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[APD] Re: RO/DI setup vs. CO2 setup

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?

For 1, yes, test kits can and do go bad. I'm especially cautious with the "hobby grade" test kits since I've had bad luck with them in the past. I use mostly Lamotte kits now and have found them to be more stable over time, and their results are reproducible. First thing to do is probably try a new test kit since that's going to be cheaper than an RO/DI setup. If you're on a municipal water system, you should be able to get some info from your water supplier about the water chemistry that you can use as a reference.

For 2, I'm not entirely sure. You'll get some other responses on this one I'm sure that will be helpful. Many have luck growing plants in hard water, but they still use CO2 in most cases. Read some of Tom Barr's hard water related posts from the past year or so.


***************************** Waveform Technology UNIX Systems Administrator

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