Thursday, January 31, 2019

Analytical Procedure for Chemical Parameters of Water Estimation of pH

         pH values can be measured directly buy a pH paper or pH meter by dipping the pH paper or pH meter electrodes into the pond water. For rough estimation, pH paper method is easy and cheaper. Dip the pH paper in sample water and compare the changed colour with standard colour chart provided with the pH paper.
Lovibond comparator is also handy for field test of water pH. For this initially do thepreparatory test with universal indicator to get the approximate value of the pH. place 10 ml of the water sample in the glass tube provided with the colour lovibond comparator and add 0.2 ml of universal indicator. Shake gently and match the colour against standard colour disc for the indicator. After ascertaining the approximate pH value, use suitable indicators to determine the exact pH. Bromothymol blue for pH range of 6.0-7.6, phenol red for 6.8-8.4 and thymol blue for 8.0-9.6 should be used as indicators. After adding the required indicator stir the sample and match the colour against appropriate standard colour disc and read the values.pH meter is used for direct and accurate estimation of pH. Power on the instrument, then dip the electrode in water and shake it gently till the reading in the meter is stabilized..

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Softening Your Water (Lowering the hardness)

            Some fish (e.g., discuss, cardinal tetras, etc.) prefer soft water. Although they can survive in harder water, they are unlikely to breed in it. Thus, you may feel compelled to soften your water despite the hassle involved in doing so. water hardness is of interest to aquarists for two reasons: to provide the proper environment for the fish and to help stabilize the pH in the aquarium. There are two types of water hardness: general hardness (GH) and carbonate hardness (KH).
A third term commonly used is total hardness which is a combination of GH and KH. General hardness is the more important of the two in biological processes. when a fish or plant is said to prefer "hard" or "soft" water, this is referring to GH. Incorrect GH will effect the transfer of nutrients and waste products through cell membranes and can effect egg fertility, proper functioning of internal organs such as kidneys and growth. Within reason, most fish and plants can successfully adapt to local GH conditions, although breeding may be impaired.
         Typical home water softeners or demineralisers soften Water using a technique knownas "ion exchange". That is, they remove calcium and magnesium ions by replacing them with sodium ions. Although this does technically make water softer, most fish won't notice the difference. That is, fish that prefer soft water don't like sodium either, and for them such water softeners don't help at all. Thus, home water softeners are not an appropriate way to soften Water for aquarium use.
  Fish stores also market "water softening pillows". They use the same ion-exchange principle. One "recharge" the pillow by soaking it in a salt water solution, then places it in the tank where the sodium ions are released into the water and replaced by calcium and magnesium ions. After a few hours or days, the pillows (along with the calcium and magnesium) are removed, and the pillow recharged. The pillows sold in stores are too small to work well in practice, and shouldn't be used for the same reason cited above.
           Peat moss softens water and reduces its hardness. The most effective way to soften Water via peat is to aerate water for 1-2 weeks in a bucket containing peat moss. For example, get a (plastic) bucket of the appropriate size. Then , get a large quantity of peat (a gallon or more), boil it (so that it sinks), stuff it in a pillow case, and place it in the water bucket. Use an air pump to aerate it. In 1-2 weeks, the water will be softer and more acidic. Use this aged water when making partial water changes on your tank.
         Peat can be bought at pet shopes, but it is expensive. It is much more cost-effective to buy it in bulk at a local gardening shop. Read labels carefully! You don't want to use peat containing fartilizers or other additives. Although some folks place peat in the filters of their tanks,the technique has a number of drawbacks. First, peat clogs easily, so adding peat isn't always effective. Second, peat can be massy and may could the water in your tank. Third the exact quantity of peat need to effectively soften your water is difficult to estimate. using the wrong amount, result in the wrong water chemistry. Finally, when doing water changes, your tank's chemistry changes when few water is added ( it has the wrong properties). Over the next few days, the chemistry changes as the peat takes effect. Using aged water helps ensure that the chemistry of your tank doesn't fluctuate while doing water changes.
           Hard water can also be softened by deluting it with rain water, distilled water or R/O water. Rain water is a good and cheap source of soft water. Harvest the rain water in fibre or cemented tanks. However, if there is any factory or industry nearby to your home or aquarium units and it is continuously emiting smoke in the sky and polluting the environment, then be careful. In such cases, rain may be very acidic and corrosive. R/O (reverse-osmosis) water is purified water made by an R/O unit. Home drinking wat

