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Recommendations for a CO2 test kit?

Hi all,

I was wondering if there is a consensus out there among the APD readers as to what
the best value is in an iron test kit?  Or if not the best value, maybe the test
kit that is liked the best, or that people feel gives the most accurate readings.
Basically the best "bang for the buck". Just looking for a little direction before
I spend my hard earned money.

On another topic, there has been quite a few postings of late regarding plants
growing in hard water vs. soft water.  The impression I get is that there are
people out there successfully growing most of the plants that are commonly kept in
the hobby in water conditions varying from very soft to very hard.  Well, here is
my question.  I live in an area with very hard water (350 ppm per Aquarium
Pharmaceuticals test).  Of course with water this hard, we have a water softener
in the house which produces water with a reading of 20ppm per the same Aq. Pharm.
test.  It is an ion exchange softener so my understanding is that basically the
calcium and magnesium ions in the hard water are exchanged with sodium ions.  Now
by mixing the softened water with hard water I can come up with a hardness of any
reading I like between these two extremes.  In the one 20G aquarium I have set up
right now I have done just this to get a reading of 130 ppm.  My question is how
is the sodium going to affect the plants?  Are they going to notice or even care
that the sodium is there?  I know many use RO systems to deal with similar
situations, but is it really necessary?


Jay Bickford
In Coooooold (Burrrr!!) Savage MN.
Where the forecast low for tonight is -8 F.