Tests for measuring aquarium water

The health of our fish needs to be taken care of not only when they get sick, but also when they feel good. It is known that much depends on the quality of aquarium water, so the purpose of our article will be to talk about what tests are available to study the parameters of water and how to use them.

There are a lot of tests on the market for aquarium water from well-known manufacturers such as Tetra, Sera, Aquarium Pharmaceuticals and others, but we will take the optimal option for each aquarist - an inexpensive, convenient and easy-to-use NILPA test from NevaTropic. In each package you will be able to find everything necessary for measuring: instructions, indicators and necessary equipment. By following the instructions, you can quickly and accurately find out certain indicators of water in your aquarium.

Interesting and necessary about aquarium water parameters you can find HERE

So we have at our disposal 5 types of tests that will allow us to evaluate the quality of water:

  • gH - test for measuring the total water stiffness of the aquarium
  • pH - acidity test in aquarium
  • NH3/NH4 + (ammonia/ammonium) - ammonia and ammonium measurement test
  • NO2- (Nitrite) Nitrite Measurement Test
  • NO3- (Nitrate) Nitrate Measurement Test

Stiffness is a characteristic of water due to the content of calcium and magnesium ions in it. There are constant stiffness gH (stiffness of water, which remains after an hour of boiling) and temporary stiffness kH. The total stiffness of the water is the sum of gH and kH. In our case, we consider constant water stiffness. What is it for: aquarium fish, mollusks, plants are very sensitive to
this indicator. The activity of sperm in milk depends on stiffness
male fish, as well as the development of fertilized caviar. In addition, some species of fish
feel good in water with low stiffness, others
prefer water with a high indicator. Plants can also suffer from
unsuitable water, and even die. With regard to cockerels, the recommended level of hardness of water for maintenance and dilution should be within 5-15 °. If you have too hard or too soft water, then you need to align its value with the recommended ones. This can be done on your own or you can buy the necessary air conditioners for water.

The pH is the acidity level of the water. By measuring it, it is possible to determine whether the water in the aquarium is acidic, neutral, or alkaline. To successfully maintain and breed aquarium fish, neutral, very slightly acidic and very slightly alkaline water should be used. Tap water has an acidity level of about 7-8. Water acidity levels at a temperature of 25 ° C: a strong acid is water whose acidity level is 1-3, acidic - 3-5, slightly acidic - 5-6, very slightly acidic - 6-7, neutral - 7, very slightly alkaline - 7-8, alkaline - 9-10 and strongly alkaline, if the level is 10-14. The recommended level of acidity for the content and dilution of roosters is 6-7.5. In order to change this indicator in one direction or another, there are several simple ways: you can increase the acidity of water in the aquarium by using enhanced aeration around the clock, and lower it by placing corals, shells and other materials that contain calcium (natural) in the aquarium.

As a result of the vital activity of fish, the decomposition of the remains of feed, plants and excrement, ammonia (NH3) is formed in the water. Ammonia dissolves well in water and is very toxic at high concentrations. It makes breathing impossible. Fish feel an ammonia concentration in water of 0.2 mg/liter, and a concentration of 1 mg/liter for most aquarium fish is already deadly. Ammonia, interacting with water molecules, forms ammonium (NH4), which is less toxic, but nevertheless also dangerous for fish and plants. Ammonium ions are oxidized in water to nitrite ions (NO2-) and then to nitrate ions (NO3-). It should be borne in mind that the concentration of ammonia and ammonium in water depends on the acidity of the water. Ammonia is practically absent in acidic water. Ammonia is present in neutral and slightly alkaline water, and in alkaline water its concentration can increase significantly. Therefore, neutral and very low acid water (6-7) will be safer for fish in terms of ammonia and ammonium content. To correct the situation with a high content of ammonia and ammonium in the water, it is necessary to monitor the purity in the aquarium, siphon the soil and make frequent partial water replacements. There are also specially designed means for neutralizing the effects of harmful substances (for example, Sera Toxivec, Sera Nitrivec and Sera Aquatan).

Here is what you can briefly talk about water parameters, how to measure and adjust them, as well as the fact that all indicators are strongly interconnected, so it is necessary to carefully monitor the state of the water in the aquarium. Over time, with experience and an increase in professionalism, this can be done less often, and for beginners and amateurs it is recommended to make measurements once a week. This will save you from trouble in the form of diseases and even the death of your favorites, and they will delight you with their good health and appearance.