Water Parameters – Environmental Indicators

by Jun 20, 2020

In this 5-parts series of articles, we will be discussing all the Environmental Indicators of Water Parameters, from the acidity and basicity of water (pH), Temperature, Dissolved Carbon Dioxide, Chlorine and Chloramines, and TDS (Total Dissolved Solids).


pH is the measure of the acidity and basicity of your water. The range goes from 0 to 14, with 7 as neutral. pH lower than 7 indicate acidity, and pH greater than 7 indicate basic or alkaline water. Like the Richter scale used to measure earthquakes, the pH scale is logarithmic, so a pH of 5.5 is ten times more acidic than a pH of 6.5.


We will not over-complicate this. Temperature is simply just the measure of how much heat is in the water, hot or cold. But too big fluctuating temperatures will have bad effects on your faunas and plants in our planted aquarium.

Dissolved Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide is naturally produced in our planted aquariums, even if you are not injecting CO2. When beneficial bacteria break down the wastes in our tank, and when faunas respire, CO2 is produced. While carbon dioxide accumulates during lights off, it will quickly be depleted by your plants at the start of lights on.

Chlorine and Chloramine

If you are sourcing your aquarium water from a commercial water system (tap water), that water should be treated to ensure it is safe for human consumption. The water is cleaned and filtered, then add chemicals to prevent anything harmful from developing in the water while traversing the pipes leading to our homes.

TDS (Total Dissolved Solids)

TDS is the measure of all dissolved organic and inorganic solid substances in your water. However, tests of this water parameter don’t say what comprises your TDS. It measures the total of all molecular, ionized, and any microscopic substances in our water that cannot be caught by your filtration.

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