Water Quality in Aquarium

WaterQuality in Aquarium

WaterQuality in Aquarium


Itis essential to maintain a proper quality of water in the aquarium toensure that the aquatic animals live a healthy life. An aquariumwater should be kept free from contaminants, which are considereddangerous to the marine life. This report describes an experimentalprocedure that is used to test the quality of aquarium water anddeterminate whether it is safe for marine life. The paper alsohighlights the corrective measures that can be taken to remove thecontaminants and restore the quality of water. It crucial for theaquarists to understand the procedures of testing water and theappropriate measures that they need to take whenever an abnormalcondition is detected. The experimental results that are based on thetest conducted on the water are discussed and compared with theempirical results to determine the quality level of the water that isideal for the aquatic life. The water samples used in the experimentgives different results each of which has a specific characteristicthat is analyzed and interpreted based on the scientific concepts.

Itis important for an aquarist to keep track of the water quality inorder to ensure that the water is free from contaminants andtherefore safe for the inhabitants of the aquarium. The maintenanceprocess of the water in the aquarium has been facilitated by thedevelopment of testing kits, improvement of the process of filtrationas well as the acquisition of knowledge about the suitable conditionthat support the aquatic life (Department of environmentalprotection, 2016). However, many aquaristsstillfind it difficult to maintain the required level of water quality inthe aquarium. A laboratory experiment on water testing provideaquarists with the opportunity to learn the procedures of watertesting and maintenance. This is vital in preventing the death ofaquatic animals due to poisoning by the contaminants (Versaquatics,2010).


Theobjectives of this experiment are to

  • Establish the quality of different water samples

  • Test water for contaminants and represent the results in tabular form.

  • Compare the quality of tap water and pond water.

Materialsand Methods

  1. Materials

  • Water Testing Strips

  • Phosphate Test Kit

  • Ammonia Test Strips

  • Hydrometer

  • Lab Quest Units

  • Lab Quest Conductivity Probe

  • Lab Quest Temperature Probe

  • Lab Quest DO Probe

  • Lab Quest Turbidity Meter.

  1. Methods

  • Taking measurement

  • Titration

  • Qualitative analysis


Thefirst step of the experiment involved taking safety measures bywearing goggles and gloves, which are a requirement for workingstation 2. It should be noted that the experiment was subdivided intodifferent tasks, which were completed in various workstations.

Threebeakers of volume 3-250 were filled up the first one was filled withtap water, the second one with salt water while the third one wasfilled pond water. The beakers were then labeled with masking tapefor easy identification of their content.

Eachteam was required to use green engineering paper to create themeasurement table, equipment table as well as the model number of theproject. Each team was required to visit the stations and carry outtesting of the water contained in the three beakers. The activitiescarried out at each station were as follows:

Station1 was meant for testing the strips. The strips were dipped into eachof the beaker and the resulting color compared with the ones printedon the side of the strip jar used for testing. The strips were thentested for general hardness by testing for Nitrite, Nitrate, and GH.Besides, they were tested for Alkalinity by determining the presenceof KH. Finally, the strips were tested for ammonia. It was arequirement that the strip used in station 1 to be placed in the dumpa beaker.

Theactivity of station 2 involved the use of phosphate in sample tube toconduct the testing. Only the salt water and the fresh water weretested by adding six drops of the liquid from the first bottle andsix drops of the liquid from the second bottle into the sample tube(Rowan University, 2012).

Pipetswere used to add the required amount of the sample to the white lineand the sample placed in a cup and then shaken. We waited for threeminutes, after that we compared the result that was obtained with thephosphate testing Kit. The sample contained in the tube were thendumped into the dump beakers that are made of plastic. High puritywater was then used to rinse the sample tube. The procedure wasrepeated for the three samples. It was a requirement that the glovesbe worn when conducting the experiment at this stage. Also, all thepipettes were placed in a dump beaker after completing this test(Rowan University, 2012).

Theactivities at station three involved the use of Fish Tank Hydrometer.The Hydrometer was placed into one of the buckets that containedwater sample. It was then shaken to remove the bubbles. This wasfollowed by taking the measurements of liquids’ salinity as well asthe specific gravity. The hydrometer was then emptied into the dumpbeaker and then rinsed with the HPW. Finally, the wastewater wasemptied into a dump beaker and the procedure repeated for all samples(Rowan University, 2012).

Thetemperature and conductivity of the samples were tested at station 4,by connecting the temperature probe to the LabQuest unit and theprobe placed into the beakers containing the samples and thetemperature recorded. The same procedure was done for theconductivity probe for all the three samples (Rowan University,2012).

Theoperation of stage 5 involved testing for the dissolved oxygen byconnecting the dissolved oxygen probe to the LabQuest unit and thenthe reading was taken. This activity was repeated for all the threesamples used (Rowan University, 2012).

Station6 was the last station of the experiment and operation conduct herewas the testing the turbidity by using disposable pipettes to fillthe white lines, and the reading of the Lab Quest set at NTU. Thesamples jar were then placed into the turbidity unit and the readingof the NTU taken. This was followed by emptying the samples into adumb beaker and rinsing it using HPW. The procedure was repeated forall the samples used (Rowan University, 2012).

Resultsand Discussion

Theresults of the three samples are as shown in the table below



Pond water

Sea water

Tap water






Dissolved oxygen

mg /l









Specific gravity











































Analysisand Interpretations

Theresults recorded on thegreenengineering paper highlights the variation in the component ofdifferent samples of water that were used in the experiment. It isevident that the pond water, seawater, and the tap water vary in thelevels of minerals that contain chemical composition and physicalcharacteristics. A comparison of the result obtained and theempirical results that describe the ideal condition for aquatic life,indicates that the tap water is the most suitable for aquatic lifedue to the favorable characteristics that it has such has highconcentration of dissolved oxygen, which supports the life of theaquatic animal (US Environmental Protection Agency, 2016). Besides,the low hardness in tap water indicates that it lacks or has aminimal level of contaminants, which may affect the life of theliving organisms in water. Low level of dissolved water shows that itcontaminated.


Theresults indicate that the water that is ideal for aquatic life isconsidered to be of high quality. It is supposed to have a high levelof dissolved oxygen to support the respiration process of the aquaticanimals. Water that lacks sufficient oxygen is dangerous to marinelife, in most cases, the oxygen level is reduced by contaminants suchas the heavy metals, which increase the hardness of water, hard wateris therefore considered unsuitable for aquatic life.


Departmentof environmental protection. (2016, April 19). NJDEP-Division ofWater Monitoring and Standards. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nj.gov/dep/wms/bears/swqs.htm

RowanUniversity. (2012). Water Quality Lab Instruction Manual Manual[Pdf].

USEnvironmental Protection Agency. (2016, May 9). Drinking WaterContaminants – Standards and Regulations | US EPA. Retrieved fromhttps://www.epa.gov/dwstandardsregulations

Versaquatics.(2010). Testing the Water. Retrieved fromhttp://www.versaquatics.com/testingthewater.htm