Understanding Parameter




We understand that many of our customers move over to marine from the freshwater hobby. For those individuals, it is vital to acknowledge that unlike freshwater aquariums, marine systems have a lot more crucial parameters that need to be monitored accurately. Additionally, without having a moderate understanding of them, you may potentially have a hard time fixing problems in your system.

Below are details of each water parameter, what makes them important to monitor, and what/how they affect your system. Each set of details is specific to that parameter, but overall, when these parameters are not where they should be, they all have one common affect. Stress!

All with varying degrees, ranging from enough stress to kill something quite quickly, to a small amount of stress that is just enough to halt growth or even make some livestock more susceptible to diseases and infections.

The goal with this page is to help our customers get a better understanding of the major parameters we test for them, from the start, and avoid making the same mistakes a lot of hobbyists make early on. This will address each parameter in all our test packages and if you decide to read it all, you will be able to take action upon your test results much more easily and keep your system having pristine water conditions.

This page should answer the key questions that most of our new customers have or even those new to marine fishkeeping in general:

  • What the parameter is
  • Why the water parameter is important and what impacts that parameter has on your tank.
  • What parameter values you should try to aim for, and why.
  • What the Importance of each value at certain stages, understanding the values and what they mean
  • What to do if your parameter results are outside the recommended ranges

     


    Salinity:

    What the Parameter is

    It is simply a test for how much salt is in the water. More scientifically, it’s the concentration of sodium chloride in the water.

    Why the Parameter is Important

    With salinity, it is not only important to make sure it is within the benchmark, but also it is just as important to maintain as close to a constant value as possible. Salinity’s importance in your system is related to osmosis and each livestock’s ability to regulate ions. Therefore, it is best to keep the Salinity in the optimal range for the livestock you are trying to keep, and maintain this salinity as best as possible. Keeping the tank outside of that range creates stress on your tank’s inhabitants, which leads to illness, infections, or even death.

    One common mistake/oversight made early on in this hobby relates to evaporation and it’s affect on the tank’s salinity. Water evaporates from the system. But that’s it. Only the water (pure H20) is evaporating. When this happens, the amount of salt (and other chemicals) in the tank remains the same. Only now the volume of water is smaller, which means their concentrations are higher.

    This means, to maintain a stable salinity value, this evaporate water needs to be replaced in the system. This is referred to as topping off. The idea is, if your tank evaporates about 2 litres per day, then 2litres of RO water needs to be added to the tank to keep the salinity (as well as other parameters) at the same value.

    The more frequent the topping off, the more STABLE the salinity will be. With the example above, if you topped off once a week, you would need to add 14litres of RO. If you did this all at once, this would more than likely be a shock to the system, causing potential stress on the inhabitants. Topping off once a day is a common practice and for most system sizes. Some people even install top off systems that constantly replace evaporated water throughout the day. This type of topping off is the most ideal, and provides the most stability when it comes to salinity.

    What Parameter Value you Should Aim For

    Recommended Benchmark: 1.022 – 1.026

    The salinity in the natural reefs can vary from region to region. But the most common value found is about 1.025. Again, there are arguments for higher as well as lower salinities. Most seem to recommend aiming for the same levels as the reefs. Anything in the range of 1.022-1.026 will do just fine for most livestock. Again, research the specimens your planning on keeping, and find out what their preferred salinity is, and aim for that.

    What The Parameter Value Means

    The 1.025 sg value stands for Specific Gravity. Specific gravity is not so much a measure in units, as it is a measure of density as compared against pure water. Pure water has a Specific Gravity (density) of 1.0. sg is a quick way to estimate the salt content of your water. The value is intended to give you a measure of the concentration of the salt content of the water.

    One common mistake made early on, is not taking into consideration the affect temperature has on salinity. Since temperature will make the water expand/contract, as a result, this will affect the density of the saltwater.

