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Re: potassium levels/water softener

Hello Ron,

You will have about TWICE as much (by weight) potassium present when you
exchange it for calcium: For each atom of calcium (atomic weight 40) you
exchange TWO potassium atoms (atomic weight 39), = 78 for both. So the
weight ratio will be 40:78.  For magnesium (it is lighter than calcium)
the ratio will be 24:78.



Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001 17:47:27 -0500
From: Ron Barter <mistnfrost at superaje_com>
Subject: potassium levels/water softener

Hi Folks,

    In the name of domestic harmony, I'm in the process of installing an
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
and cold to the desired temperature. My concern is that while I can keep
line of unsoftened cold water, the hot water tank is fed with treated
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
softener, contain the same concentration of potassium as it now does
and magnesium? In other words, will I end up with water containing 329
of potasssium coming out of my hot water tap?

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

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


Ron Barter,
Perth, Ontario