Is The K Of Potassium The Same K In Carbonate Hardness (kh)?

gray_matter16

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Is the periodic element letter K for potassium the same K in KH (carbonate hardness)? Meaning, if I add Seachem Alkaline Buffer, which increases alkalinity (KH) and pH, is that similar/same/completely different as dosing potassium from say- Seachem Flourish Potassium?

And vice versa: Will adding Seachem Flourish Potassium raise my tank's carbonate hardness (KH)?

From what I can tell (wiki definition), I would say no: Carbonate hardness, is a measure of the water hardness caused by the presence of carbonate (CO 2− 3) and bicarbonate (HCO − 3) anions.

But I'm no chemist so I still want to ask.
 

Chanyi

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Completely different, no connection between potassium and carbonate hardness.:

"Carbonate hardness is commonly referred to as KH. The ‘k’ is garnered from the German word for carbonate, which is karbonatharte"
 

PascalKrypt

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As Chanyi pointed out above the KH is actually an abbreviation of a german measurement (karbonatharte actually translates to carbon hardness). If it were written in English it would have been CH.

Interesting story actually. Potassium has the symbol K in the periodic table because its (medieval) latin name is Kalium (a name from which a lot of non-English modern languages derive their naming of the substance, like my own, making it a lot less confusing). The word Kalium itself is derived from an arabic word, Qali, which in term is related to the term Alkali - which as you would note, is eerily similar to our terms for Alkalinity (so the word kalium and the word alkaline are related). This probably has a lot to do with the fact that Potassium was originally won from minerals and can be found in relatively high concentrations in sea water (aka alkaline water contains a lot of potassium/kalium). It is not the potassium that makes the water alkaline, however, but the carbonate that the potassium is bound to (K2CO3) is what influences the KH value of the water.
 
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