    How to Adjust your Parameter into the Value Benchmarks

    For Salinity, it is pretty easy to adjust. If your value is below 1.023 then simply mix some salt up with RO and add it to the system until the desired level is reached. Additionally, if your Salinity is higher than 1.026 you can add RO to your system and bring it down.


    pH:

    What the Parameter is

    The pH value is a measurement of how acidic or base (opposite of acidic) the solution being tested is. Specifically, this is in comparison to pure water (H20), which is neutral, and has a pH of 7.0 (at 25C).

    Why the Parameter is Important

    pH  is an extremely important parameter in saltwater tanks, as it affects a lot of different chemical reactions/factors in the tank, and ultimately every livestock in it.

    The most obvious affect is just the various livestock ability to withstand a certain acidity or baseness. If the water is too acidic, or too base, it can burn them. But that’s more at the extreme ends of the spectrum. In the middle though, slightly incorrect pH can still have profound affects on the system.

    The pH of the water affects chemical reactions that can take place in that water. Some of these chemical reactions are necessary in the tank, and some of them can be detrimental. The idea is to get the pH in the right range of the tank that promotes the good chemical reactions, and stops the bad ones.

    A GOOD chemical reaction that we try to strive for in our tanks is Calcification. This is animals in your tank growing skeletons, by pulling calcium out of the water. We want our livestock to grow, and if the pH is outside the optimal range, this can either become difficult, or even impossible.

    A BAD chemical reaction that can happen when outside the optimal range is that certain key metals/elements in the tank can become toxic, as they take on different chemical characteristics. Also, if the pH is low enough, DE-calcification can actually occur. Which basically means skeletal mass will start to actually dissolve in the water.

    In general, think of pH as the tank’s ability to promote or stop various chemical reactions from taking place.

    What Parameter Value you Should Aim For

    Recommended Benchmark: 8 – 8.3

    Generally, anything from 8 to 8.4 is tolerable. Yet once again, the more important thing here is consistency.

    In an established tank, from the time the lights come on until the lights shut off, the pH should rise gradually. Without getting to specific, this is due to photosynthesis. Algae and other photosynthetic organisms in the tank begin processing the light. As part of the photosynthesis process, CO2 (carbon dioxide) is consumed and oxygen is released into the water. This CO2 being consumed (reducing overall CO2 levels) causes the pH to rise.

    Sometimes many aquarists find that their pH continuously stays low and they have a tremendously hard time keeping it up. The most common reason for this is poor circulation around the tank.

    What The Parameter Value Means

    As stated, pH is the measurement of how acidic or base a solution is, relative to pure water. pH values greater than 7 mean that the solution is more base than pure water, while pH values lower than 7 mean that it’s more acidic than water. The farther away from neutral (ph of 7) the value is, the more acidic or base that solution is.

    It is important to note that the pH scale is logarithmic. This means that each whole number difference in pH represents in increase in the acidic/baseness by 10 times as much.

    How to Adjust your Parameter into the Value Benchmarks

    Before taking the steps to raise or lower your pH, make sure you are certain beforehand. Always send us a few water samples and receive the range of results beforehand. The most likely explanation for a fall in pH is an excess of carbon dioxide, usually in the water itself, but sometimes in the air in the room housing your tank. Send us a sample to test pH, then add an airstone to your aquarium and send us another sample. If the pH went up, your aquarium does indeed have too much carbon dioxide; if the pH dropped further, the room contains too much carbon dioxide, which is preventing adequate aeration at the water’s surface, where it interacts with the air. This can happen in small or closed-off spaces.

    It’s likely the airstone test points to too much carbon dioxide in the water. First, clean out your protein skimmer and make sure it’s working right, because it should help keep carbon dioxide levels down unless it’s gone screwy. (An upgrade to a more efficient model could help too.) Increase the aeration in your tank to displace more carbon dioxide with more oxygen. Keep the airstone in, or try a bubble wand, fountain, or other aerating device. You could also add a calcium hydroxide solution to the water. Follow the product’s directions. If you determine there’s too much carbon dioxide in the room where you keep your tank, you have two options: relocate it or increase oxygen circulation in the room by opening a window or using fans to circulate air from the rest of the house.

