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Hard vs. Soft Water


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#1 PJammer24

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 08:01 PM

I’m curious if anyone has first hand experience growing with both hard and soft water....

When living in the city, water is relatively processed. It’s typically softer and has a little chlorine added.

By definition, hard water has a higher PH while soft water has a lower PH... Having moved home, I have really hard water with a high PH.... I’m curious as to how hard water dunks will impact grows.

Will it help to keep the subs over all PH from lowering as quickly as it progresses to later flushes?

Will it have a positive impact on contam rates in later flushes?

Could the minerals in the water potentially be beneficial to fruiting and be used by the mushrooms?

I am sure there are other considerations that I have overlooked but I think there could be benefits to using hard water as opposed to treated water. I intend to not have the softener serviced unless someone can give me a concrete reason why I should.

I would like to hear some personal experiences... If there is a contam reduction benefit, I may look to get a potential 4th flush rather than immediately toss them after 3, which is what I have done to keep contamination in my space to a minimum...




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#2 coorsmikey

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 08:53 PM

I have always had better results with well water. I use to have a water softener on well water and while that still worked I did notice that the non softened water was a lil better. Not sure if it was the salt or what. Now I'm back in the city I let the water sit out overnight to gas off the chlorine. I find when doing so I get less bluing from misting.



#3 PJammer24

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 08:57 PM

I have always had better results with well water. I use to have a water softener on well water and while that still worked I did notice that the non softened water was a lil better. Not sure if it was the salt or what. Now I'm back in the city I let the water sit out overnight to gas off the chlorine. I find when doing so I get less bluing from misting.


What were the benefits you saw from the well water? Hard water has a higher PH, above 8, do you think dunking in this helps maintain a higher PH or is it negligible? I could test this myself I guess... The higher PH may help stave off contams I speculate.


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#4 raymycoto

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 09:47 PM

Good questions.

 

I think that hard water should not hurt and I would favor mineral water over distilled or softened, which simply replaces things that can precipitate over time (Mg, and Ca) with Na. I guess you could study two different batches with different water. And pH of water would be buffered quickly by your substrate but that is just my guess. I do think chlorine can't help so I use water from a filter bucket (Berkey) that's been sitting long enough to lose the chlorine.

 

Certainly some plants like a particular pH but that is mostly determined by the soil and not the water although one may influence soil pH by adding a dilute strong acid, sulfuric, in commercial applications mixed with regular watering. So, one could adjust dunk water pH to influence substrate pH. I guess, squeezing some substrate against pH paper (one way to measure soil pH), really easy to do, then adjusting pH of dunk water. But I'm not sure how much to raise or lower the water pH for the dunk. And that's sounding really complex.


Edited by raymycoto, 09 January 2019 - 09:56 PM.


#5 Billcoz

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 10:10 PM

Hard water contains higher levels of iron. My tap water has an abundance of calcium(I think), we don't get rust rings, we get lime scaly shit. Our water has a ph of like 8.5-9, and dries my skin out like crazy, and I made brf cakes one time with it, and they were way dry after pcing, possibly due to hiogh ph.

 

I would think gypsum would balance the ph if it was low, and something like coffee(slightly acidic) might bring high ph down. I have read that lower ph is good for keeping contams away, but could also slow the myc, so eh.


Edited by Billcoz, 09 January 2019 - 10:10 PM.


#6 PJammer24

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 10:33 PM

I believe most contaminates thrive in more acidic environments, low PH, which is why I was curious if the high PH of hard water would be beneficial in keeping contaminated at bay.

Substrate PH decreases during the fruiting process. Any effect of the high PH water may be negligible but I thought it an idea possibly worth kicking around the old topia to see what you guys thought.


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#7 MysticalMyco

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 11:38 PM

I actually have experience with this first hand. I live one row back from the ocean and has a really shallow well compared to most people. I'm litterally at sea level and the sea is 100 yards from my front yard.

I have extremely hard well water. I would say I'm probably 90% harder then the national average. LoL, waiting for the boner jokes........ You litterally have an iron taste with touch of sulphur in your mouth when you drink it. The shower head is always getting clogged with hard deposits.

We don't treat, filter, or soften our water because we only use it to shower and clean dishes with. We don't even feed it to our animals. The house is an old Beach house from the 40's or 50's that was never meant to be lived in full time.

The few times I have done a full soak with 'MY' Well water resulted in problems. One time I litterally had 7 jars and a 10 lb Myco bag all be 'No Starts' or trich in every single unit. This was from two separate syringes. The farmers down wind from us use trichoderma for a soil enrichment for there crops. I'm sure at some point over 60 years trichoderma spores have worked their way into every orifice of my house. That's why I do most of my hobby in this little side building that has this HUGE exhaust fan on the roof. It sounds like a turbine when it comes on.

I figured it was either a bad syringe or the water. My fiance actually said "It's Probably our shitty water" I was thinkong damn I sterilized everything for 90 min. I don't trust the pipes above ground level to be free from contamination either.

We changed out or hot water heater recently and litterally couldn't figure out why we couldn't lift this medium sized drained water tank out the door remove it. Come to find out the hot water tank had 3 feet of this brown Iron/rust particulate matter weighing it down inside the drum. Like our water is shit litterally. White shirts turn brown/beige after 5 washes. We just learned to wear dark colors. 'beach life problems'

Anyway I might be superstitious but I use Distilled Water or Spring water @ 60¢ per gallon from Walmart and have not had a single issue since. Like zero grain spawn issues whatsoever. Other then my over pre-soaking yeasty smell but that's a different story for a different day.

