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KI>I'm sorry for the stupid question but can anyone tell me how I know if I hav
KI>hard or soft water? Is hard/soft water determined by the PH?
First of all, no question is stupid. There are probably many more people
out there who are wondering the same thing.
Water hardness and pH are interrelated, but usually it's a coincidental
relationship. Hard water often has an alkaline pH (above7) and soft
water is often acid (pH below7).
Hardness is actually determined by the amount of dissolved minerals in
it. Test kits usually measure calcium and some other goodies (but not
iron and manganese, which are found in abundance in my well). Test
meters (I've heard Hanna's meter recommended highly on the list) test
the conductivity of the water.
Hard water usually leaves soap scum (aka the bathtub ring) behind it,
If you want to get an idea of the hardness of your water, I would
recommend that you invest in a test kit. At a minimum it should test for
general hardness (amount of dissolved minerals), carbonate hardness
(testing for calcium carbonate, a compound that buffers the water and
makes the pH more stable), and pH. Be willing to spend the money to get
a good one--as with much of our equipment (heaters come to mind) it's
worth it when you compare it to the cost of your fish.
Hope this helps.
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