    Sodium bicarbonate—more familiarly known as baking soda—can raise the pH in your saltwater aquarium. Use this method if your airstone test didn’t raise or lower the pH and excess carbon dioxide isn’t your problem. Start by preparing a partial water change just as you would as part of your normal tank maintenance. Replace one gallon of water for every 20 in the tank. Measure out one teaspoon of baking soda for each replacement gallon and mix it in. Remember, teaspoons are leveled, not the largest mound you can precariously pile up. Over the course of an hour, add in the treated replacement water little by little. If necessary, repeat this pH fix again the next day.


     Ammonia:

    What the Parameter is

    Chemically, it’s NH3. Basically, it’s the amount of fresh wastes in your system. Wastes like excess food, fish poo, dead livestock, etc go through various stages as they break down. Ammonia is a main chemical created during the first stages of waste breakdown.

    Why the Parameter is Important

    Ammonia is very toxic to most animals that we try and keep (fish, inverts, corals, etc). Ammonia is toxic to pretty much anything but certain bacteria. With fish, for example, ammonia in the water will actually burn the fish’s gills and eventually result in death.

    That said, Ammonia, in truth, is almost always present in a tank with any life in it. But, there are bacteria that consume ammonia. The key here is to get just the right population of those bacteria that can consume the amount of ammonia that’s being produced in the tank. If it’s consumed at a rate equal to the amount that’s being produced, it’s not in the water column long enough or in large enough quantities to cause any of the animals any harm. This is part of the Nitrogen Cycle that we all must go through when we first set up our systems. The idea being to allow populations of these ammonia consuming bacteria to reach an equilibrium.

    What Parameter Value you Should Aim For

    Recommended Benchmark: 0 ppt

    Plain and simple, 0 ppt at all times. As I mentioned before, there is constantly ammonia being produced in the tank. However, it should be consumed at a rate equal to how fast it’s being produced. As a result, an established tank should have 0 readable ammonia levels.

    What The Parameter Value Means

    The test’s value will simply tell you how much detectable ammonia is contained in the water. The values for ammonia are commonly given as ppt which means parts per thousand. This means if you broke down the water into all its parts, for every thousand of those parts, this value is how many of those parts would be ammonia.

    How to Adjust your Parameter into the Value Benchmarks

    In order to bring your ammonia level down to 0 ppt you must do water changes. You can do small and frequent water changes until ammonia is back to 0, or if it still does not go down you may need to do larger water changes.


    Nitrites:

    What the Parameter is

    There are bacteria that process (consume) ammonia. During this process, those bacteria give off/create nitrites. It is the 2nd stage of waste breakdown. Nitrites are also toxic to most marine life.

    Chemically, it’s described as N02-

    Why the Parameter is Important

    Nitrites affect your system in much the same way Ammonia does. It’s a different chemical, but the effects are still the same. It’s poisonous to the livestock in the tank. Nitrites are the byproduct of the bacteria that are consuming/processing the Ammonia. Again, the goal is to reach equilibrium with nitrites being produced at the rate they are being consumed by bacteria.

    What Parameter Value you Should Aim For

    Recommended Benchmark: 0 ppt

    Same as Ammonia, for all the same reasons. The goal is 0 detectable nitrites. Any more than 0 readable nitrites can be toxic.

    What The Parameter Value Means

    Simply put, the values tell you how much Nitrite is contained in the water. The values for nitrites are commonly given as ppt which means parts per thousand. This means if you broke down the water into all its parts, for every thousand of those parts, this value is how many of those would be Nitrites.

