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Salinity Stability

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bobsfish, May 17, 2009.

  1. bobsfish

    bobsfish Experienced Reefkeeper

    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    What's a reasonable variation in the salinity level of a reef tank? My salinity is 22 most of the time, but went on travel for a few days and had more evaporation than expected - it went up to between 24 and 25 and was 3 gallons low (out of a 63 gal system). I slowly added the 3 gallons over an hour span of time and brought it back to 22. Obviously if I had an auto-topoff, I wouldn't have to ask this question - but, how much variation is ok? ...and then, how fast should the salinity be corrected?
    btw...this is my first sw tank, so I'm doing mostly easy fish and soft corals, so maybe they are forgiving.
     
  2. REEFer Madness

    REEFer Madness Inactive User

    867
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    In my honest opinion, 1.022 is too low. I have mine at 1.025 and usually don't stray too far off it. But anything with in 1.023 to 1.026 is acceptable.
     
  3. phishcrazee Experienced Reefkeeper

    Riverside
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    Mine is about 1.026, maybe 1.025 at the lowest.........get an auto top off, they're cheap and then you won't have to worry. www.autotopoff.com
     
  4. Jtown

    Jtown Inactive User

    425
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    I agree with reefer... .025 is good some may even say .026 as natural ocean water is that or higher. I know they say in a home aquarium we cant keep it as high as natural sea water but ive read alot of hard core reefers argue that. I dont have alot of experience either but have done ALOT of reading and research and after I was informed that I was keeping mine too low at 1.023 ive been recently keeping at 1.025ish and noticed things seem very healthy and looking good. Hope you will get more replies and you can make the best judgement from what others think...
     
  5. Eric Experienced Reefkeeper

    West Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +33 / 0 / -0
    1.022 is low, I've seen pet stores run hypo @ a constant 1.019 in fish only tanks.
    Hardier fish and easier corals are more forgiving, but it is still a stress to their system(s).
    Opinions vary on where to keep the salinity, but everyone would agree that you should keep it as stable as possible.  As far as how quickly to change it, the common thread is around .001 per day.
    I don't have an auto top-off either, and am concerned that things will go bad if I'm gone for any length of time - I lose a gallon a day.
    -Eric
     
  6. Eric Experienced Reefkeeper

    West Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +33 / 0 / -0
    Posted By Jtown on 05/17/2009 07:28 PM
    I agree with reefer... .025 is good some may even say .026 as natural ocean water is that or higher. I know they say in a home aquarium we cant keep it as high as natural sea water but ive read alot of hard core reefers argue that. I dont have alot of experience either but have done ALOT of reading and research and after I was informed that I was keeping mine too low at 1.023 ive been recently keeping at 1.025ish and noticed things seem very healthy and looking good. Hope you will get more replies and you can make the best judgement from what others think...
    I run mine @ 35 which equals 1.0264, theoretically equivalent to natural sea water.
    -Eric
     
  7. bobsfish

    bobsfish Experienced Reefkeeper

    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Thanks for the feedback - I guess I'm surprised to hear that 1.022 is too low. The recommendation in much of what I've read is 1.020 to 1.026, although some sources have a narrower range (1.020-1.024, or 1.021-1.025)....so, I figured 1.022 was about right. I'll let it creep up a little to 23 or 24. As for variation....it seems that the .001 per day is a reasonable goal. I'll have to get the wife or kids to help with topoff next time I'm on travel. As for an auto topoff, that would be ideal...but, I'll put it on my wish list...I've already spent too much money on fish/tanks this year.
     
  8. AJ

    AJ Inactive User

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    So what does everyone use for checking salinity?  I have a crappy Corallife Deep 6 that has a tendancy to get bubbles on the needle and I don't think the results are accurate.  I also have a handheld hydrometer that I think is out of calibration (bought it used and I've never calibrated it).
    --AJ
     
  9. adampottebaum

    adampottebaum Experienced Reefkeeper GIRS Member

    Ratings:
    +18 / 0 / -0
    An even cheaper top off is this one: (http://www.buckeyefieldsupply.com/Float-Valve-Adjustable-p115.html). It is only $22 shipped. I bought one and I really like it, I'm going to buy one for my RO/DI tank soon.
     
  10. CyberJester

    CyberJester Inactive User

    655
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    Be careful in this, This is not as simple and cut and dry as everything posted here.
    1st) What method are you using to check the sal or SG of your tank water.
    If you are not using a temperture corrected approach.  Read up on things before making any adjustments.  SG has a relativity to water temperature.  I do not actually use a temperature compensating Refractometer, and have found that my tanks ideal is a SG of 1.0235 under a crappy little plastic Coralife hydro that I use.
    I made the mistake of not taking temp into account and followed what all the books and sites told me to use and brought mine up to 1.025 using my hydro and all my corals polyps retracted and growth halted.  I keeped it there for several weeks thinking that it was just the change that made everything upset.  However, they stayed that way.
    I would suggest you use your inhabitants as indicators.  Do you have good growth on your corals (assuming correct values on Mg, Cal, PH).  Do you have good polyp extension on your corals.  This are the best indicators there are.  Because if you have these 2 things, then everything is as it should be!
     
  11. bobsfish

    bobsfish Experienced Reefkeeper

    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    If you are not using a temperture corrected approach.  Read up on things before making any adjustments.  SG has a relativity to water temperature.  I do not actually use a temperature compensating Refractometer, and have found that my tanks ideal is a SG of 1.0235 under a crappy little plastic Coralife hydro that I use.
    I would suggest you use your inhabitants as indicators.  Do you have good growth on your corals (assuming correct values on Mg, Cal, PH).  Do you have good polyp extension on your corals.  This are the best indicators there are.  Because if you have these 2 things, then everything is as it should be!
    I don't have a temp-compensating measure - I use a $10 Instant Ocean hydrometer. Everything seems to be happy so far, but I don't have much either - it's a fairly new tank. I've only got 1 waving hand and 4 kenya trees for corals. They're all growing and extending pretty well - they're all easily twice the size they were when I got them a few weeks ago.
     
  12. Eric Experienced Reefkeeper

    West Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +33 / 0 / -0
    I'm using a temp. compensating refractometer - when I started in 2003 I had a swing arm and didn't trust the results...multiple tests with the same water yielding different readings convinced me to go a different route.  They can be prone to bubbles/salt creep/etc.
    Somewhere, I found an article on how to create your own test sample with table salt and RO - I'll see if I can find it again.
    I don't think I've ever read (with credibility) that one salinity is better than the other...there are great tanks @ 1.023 and others @ 1.0264 along with everything in between.  The key is stability along with keeping the other parameters in check, proper flow and overall regular husbandry.
    As with anything in this hobby, opinions can vary wildly.
    -Eric
     
  13. Eric Experienced Reefkeeper

    West Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +33 / 0 / -0

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