Aquarium Water Electrolytes

jaypeecee

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Hi Folks,

Recently, I have been making good use of the UKAPS thread entitled Sodium And Plants. I would like to extend this beyond sodium and beyond plants. Hence this new thread. I have found it difficult obtaining information about freshwater aquarium electrolytes pertaining to all aquarium inhabitants - fish, plants, invertebrates and microscopic organisms. To kick things off, I include the following paper, which lists a wide range of electrolytes and other parameters measured in Amazonian waters:

https://www.witpress.com/elibrary/wit-transactions-on-ecology-and-the-environment/178/25051

The above may be of interest to anyone keeping fish whose natural habitat is the rivers and streams of the Amazon.

I am hoping that we can use this thread as a central resource for the topic given in its title.

JPC
 

X3NiTH

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This is quite a good Lecture on a more general overview of the subject.

General Concepts for Natural Controls on Fresh Water Composition - Prof. Greg Ravizza

The scheme tables and charts are quite interesting.

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:)
 

Edvet

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I'ts good to have some basic knowledge about composition of natural waters, but (;)):
1) don't over complicate it ( controling stuff to the last microgram/milimol is hard and can lead to other problems)( not to mention testing correctly is very hard)
2) most plants and a lot of fish don't care
 

jaypeecee

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I'ts good to have some basic knowledge about composition of natural waters, but (;)):
1) don't over complicate it ( controling stuff to the last microgram/milimol is hard and can lead to other problems)( not to mention testing correctly is very hard)
2) most plants and a lot of fish don't care

Hi Edvet,

Thanks for your input.

With reference to your first point, I am unable to control elements/compounds to the last microgram or mmol and I don't believe that to be necessary anyway. Another way of stating your second point is that some plants and some fish do care. And I'm unclear which fall into this category. They may well be the very plants and fish that I have in my tanks right now. If so, I want to be able to provide optimum conditions for them. Electrolytes are one piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

JPC
 

jaypeecee

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Hi Folks,

Please try to bear with me as you read the following seemingly-disconnected snippets of information!

I'm still trying to get to grips with sodium. Regarding plants, there's some good reading to be had at https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/sodium-and-plants.34801/. And I found https://www.vetexotic.theclinics.com/article/S1094-9194(02)00021-X/pdf, which deals with osmoregulation and talks about sodium chloride in freshwater fish plasma. I use Tropic Marin Re-Mineral Tropic (RO remineralizer) in my tanks. This product contains 31.9 mg/l of sodium when used as directed. The sodium is "not in the form of common table salt", according to Tropic Marin. Although I do not use tap water in my tanks, I note that my tap water supply last year contained from 19.0 - 37.6 mg/l of sodium. The PCV (prescribed concentration or value) can be as high as 200 mg/l. Apparently, the sodium comes from sodium hypochlorite, which is used as a safer alternative to chlorine gas for disinfection. It then seems ironic that aquarists using tap water often dechlorinate it using another source of sodium - sodium thiosulphate.

So, is sodium in freshwater aquaria a problem? My hunch is that it may be more of a problem to plants than fish. And, if sodium is a problem, is that in the chloride form? And, at roughly what concentration does sodium become a problem? Although I am unable to measure the sodium level in my tanks, I can calculate it if I re-mineralize RO water without resorting to commercial mixtures such as that from Tropic Marin.

JPC
 
Last edited:

dw1305

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Hi all,
The sodium is "not in the form of common table salt", according to Tropic Marin. Although I do not use tap water in my tanks, I note that my tap water supply last year contained from 19.0 - 37.6 mg/l of sodium. The PCV (prescribed concentration or value) can be as high as 200 mg/l. Apparently, the sodium comes from sodium hypochlorite, which is used as a safer alternative to chlorine gas for disinfection. It then seems ironic that aquarists using tap water often dechlorinate it using another source of sodium - sodium thiosulphate.
The amount of sodium from NaOH and NaOCl (for disinfection and pH control) is pretty small. In the USA they still often regularly add "therapeutic salt" to their fish tanks at levels which will would kill all their plants.
So, is sodium in freshwater aquaria a problem? My hunch is that it may be more of a problem to plants than fish
It is back to the water that fish evolved in. Some fish are "euryhaline" and can travel from freshwater to seawater and back again (Flounder (Platichthys flesus), Grey Mullet (Chelon labrosus)), others are really tolerant of different salinity and hardness levels (Brown Trout (Salmo trutta)).

Black-water fish are intolerant of most salts, it doesn't really matter which ones they are.

cheers Darrel
 

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