Tap/Distilled or R.O water?

phiGweed

Well-Known Member
Hey! I have a plant in veg! So far I’ve been watering it with tap water (pH tested to 6.0) raised to 6.5pH. I’ve been hearing Reverse osmosis is the best to water with but a system can be quite pricey. Will distilled water suffice or do I need to buy a system? Or is the tap water reliable? Does it matter as long as the pH is within range?

also, I’m referring to just watering the plant (NOT ADDING NUTES)
 

Emilya Green

Product Reviewer
420 Staff
The only reason we pH adjust our fluids is so that we can set the pH to be within the window where synthetic EDTA chelated nutes can become mobile and available to the plant. If you are not using synthetic nutes, such as in an organic grow, there usually is no reason to pH adjust any of your fluids.

If you are using these synthetic nutrients, you are probably also giving plain water between feedings, in a Feed/water/feed/water schedule. Even though you are not giving nutes on the water only pass, it is still important to pH adjust the incoming water to the proper pH range so that it can reactivate any nutes left over from the feeding pass, and make them available to the plant.

If you are running an organic grow, where your goal is to keep your microbes alive and thriving, because they are feeding the plants, your choice of good water is important. Chlorine is added to our tap water specifically to kill microbes in the water system and if used in an organic grow, over time you can kill off the microbes in your soil. In an organic grow where microbes are not being regularly added, it is very important to use filtered or at least dechlorinated water. Also in hydro operations where it is important to be able to measure how much nutrient is in the reservoir water, it is important to start off with clean water such as RO, so that the only measurable contaminants in that water are the nutes themselves.

If you are running an organic grow and are regularly adding microbes, such as in a GeoFlora grow, or one where you are adding Realgrower's Recharge, URB or Voodoo Juice, you can actually get away with using tap water... the small amounts of chlorine in tap water can't kill the microbes as fast as you are adding them back.

If you are running a regular soil grow using synthetic nutes, pH is your only important factor needing adjustment. The chlorine and any other minerals in your tap water will not hurt a thing, and actually can add to the nutrients being given to the grow. Regular potting soil with synthetic nutes can easily tolerate tap water, the adage being if it won't kill your lawn, pets or you, the water also won't hurt your plants.
 

bobrown14

Grow Journal of the Month: Dec 2017 - Photo of the Month: May 2020
RO Buddie from A-zon is 50-60 bucks. For plants and hoo-man you can get a few years of use before you need to change filters - the RO filter lasts 3 years and is replaceable.

Tap water one other test - PPMs. Likely if 6pH you can be ok with tap water. If its city water with chlorine you need to let it set out overnight to let the chlorine gas off. If you city also uses chloromine (its a gas) that's a lot tougher to get rid of.

If you're using city water they will tell you what they are using chlorine and/or chloromine and what times of the year they use chloromine.
 

phiGweed

Well-Known Member
Thank you both for the feedback! I am using fox farm ocean forest with a coco mix as my medium. It sounds like tap water will do just fine! I will look into that RO system on amazon though!
Haven’t decided on nutes just yet. Was thinking GH and calmag. Any suggestions for a soil grow?
 

Emilya Green

Product Reviewer
420 Staff
Haven’t decided on nutes just yet. Was thinking GH and calmag. Any suggestions for a soil grow?
how much coco is mixed in? I am not certain you can call this a soil grow. Why don't you move to a simpler system, such as @GeoFlora Nutrients, where all you have to do is top dress in the granules once every two weeks, and your choice of water is not so important, and where there will be no need to adjust pH.
 

Emilya Green

Product Reviewer
420 Staff
I have a 55 gal barrel up on my watering floor, and after filling it with tap water I grind up one vitamin C tablet and pour it in there and then turn on the pump for 10 minutes to mix it all up. I then use this dechlorinated tap water to water my organic garden. RO water is simply a step that I don't need to take and because I can get away with this, my cost of operation has gone way down as compared to if I had to purchase an RO machine or buy and carry the water from a kiosk.
 

phiGweed

Well-Known Member
how much coco is mixed in? I am not certain you can call this a soil grow. Why don't you move to a simpler system, such as @GeoFlora Nutrients, where all you have to do is top dress in the granules once every two weeks, and your choice of water is not so important, and where there will be no need to adjust pH.
Well I used about 1/3 of coco to fox farm. I was researching and read that calmag was essential and I didn’t know exactly what nutes to go with. Read good reviews on the combo but I do appreciate suggestions!
 
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