    How to Adjust your Parameter into the Value Benchmarks

    In order to bring your nitrite level down to 0 ppt you must do water changes. You can do small and frequent water changes until ammonia is back to 0, or if it still does not go down you may need to do larger water changes.


    Nitrates:

    What the Parameter is

    Easiest to think of as the 3rd stage of waste breakdown. Again, there are bacteria that process (consume) nitrites. During this process, those bacteria give off/create nitrates. Nitrates at high levels, CAN be toxic to the majority of marine life, however, since it’s not nearly as toxic as ammonia or nitrites, nitrates can be present at lower levels, and still support most marine livestock. Ideally though, the lower the nitrate levels, the less stressful the environment is for the majority of the livestock we want to keep.

    Chemically, it’s described as N03-

    Why the Parameter is Important

    It’s a similar concept as with ammonia and nitrites, but a different chemical. The bacteria that consume nitrites produce nitrates as a by-product. The effect of nitrates though, on most inhabitants is less severe, and at small enough concentrations it can be harmless. But at high enough concentrations, the affects can be much the same as ammonia and nitrites. This means stress to the tank’s inhabitants, and even death.

    In a lot of beginner books, the Nitrogen cycle explanations tend to stop here. However, there is one more step in the cycle. There are bacteria that consume nitrates and as a byproduct, produce nitrogen gas. This nitrogen gas forms bubbles, and eventually floats up and out of the water. However, the specific species of bacteria that do this only thrive in areas of the tank with very little or NO oxygen (called anoxic areas). This can be really deep inside your live rock or at the very bottom parts of a deep sand bed. It is for this reason that deep sand beds and tanks with larger/denser pieces of Live Rock are very good at keeping your nitrate levels very low.

    What Parameter Value you Should Aim For

    Recommended Benchmark: 0 – 5 ppm

    Ideally, you want 0 detectable nitrates. However, most livestock can handle anything under 20ppm, fish especially. Corals however, can be less hardy. Some corals like softies and most LPS can not only deal with 20ppm or less, but are rumored to prefer these levels. But the less hardy corals (like SPS’s) will do much better as you get closer to 0.

    What The Parameter Value Means

    Simply put, the values tell you how much Nitrate is contained in the water. The values for nitrates are commonly given as ppt which means parts per thousand. This means if you broke down the water into all its parts, for every thousand of those parts, this value is how many of those would be Nitrates.

    How to Adjust your Parameter into the Value Benchmarks

    In order to bring your nitrate level down to 0 ppt you must do water changes. You can do small and frequent water changes until ammonia is back to 0, or if it still does not go down you may need to do larger water changes.


    Phosphates:

    What the Parameter is

    A measure of how much Phosphate (PO4) is in the water.

    Why the Parameter is Important

    Phosphates are fuel for algae. High phosphate values will end up meaning large algae growth. High phosphate content also can impede calcification (skeleton building). Phosphates do not really affect fish and inverts, and are mainly of concern when having problems controlling algae, or getting good coral growth.

    What Parameter Value you Should Aim For

    Recommended Benchmark: 0 – 0.05 ppm

    Phosphate values as close to zero as possible are ideal. Phosphate is always present in the tank though. It’s simply a matter of keeping these values as low as possible. The main problem with monitoring phosphate levels is that the majority of phosphate in your tank are consumed by the algae, and therefore are bound into the actual algae itself. So removing the algae whilst doing water changes, is always a good method to go by to reduce phosphate levels.

    What The Parameter Value Means

    Measured in ppm (meaning parts per million) and is a unit of measure and means how much phosphate is contained in the solution.

    How to Adjust your Parameter into the Value Benchmarks

    In order to bring your phosphate value down you must do water changes. You can do small and frequent water changes until ammonia is back to low, or if it still does not go down you may need to do larger water changes. Additionally, some customers seek to use products such as RowaPhos to help absorb the phosphate levels and keep them down.


