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Saltwater Aquarium - How Specific Gravity Measures Your Tanks Salinity

May 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 204

Introduction

If you operate a saltwater aquarium or are thinking about it, then you know the importance of keeping the proper salt content. Most Aquarist keep their salt content in the range of 1.020 to 1.025 by measuring the specific gravity of the water in their aquarium. So how does thismeasure thesalt content in your aquarium?

Specific Gravity

Specific gravity measures the density of a liquid as compared to the density of pure water at 3.989 degrees centigrade.At this temperature density of pure water is 1 gm/cm3.Anything with ameasurement greater than one is denser than pure water.If the measurement is less than one then it not as dense as pure water.

Most liquids will be measured for density by using a hydrometer, which is calibrated to compare pure water to the liquid you are measuring.Most Aquarist use a hydrometer to measure the salt content of their saltwater aquarium.

So how can a hydrometer measure the salt content of an aquarium?

Specific Gravity And Salt Content

Salt content of your aquarium can be measured in several ways but most of these ways are complex or expensive.The easiest way that Aquarist use to measure salt content of their aquarium is by using a hydrometer which measures indirectly the amount of salt in their aquarium.

As you may know this measurement and salinity are not the same. Specific gravity refers to the density of water and is actually a ratio of the unit being measured to that of deionized water, so it has no units.Salinity is the weight of salt in the water usually measured in parts per thousand (ppt).

If you are using and you should be using pure water in your aquarium,the specific gravity willbe one.With this pure water in a bucket, add premixed salt to the water.This will start to raise the specific gravity and you want it at 1.020 to 1.025 before you add the water to the tank.Since you used pure water,the only thing that will increase the specific gravity of your water is the salt you are adding.

By using a hydrometer to measure the specific gravity of your aquarium, you are indirectly measuring the salinity of your aquarium.

Conclusion

Most Aquarist who operate a saltwater aquarium will use a hydrometer to measure the salinity of their aquarium.This measurement is an indirect method to measure the salinity of your aquarium.

It is an accurate method provided you use pure or deionized water and is much cheaper and not as complex as other methods you can use.

J.W. Chase is an Aquarist who has successfully been keeping both fresh and saltwater aquariums for over 35 years. He has extensive knowledge on how to manage an aquarium, keeping all his fish healthy and smiling. Check out his web site on keeping salt water aquariums if you want more tips, strategies and secrets on how to manage a saltwater aquarium http://homesaltwateraquariums.blogspot.com.

Source: EzineArticles
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