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Corbin

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I found an article entitled "Growing Orchids in Atlanta" which was put out by the Atlanta Orchid Society. In the article it said, "...in Atlanta, water contains very low levels of salt, just barely above what is found in rainwater. The EC measurement of Atlanta water is usually less than 0.1 mS/cm." The question is whether I should use the MSU fertilizer for RO or the MSU for fertilizer tap water.
 
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SlipperFan

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I remember reading that article and wondering about that also. But the formulas for rain water and tap water are different with many elements. I think it's best to stick to the directions on the package.
 
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Corbin

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I think I understand the difference between RO and tap water. RO = almost pure water little or no minerals. Tap = water with lots of minerals. Thus the MSU fertilizer for RO has more minerals including the trace elements. MSU for tap water has lesser amounts of the above.

But if the tap water in Atlanta is almost as pure as rainwater isn't it going to have fewer minerals than can be found in most tap water? Do I not need to use the RO formula (and here I am equating rainwater and RO water) to make sure those missing minerals are added to the water?
 

Leo Schordje

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Hey Ed,
I would use the RO formula. Your near pure water does not have enough minerals to cause a problem by using RO formula. The Well water formula was created for water that started out at 1000 ppm or so dissolved solids. The Tap water formula I believe was for 300 ppm water, If you use the Well or Tap water formula you may have to add a calcium & magnesium supplement. Buy the RO formula and don't worry about it. The plants will be able to handle a slight excess of Calcium. - Leo
 
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Corbin

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Yes but that would not affect the minerals that are in the water. I don't chlorinate my well water in Texas but as understand it you use the same MSU fert for well water and tap water.

I have been doing more reading on the MSU and it looks like there are at least three MSU formulas.
RO for essentially pure water with no minerals
Well for water with high mineral content
Tap for water with a mineral content in between (quite varable I would suppose)

Reading the article that I referenced at the begining of this thread if you used a TDS meter that had a conversion rate of 400 then you would get a TDS of 40 (.1 X 400).
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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I use the pure water formula here in NYC. Our water is very pure...just slight chlorination and minute traces of orthophosphate. Eric
 
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Ernie

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IMO, I concur with Leo about using the RO formula although chlorine WILL be harmful over time. Regular chlorine dissapates after about 24 hours of sitting in an open container with a wide mouth. ChlorAMINE does not- you need to determine which form of chlorination your municipality uses. If you're not satisfied with your water with the specs you mention, I'd probably recommend for YOU a deionization column system with a charcoal prefilter insted of an RO system. Since your water is already damn good, you'd just be polishing it off and DI columns which would be expensive to use in areas with hard water, should last a very long time for you. You can get single column, mixed bed DI systems that hook up to the sink at aquarium stores. They have a dye that changes color when it's time to replace and there is a layer of charcoal at the inlet to help remove chlorine, colors, and odors. If you want something bigger, maybe look at That Fish Place in Lancaster, PA or just Google deionization or deionization systems. Again, just my opinion. Hope it's useful info!

-Ernie
 

NYEric

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After working on a utility project in NYC I don't use tap water on my orchids! If I showed you the pictures of the corrosion and stuff inside the pipes you'd freak! I have an RO system so I can use the fertilizer formulas for RO, for something in between I'd use the in-betwwen formula. IMO.
 
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Corbin

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Thanks for all your thoughts and suggestions. This is exactly why I joined the forum. Books are good and certainly informative but you can't have a give and take discussion with books.
 
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