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Phosphate is measured in SHMAK using the Hanna Instruments Phosphate Checker.
The nitrate test included in SHMAK is a colorimetric test.
Temperature and conductivity are two easy measurements you can take in your stream. Options for continuous temperature monitoring using a temperature logger are given.
There are two methods to determine visual clarity in SHMAK; the clarity tube (or SHMAK tube) and the black disc method.
SHMAK is available as a starter kit, a standard kit and SHMAK+. Here we explain what is included in the kit and what extras you need to purchase on your own.
The various assessments in SHMAK are done over different lengths (reaches) of stream.
Periphyton refers to communities of algae and cyanobacteria attached to the sediment surface or to aquatic plants.
Macrophytes are large aquatic plants.
The SHMAK method for rubbish involves collecting and identifying all the rubbish (litter) in the stream and on the stream banks.
The SHMAK visual habitat assessment needs no equipment, only your eyes. It gives your stream a score that you can use to assess changes over time or compare streams.
There are two methods for describing streambed composition: the visual assessment method is quicker while the Wolman walk is more accurate.
An ice-cream tray provides an excellent container to isolate and separate your benthic macroinvertebrates.
Before you can start looking at what animals you have collected, you have to clear as much debris away from your sample as you can.
If your stream has a muddy-bottom or soft-bottom (made of silt or mud), you need to use a different method than if your stream has a stony-bottom.
A net allows you to collect a greater range of benthic macroinvertebrates and more accurately assess the diversity of the community.
If you don’t have a net, you can collect stones from the streambed and collect the invertebrates that are clinging to the stones.
Some SHMAK tests require you to collect a water sample. If you are sending your water sample to a lab for analysis, a list of some water quality labs is given below.