Water/Wastewater

  • A Palintest Micro 800 dissolved oxygen meter in use at ZSL London Zoo

British Water Testing Company Helping London Zoo Keep its Aquatic Inhabitants Safe

Jun 27 2016 Comments 0

ZSL London Zoo has one of the largest collections of aquatic life in the UK, including some of the rarest species of fish and amphibians. This diversity creates unique water quality demands as each species often requires very specific water conditions to survive, with a slight change in conditions being potentially life-threatening. Regular, highly accurate water testing is therefore a critical part of managing the aquatic collections.

To help ensure optimum water quality for all aquatic species, the Zoo has opted for water testing equipment from British company Palintest. The aquarium team utilises the Photometer 7100 for monitoring chlorine, alkalinity, phosphate, ammonia, nitrite, potassium and pH. The herpetology (amphibian) team also uses the Photometer 7100, but in addition uses electrochemical testing products, including Palintest’s Micro 600 pH meter and a Micro 800 dissolved oxygen (DO) meter as part of their water quality monitoring protocol.

The feedwater for both the aquarium and herpetology sections is provided by Thames Water. This includes chlorine which must be removed before it comes into contact with any of the aquatic life. At the zoo, much of the water is treated via reverse osmosis (RO) and then remineralised to ensure control of the water quality habitats. Chlorine analysis of the feedwater prior to the RO is also critical for the protection of the RO membranes.

Alkalinity measures how water will change with the addition of an acid or alkaline substance, which in turn can affect pH. Aquatic life is very sensitive to pH changes, so maintaining a good alkalinity level helps maintain a stable environment overall. Phosphate testing is important for coral, which is predominantly made up of calcium. At high levels phosphate prevents the uptake of calcium by the coral, so levels must be maintained below 0.1 mg/l. Ammonia is a waste product of aquatic life and is poisonous to fish. It is normally broken down to nitrite by bacteria in the water as part of the nitrogen cycle. Nitrite is also hazardous for aquatic life, so measuring both ammonia and nitrite are essential in understanding the aquatic ecosystem.

As part of its vital conservation work, the herpetology section became the first place in the world to breed the Lake Oku Clawed Frog, an extremely rare species only found in high altitude Lake Oku in Cameroon. As the reproductive biology of the frog was unknown the keepers had to replicate the specific environmental parameters of Lake Oku.

Using the Micro 800 DO meter and the Photometer 7100, the keepers determined that the tadpoles only thrived in an unusual aquatic environment containing less than 20ppm of total dissolved solids (TDS). In their natural environment in Lake Oku, TDS levels were below 10ppm, indicating that this particular species of frog has evolved only to thrive in a single and stable environment.

Commenting on the London Zoo project, Palintest’s Marketing Manager Tom Aylward said: “It’s very rewarding to see our products being put to such important use. By ensuring a safe aquatic environment for fish and amphibians at London Zoo – and by helping to understand the life cycle of an extremely rare and endangered animal – we feel we’re playing a vital role in the Zoo’s conservation efforts.”

Read comments0

Do you like or dislike what you have read? Why not post a comment to tell others / the manufacturer and our Editor what you think. To leave comments please complete the form below. Providing the content is approved, your comment will be on screen in less than 24 hours. Leaving comments on product information and articles can assist with future editorial and article content. Post questions, thoughts or simply whether you like the content.


Digital Edition

International Environmental Technology November / December 2017

December 2017

In This Edition... Business News - New Building for Sales Center Chile - Hach Company Acquires Belgian Manufacturer AppliTek Water / Wastewater - Microplastic Pollution: Everyone’s P...

View all digital editions

Events

Energy from Biomass Combustion

Jan 09 2018 Leeds, UK

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week

Jan 13 2018 Abu Dhabi, UAE

World Future Energy Summit

Jan 15 2018 Abu Dhabi, UAE

Gulf Coast Conference

Jan 17 2018 Houston, TX, USA

National Biodiesel Conference + Expo

Jan 22 2018 Fort Worth, Tx, USA

View all events