How long can you store Saltwater in containers?

Discussion in 'New To Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by fsu1dolfan, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. fsu1dolfan

    fsu1dolfan Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    So i saw the question about RODI and it got me thinking about saltwater. I personally buy mine from the LFS since i have tested their water and it is good with all the parameters. Personally i was told that the water can last a few months...and have used water that i had for atleast a couple of months no problem. Usually i smell it to see if it smells ok...thats my test LOL I know mixing is probably cheaper...but please lets not debate mixed versus store bought.

    So how long can i keep store bought Saltwater in an air tight container kept in a dark air conditioned closet?
    Is it the same for those that mix their own?


    Thanks!
     
  2. kingfisherfleshy

    kingfisherfleshy Well-Known Member

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    I have this question as well. I usually just let it sit over night. Last time I poured the freshwater, added the salt the next morning, and then used it the morning after that.

    Everything in the bucket had a white slime on it.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks
     
  3. ToXIc

    ToXIc Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    from what i've read fresh mixed saltwater can sit for a very much longer time, versus used/sea water because they have biological stuff in them..
     
  4. Murfman

    Murfman Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    ummmmmm I have had mine in there for 4 months.........
     
  5. patent

    patent Well-Known Member

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    Assuming its made from a mix and not natural, you should be able to store it for quite some time, months at least, but some of the additives may degrade over time. Vitamins would, for example. How long do you want to store it?
     
  6. Anthony Calfo

    Anthony Calfo Well-Known Member

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    many months indeed. Almost indefinitely. The bigger concern is contamination, of course, over time.

    The rules, so to speak are:
    1) sealed and dark, or...
    2) covered but not sealed and midldy aerated form the bottom (a power head placed on the bottom pointing upward is good)
     
  7. fsu1dolfan

    fsu1dolfan Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    I guess i just wanted confirmation from others that a few months (2-3) is acceptable for it to sit.
     
  8. patent

    patent Well-Known Member

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    It can do that, but you'll at least want to provide aeration before using, and its somewhat mix dependent on whether or not something degrades. I think you are better off keeping it less than a month, e.g., buy 2 water changes worth at once, use half and use the other half when you do the next change. JMHO, I doubt you will kill anything keeping it longer.
     
  9. Anthony Calfo

    Anthony Calfo Well-Known Member

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    there really aren't many vitamins in most salt mixes. Minerals. And rather stable. As patent indicates, aerating is very important. Excess CO2 (relative to outside) in the house can depress pH. Aerating helps especially if you pump air from outside (many folks believe it or not keep their airpumps outside under weather resistent cover just to ge a slight advantage on pH struggles)
     
  10. patent

    patent Well-Known Member

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  11. Reef Keeper 18

    Reef Keeper 18 Well-Known Member

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    dude from my lfs told me not to keep saltwater sitting stagnant. As long as you have a decent sized powerhead for your storage of saltwater your good. If not it starts to smell like crud and foul
     
  12. Anthony Calfo

    Anthony Calfo Well-Known Member

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    I didn't say there aren't many salt mixes with vitamins, my friend...I said there aren't many vitamins in most salt mixes. It's a truly nominal amount (just enough to lay marketing rights to it).

    But just like "enriched salts," almost no aquarium can be served with adequate mineral and vitamin buffers in a given salt mix to carry a keeper to the next water change. We all essentially have to remineralize/buffer and add vitamins (or vitamin rich feeds). And lipids (HUFA/fatty acids) must wholly be supplemented, are crucial for most of our animals...and yet very few aquarists supplement with lipids (Selcon soaked foods does the trick for most fishes and corals)
     
  13. spspirate

    spspirate Tidepool Explorer Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    interesting.
     
  14. kingfisherfleshy

    kingfisherfleshy Well-Known Member

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    No one has had the mysterious white slime issue I am having?
     
  15. patent

    patent Well-Known Member

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    No, but it sounds like a bacterial bloom to me. Can't tell you why or how, I have no ideas.
     
  16. Alpha Aquaculture

    Alpha Aquaculture Well-Known Member Platinum Sponsor R2R Supporter

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    I agree with the contamination concern. You will get quite a bit of dead skins cells, hair, dust, and organic molecules falling in your mix if its uncovered. Think about when you dust your shelves. A lot can build up. Over time bacteria will grow with these organic contaminants. They will use some of the minerals in the mix meant for your corals in their metabolism. Contaminants and their bacterial populations in salt mix have been questioned in my aquaculture program as possible sources of coral infection but direct evidence has not been linked
     
  17. CJO

    CJO Well-Known Member

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    If you keep it covered and it is not natural sea water, you shouldn't have a problem, even without a powerhead. There are no organic compounds in the mix to grow bacteria.

    CJ
     
  18. CJO

    CJO Well-Known Member

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    Most, if not all, of the salts out there are formed by chemical reactions. If one of the compounds didn't fully react, you could have some compounds left over that don't dissolve in the water. I know I had a batch of IO that left a little bit of brown scum after it was mixed.

    CJ
     
  19. kingfisherfleshy

    kingfisherfleshy Well-Known Member

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    Dont know if this was directed at me, but my sw mixing bucket is covered at all times...and it is stored in the basement, so no lights even in the area, no windows etc.

    This is stuff coating everything though. Its like a white bacteria or algae. I guess at this point I am really hoping that it doesnt happen again this next time I mix.
     
  20. Chompers

    Chompers Well-Known Member

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    It's precipitation. Not the rain kind, but the kind from Chemistry class (minerals in the water coming out of solution). They aren't going into solution in ionic form. Something is happening that they are reacting and precipitating out.

    There were several things wrong with your post. You didn't say that you were using RO or RO/DI water. And you didn't say that you mixed the salt. You should use a pump to get the mix dissolved quickly to minimize precipitation. If you pour in the salt and let it lay on the bottom of the container, you will get tons of precipitation. (Once it precipitates, most of the time it is no longer soluble.)

    Add your salt mix slowly. Add about a cup of mix at a time and let it dissolve before adding more. You should let your mixing pump run until you are ready to use the SW. Any precipitants that can re-enter solution will thank you for running your pump.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011

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