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Fishtank water for orchids

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lillyn

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New to paphs. Went to Hauserman's and a nice guy convinced me to try orchids again, starting with a jewel orchid and a paph lawrenceum. Hopefully, these will not have to be sacrificed to the god of compost.:sob: (Hauserman's was great for my spring fever fix!)
My question is: I frequently use the "waterchange waste" from my fishtanks to feed my plants. This is the water siphoned from the bottom gravel in a fishtank. It contains decaying fish "do", food and plant matter. My houseplants and those outdoor THRIVE on this stuff. Would it be possible to give to the orchids? The Ph appears to be fairly neutral. Unsure of nitrogen levels. Thanks in advance for any advice
 

gonewild

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lillyn said:
New to paphs. Went to Hauserman's and a nice guy convinced me to try orchids again, starting with a jewel orchid and a paph lawrenceum. Hopefully, these will not have to be sacrificed to the god of compost.:sob: (Hauserman's was great for my spring fever fix!)
My question is: I frequently use the "waterchange waste" from my fishtanks to feed my plants. This is the water siphoned from the bottom gravel in a fishtank. It contains decaying fish "do", food and plant matter. My houseplants and those outdoor THRIVE on this stuff. Would it be possible to give to the orchids? The Ph appears to be fairly neutral. Unsure of nitrogen levels. Thanks in advance for any advice
Nitrogen levels would be good for your plants. Beware of using fish tank water if you add any salt to the aquarium water for the fish.
 

smartie2000

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ppl add salt to freshwaters too....
also if you are using water softening pillows then its bad because its just replacing hard water salts with table salt

Anyways if the water isn't too dirty it should be fine
 

dave b

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Though i dont use the waste water (thought about it though), i dip a lot of my mounted orchids in my fish tank. I only have a 15 gallon up now, and i use mostly rain water in it. Sometimes just plot them in (upsidedown) and let them soak for several minutes during the drier periods. They seem to love it. I do notice that the algae in the tank grows real well, probably due to the leaching of fertilizer salts from the mounts.
 
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DavidH

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I know two well known growers (one wholesale, one retail) that use fish tank water. The reason one gave me was nitrogen. The reason the second gave me was the bacteria in the fish water helps break down the nutrients for better absorption by the plants. Each has been growing orchids for 30+ years.

I haven't tried it myself, but since I have a fish pond in my backyard, I've thought of pouring some in my RO tank.
 

gonewild

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I think it is a good excuse for a handy place to discard fish tank water. But I don't think it is going to have a big impact on your orchid plants. There is not enough nitrogen to support your orchids or your fish would die.
 
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Park Bear

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I use my fishwater...I have so much and its like recycling. I try to keep my water bill as low as possible.
 

Hien

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dave b said:
Though i dont use the waste water (thought about it though), i dip a lot of my mounted orchids in my fish tank. I only have a 15 gallon up now, and i use mostly rain water in it. Sometimes just plot them in (upsidedown) and let them soak for several minutes during the drier periods. They seem to love it. I do notice that the algae in the tank grows real well, probably due to the leaching of fertilizer salts from the mounts.
would'nt any fungus grow on orchids' root zone attack the fish's skin?
 
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lillyn

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If using the tank water wouldn't be enough nutrients, but it still has good stuff in it, what about using it and just adding the orchid fertilizer to that instead of the plain water? FYI my husband would freak if I dipped my plants in his tank. THAT would be the problem if a fish decided to die on him that week.
 
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Park Bear

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I think of fish water as adding some trace elements and I do add fertilizer every couple of weeks
 

gonewild

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lillyn said:
If using the tank water wouldn't be enough nutrients, but it still has good stuff in it, what about using it and just adding the orchid fertilizer to that instead of the plain water? FYI my husband would freak if I dipped my plants in his tank. THAT would be the problem if a fish decided to die on him that week.
Using the water for your plants is a good use of the waste water.
Just make sure your husband has not added chemicals to the water for the fish. Sometimes freshwater fish keepers add salt to the water for various reasons, this would be bad for your plants. Make sure he does not use any chemicals to control algae, this could harm your plants.

You can add fertilizer to it for your plants. You should know what type of water is in the aquarium... Tap water or RO water? Then add the appropriate amount of fertilizer.

Don't dip your plants in his aquarium, especially if you use any chemicals on your plants. Husbands need their space. ;)
 
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rfunc

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I water my orchids with used fish water (top off the fish tanks with R.O.) occassionally. No problems, but I filter it. Rest of the time, I use collected rain water. Works great, no problems.
 

NYEric

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rfunc said:
I water my orchids with used fish water (top off the fish tanks with R.O.) occassionally. No problems, but I filter it. Rest of the time, I use collected rain water. Works great, no problems.
Welcome from NYC! :)
 

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