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Water Quality
Various components of water quality in a saltwater aquarium
9
Chemistry
Undergraduate 1
10/28/2019

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Term
Alkalinity
Definition

The carbonate composition of the water, determined by the measurement of the amount of acid (H+) required to neutralize the carbonate ions (CO3and HCO3-) in the water

 

The ability of the water to buffer acids and maintain pH

Term
Salinity
Definition

Measured in parts per thousand, or specific gravity.

- Natural seawater = 34-35ppt/SG of 1.025 - 1.026

Term
pH
Definition

The "Power of Hydrogen"

Measure of H+ and OH- ions

Logarithmic scale 1-10

Influenced by salinity, temp, respiration, natural cycles

Term
Hardness
Definition

The total amount of minerals dissolved in water

- Saltwater is "hard"

- Freshwater is "soft"

Term
Carbonate Hardness
Definition

The amount of COand HCO3 in the water

Measured in dKH, ppm CaCO3, or meq/L

Term
Oxygen
Definition

Measured as "dissolved oxygen" in %, ppm, or mg/L

Decreases as temp and salinity increase

Aerobic = O2, Anaerobic = low O2, Anoxic = no O2 

Term
Nitrogen
Definition

N= dissolved gas

NH3 = Ammonia

NH4+ = Ammonium (toxic at >0.05ppm)

NO2 = Nitrite (toxic at >0.05ppm)

NO3 = Nitrate (toxic at >25ppm)

Term
Nitrogen Cycle
Definition

Food enters fish

Fish produces waste

Waste + Heterotrophic bacteria (Nitrosomonas) → NH3

NH3 + Nitrifying bacteria (Nitrobacter) → NO2

NO2 + nitrifying bacteria → NO3

NO3 + De-nitrifying bacteria → N2 

Term
The Seven Salts of Saltwater
Definition

Sodium Chloride (NaCl)

Magnesium Chloride (MgCl2)

Magnesium Sulfate (MgSO4)

Potassium Sulfate (KSO4)

Calcium Sulfate (CaSO4)

Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3)

Potassium/Sodium Bromide (KBr or NaBr)

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