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I'd like to pin down once and for all the infomation I'm picking up from the net about watering carnivorous plants with tap water. While I know it is bad for them and I still use filtered rain water for mine I have seen advice ranging from "It is ok now and again" to "YOU WILL TEAR APART THE FABRIC OF SPACE TIME IF YOU DO" well not that bad but have seen "Even a drop is a 100% kill for CP's". I know there are fancy filters on the market and such and even people saying to use deionised water (the type for car batteries and irons) at a push if stuck. But is tap water as a one off really that bad?

Edited by Little-Bacchus

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Same here, our water is from lake vrny in wales and has lower mineral content than the rainwater of my house roof. Live sphagnum grows very well in it etc.

If you not sure you need to get a test meter and test the water, or the local water authority should provide an analysis on their website.

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Nothing will kill your plants faster than allowing them to dry out.

If there's no option then yes use tap water to stop them getting bone dry, just be aware as Stephen has said, tap water varies hugely, as do different plants tolerances.

If you don't know the values of the water you are using then it's a bit like roulettel.

Chances are the water will contain lots of nasties that will upset your pride and joys.

If tap water has to be used then it's best to flush the plants with rain/ demonised/ ro water as soon as you can and hopefully wash out the contaminants.

Tds meters are available fairly cheap on eBay, they will give you an idea of the water from your tap and then you can make an educated decision on what damage is likely.

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According to Welsh Water (http://www.dwrcymru.com/en/In-Your-Area/Water-Quality.aspx) the water round here is pretty soft. I've been using it every now and then in the summers these last few years and haven't noticed any problems.

Ah, Lake Vyrnwy, very nice, I did a run around that last year.

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I am one of those people who experiment a lot with water. I have taken risks and learnt a few things but lost a few plants as well. Basically what I've confirmed is that sarracenia, drosera and dioneae are really sensitive about water. The harder it is the faster they show stress and start declining. I've been getting away with bottled water for them (which is about 30 tds) but I top water and flush a lot. Other side of the coin is: Would they grow better if I used pure water ? Probably...

Nepenthes on the other hand are very hardy. I am using rested tap water (which is really hard, probably over 100 tds) for them but again it's important to note that I don't have any sensitive ultra highland species. I don't use live sphagnum either. So in my conditions and for the species I have (all windowsill grown) it works fine.

To sum it up I would suggest that when you try a different water, give it at least 6 months of observation because unless the values are dramatic, it takes a while to see what is really happening. The pot media is also a good indicator.

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Some good info... I looked up my water and got a bewildering amount of info from United Utilities from an Arsenic count of 0.260 to Benzene of <0.0471 so some lovely stuff lurking in there. Does anyone know what are the most harmful elements in tap water for the plants. I'm guessing salts are high on the list but would the nitrate of the water also be a warning.

Blocky71 makes a good point though drying out would be worse than risking a splash of tap.

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There is a product used by tropical fish keepers called

Seachem ph Down. It reduces the Kh of the water.

I have used it in an emergency and it didn't have a negative effect on my Drosera

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Speaking only for the water in my part of the world, I have grown Sarracnia for many years on tap water only when living in Devon and Cornwall. Last year I set up a water butt to collect from the roof. I have to supplement this with tap water. I havent noticed any difference over the past year in the health of the plants.

Baz

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