I'm sure people have fantastic success with well water. Mushrooms love natural things and clean well water is about as natural as it comes. I have only tested it a few times but will never risk it with my trash water again.

Edited by MysticalMyco, 09 January 2019 - 11:43 PM.

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#8 coorsmikey

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 12:20 AM

Sounds like my water in Alaska. Came out of the tap brown and tasted like blood. Maybe Juthro will have a comment as well.


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#9 Juthro

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 01:17 AM

Shitty water is a pretty common problem here in AK.  My water is better then a lot of folks here, I don't have a lot of sulfur compounds in it, and no arsenic.  Everything that comes into the house goes through a 10 micron wound string style whole house filter.  Cooking, and drinking water also goes through a DIY Black Berkey system before use.

 

I generally grow BRF cakes, and haven't noticed a lot of difference between using it straight out of the faucet (after the house filter), or when I've ran it through my Berkey filter system.  Though the Berkey takes most of the iron out (which seems prone to grow bacteria, it grows orange slime on the whole house filter houseing), it doesn't take out much in the way of mag, or cal, so it's still fairly hard water after both filters.  

 

 

I haven't done any side by side experiment to compare the double filtered vs the house filter only, but I have used both to make cakes with and haven't noticed any really noticable changes.  I am curious to see what comes out of this discussion though.

 

Didn't Hipp make his supercake formula with pond water way back in the day when he was selling premade jars?  I'm too lit to try and look it up tonight, but I think I'm correct on that.

 

The top bucket has been ran through a 10 micron filter before coming into the house, the bottom bucket is after gravity takes it through the Black Berkey filter.

 

post-136504-0-07911000-1516165306.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#10 PJammer24

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 10:00 AM

This house has had some issues with the well. Fist, all of a sudden, it started going dry... I have been told it is probably the fracking that is going on in the area but I don't buy it... I think that there were just 7-10 new houses built nearby and the demand on the water table is higher.

 

I dug the well deeper and we started to get sediment in the water... You should have seen the back of the toilet when I moved back in... 

 

The tenant complained about his washing machines breaking due to the water and I can only imagine the inside of the hot water tank... I am pretty sure the hot water tank is haunted... I hate using water in the middle of the night because it bangs and creeks when it is filling/reheating... It is right below my bedroom.

 

As far as how well the water has been working so far... I have had very few contamination issues in either my jars or subs... I will see if that streak continues and whether the water is playing a role or if its simply that my methods are stellar... I would like to think my methods are stellar but before coming to that conclusion, I think it prudent to exhaust all other possibilities!

 

On a brief side note... I REALLY need to replace my furnace and I am not looking forward to the expense... I had to go into the basement to restart it at least 4 times between when I got home from work last night and left for work this morning! The furnace is 20-22ish years old at this point and is struggling... I think that they gas may also be causing an issue... The gas comes directly from the well to my house, I am deeded free gas for the life of the home or until the well runs dry. There is more moisture in my gas than in what you would get from the gas company. I have had it freeze in the gas line where it comes out of the ground and enters the house, it really sucks to be boiling water at 3am before heading outside to pour it over the gas line... I think the composition of the gas has something to do with why the furnace keeps puttering out but it may just be a shitty old furnace... I throw the switch a few times and it eventually kicks back on... I really hope it makes it through the winter!

 

I have the kerosene heater on standby, just in case! And yes, my work spaces get priority, mushrooms can't wear sweaters but roommates can..!!



#11 Deleena24

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 12:21 PM

Shitty water is a pretty common problem here in AK. My water is better then a lot of folks here, I don't have a lot of sulfur compounds in it, and no arsenic. Everything that comes into the house goes through a 10 micron wound string style whole house filter. Cooking, and drinking water also goes through a DIY Black Berkey system before use.

I generally grow BRF cakes, and haven't noticed a lot of difference between using it straight out of the faucet (after the house filter), or when I've ran it through my Berkey filter system. Though the Berkey takes most of the iron out (which seems prone to grow bacteria, it grows orange slime on the whole house filter houseing), it doesn't take out much in the way of mag, or cal, so it's still fairly hard water after both filters.


I haven't done any side by side experiment to compare the double filtered vs the house filter only, but I have used both to make cakes with and haven't noticed any really noticable changes. I am curious to see what comes out of this discussion though.

Didn't Hipp make his supercake formula with pond water way back in the day when he was selling premade jars? I'm too lit to try and look it up tonight, but I think I'm correct on that.

The top bucket has been ran through a 10 micron filter before coming into the house, the bottom bucket is after gravity takes it through the Black Berkey filter.

post-136504-0-07911000-1516165306.jpg


Hippie3 sure did use pond water. I never got to try any of his supercake, though.
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#12 snake

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 01:00 PM

I have always used water from a large planted aquarium. This is ph is deregulated 6.8 for plant growth. I have entertained my lack of contamination problems(live within 40 yrs of creek) to the highly fertile ,heavily mineralized water
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#13 Billcoz

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 04:56 PM

The problem with my water is the high calcium level. Like I said, when I used/mixed it in pf cakes, they caame out of the PC a lil bit shrunk down, and dry, so I started over. My water ph is 8.5-9.






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