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[APD] Of water and salts

Found some on-line at Spectrum Chemical (<A HREF="http://www.spectrumchemical.com/retail/";>
http://www.spectrumchemical.com/retail/</A>), but it's rather dear. My well water is extremely soft and acidic and I 
am currently ammending it with a mix of calcium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate 
and magnesium sulphate and have ocassionally worried about an excess of sodium 
in the system. USP is pharmaceutical grade, is it not? I know what you mean 
about the funny looks,etc., as I've gotten a few of those myself. Cover stories 
have included model rocketry and science fair projects for the kids, but I 
have yet to hit on one that was foolproof.

Regards, Norman

USP stands for United States Pharmacopoeia.  There is also technical grade, 
agricultural grade, food grade and ACS.  Laboratory quality ACS is supposed to 
be the end all in terms of purity.  It's more expensive though so I use 
homebrew food grade calcium carbonate CaCO3 and aquacultural food grade sodium 
bicarbonate NaHCO3 when the water has enough potassium but still needs to be 
buffered.  My magnesium sulphate MgSO4 is USP grade vended in a milk carton at the 
corner drug store.  When the water has a high KH that doesn't need to be 
increased anymore I add ACS grade potassium chloride KCl instead of food grade 
potassium bicarbonate KHCO3 for my K fix.  ACS grade is overkill though and you can 
get by inexpensively with food grade salt substitute from your grocery store 
which is potassium chloride KCl plus something they add to keep it from 
caking.  You can get away with adding more chloride than you would ever have to 
(2,500 mg/l according to the AES catalog although this seems impossibly high to 
me.)  Sodium on the other hand, I would be more careful about.  The plants need 
a little sodium but they have a hard time flushing it out if there is too much 
of it around.  A teaspoon of salt NaCl per 10 gallons is supposed to be a 
reasonable prophylactic dose against parasites and I use this as my limit 
although parasites and plants are two different subjects and you can probably add 
more than this.  The salt NaCl that I almost never use is food grade sans iodine. 
 But again they add something to keep it from caking so I never use kosher 
sea salt.  I would only dose salt if sodium were nonexistent or for medicinal 

Making up water seems complicated but it's better than dealing with tap 
water.  I'll save that rant for another post.

Sincerely, George Mangen
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