Monday, January 28, 2019

Some important aspects of water quality

        Aquarium should be filled with clear portable water. The quality requirement of water in the aquarium depends on the types of the fishes being kept there. The tap water is probably the safest source of aquarium water for majority of tropical fish and plants (see below the requirement for breeding). But it contains chlorine, which is toxic to fish even at low concentration.To remove the chlorine naturally, it is better to allow maturing the water for few days or aerating overnight before its addition. During emergency conditions dechlorination can be done with the commercially available chemical (sodium thiosulphate) purchased from the pet shop.
        The degrees of hardness have several biological effects upon aquatic life.Bicarbonates tend to prevent a solution from changing in acidity. Soft water, lacking this protection, may become particularly acidic when much carbon dioxide is present; such a change creates stress for organisms. For soft water species excessive hardness causes an organism problem in absorbing substances through its delicate membranes. This is most true of the sensitive naked cells of eggs and milt, so that soft water has been found to play a vital role in the successful reproduction of many species of freshwater fishes. Thus, at least for the purposes such as fish breeding, a soft solution is desirable.
        To maintain soft water, all sources of calcium carbonate such as calcareous rocks, gravels, coral, broken shell and algae must be kept out of the aquarium system whilst using only soft water initially and during exchange. Conversely, presence of such sources will preserve the water hardness.

            Adjustment and/or corrections to existing water chemistry MUST be made gradually. Stability is as important as water quality.

Thursday, January 10, 2019


Water hardness is often confusing and therefore overlooked by many aquarium owners. water hardness is important because it is closely related to pH and, just like pH, fish have certain levels of water hardness that they thrive in, and if the hardness is too far off, it can cause stress and death. Water hardness can be most simply described as the level of mineral in the water. Hard water has a lot of dissolved mineral, and soft water has very little dissolved mineral in the water. The most common mineral in water is calcium.
However, other minerals can also be present. Most people's tap water is either slightly hard or soft depending on where it comes from. Well water from areas that have a lot of limestone (calcium) is often hard. Water that comes from lakes (rainwater) is often devoid of mineral and is soft. It is important that you know the hardness of the water that you use in your fish tank. Some species of fish require hard water and others require soft water.

The other reason that hardness is important is that it affects pH. Hard water (high mineral content) is usually high in pH. Soft water (low mineral) is usually low in pH. The mineral in hard water will act as a buffer which will reduce the amount of acid in the water. The resulting water will be more alkaline and higher in pH. The problem arises when we try to lower the pH in hard water. If we add a commercial pH decreaser to an aquarium that is filled with hard water, the mineral in the hard water will buffer the water and make it difficult to successfully lower the pH. We would first have to remove the mineral from the water before we could effectively lower the pH. The same is true for trying to raise the pH in acidic water that is soft and does not contain much mineral. Until we add mineral to the water, it will be difficult to successfully alter and maintain a high pH level. So what do we do? Well, it is not too hard to add mineral in the form of calcium based rock, so making soft water hard and more alkaline (higher in pH) should not be too difficult. To soften hard water, you need to take the mineral out with a water softener, reverse osmosis or a specialized chemical that irreversibly binds up the mineral. Another option is to find a source of demineralized water for your fish tank (rain water is soft in nature).

Of course the alternative to all of that may be to tailor your fish and plant species around your existing water source. For beginning aquarist this may be the best solution. There are a wide veriety of tropical fish available and it is not difficult to find at least a dozen different species for every different type of water. Any decent book on a aquariums and tropical fish will list the individual pH and hardness requirements of the different fish species. If the water is too hard for your specific application (such as breeding certain species), simply mix it with deionized water until the required hardness is obtained. Most hobbyists don't feel the need to measure this particular water quality..