I went to PetCo yesterday to get my wellwater tested for GH (I'm pondering shrimp, needed to know how much to dilute my obviously hard wellwater with RO, but my GH kit had expired). So I asked the employee whether they test water, she said yes. I said I didn't need a full 'panel' just GH because my water is very hard and I just want to know by how much I will need to dilute it. She said to me "Oh you can just add some salt." The shock in my brain must have appeared on my face, because she she then said "Oh it's not hard, you just fill an old yogurt cup with salt then jab a bunch of holes in the lid and put it in your tank." Kind of an ion exchange softener...without the ion exchange resin?! I didn't know what to say to something so insane, all I could muster was to clarify "This is what you recommend to people with hard water?" She said yes. I said I'd have to try that someday, but for now I'm just looking to put an exact number on my GH. So she took my water sample and, to her credit, having known my desire for a specific value, brought the test to show me the results. Rather than getting an exact number, it was a dipstick with the very 'precise' range "soft, medium, hard, very hard" and my sample was off the scale. So I just thanked her and asked for my jar back (I had brought a pint of water) but she had dumped out my remaining water so I couldn't even head over to the other side of town to the more competent place, where I should have gone in the first place. But I hear it's a great place for dry goods!