A common question that I am consistently asked is: whatâs the best water to use in my EZ-CLONE? Contrary to typical soil container gardening and the traditional method of cloning with a tray, medium and dome, when propagating or germinating plants aeroponically you are relying on water and air, as they are your medium. You use quality potting soil in your potted container plants, right? So why shouldnât your water be of the same high standards if that is your medium? It should, especially during the early germination process!
Water is comprised of two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule, hence the H20 compound we know so well. Depending on your source of water, chemicals may have been added to help sanitize and/or purify the water. Whether from well, tap, bottled or filtered water, you should strive for the cleanest and purest water possible for the best germination results.
The use of well water can be a blessing in disguise as well as a hidden killer. Depending on the quality of your well, well water can be high in minerals that your plants crave (Insert Brawndo plug here), making it ideal to use during the propagation process. Alternatively, wells can also provide poor quality water with too many minerals, which can negatively effect your fresh cuttings. If you have a well with poor water quality, then it is best to look into a filter system or bottled water. If you are using well water, then you may also notice more scale and salt build up around the edges of your system. These white markings may be unpleasing, but most likely will not effect anything plant wise in your system. With a little elbow grease, cleaning between cycles can help limit this issue.
If you reside where the tap water is of good quality, then you should be just fine to use what comes directly out of the hose. If you live where there is poor quality tap water or are using well water with a high mineral content, then it might be best to utilize an alternative water source. Bottled water can be a good choice, depending on the size of your system and how many systems you are running. If bottled water is your preferred water source, we recommend the use of spring water or drinking water over the use of distilled water. Through the process of distillation, many of the impurities are removed leaving you with very pure water with little particulates left. With the lack of particulates, it can become difficult to pH adjust and balance since the pH buffering solution will not have much to bind with allowing your pH to fluctuate. If distilled water is your only option, we recommend supplementing your water with a light nutrient solution or by adding another source of water with a higher EC. Usually a 75% distilled to 25% tap water is recommended to help reintroduce some particulates back into the water, allowing you to stabilize your pH more easily.
If you are using RO water, you may also experience pH dancing, due to the removal of particles in the filtering process. The same would apply with distilled, so add some particulates back into the water.
So, to answer the question which water source is best, it’s really up to what you have available to you. Availability, price and transporting are all things to consider when choosing the best water for your endeavors. Remember, quality in equals quality out, even during the germination stages. Start your quality cuttings in quality water!