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Is tumble dryer water safe for carnivorous plants?

  1. Jun 23, 2014 #1

    Monique

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    Can't find a clear answer online. I have some carnivorous plants that I feed distilled water, which I always run out off so it's a bit of an inconvenience. I can't collect rain water, so I was thinking about using the water from my condensor tumble drier.

    Has anyone used that type of water for watering plants? While the water should be free of salts, it does carry a perfume. So it does have some chemicals in it.

    I'm thinking of letting the water sit out in the sun for a few days, which might work purifying. Still I'm afraid I might kill my plants by using it :confused:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 23, 2014 #2
    <hijack>
    What's the opposite of carnivorous plants? Herbivorous plants?
    </hijack>
     
  4. Jun 23, 2014 #3

    Monique

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    I'd say photoivorous.
     
  5. Jun 23, 2014 #4

    lisab

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    You could do an experiment, but it might result in a bad outcome for a plant or two :frown:.

    Can you filter the condensed water? Or switch laundry soap to a type that has a simple formulation (no perfumes, fabric softeners, or fabric brighteners)?
     
  6. Jun 23, 2014 #5

    Monique

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    Two are just coming out of hibernation, so I don't want to experiment on them. Switching detergent is not an option, but the filter is a good idea. I just wish there was a way to capture rainwater..
     
  7. Jun 23, 2014 #6
    I just wish there was a way to capture rainwater, divert your gutter downspout into a bucket.
     
  8. Jun 23, 2014 #7

    Monique

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    I would have to crawl out of the bathroom window into the gutter between two buildings. Far from convenient and disturbing the privacy of the neigbours who have a window there as well.

    I'll check next time when there's a down-pouring if there's a flow of water somewhere that can be captured on the roof.
     
  9. Jun 23, 2014 #8

    Monique

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    Or maybe... I could lower a bucket from the roof and position it below the rainspout. Let's see if that's possible..
     
  10. Jun 23, 2014 #9

    StatGuy2000

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    Monique, why not just use plain tap water for your plants? Somehow I don't think tap water in the Netherlands should differ all that much in quality than other First World countries.
     
  11. Jun 23, 2014 #10

    Monique

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    Carnivorous plants are adapted to live in nutrient poor environments, they get their minerals from the insects that they catch. The minerals in tap water would build up in the soil and kill the carnivorous plants, they need pure water in order to thrive.

    Ugh, and the rainspout ends halfway on the sloped roof. Not an option.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  12. Jun 23, 2014 #11
    How about a small activated carbon filter like the ones that attach to a faucet. There are small packets of activated carbon that can be found in some sporting goods stores.
     
  13. Jun 23, 2014 #12

    AlephZero

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    Rainwater collected from a roof is an unknown cocktail of chemicals. Carbonic acid, and pollutants like NO2 and SO2 react with the roof material. If the air is not very polluted, the roof will have its own ecosystem living on it (moss, lichens, single celled animals, etc) which will get washed into the rainwater!
     
  14. Jun 23, 2014 #13

    Student100

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    Why not build a small still to convert rain water/laundry water into pure water?

    http://dwb4.unl.edu/Chem/CHEM869A/CHEM869ALinks/www.goodwaterco.com/dist1.jpg [Broken]

    So if you want to go that route, you could easily use a large aquarim heater in a makeshift container with some copper coils, or something like that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  15. Jun 23, 2014 #14

    StatGuy2000

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    Then one option would be to buy a carbon filter which can be attached to the tap to purify your water (as edward has suggested); I know many people who have purchased such filters in the past.
     
  16. Jun 23, 2014 #15

    SteamKing

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    That seems pretty elaborate. (Post #13)

    IDK how much water these plants need every day, but it seems something simple involving catching and condensing the steam from a tea kettle might do the trick.

    If these plants are so sensitive to dissolved minerals in their water supply, how are they able to exist in the real world, with rain, runoff, etc. sloshing thru their environment?
     
  17. Jun 23, 2014 #16

    Student100

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    Carbon filters are not effective at removing minerals, salts, and dissolved inorganic compounds. Not sure if any of those would be a problem with your dyer water.
     
  18. Jun 23, 2014 #17

    AlephZero

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    The basic problem (which applies to all plants to some degree) is that pot plants live in a closed environment. Stuff doesn't "slosh thru", whatever goes into the pot stays there. Some plants are very tolerant of dissolved chlorine, tapwater hardness or softness, etc. Others are not.

    Carnivorous plants tend to live in environments like acid wetlands, which are hard to reproduce on a small scale in a pot.

    Some "common" commercially available species like the Venus Flytrap have a tiny range in the wild - see the green blob:
    640px-Dionaea_distribution_%28revised%29.svg.png

    Even for a family like the sundews, which are distributed worldwide, much of their habitat is under pressure from land drainage for agriculture or other human activities and they are protected species in many countries.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  19. Jun 23, 2014 #18

    lisab

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    :biggrin: Potted plants, AZ...potted!
     
  20. Jun 23, 2014 #19
    If this is the type of clothes drier I think it is the water wouldn't contain any minerals or salts. That type of drier uses hot air from a small refrigeration condenser to blow over the clothes. The air then returns over the cold evaporator coil where the water is condensed and runs to a drain or collection container.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  21. Jun 24, 2014 #20

    Monique

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    It wouldn't contain minerals, but it would contain compounds that have evaporated and condensed. I guess the best trick is to wash towels with just water and then run the dryer. I'm not sure if that's cheaper or less time consuming than just buying distilled water.
     
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