If you have a passion for gardening and aquarium keeping, water your indoor plants with the water from your aquarium when you clean it. Your plants will appreciate this extra fertilizer.
Indeed, the water for fish that is present in aquariums is often used to water plants, and rightly so! It has calcium and phosphorus, very appreciated by indoor and outdoor plants.
How to water with aquarium water?
The ideal is not to waste water from the aquarium, but to divert it to water your garden plants. When you intend to clean your aquarium, you will drain the water with a filter. Then collect the water in watering cans, watering kits or diffuser cones. This helps to pour water at an adjustable flow rate. You can estimate watering up to twenty for each pot or raised bed.
Let the pots soak for half an hour, then start again. You can scratch with your finger to check that the soil is deeply moistened and that it is well impregnated with the aquarium fertilizer. If not, you can add holes with an old fork and pour the water in. If you do regular cleaning of your aquarium, consider installing a water retention kit and filter to keep the water in.
1. Adjust the pH of your aquarium water to 6.5
Caution: the majority of species appreciate a neutral pH, slightly alkaline or slightly acidic. Some species, however, prefer a more acidic pH: for example, discus prefer water with a pH between 5.0 and 7.0, while others, such as African cichlids, require a basic pH, usually between 7.5 and 8.5.
It is possible to adjust the pH of your aquarium water after you have pumped it out of the aquarium, but the advantage of adjusting the aquarium water directly is that it is pH stable.
2. Pumping the aquarium water into a watering can
Wait a little before watering because the water in the aquarium is between 82°F and 86°F and the roots of the plant around 75°C. Add your fertilizers if necessary (one watering /2 in general).
3. Water your plants
Tip: water abundantly, wait for the water to come out under the pot, then re-water to completely moisten the rootball. To wait then that the ground becomes dry on the first 2 to 3 centimetres (to put the finger in the ground).
Why use fish water?
Aquarium water contains rich biological nutrients for plants. It contains fish waste rich in calcium, phosphorus, algae, faeces, oxygen and plant remains. All of this provides a little limestone humidification for the plants. It is common to clean the aquarium water every two weeks and collect the remaining water for reuse on plants.
Algae are good fertilizers to keep your plants healthy. Their benefits especially help balcony plants to grow better and resist diseases. In addition, adding liquid fertilizer to the watering will help to keep your plants bushy and flowering, especially on young plants.
Indeed, fish suspensions and emulsions are rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, the main components of the fertilizers you are used to buying in supermarkets.
How to water fish in the right way
Not all indoor plants have the same water requirements. For tropical plants, aquarium water is an asset for their growth, but it is ideal at room temperature.
It should be left to stand in an open container. The most effective method of determining whether to water is to be used is to press your index finger into the soil. If it is still wet for 1 to 2 inches, the plant can wait another 2 to 3 days. Then, always water from underneath, avoiding getting the flowers or foliage wet. You can leave a little water in the saucer when the soil is too dry. For the other plants, it is necessary to keep the compost permanently wet. Wet does not mean waterlogged.
Throughout the year, it is advisable to use a regular watering rhythm. From June to September, it is advisable to water twice a week on average. If your plants are often exposed to the sun, water quickly from time to time to prevent heat stress. And insist on plants that need a lot of water.
When you empty your aquarium, why throw the water away? It is rich in nutrients from fish waste and can be used to water your house or garden plants, giving them a little shot of beneficial organic fertilizer.