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Re: [APD] Alternatives to the color GH test kits and methods

If you are getting the water from a water utility, you can probably get 
the info from the utility co.  They will probably have the info as ppm 
CaCO3 (or ppm Ca) (be sure to confirm which one they give you).  While 
the info may not be that accurate (e.g. my utility gets groundwater (ca. 
90 ppm CaCO3) and water from MWD (ca. 180 ppm CaCO3), it will provide 
enough data for those colorblind individuals (or those who do not have 
test kits).  Of course, you would either add back the appropriate amount 
of tap water or (if you know what the ratio of RO/wastewater, you can 
calculate the hardness of the wastewater) wastewater.

Your local aquarist group may also be of some help also, as there are 
probably members who aren't colorblind and test their water for 
hardness.  Another option is the LFS.

There used to be a hardness test used for swimming pools which relied on 
the formation of soap scum to measure the hardness of the water.  If you 
really want to go through that, you might be able to find one of those 
kits out there.  BUT the endpoint is not nearly as sharp as the EDTA 
kits, and the results of the soap bubble test kits are very much 
dependent on the technique of the user.

BTW, the colors in most of the chemical tests are determined by the 
reagents and reactions, not by the manufacturer (unless there are 
multiple test procedures which are commonly accepted, like pH, where the 
colors are based on the selection of indicators and the test range 
effectiveness of the kit).  The local library may have reference books 
on chemical analysis, and you can see what chemicals are used to make up 
the indicators, and the colors at the endpoint of the reaction.  You 
will find that most tests used in the aquarium hobby are just repackaged 
from the water analysis kit manufacturers.

Jerry Baker wrote:

> I just need to know what the GH of my R/O brine is so I can mix the 
> proper amount back in. I'm not concerned about shorting the plants or 
> having too much for the discus. The brine could be anywhere from 11 to 
> 22 degrees GH for all I know.

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