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Water Conditions

Water Conditions

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Published by joshigauta

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Published by: joshigauta on May 03, 2011
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Water conditions
Thesolutecontent of water is perhaps the most important aspectof water conditions, astotal dissolved solidsand other constituents can dramatically impact basic water chemistry, andtherefore how organisms are able to interact with their environment. Salt content, or salinity, is the most basicclassification of water conditions. An aquarium may havefreshwater (salinity below 0.5PPT), simulating a lake or river environment;brackish water (a salt level of 0.5 to 30PPT),simulating environments lying between fresh and salt, such asestuaries; and salt water or seawater (a salt level of 30 to 40PPT), simulating an ocean or sea environment. Rarely, evenhigher salt concentrations are maintained in specialized tanks for raising brine organisms.
 
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Several other water characteristics result from dissolved contents of thewater, and are important to the proper simulation of naturalenvironments. ThepHof the water is a measure of the degree to whichit isalkalineor acidic. Saltwater is typically alkaline, while the pH of fresh water varies more. Hardness measures overall dissolved mineralcontent;hard or soft water may be preferred. Hard water is usuallyalkaline, while soft water is usually neutral to acidic.[5]Dissolved organiccontentand dissolved gases content are also important factors.
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Home aquarists typically use modified tap water supplied through their localwater supply networkto fill their tanks. Because of thechlorine used todisinfectdrinking water supplies for human consumption,straight tap water cannot be used. In the past, it was possible to"condition" the water by simply letting the water stand for a day or two,which allows thechlorinetime to dissipate.[5]However,chloramineis now used more often as it is much stabler and will not leave the water asreadily. Additives formulated to remove chlorine or chloramine are oftenall that is needed to make the water ready for aquarium use. Brackish or saltwater aquaria require the addition of a mixture of salts and other minerals, which are commercially available for this purpose.
 
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ore sophisticated aquarists may make other modifications to their basewater source to modify the water's alkalinity, hardness, or dissolvedcontent of organics and gases, before adding it to their aquaria. This canbe accomplished by a range of different additives, such as sodiumbicarbonate to raise pH.[5]Some aquarists will evenfilter or purify their  water prior to adding it to their aquarium. There are two processes usedfor that:deionizationor reverse osmosis. In contrast, public aquaria with large water needs often locate themselves near a natural water source(such as a river, lake, or ocean) in order to have easy access to a largevolume of water that does not require much further treatment.
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Thetemperatureof the water forms the basis of one of the two most basicaquarium classifications:tropicalvs.cold water .
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ost fish and plantspecies tolerate only a limited range of water temperatures: Tropical or warm water aquaria, with an average temperature of about 25°C (77°F),are much more common, andtropical fishare among the most popular aquarium denizens. Cold water aquaria are those with temperatures belowwhat would be considered tropical; a variety of fish are better suited to thiscooler environment.
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ore importantly than the temperature range itself isthe consistency in temperature; most organisms are not accustomed tosudden changes in temperatures, which could cause shock and lead todisease.[5]Water temperature can be regulated with a combinedthermometer and heater unit (or, more rarely, with a cooling unit).

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