when RO membranes were frightfully expensive, but messing with conc. hydrochloric acid was a pain (sometimes litterally !).

Eventually a local horticultural lab had excess RO so things were easy for a few years till PM Thatcher decided that gov. funded research was a no-no, the lab and its fields became a housing estate.

Result was that I now have approx 1500L / 320gal of rainwater storage in 7 containers :) ! much easier to manage ;)

If I was to do it all again I would just buy a domestic RO unit, they are sooo cheap now !

Edited by MalcolmP

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If I was to do it all again I would just buy a domestic RO unit, they are sooo cheap now !

I got a 3 stage RO unit off eBay for £22! Arguably I don't need it, as the water is so soft here, but I like to play safe.

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Someone has tipped my bucket of rainwater over!!! I'm now back to square one with only a small amount left.

I've checked out my water supplier and this is the information i have been given for drinking water in my area -

Avg hardness - 44.75

Hardness - 17.9

Classification - Soft

Degrees Clark - 3.13

Degrees German - 2.51

Is this safe to use for my plants if my rainwater supply runs dry?

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What are Clark & German?

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I have no idea.

This is the information i found on it.

The various alternative units represent an equivalent mass of calcium oxide (CaO) or calcium carbonate (CaCO3) that, when dissolved in a unit volume of pure water, would result in the same total molar concentration of Mg2+ and Ca2+. The different conversion factors arise from the fact that equivalent masses of calcium oxide and calcium carbonates differ, and that different mass and volume units are used. The units are as follows:

Parts per million (ppm) is usually defined as 1 mg/L CaCO3 (the definition used below).[16] It is equivalent to mg/L without chemical compound specified, and to American degree.

Grains per Gallon (gpg) is defined as 1 grain (64.8 mg) of calcium carbonate per U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), or 17.118 ppm.

a mmol/L is equivalent to 100.09 mg/L CaCO3 or 40.08 mg/L Ca2+.

A degree of General Hardness (dGH or German degree (°dH, deutsche Härte) is defined as 10 mg/L CaO or 17.848 ppm.

A Clark degree (°Clark) or English degrees (°e or e) is defined as one grain (64.8 mg) of CaCO3 per Imperial gallon (4.55 litres) of water, equivalent to 14.254 ppm.

A French degree (°F or f) is defined as 10 mg/L CaCO3, equivalent to 10 ppm. The lowercase f is often used to prevent confusion with degrees Fahrenheit.

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