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If We Are Nerms, What Do Garden Nerds Call Themselves?


Alesha
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What an awesome article! It's true and not woo-woo at all. Close observation is the hobby. Gardens, like fish, aren't meant to just be set-it-and-forget-it. Even if they're easy to care for, taking time to observe them every day is the best path to success. I'm convinced this is what's really happening when they say to talk to your plants every day. Yes, plants love the carbon dioxide and humidity, but they gain even more from attention and care.

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When I setup a tank for my parents, I asked my mom (80) to feed, and my dad (85) to top-off the water. She keeps a little list and cycles through the food that I provided, while my dad has a separate watering can from the one he uses for the 23 houseplants that he keeps.

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Houseplant Census
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I'm assuming/hoping gardening nerms are watching. I think I am a mid level gardener, through experience (hard lessons and successful experiments) I know a lot more than the average Joe, but definitely a lot less than the long time committed gardener.

I have a question for ya'll. (I lived TN for a few years so I can say ya'll)

Is fish water actually as great for watering plants as the majority claims? I'm sure it has nutrients for the plants and can be great for that aspect, but I usually till, fertilize, amend soil and mulch already. One thing that does not provide (or many things) is the soil micro organisms that are good for plants, I am a full believer that tending to the micro organisms in the soil can be of great benefit and am considering trying compost tea this year...

In summary... is aquarium water providing micro organisms or bacteria that will live in the soil and are good for plants? Is it akin to compost tea? 

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10 minutes ago, TheDukeAnumber1 said:

I'm assuming/hoping gardening nerms are watching. I think I am a mid level gardener, through experience (hard lessons and successful experiments) I know a lot more than the average Joe, but definitely a lot less than the long time committed gardener.

I have a question for ya'll. (I lived TN for a few years so I can say ya'll)

Is fish water actually as great for watering plants as the majority claims? I'm sure it has nutrients for the plants and can be great for that aspect, but I usually till, fertilize, amend soil and mulch already. One thing that does not provide (or many things) is the soil micro organisms that are good for plants, I am a full believer that tending to the micro organisms in the soil can be of great benefit and am considering trying compost tea this year...

In summary... is aquarium water providing micro organisms or bacteria that will live in the soil and are good for plants? Is it akin to compost tea? 

I used to work as a gardener and beekeeper for the Mother Earth News Magazine back in the early '80s, but I am no expert. Aquarium water is better than tap water, but not an order of magnitude better. Plants are pretty happy with rain water which is not far off from RO water. The most important thing with water for plants is that they don't get too much or too little or go too long without water.

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On 2/28/2021 at 4:45 PM, TheDukeAnumber1 said:

I'm assuming/hoping gardening nerms are watching. I think I am a mid level gardener, through experience (hard lessons and successful experiments) I know a lot more than the average Joe, but definitely a lot less than the long time committed gardener.

I have a question for ya'll. (I lived TN for a few years so I can say ya'll)

Is fish water actually as great for watering plants as the majority claims? I'm sure it has nutrients for the plants and can be great for that aspect, but I usually till, fertilize, amend soil and mulch already. One thing that does not provide (or many things) is the soil micro organisms that are good for plants, I am a full believer that tending to the micro organisms in the soil can be of great benefit and am considering trying compost tea this year...

In summary... is aquarium water providing micro organisms or bacteria that will live in the soil and are good for plants? Is it akin to compost tea? 

Excellent question, @TheDukeAnumber1 and I have a little bit of an answer. From what I've read just recently, there are a few plants that DO NOT NEED additional NITROGEN. If they have too much nitrogen, all of their growth will be leaves and branches, and not flowers. Of course, if you want veggies and fruits, you need those flowers. So, on a few plants I've researched, they recommend do not fertilize with nitrogen, or at least not too often. 

So, to my way of thinking, I also would NOT use my fish water for those plants. Because, at least with my tanks, when I do water changes, I am trying to get rid of excess nitrates, which would correspond with nitrogen, I believe.

Now...if there's someone who knows better than I do, PLEASE let us know! My logic may not be right on this and I'd love to know if I don't have it correct. 👍

 

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On 2/28/2021 at 4:45 PM, TheDukeAnumber1 said:

Is fish water actually as great for watering plants as the majority claims? 

I think so, especially if you have city water. We use water conditioner to spare the cycle/livestock from chlorine/chloramine... stands to reason taking conditioned water out of the aquarium and sparing the garden from chlorine is at least somewhat beneficial. Soil microbiology interests me as well. But I’m not an expert, I just like tomatoes 😂. I’ve been using “water change discard” on my houseplants for the past few months and they’ve never looked better. I’m fairly versed in NPK and my plants have never suffered from a lack of “food,” so it can’t just be the nitrates (which typically hover about 10 anyway in my ~understocked/planted tank). I’m plotting a raised container bed outside the window by my tank and plan to run the siphon out the window into the bed this summer. It makes me feel better about re-using all of that water (it’s a 55g tank, so fair amount to waste down the drain).

I looked into the conditioner out of paranoia about unleashing chemicals on my food, and turns out sodium thiosulfate is considered by WHO as an essential medicine and is the antidote to cyanide poisoning!  Just another reason to be in the hobby 😂. So I’m fine with it going in the garden from that perspective. Although I will admit, I do have algae on top of my seedling starts. Gets everywhere I suppose. 

We are at the very least encouraging the soil micro biome and “recycling” water. That’s a win for me. I’ll let you know if my tomatoes get ich, though.

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