Salinity Refractometer

By · Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Salinity Refractometer

Many new fans were confused and in trouble with the water chemistry. It is one of the most important things for the right to maintain a water tank salt. In this article I will explain what should be measured, and in the correct order to check.

Salinity. Must be the most important, for the simple reason that without it all going to die. It is necessary to aim at a salinity of 1.025. I recommend using a refractometer. I try to avoid using a hydrometer rocker, these are inaccurate. The refractometer will give really accurate results and compensate the reading of water temperature, which are really easy to use. They can be a little expensive but worth every penny.

Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Check these in order. You really only need to verify the ammonia and nitrite in a newly established aquarium. These will go to zero after the nitrogen cycle. Then you just need to check if nitrates. Nitrate is the end product of the nitrogen cycle. It is recommended that nitrates should be kept below 0.5 ppm, although many reef inhabitants will tolerate a little more. The easiest way to keep down the nitrates is to continue with routine water changes. It is not unusual to be able to run a mature aquarium with zero nitrates.

Phosphates. If you have a high phosphate living corals are dying. Small amounts will be tolerated by most of the corals. This is one of the unwanted chemicals to get rid of it easier. All you need is a good as Rowaphos. This can be placed in a filter sock and hung direct flow in your tank or sump. Although expensive, is very effective. This medium is absorbed phosphates until it is full. Then you have to replace. Controls for phosphates should be done with other routine water controls.

Magnesium, alkalinity and calcium. I put these together because they must be verified in this order, since they affect each other, and have not been assessed and rectified in this order, you will cause major problems.

Magnesium helps maintain the balance of alkalinity and calcium, without it would be very difficult to maintain the alkalinity and calcium at the required level. You should aim to maintain magnesium between 1300 and 1500ppm. Many objective Amateur during 1350ppm, this is the amount found in natural seawater.

Alkalinity or carbonate hardness should be between 7dKH and 10dKH. I would recommend the goal at least 8 though. This can be increased by using a tampon.

Calcium is needed to help hard corals build their skeletons, they should aim to 400 ppm. Without this the hard corals can not create a skeleton, as we need calcium to give bones and teeth. The same applies to the hard corals and many of the Reef invertebrates in our aquariums. Additives can be used to increase calcium.

PH. Many hobbyists recommend checking this, but I've heard Many fans do not. Changes in pH and is affected by constant light, oxygen, magnesium, alkalinity and calcium, and so the results may be different each time. If you will check pH, available at the same time of day to get consistent results. All other parameters can be found in the above order while leaving PH the end.

A word about dosage. If the parameters are out and the need for adjustment, not panic. recommend adding additives in the order listed in this article, but very slowly. Do not hurry, read the instructions additives. If you just go too far to make a change and water verification. If it still remains high conducting additional water changes. Remember that corals, fish and invertebrates are sensitive animals and rapid changes intensity will destroy.

There are many other parameters that can be checked and dosed, but these can get very confusing and difficult to check for. I will continue these Articles on my blog covering more of these parameters including Strontium, Iodine, Iodide and any other I am able to research.

Adjusting Salinity for a Water Sample

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