water softener using potassium chloride - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-14-2004, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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water softener using potassium chloride

My home has a water softener; we use something called Nature's Own which I believe is pure potassium chloride. I mix softened water with unsoftened water to get a gh of 7 (1:1 ratio). I've been assuming that I do not need to dose potassium in my tank, that the softened water would have plenty.
Any thoughts? Because of my assumption I never bought a test kit for K, and I'd rather not if I don't have to, but I'm listening...
http://www.nasalt.com/products/water...naturesown.htm (the brand of softener I use)
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-14-2004, 08:06 PM
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The amount of potassium in your water depends on the amount of calcium and magnesium removed. If your feed water is really hard, then there will be lots of potassium in your softened water. I'll assume you got the water softener due to hard water - thus you will have lots of potassium. The calculation is not direct - but it is 2 moles of potassium added for every mole of calcium/magnesium removed.

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2g Mac-quarium. Clown gravel, fluorescent plastic plants, and 2 guppies.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-14-2004, 10:24 PM
 
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Is there any correlation between GH and Potassium level by any chance? Let say we put the water softener out of the equation, would hard water has higher potassium level normally ?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-15-2004, 12:36 PM
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Ninoboy:

The level of GH (hard water is defined as a high GH) depends only on those ions that precipitate with soap to make soap scum. In order of decreasing concentration in most tap water, this means: calcium, magnesium, iron (+3), manganese (+2). The concentrations of calcium and magnesium are much greater than the other two, so usually they are all we think about as far as the GH reading. A water softener has an ion exchange resin - the hard water ions attach to it, releasing K+ or Na+ to balance out the charge. When it is recharged, a brine (high KCl or NaCl conc solution) is flushed through it to remove the hard water ions and replace them with the K+ or Na+ for continued use.

Normal tap water will contain some potassium - again depending on the source, total dissolved solids, etc. It is impossible to say if hard water contains more potassium since hardness and potassium are totally separate things.

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72g bowfront planted, CO2, 4x - T5HO, Eheim 2213 and 2217, 2 angels, pristella tetras, blue tetras, betta, albino bristlenose pleco, albino cories. Sword, vals, hygros, ludwigias, java moss and fern, anubias

2g Mac-quarium. Clown gravel, fluorescent plastic plants, and 2 guppies.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-16-2004, 12:41 PM
 
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Ah, I see. Thanks for the explanation. Good to have someone with fresh chemistry knowledge here
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