Oxidation Reduction Potential

Oxidation Reduction Potential (redox) measures can give valuable insight into the changes in the suitability of your water, particularly with reed setups in which organisms are more redox sensitive. Redox is a measure of a system’s capacity to oxidize waste. Look at it this way, Oxidation is losing and Reduction is gain. If you may ask….what is gain or lost here?? Electrons. The bulk of chemical interactions around us are proton donor or acceptor ( as known as acid/base ) in nature. Redox reactions are fewer and slower by comparison. In oxidation reduction reactions, one chemical species loses electrons, another gains.

Redox potential is a value defining how much gaining or losing a system might. In another words the ability on how much a system take to eliminate waste.

Redox can be measure by ORP monitors in milivolts ( mV ), these digital display units are attached to a probe that you place in your system. What is the safe range for redox? Redox potentials above 400mV are dangerous to life and ideally set at a range from 300 to 350mV.

Redox fluctuates in the wild and in captive systems through-out the day. Dissolved oxygen, PH, feeding, cleaning, lighting and etc all affect ORP. Example, when the lights is on and photosynthesis starts, metabolites released into the system will start lowering redox after an initial spike due to the increased in oxygen. Likewise when the lighting is off, the Marco life relaxes fewer metabolites are produced and ORP increases again. Redox value tends to be lower in the day and higher in the night. Another result why ORP is better when it is higher is because it accelerates the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite and to nitrate and the conversion of organic PO3 to inorganic P04.