How to Test to Dissolved Oxygen in an Aquarium

Oxygen is an essential of life for nearly all organisms. People often forget that plants need to breathe, just like fish and other animals. Even filter bacteria need oxygen to survive. Hence one of the most important water quality parameters is dissolved oxygen. There are highly reliable dissolved-oxygen meters that read the concentration directly, as well as different kinds of chemical test kits which are great aquarium additions for turtles to have a better life.

Dissolved oxygen testing ranks as one of the most important determinations a fish-keeper can make. Just as with different values of pH, total ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, the amount of dissolved oxygen can have a significant affect the fish’s. Many of the behavioural peculiarities noted in aquarium or pond fishes can be attributed to low dissolved oxygen, which can be corrected easily with increased aeration.

Two sources of oxygen for an aquarium are:

  • Fish and plants thrive at an oxygen level of 5-7mg of oxygen per litre of water. This is easily achieved via surface exchange provided your tank is not over-stocked with fish.
  • Healthy plant growth will also ensure a good supply of oxygen to the aquarium and makes for a more natural environment, though such plant growth is not essential.
  • Here are some steps to measure to oxygen content in an aquarium
  • Purchase a test online from the Aquarium Guys website to test the oxygen level in your aquarium water.
  • Open the test kit. You will find an empty test tube and three vials of test liquids marked O2-1, O2-2 and O2-3.
  • Take the empty tube and fill to the line on the tube with your aquarium water. Dunk the tube in the water and then pour out any excess water above the line.
  • Use the O2-1 liquid by adding five drops to the tube. Swirl the solution gently for 20 seconds, but be careful not to shake it. This will provide a false reading by adding oxygen to the water.
  • Continue the test with the O2-2 solution. Add six drops and again gently swirl for 15 seconds. Let this mixture set for five minutes, if you have a saltwater tank, and one minute for freshwater aquariums.
  • Finish the test by adding six drops of O2-3 swirling after each drop for five seconds. Let stand for 30 seconds so the colour develops.
  • Check the colour by placing it on a white sheet of paper and then looking down through the tube. Compare to the colour chart that comes with your kit for your oxygen reading. If you need more oxygen in your aquarium water, consider purchasing an air stone.

Filed Under: Pets & Animals


About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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