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potassium levels/water softener

Hi Folks,

    In the name of domestic harmony, I'm in the process of installing an ion
exchange water softener. Our well water has 313 ppm CaCO3 and 16 ppm Mg,
which I have been using in some of my planted tanks with no problem. I
normally do water changes in these tanks straight from the tap, mixing hot
and cold to the desired temperature. My concern is that while I can keep a
line of unsoftened cold water, the hot water tank is fed with treated water,
so all hot water will be softened.

    I thought I would use potassium rather than sodium in the softener,
which leads to my first question: will the water, after going through the
softener, contain the same concentration of potassium as it now does calcium
and magnesium? In other words, will I end up with water containing 329 ppm
of potasssium coming out of my hot water tap?

    If the above is the case, then after mixing my hot and cold water at a
ratio of 3:7 to get the temperature I want, I'll end up with a theoretical
98.7 ppm K (and 219.1 ppm calcium and 11.2 ppm magnesium) I'm assuming that
I can probably eliminate the potassium sulphate from my PMDD <g>, but will
this level of K cause a problem? Block uptake of other nutrients? Toxic for

    The APD archives list target levels for K anywhere from 2-50 ppm, and
generally agree that the concentration is not critical. Has anyone used
water this high in K? Thoughts?


Ron Barter,
Perth, Ontario