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[APD] RO/DI setup vs. CO2 setup


I am just setting up my first planted tank. I have a few questions about which purchase would provide the best value for me and my future plants.

The area where I live in St. Louis, MO has very hard water (high GH) also the pH tends to run around 8.0. I have adjusted the pH down to neutral, with SeaChem Discus Buffer. But, the water is so hard that I have been able to get an accurate reading with my test kit. The vial fills up before the endpoint is reached.

So, my questions are as follows:
1) Does a test kit go "bad?"
2) Would a RO/DI filter be a better purchase for the long-run than a CO2 setup?

Eventually, I plan to have both, but which would you purchase first?

Thanks in advance,
 Bryan Koen
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