    Alkalinity:

    What the Parameter is

    (Related to pH) Scientifically, alkalinity is a measure of the acid neutralizing capacity of a solution. It is simply the measure of the ability of your tank’s water to hold its current pH levels as well as a measure of the amount of calcium carbonate (used in the process of building skeletal mass).

    The better your alkalinity value, the less likely you are to have pH swings. Alkalinity is also tightly related to Calcium levels. In the marine hobby, this value is almost always measured in terms of Carbonate Hardness, or KH.

    Why the Parameter is Important

    Bad alkalinity can allow rapidly shifting pH values which in turn will cause bad chemical reactions to take place in the tank. Additionally, it will also reduce the ability of the tank’s water to hold calcium as well as the livestock’s abilities to utilize that calcium in the water column.

    At balanced alkalinity level, corals can more easily pull the calcium they need from the water column, and as a result, can potentially grow faster. However, if the value departs from the benchmark, growth will be inhibited.

    What Parameter Value you Should Aim For

    Recommended Benchmark: 8 – 11

    Anything from 8-11 dKh is acceptable. As long as you’re in that range, you are providing a good environment for your tank’s livestock.

    Higher alkalinity values than that range, and you can run into problems with precipitation. Basically, this means your water can not hold anymore calcium carbonate (main compound that an alkalinity value is measuring). So, as a result, excess calcium carbonate starts to solidify. Lower values will cause instability in your tank’s pH level. This may result in constantly lower or higher pH readings. Or even worse, wild swings in the tank’s pH. This causes stress on all tank inhabitants leading to a slow demise, disease, and eventually death.

    What The Parameter Value Means

    dKh – means degrees of Carbonate hardness and are units of measure for alkalinity.

    How to Adjust your Parameter into the Value Benchmarks

    Balancing this parameter is not straight forward and calcium will also be involved when solving this issue. An article that explains this well is: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2002/11/chemistry


    Calcium:

    What the Parameter is

    It’s the amount of calcium (Ca) in the water.

    Why the Parameter is Important

    Calcium itself, is used by the animals in the tank mainly to expand their skeletons (i.e. grow). Calcium is also inversely tied into alkalinity. If calcium levels drop, alkalinity will normally rise, and vice versa. Balance of the two is the goal. Please review Alkalinity prior to reading this, as Alkalinity and Calcium are tightly related to each other.

    What Parameter Value you Should Aim For

    Recommended Benchmark: 350 – 450 ppm

    Anything in the range of 350-450 ppm is good. However, if you have more demanding corals such as SPS you will want to keep your calcium levels at the higher end of this range.

    What The Parameter Value Means

    Ppm means parts per million and is a unit of measure and means how much calcium is contained in the solution.

    How to Adjust your Parameter into the Value Benchmarks

    If you house demanding corals, you will find that they absorb a lot of your calcium rapidly and your levels will continuously fall. In order to keep these levels in the benchmark you can utilize calcium supplements and dose them every time your calcium falls below 350 ppm. Otherwise, you could include a calcium reactor into your system to help maintain levels.


    Magnesium:

    What the Parameter is

    The amount of magnesium (Mg) in the water.

    Why the Parameter is Important

    During calcification, occasionally, Magnesium can be chemically substituted for Calcium. This means higher Magnesium levels can allow more calcification (a.k.a. growth) to occur. There are side effects for extreme levels (too low, or too high).

    What Parameter Value you Should Aim For

    Recommended Benchmark: 1250-1350 ppm

    The BEST value for you Magnesium is roughly 3 times the amount of Calcium in your tank’s water. At these levels you should find your corals are obtaining the right amount of correct elements to fuel their growth.

    What The Parameter Value Means

    The values tell you the quantity of Magnesium in the water in parts per million. This means, if you broke down the water into a million pieces, how many of them would contain magnesium.

