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Old 06-26-2009, 10:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default chlorine, chloramine and plants.

We all know the adverse effects these substances have on fish, but are they as bad for plants? could a plant die from water that hasn't been dechlorinated?
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: chlorine, chloramine and plants.

I often rinse new plants & may soak them a short time (overnight) in chlorinated tap water without problems. No longer term experiences.
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Old 06-26-2009, 02:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: chlorine, chloramine and plants.

If its safe for your to drink, I can't see it harming plants.
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Old 06-26-2009, 04:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: chlorine, chloramine and plants.

thank you
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: chlorine, chloramine and plants.

Do not go by the "if it is safe for you..." argument.
Chlorine and chloramine, in the doses used in water treatment are safe for mammals, but not for fish. Neither fish nor mammals are plants.

I have filled my pond, no fish at the time, but lots of plants, and not added dechlor. This suggests that some aquatic plants do not seem to mind. Most of the plants are water lettuce and duck weed, some Myriophyllum, a couple of Water Lilies. Other plants are grown in a bog setting, leaves above the water, roots in peat moss. Calla and Canna Lily, Japanese Iris, Water Mint, Ribbon Grass, Cyperus sp., In the water, but leaves out of the water include Lizard Tail, Taro, Water Cress.
In the back of my mind, though are some old house plant books that suggest aging the water overnight to get rid of the chlorine for certain house plants.
Gardens in my area are irrigated with treated tap water from about April through October, and the plants are fine. These are of course land plants.
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: chlorine, chloramine and plants.

I'll second that one. The LD50 for many plants and fish are well below North American and European max chlorine/chloramine levels for tap. Use your water conditioner, aeration, overnight stands etc. depending on which one you've got.

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Old 06-27-2009, 07:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: chlorine, chloramine and plants.

I agree to a certain extent with Diana and Philos. When googling for certain aquarium plant topics I stumble across orchid or hydroponic forums, and it would appear that some of the specialty 'land lubber' gardeners also prefer to work with dechlorinated water.

However to be a stickler to the original question, I really doubt chlorinated water will kill plants. I mean, unless you're injecting chlorine into the water, or just letting tap water run over it for several days (oy! the bills!) otherwise the 24 hrs or so it takes to gas off...unless it's a really delicate plant, I doubt it would kill it.

P.S. I'm officially coining 'land lubber gardeners' I think...
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Old 06-27-2009, 08:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: chlorine, chloramine and plants.

The issue here is a hard one to nail down. The LD50 with fish is far lower than plants; this tends to be the chronic issue. For plant keepers, shrimp become a further concern. Pinning down plants becomes a species-specific issue very rapidly (check out iron consumption and the rate carbon is sucked up through the roots vs. as CO2). On top of that, chlorine, much as copper, becomes an issue of chronic toxicity for plants, much as Cu or Pb toxicity in humans can be chronic.

In short, i'd say that a little chlorine now and then won't hurt plants so much as fish. Plants will take longer to respond, and the issue of chloramine vs. chlorine comes in as well.

Speaking purely from my experience with chlorinated tap water, you can get away with a little now and then when it comes to plants. I used to do the odd chlorinated 5-10% top-off with things like blue rams when I was new to the hobby. I'm not sure the fish were eager, but they didn't visibly suffer. At the same time, the algae dissipated at a greater rate after the top-off than they did after a 20-30% water change. While it may not have zeroed out the growth for algae, it was retardant enough to allow my simple bacopas, anubias and java fern to better compete.

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Old 06-28-2009, 05:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: chlorine, chloramine and plants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clearleaf View Post
..unless it's a really delicate plant...
but plants don't like it. You'll have a healthier tank and a better chance of controlling algae if you only add stuff to the tank that is good for it. </2cents>
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Old 06-28-2009, 05:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: chlorine, chloramine and plants.

It's the dose that makes the poison. Excel is essentially glutaraldehyde when you get around the trade names. It's cidex sold at 4x the cost or more. It's biocidal, effective enough at 100% concentration to turn your skin in to goo. At the right concentration, it kills algae and bacteria, and increases the hatch rate of some fish and inverts.

I think what we need here is some good research. All I've got is toxicity for some weeds few people keep, under conditions nobody keeps their fish tanks in. They serve as a pointless early warning, given that fish are even more sensitive. I could put them forth as relevant and absolute, but I've seen enough bad comparisons of this sort passed off, even from otherwise reputable sources. Stuff like this comes to mind.

-Philosophos
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