Field Guide

The AALSO Field Guide is more than a resource for zoo and aquarium professionals. It doubles as a reference manual and study guide assisting in the Water Quality Technician and Life Support Operator examination given at the annual AALSO Symposium and Workshops.


It covers such topics as:

  • Safety
  • Laboratory equipment
  • Quality assurance and assessment
  • Water quality theory and testing
  • Laboratory chemistry
  • Specialized chemical additions
  • Pumps and motors
  • Valves, filtration
  • Disinfection and sterilization
  • Cathodic protection
  • Heat exchangers
  • Automation and controls
  • LSS operational standards
  • Applied mathematics for water quality technicians and for LSS operators.


With the AALSO Field Guide you can learn how to calculate and evaluate:

  • Pump curves and troubleshooting
  • Pool volume calculations
  • Filter surface area calculations
  • Pool turnover rate calculations
  • Head pressure calculations
  • Chemical dosing calculations
  • Dilution Calculations
  • Stoichiometry


This field guide has been created by AALSO members for AALSO members. Drafted specifically for the zoo and aquarium industry, it is a critical tool of the AALSO Education Program, which is dedicated to disseminating technical information on the care of aquatic animals. AALSO hopes to further enrich the life support knowledge base, understanding that different ideas and solutions from different places help improve our industry.

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