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RO recon

Questions for the grocery store chemists:

I found the 600mg calcium carbonate pills, but they are far from pure.  Fillers include
gelatin, artificial colors, mineral oil, polysorbate 80, etc.  Is this what everyone is
using, or is there purer stuff out there?

The magnesium sulfate lists “laxative” as its second best use (after soothing soak for
sprained joints), so it’s probably a good idea not to overdose there!

I found reduced-sodium salt (50:50), but no pure potassium chloride.  Is this product
common, or perhaps only in dietetic stores?

Is any one buying these chemicals in pure form from lab supply companies, and if so, is
there one out there that's affordable?

A couple more questions arising from the Neil Frank April 7, 1997 APD article:

> Concentrations Resulting from Trace Element Powders.
> A trace element mixture contains many different elements. The labels usually
> indicate their composition in terms of their percentage by weight. For
> example, PP Ltd trace element powder has 6 different nutrient trace elements
> as presented below.

what is this product?  is it widely used?  effective?

> General hardness considers both permanent hardness caused by
> all calcium and magnesium compounds including their sulfates and chlorides
> and temporary or carbonate hardness based on  the carbonates.  Strictly
> speaking,  GH is always greater than or equal to KH. However, since KH is
> measured as a bicarbonate, one can appear to have KH without any Calcium or
> Magnesium in solution.

this is really escaping me.  I thought KH could be increased independently of and far above
GH just by adding sodium bicarb.  someone who understands?  ...

Kevin Zippel
Department of Herpetology
WCS/Bronx Zoo
Bronx, NY 10460
(718) 220 8683 or 5042