AQUARIUM WATER CONDITIONS

Maintaining Proper Water Conditions in Your Aquarium

No matter how careful you are to acclimate new arrivals, the parameters of your water quality are of the utmost importance. It is critical that proper and constant attention is paid to maintaining ideal water quality to ensure that your aquatic pets thrive and survive.

The following chart is a general guideline of acceptable water parameter ranges for different types of freshwater aquariums, brackish water aquariums, and ponds. The water parameters listed are a general guideline for maintaining each specific type of aquarium or pond. Some species of fish, plants, or invertebrates may have more specific requirements, so please review each individual species description for more information.

Parameter

Freshwater Community

African Cichlid

Freshwater Plants Discus

Brackish

Pond

Temperature

72 - 82°F

72 - 82°F

76 - 86°F

72 - 82°F

33 - 86°F

pH

6.5 - 7.5

7.8 - 8.5

6.0 - 7.5

7.5 - 8.4

6.5 - 7.5

Ammonia

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Nitrite

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Nitrate

< 50 ppm

< 50 ppm

< 30 ppm

< 50 ppm

< 50 ppm

Alkalinity (Carbonate

Hardness)

 

4 - 8 KH

 

10 - 18 KH

 

3 - 8 KH

 

10 - 18 KH

 

4 - 8 KH

General Hardness

4 - 12 GH

12 - 20 GH

3 - 8 GH

12 - 20 GH

4 - 12 GH

 

Marine Parameters

The following chart is a general guideline of acceptable water parameter ranges for different types of tropical marine aquariums. Some types of displays such as FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock) aquariums have a broader range of parameters than a reef aquarium. This is due to the delicate nature of corals and invertebrates that are commonly maintained in a reef aquarium. Some species of fish, plants, or invertebrates may have special requirements, so please review each individual species description for more specific information. For reference we have also provided the average water conditions measured on tropical coral reefs across the world.

 

Parameter

Suggested Level: Reef Aquarium

Suggested Level: FOWLR Aquarium

Average Level: Coral Reefs

Specific Gravity

1.023 - 1.025

1.020 - 1.025

1.025

Temperature

72 - 78°F

72 - 78°F

82°F

pH

8.1 - 8.4

8.1 - 8.4

8.0 - 8.5

Alkalinity

8 - 12 dKH

8 - 12 dKH

6 - 8 dKH

Ammonia (NH3)

Undetectable

Undetectable

Near Zero

Nitrite (NO2)

Undetectable

Undetectable

Near Zero

Nitrate - Nitrogen (NO3)

< 1.0 ppm

< 30 ppm

0.25 ppm

Phosphate (PO4)

< 0.2 ppm

< 1.0 ppm

0.13 ppm

Calcium

350 - 450 ppm

350 - 450 ppm

380 - 420 ppm

Magnesium

1250 - 1350 ppm

1150 - 1350 ppm

1300 ppm

Iodine

0.06 - 0.10 ppm

0.04 - 0.10 ppm

0.06 ppm

Strontium

8 - 14 ppm

4 - 10 ppm

8 - 10 ppm