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Re: K2CO3 (was KCO3 potassium carbonate)

Diana wrote:
>      I would like to purchase some potassium carbonate.  I would rather use
> that, than sodium bicarbonate.  Can someone point me in a general direction
> or provide me with a source.  Also, I need some way of adding nitrates or
> better still, ammonia to my fishless planted aquaria.  Can the unscented
> ammonia sold in the grocery store be used or is that a detergent blend of
> some kind which I should avoid?

Potassium carbonate (K2CO3) is not very user-friendly stuff. You 
may want to avoid it and try CaCO3 if you're determined not to use 
bicarbs. The extra Na from baking soda doesn't cause any 
problems at the low levels we generate to get a descent alkalinity. 
Add K2SO4 or KNO3 to get extra K. 

K2CO3 comes in two forms: hygroscopic and sesquihydrate. The 
hygroscopic form will slowly convert to the sesquihydrate. There's 
where a quantitative problem occurs; once it's opened, the 
molecular weight is changing as more water is absorbed. Once it 
contains 16.36% water, it's no longer hygroscopic and is 
considered sesquihydrate. Also, it's very alkaline in solution ~ pH 
11.6. As where to find it, I would try an on-line chemical supplier. 

Jamie    <"\\\><