The solute content of water is perhaps the most important aspect of water conditions, as total dissolved solids and other constituents can dramatically impact basic water chemistry, and therefore how organisms interact with their environment. Salt content, or salinity, is the most basic classification of water conditions. An aquarium may have freshwater (salinity below 0.5 PPT), simulating a lake or river environment; brackish water (a salt level of 0.5 to 30 PPT), simulating environments lying between fresh and salt, such as estuaries; and salt water or seawater (a salt level of 30 to 40 PPT), simulating an ocean or sea environment. Even higher salt concentrations are maintained in specialized tanks for raising brine organisms.
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