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Understanding Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

Understanding Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

 

Total Dissolved Solids or Total Dissolved Salts as it is sometimes referred to is also known more commonly throughout the aquarium hobby as TDS for short. TDS is a measurement of your water for things such as Calcium, magnesium, and carbonate. It also measures other dissolved minerals and salts in your water, so in measuring TDS you are getting everything that is in your water. GH and KG test kits measure calcium, magnesium and carbonate however by doing a TDS test you can find out that plus everything else altogether. Anything that is too small to be filtered out is able to be read by a TDS test kit. When testing for GH and KH you might get normal readings and think your tank is fine, only to find out something went wrong and your shrimp are now dead. With a TDS test you can now see what affects the other dissolved ions in your water are having on your tank.

TDS meters are very easy to get a hold of. Hardware stores sell them, along with a variety of stores online. They usually are not too pricey at all so getting your hands on one should be a priority if keeping shrimp. In the frame work of a TDS meter basically it is measuring how easily a current will run through your water. The easier the higher the TDS, the harder the lower the TDS. The bad thing about TDS meters is you don’t know what you’re measuring, it takes into account all total dissolved solids and give you one number, it does not break down each one. That’s where the KH and GH tests come into play to help figure out the TDS readings. Generally keeping your TDS levels in a good range that is recommended for your shrimp is key, allowing the TDS to go out of control can have a very bad harmful effect on your shrimp.

Cloudy aquarium water is generally a sign of high TDS. If you measure your water parameters and they look good, and your tank and filter have been running well for some time then your cloudy water is because of high TDS. Having a very low impact on pH, high TDS is generally alkaline while low TDS is generally Acidic. Hence if you have been doing your homework on freshwater shrimp this is why low pH shrimp are also generally low TDS shrimp as well and vice versa.

So how do you control TDS in your aquarium? Basically always using RO water with a TDS of 0 is the best way to control it! Adding minerals back into RO water with a TDS of 0 is how you can control it and match it to the level you wish. Many products such as the Saltly Shrimp Product line have minerals designed for your aquarium shrimp and RO water.

“Keep on Shrimpin"

Sincerely,

"America's Favorite Shrimp Guy"

Ryan Curtis

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