Changing Water to "Flush Out" Potentially Harmful Substances

mariahadamsJanuary 8, 2014

I tried planting herbs for the first time a couple weeks ago. I have parsley, sweet marjoram, and dill in three small pots that I originally put on top of the refrigerator to keep them warm, but it didn't work.

I had the idea of putting them in my empty fish tank since the light could keep them warm (and, obviously, give them light). It's been working, but the only problem is that I put them in the last half inch or so of water that was left in there from when I had fish in it. I don't know what I was thinking. I know that was a stupid move. That water hasn't been filtered for a few weeks now.

So, I cleaned out the fish tank and put the pots back in their little dishes, which I filled with clean water. I have a light on the plants now, but not a lid. I'm hoping the water will evaporate off the plants and take some of the potentially hazardous materials that were in the fish water with it.

If I replace the water often enough, will the herbs be safe to eat? Also, I've read as long as you cook the herbs enough most of the germs will be killed.

Any thoughts? Will the plants be safe or should I throw them away?

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Tip all the water out of the 'little dishes'. Plants do not want to be standing in water. If you are concerned about whatever was in the fish water you need to water the pots thoroughly in the sink and leave them there until they stop dripping from the holes in the bottom of the pots. Then replace them where you are trying to grow them. Only time will tell if there is enough light in the fish tank but imo they'd be happier in the brightest window sill you have.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 12:20PM
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balloonflower(5b Denver CO, HZ 5-6, Sunset 2b)

Are you concerned just about the fish part, or was the water containing some sort of green slime or something. If it's just the fish poo, you may not have a problem. I've seen aquaponics systems used to grow herbs in the same water as fish, which provide good nutrients for the plants.

Agree with Flora on not leaving them standing in water. You may be okay in the fish tank--I use the same sort of system in a dry tank when starting seedlings to try and contain some heat under lights.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 8:14PM
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mariahadams

I've been replacing the water in the dishes every day. I've been putting them in the dishes because it's actually a Chia brand herb garden kit, and it's got the soil sponges that are supposed to take in only as much water as they need. But I'll go ahead and start watering them in the sink.

I put them in the tank with the light more for heat purposes than for light. It's been very cold here.

I wasn't so much worried about the fish stuff as I was about the water conditioner. It was made specifically for fish, and I didn't know if it was safe for people.

My dill has been growing really well. A lot of the seeds have been growing. I have new tall ones every day. The marjoram is growing pretty well too. I pull out some of the tallest ones every evening so it doesn't get overgrown.

The parsley isn't growing at all though. What should I do?

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 3:41PM
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balloonflower(5b Denver CO, HZ 5-6, Sunset 2b)

Parsley has a very long germination time. Do a little research and figure based from when you planted.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 8:58PM
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mariahadams

Geez, four to six weeks. Thanks for the tip. I hope it works. I guess I should have been able to figure that out myself, but the other two seemed to start growing almost at the same time. I'll keep watering it and see what happens.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 10:19PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Can you post a picture? Then we can advise you whether your seedlings look healthy or not.

You didn't mention to start with that this was a kit and that it had 'sponges' so I was advising based on growing conventionally in a mix. I have no experience of this product so can't comment on how likely it is to succeed. I looked it up and 3 inches is a minute pot for growing a reasonable plant of any of the herbs listed. You may well get some young plants and a few tastes of herbs but for longer term herb growing you will need to move the plants to appropriate containers or the garden.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 10:56AM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

Floral- I agree about putting them in larger pots! Some herbs can get HUGE!
I wonder why it is that some companies have these kits that will grow in those tiny pots? I would use those herbs up in a week!
Mariah, if you really like fresh herbs, get these planted into larger containers! Once you start cooking with fresh herbs you WILL get addicted! LOL Add sage, rosemary,tarragon, thyme and oregano to your other herbs.
You don't even have to be a great cook to impress your friends with dishes made with fresh herbs! Even sprinkled on a salad will freshen it up and make it fun! Nancy

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 8:58PM
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