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Re: APD V4 #376 - KCl Responses

> Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 21:44:41 -0600 (MDT)
> From: "Roger S. Miller"

> Nitrate is more useful than chloride, but both raise the
> conductivity of the water.

As will any ion, at least as Arrhenius originally defined them. The question
concerned the usablility of the *potassium* in KCl. I responded that the
potassium was the same, but that KNO3 would be more _useful_ than KCl as a

> When a plant imports a charged ion (nitrate is negatively
> charged) it either exports an equal amount of charged ions
> simultaneously or imports ions of the opposite charge at
> the same time.  I don't think there is a large or long-term
> ionic imbalance built up in the tank, except the small one
> that at least some plants maintain near their roots by actively
> pumping positively charged ions (hydrogen, mostly) out.

You misinterpreted the phrase "ionic balance". I wasn't referring to the
*charge* differential, merely the fact that the chloride ions will be left
behind while the potassium is consumed. The result would be a build-up of
chloride within the water column as more and more KCl is used to supplement.
Fortunately, Robert picked up on this OK, as he states:

>> Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 22:35:02 -0700
>> From: "Robert H"

>> ...but let me pose this question, what would you think of
>> a liquid product made for the aquarium as a K fertilizer
>> that uses this derititive? I am told that water changes would
>> remove any build up of Chloride, and I have seen Murate
>> of Potash, (same as KCl, right?)  in several aquarium
>> fertilizer products, one of Tetras products for example.

To answer Robert:

Yes, "muriates" refer to any salt formed from hydrochloric acid, in this
case the potash being potassium. I'm assuming that people like Tetra use it
in preference to KNO3 simply so that they can state on their labels,
"Contains no nitrates or phosphates".

Of course, *we* know that nitrates can be a "good thing" and not an
unnecessary, avoidable "evil". The general market, however, may not know how
to cope with adding something to the water that everyone else tells them
must be removed through water changes.

>>> I'm assuming you've mistaken a " 1 " (one) for an
>>> " l " ("el") here, in which case you're talking about
>>> potassium chloride.
>> Well on my computer a "1" and an "l" look identical!
>> Darn computer...

I run into this all the time, as I normally use the Arial (Helvetica) font.
It's a problem with quite a few of the san-serif fonts, and sometimes I have
to switch in order to decipher a message. It's one of the reasons I picked
up on the mistake so readily.

Another switch I have to occasionally make is to fixed width fonts -
especially on UseNet or plain text e-mail when everyone decides to get