11 Replies Latest reply on Oct 4, 2017 10:05 AM by joed

    Rain Barrel Water

    ginnymead@icloud.com

      I haven't even gotten my tower garden yet and I am obsessing on the water source I will use.  I live in Wellington a suburb of West Palm Beach in Florida and Chloramines are used for city water purification.  I don't want to use that in my TG and so I have ordered a 50 gal rain barrel.  Now I see that rain water isn't recommended.  Does anyone use a Rain Barrel for their water source?  Should I still filter that water with some kind of charcoal filter?   I have no idea how I would do that though. 

        • Re: Rain Barrel Water
          treenut2013

          I have a friend that uses an inline water filter set up for an RV that she bought at WalMart to run her water through for her tower garden and has had no problem with it.

          • Re: Rain Barrel Water
            joed

            Hi ginnymead@icloud.com, I live close to you (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) and have a fair amount of expertise in this topic. In short, I highly recommend that you use filtered tap water with the TG.

             

            The two biggest issues with using rain as a source water in hydroponics is consistency of the chemistry and contamination during collection and storage. You may find the following of some value:

             

            Your Water Source <-- Important Read

            https://towertalk.jiveon.com/docs/DOC-1214

             

            == Water Filter Recommendations ==

             

            Sediment+Carbon+KDF (Minimal Filtration):

             

             

            Reverse Osmosis / RO (Best Filtration):

             

             

            == Chlorine / Chloramine ==

            For the removal of chlorine (and more importantly, chloramine) from TG source water, use a filter that contains an activated carbon element. Activated carbon does a pretty good job of removing chlorine and/or chloramine from water... the slower the water passes through the filter, the better. In addition to a filter, you can neutralize chlorine and/or chloramine with Sodium Ascorbate (a specific type of natural vitamin-C available online and at local nutrition stores). Add Sodium Ascorbate to your TG at a rate of 1/2 tablespoon per 20 gallons water (a full tub).

             

             

            -- [please mark this post as "Correct Answer" (under Actions menu) and/or "Helpful" when appropriate] -- Happy Growing! -JoeD towergarden level2concepts tgtech TG Tech

              • Re: Rain Barrel Water
                ginnymead@icloud.com

                Thank you joed for the quick reply and detail.  I have ordered the filter, the ascorbate powder, a ph meter and after reading another of your posts I got a TDS meter.  I should be ready for set up.  My tower is scheduled to arrive today.  I am weighing a whole house filter but am opting to go slow on that.  Thanks again for all your help. 

              • Re: Rain Barrel Water
                homegrownindianriver

                I put a home unit on my house a couple years ago and haven't worried about my water since. They go all over the United States and install units. phprescription.com

                  • Re: Rain Barrel Water
                    ginnymead@icloud.com

                    Hi homegrowninindianariver,  I am thinking about a whole house filter too but not in a position for the investment right now.  Thanks for your suggestion as I think it is the way to go too. 

                      • Re: Rain Barrel Water
                        joed

                        Hi ginnymead@icloud.com Be very careful... there is a lot of water treatment "snake oil" marketing out there... Alkaline water, Structured water, etc... From a purely scientific / chemistry perspective, it's all a bunch of cr@p pseudo-science (sales / marketing hype). If you want to maximize your water filtration "game", then stick with a quality Reverse Osmosis (RO) filter. FYI: The models I recommended above are under $200.

                         

                        -- [please mark this post as "Correct Answer" (under Actions menu) and/or "Helpful" when appropriate] -- Happy Growing! -JoeD towergarden level2concepts tgtech TG Tech

                          • Re: Rain Barrel Water
                            ginnymead@icloud.com

                            When I said I was looking into a full house water filtration system it was because I wanted to get rid of chlorine primarily for showering and bathing. Plus I have a problem with sediment that builds up in my hot water heater.  I only have exposure to RO systems at my daughters house. She has an under sink RO unit. The dispensing of that system is very slow. I already use remineralized distilled water for drinking. I just thought a whole house system w/o a softener may be the best way to go for me. It's such an expense and as you said there is so much hype/smoke it is hard to know what will really do what I want it to do. I'm already reeling with what I will have to learn to effectively take care of my TG. Lol. I appreciate your cautions.

                             

                            Sent from my iPad

                              • Re: Rain Barrel Water
                                joed

                                Hi ginnymead@icloud.com,

                                 

                                Here are some more cautions:

                                 

                                • Do not use water from a salt-based ion exchange water softener to fill your TG.
                                • Do not use "low volume" (a.k.a. under sink) RO filters to fill your TG.

                                 

                                ...and you can toss-in this FYI comment as well:

                                 

                                • The water requirements for hydroponic growing systems and human consumption (drinking water) are different.

                                 

                                -- [please mark this post as "Correct Answer" (under Actions menu) and/or "Helpful" when appropriate] -- Happy Growing! -JoeD towergarden level2concepts tgtech TG Tech

                                  • Re: Rain Barrel Water
                                    ginnymead@icloud.com

                                    HI JoeD. I did decide to go with a whole house catalytic carbon filter with a sediment pre filter. I'm just doing that for myself.  I have filled my tower garden using a RV filter on my garden hose. . My seedlings that I ordered from living towers are coming today. I have my tower all set up and if I say so myself I think it is ready to go. Ph is good at 6. Set up a spreadsheet to keep track of TDS.  I also added the ascorbic powder as you mentioned. Hopefully all this prep and study will result in success. Fingers are crossed. I want to thank you for all the well written articles that have helped me so much. Of course you know what that means...if I have problems I have a scapegoat. Lol.

                                     

                                    One thing I am wondering about is how to acclimate the seedlings to the grow lights.  I've read the instructions from Living Tower but they don't say anything about a tower with grow lights. They do say the seedlings will be light deprived when they arrive. I sent a message to them through their website last night. I haven't heard back yet. I am thinking I will just put the seedlings in the tower with no lighhts for today. Tomorrow can I just let the lights work on the 14 on 8 off schedule? Or should I only run the lights for a lessened schedule.  If so what would the schedule be? 

                                     

                                    Thanks again for for all your help And very thoughtful answers. Ginny