    How to Adjust your Parameter into the Value Benchmarks

    If you house demanding corals, you will find that they absorb a lot of your magnesium rapidly and your levels will continuously fall. In order to keep these levels in the benchmark you can utilize magnesium supplements and dose them every time your calcium falls below 350 ppm. Otherwise, you could include a magnesium reactor into your system to help maintain levels.

     


    Organics:

    What the Parameter is

    It’s just a measure of how much organic content there is in the water. Some organic compounds, such as phenolic/humic acids cannot be removed effectively by skimming, biological filtration or activated carbon. These compounds can become refractory (difficult to remove) and have a negative effect on the water quality.

    Why the Parameter is Important

    This test is usually seen as a great measure of how dirty the water is. The dirtier the water, the more harmful it can be for the tank. A high reading can be toxic to the creatures in your tank, as well as excess nutrients that can fuel pesky algae outbreaks.

    What Parameter Value you Should Aim For

    Recommended Benchmark: Low

    What The Parameter Value Means

    These values simply demonstrate the degree of pollution in your system. Low, medium or high.

    How to Adjust your Parameter into the Value Benchmarks

    In order to bring your organic value down you must do water changes. You can do small and frequent water changes until ammonia is back to low, or if it still does not go down you may need to do larger water changes. Or even adapt your filtration system and enhance it so more waste is being pulled out of your water.


    Iodine:

    What the Parameter is

    Iodine is a general term and actually is comprised of many types and parts [iodide (I), iodate (IO3), organic, inorganic, molecular iodine (I2), hypoiodite, etc].

    Why the Parameter is Important

    Iodine is a trace element found as a very small percentage of Seawater. It is used and produced by a variety of critters for a variety of reasons.

    What Parameter Value you Should Aim For

    Recommended Benchmark: 0.04- 0.06 ppm

    Iodine is found in Ocean water at values around 0.06ppm. Extremely high Iodine levels can lead to increased molting of crustaceans (thus shortening their life spans) and in general, can be toxic to your tanks inhabitants.

    What The Parameter Value Means

    Our Iodine test results are measured in ppm (parts per million).

    How to Adjust your Parameter into the Value Benchmarks

    Because it’s a trace element, it is better to leave maintenance of this parameter up to your frequent water changes. Because of how small a percentage of SW they make up, any manual tinkering can yield rather extreme shifts in these values. However, if you do need to increase it, supplements can be found in the market.


    Copper:

    What the Parameter is

    Copper has long time been used for treatment of aquarium algae, fish parasites, and snail eradication. This includes external treatment of freshwater and marine Ich, Oodinium, and fungus.

    Why the Parameter is Important

    A certain level of Copper concentration is required for an effective treatment, and is different depending on tank needs. These therapeutic levels can become toxic to other fish species and invertebrates in the tank. This is another reason why caution needs to be used with this treatment. Chronic use of Copper will affect fish health. Higher levels can damage fish gills and other body tissues. It has also been shown that there is a decrease in fish immunity, with chronic use.

    What Parameter Value you Should Aim For

    Recommended Benchmark: 0 ppt

    Here are some caution Copper levels to be aware of:

    • Dangerous level of copper for shrimps is 0.03 mg per litre.
    • Dangerous level of copper for algae and bacteria is 0.08 mg per litre.
    • Dangerous level of copper for some fish, snails and plants is 0.10 mg per litre.

    What The Parameter Value Means

    Our copper test results are measured in ppm (parts per million).

    How to Adjust your Parameter into the Value Benchmarks

    If you are using copper for medication then you can increase it by using a supplement and these are the desired levels:

    • .15-.20 ppm for Oodinium/Brooklynella (most freshwater applications)
    • .20-.25 ppm for Crytocaryon

    However, if you are looking to remove all copper from your system so it is safe for your livestock and you are getting your system back to normal then there are methods to remove it. High quality active Carbon will do the trick for removing Copper. You can place a separate filtration unit containing fresh, activated charcoal at the rate of 170 grams per 57 liters of water (about 0.375 lbs per 15 gallons) on a system to remove Copper. Once all the water has cycled through the carbon, test for free copper concentration. If Chelated Copper has been used, water changes will be necessary. Dolomite may also be used, if it is removed afterward.


