Chloramine?

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
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Living in Southern California, I have a very high level of chlorine, chloramine, and god knows what else in my water. I have a "Total Dissolved Solids" (TDS) meter and my water out of the tap has readings of 450+ PPM. Using a commercial Reverse Osmosis filter for drinking water gets me down to about 40 PPM. Using a "laboratory quality" RO filter with an ion exchange unit gets me down to trace levels (unmeasurable).

So I know my water is bad. How bad? If I put 6" of fresh water into my 5' deep koi pond without treating the water, I start killing fish. It takes really bad water to kill a carp like that.

Any idea whether this has a negative impact on my trees? I'm not sure I have an alternative, but I might be able to use filtered water on seedlings or recently transplanted trees. Since both chlorine and chloramine are such strong oxidizers, I would assume they would have the potential to burn roots(?)
 
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I had the same experience as you my first try with koi in Tucson AZ. Wasn't aware of how sensitive they are to this and had the bad experience of watching them die before my eyes. So I took them back for a refund and found out about the stuff you need to add to knock back the chloramine (don't remember the name of it just now) Maybe you could add that to your water that you use on your bonsai?

I collected rainwater for my bonsai and used that when I could--especially for the small ones. But the larger collected trees that were in boxes got tap water once a day and showed no sign of being harmed by it. That same water killed koi. I never drank Tucson city water myself because the first glass I had of it tasted bleachy and also moldy (is that possible??) It was horrible!! So I bought bottled water for my own consumption. Tucson has lots of places to get purified water for a reasonable price. I was getting steam distilled water for $.35/gallon if I bought 20 gallons or more from one place. Since I have moved to Oregon, I don't worry much about water. It is not nearly as hard as Tucson water nor does it smell like a jug of clorox when you pour yourself a glass of it. I haven't watered my trees since late October, they are having a record year for rainfall the locals are saying.

I seem to have digressed ;-) The choice is up to you about what you give your trees as well as yourself. Sounds like you have done the best you could for your own water, how about doing same for your trees?
 

Tachigi

Omono
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Wow...what a sad commentary on the state of our enviroment when life giving water actually takes life. I always complained about my well water tasting a little irony.....puts things in perspective for me.
 

Ichigo

Sapling
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Have you tried using aquarium water conditioner? There are conditioners such as Prime that remove chlorine, chloramine, and heavy metals from the water. I use it in my aquarium that includes live plants so I imagine it would also be safe for terrestrial plants as well.
 
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Bnut,

The following link should answer your questions and ease your mind as to if your tap water is safe for your trees.

"Is chloraminated water safe to use?
Chloraminated water that meets the EPA standard is safe for drinking and other general household activities such as bathing, cooking, laundry, and cleaning. The water can also be used for gardening (the water is safe for plants) and for watering lawns with no adverse effects.

Chloramine (and chlorine) is toxic to fish and amphibians at levels used for drinking water. Unlike chlorine, chloramine does not rapidly dissipate on standing or by boiling. Therefore, fish owners must neutralize or remove chloramine from water used in aquariums or ponds. Treatment products are readily available at aquarium supply stores."
- http://www.epa.gov/safewater/disinfection/chloramine/index.html#two



Will
 

bisjoe

Yamadori
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As far as plants go, very few are sensitive to Chlorine, most of them tropicals with large leaves, not used for bonsai. The worst is the "Lucky Bamboo" and other Dracaenas. They will turn yellow from too much chlorine in the water.
 

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