Water chemistry

Temperature [°C]

potential of Hydrogen [pH]

pH is a measure of H+ ions in solution. It is defined as the negative decimal logarithm of H+ ions in solution.

pH = -log10[H+]

A pH value of below 7 is acidic, and indicates a high concentration of H+ ions; whereas a pH value of above 7 is alkaline, and indicates a low concentration of H+ ions.

Different species of shrimp can adapt to different ranges of pH, corresponding with the pH of their natural environment. It is therefore important to provide a suitable pH for the species in order to have healthy shrimp. However, I personally believe it is more important to provide a stable pH, as fluctuations in pH cause great stress to the shrimp.

degrees of Carbonate Hardness [°KH]

KH is the solution’s ability to maintain a stable pH when an acid (H+ ions) is added. Therefore, it can also be described as a measure of the solution’s composition of bicarbonate (HCO3), carbonate (CO32-) and hydroxyl (OH) ions; as these ions readily react with added H+ ions and prevent them from decreasing the pH value.

Different species of shrimp can adapt to different ranges of KH, corresponding with the KH of their natural environment. It is therefore important to provide a suitable KH for the species in order to have healthy shrimp. Water with lower KH values are generally more susceptible to pH fluctations. The need to provide a stable pH often conflicts with the KH of the shrimp’s natural environment, and so a compromise must be established. Of course, the shrimp will naturally occur in water where the sheer volume prevents any significant pH changes. As aquaria have far smaller volumes of water, pH fluctuations can become a problem.

degrees of General Hardness [°GH]

dGH is a measure of concentration of magnesium and calcium cations (Ca2+, Mg2+) in solution.

Shrimp can generally tolerate a wide range of dGH, and so in my opinion action should only be taken if the dGH value is dramatically different to the dGH of the shrimp’s natural environment.

Total Dissolved Solids [ppm]

Electrical Conductivity [μS]

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