    Strontium:

    What the Parameter is

    Strontium is very similar to calcium in terms of its benefits to the aquarium. Many organisms use strontium in the development of their skeletons. Its regular addition has been found to increase the growth rates in both hard corals and coralline algae.

    Why the Parameter is Important

    Strontium is a key component in coral and calcareous growth, it aids fast and healthy development. You may find that if calcium levels are low then so is strontium. Like all elements, it is naturally depleted and must be replenished.

    What Parameter Value you Should Aim For

    Recommended Benchmark: 8 – 14 ppm

    What The Parameter Value Means

    Our strontium test results are measured in ppm (parts per million).

    How to Adjust your Parameter into the Value Benchmarks

    We do not recommend that aquarists supplement strontium unless they have measured strontium and found it to be depleted to below 8 ppm. Measuring and supplementing strontium is not a critical activity for most aquarists. However, strontium is available in both liquid and powder form, and is also replenished with the use of a calcium reactor and water changes.


    Potassium:

    What the Parameter is

    Potassium is one of the major elements in seawater and natural levels are very similar to calcium levels, 390-410mg/liter. While not consumed as quickly as calcium, it is important to maintain appropriate levels to achieve ideal coral coloration and growth.

    Why the Parameter is Important

    Potassium is very important when you have more experienced corals such as SPS and clams. This is because low potassium can cause SPS to stop growing and become washed out.

    What Parameter Value you Should Aim For

    Recommended Benchmark: 380-410ppm

    What The Parameter Value Means

    Our potassium test results are measured in ppm (parts per million).

    How to Adjust your Parameter into the Value Benchmarks

    If you house demanding corals, you will find that they absorb a lot of your potassium and your levels will continuously fall. In order to keep these levels in the benchmark you can utilise potassium supplements and dose them every time your calcium falls below 380 ppm.


    Silicate:

    What the Parameter is

    Silicates are found in mains water, and can be transferred to your aquarium during water changes. They can cause algae growth and also block some vital trace elements.

    Why the Parameter is Important

    Silicate raises two issues. If diatoms are a problem in an established reef aquarium, they may indicate a substantial source of soluble silica, especially tap water. In that case, changing the filtration or updating your RO system will likely solve the problem.

    What Parameter Value you Should Aim For

    Recommended Benchmark: 0 – 2 ppm

    What The Parameter Value Means

    Our silicate test results are measured in ppm (parts per million).

    How to Adjust your Parameter into the Value Benchmarks

    If silicates build up, then usually this demonstrates a reverse osmosis or de ionising unit is not working properly. So it’s important to test regularly to keep an eye on this parameter so you can readily understand when it is wise to change out your RO filters.


    Oxygen:

    What the Parameter is

    Dissolved oxygen refers to the level of free, non-compound oxygen present in water. It is an important parameter in assessing water quality because of its influence on the organisms living within a body of water.

    Why the Parameter is Important

    A dissolved oxygen level that is too high or too low can harm aquatic life and affect water quality.

    What Parameter Value you Should Aim For

    Recommended Benchmark: 5 – 8 mg/l

    What The Parameter Value Means

    Mg/L – means milligrams per litre and means how much oxygen is contained in the solution.

    How to Adjust your Parameter into the Value Benchmarks

    If your oxygen level is lower than the recommended benchmark, there are a few things you can do to increase it back into safe levels for your livestock. Firstly, is increasing the flow in your system will help bring oxygen back into the water with the movement. Secondly, make sure your tank is not completely covered by a lid with no air holes, as this can restrict oxygen getting into the system. Lastly, you can always add an airstone into your aquarium which will directly enhance the oxygen in the water.