Added too much salt... again

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gatohoser

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I have a horrible habit (out of laziness) that I keep adding too much salt to my mixing 44g brute can to around 45 ppt and then diluting it back to 35 ppt. I know I should mark the can and/or make a vinyl hose level to see the amount of water I have before adding salt but that’s another story...

What I want to know is should I avoid using the overmixed saltwater even after diluting back to good levels due to precipitation? I don’t want to waste money but don’t want to mess up my tank even more so. What can I expect to happen at a chemical level when I do this?
 

TriggerFinger

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I have no advice because I did the same thing last week, right down to the diluting and using it part. Interested in others replies...
 

minus9

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I would match alk and you should be okay? To prevent this in the future, only start with half of the needed amount, then add to it as the water clears each time. This is how I've mixed my salt since the 80's. It takes a little longer, but it's always consistent.
 

JimWelsh

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It shouldn't matter how you get to 35ppt as long as you get there
Not really. It's possible to get salinity so high that CaCO3, for instance, could precipitate. It really depends on how high the salinity got, and how much alkalinity and Ca the mix had, and what its pH was.

As long as the final 35 PPT mix has the same alkalinity as ASW made up without having gone over 35 PPT, then you can presume that no precipitation happened. As long as the alkalinity and Ca of the final 35 PPT mix is acceptable to you, then there is no issue, even if precipitation may have happened.
 

mike550

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I have a horrible habit (out of laziness) that I keep adding too much salt to my mixing 44g brute can to around 45 ppt and then diluting it back to 35 ppt. I know I should mark the can and/or make a vinyl hose level to see the amount of water I have before adding salt but that’s another story...

What I want to know is should I avoid using the overmixed saltwater even after diluting back to good levels due to precipitation? I don’t want to waste money but don’t want to mess up my tank even more so. What can I expect to happen at a chemical level when I do this?
Maybe I don’t appreciate the question. But I don’t see how dilution to get to the right salinity would be an issue
 

Redfoxtang

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The higher the salt levels the higher the elements so when diluted back down to 35ppt you should be right back on track to whichever elements it mixes too. I have done this before with no ill effects.
 
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gatohoser

gatohoser

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I should have said this is Brightwell Neomarine.

I suppose the reason for the question is wondering if the balance of elements is modified by going 33% over as I did. For example, perhaps CaCO3 doesn’t precipitate out at 33% over but perhaps strontium will. That’s the nature of my question I suppose.
 

KrisReef

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The suggestion was to check the Kh and Calcium of the final mixture to see if kH or Ca came out of solution during this process so that adding the extra water did not give you the expected kH or Ca you normally get with your salt mix. (Proof is in the pudding) Test and see.
 
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35ppt

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I always overshoot and dilute because it's faster, but not by that much. I usually get pretty close so I don't worry about precipitation.
 

robbyg

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I always overshoot and dilute because it's faster, but not by that much. I usually get pretty close so I don't worry about precipitation.
Yeah I use to do that a lot but now I add salt to a lower salinity and in 24 hours of mixing it is typically very close. I may end up adding a bit more or diluting.
 

JimWelsh

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I should have said this is Brightwell Neomarine.

I suppose the reason for the question is wondering if the balance of elements is modified by going 33% over as I did. For example, perhaps CaCO3 doesn’t precipitate out at 33% over but perhaps strontium will. That’s the nature of my question I suppose.
Fair enough. Let's examine that possibility.

The Ksp of CaCO3 is around 1.4 * 10^-8, while that of SrCO3 is 5.6 * 10^-10. That makes SrCO3 25 times more likely to precipitate, all other things being equal. But, all other things aren't equal. The concentration of Ca in seawater is 10.28 mM, and Sr is only 0.0906 mM (Pilson, 1998, Chapter 4). That means that there is 10.28 / 0.0906 = 113 times as much Ca as Sr in seawater, so SrCO3 is 113/25 = 4.5 times less likely to precipitate than CaCO3 is.

My previous comment holds true, I believe.
 
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robbyg

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Fair enough. Let's examine that possibility.

The Ksp of CaCO3 is around 1.4 * 10^-8, while that of SrCO3 is 5.6 * 10^-10. That makes SrCO3 25 times more likely to precipitate, all other things being equal. But, all other things aren't equal. The concentration of Ca in seawater is 10.28 mM, and Sr is only 0.0906 mM (Pilson, 1998, Chapter 4). That means that there is 10.28 / 0.0906 = 113 times as much Ca as Sr in seawater, so SrCO3 is 113/25 = 4.5 times less likely to precipitate than CaCO3 is.

My previous comment holds true, I believe.
Yes but the question is about going from 45ppt to 35 ppt and is that a high enough salinity mix to worry about precipitation. Your original statement just said if the salinity was too high. In this specific case of 45 I still don’t see the issue.
 
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gatohoser

gatohoser

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Fair enough. Let's examine that possibility.

The Ksp of CaCO3 is around 1.4 * 10^-8, while that of SrCO3 is 5.6 * 10^-10. That makes SrCO3 25 times more likely to precipitate, all other things being equal. But, all other things aren't equal. The concentration of Ca in seawater is 10.28 mM, and Sr is only 0.0906 mM (Pilson, 1998, Chapter 4). That means that there is 10.28 / 0.0906 = 113 times as much Ca as Sr in seawater, so SrCO3 is 113/25 = 4.5 times less likely to precipitate than CaCO3 is.

My previous comment holds true, I believe.
Perfect answer @JimWelsh . Just what I was looking to hear. I really appreciate it and man what an in depth answer. Got to love this forum and it’s members passion.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Maybe I don’t appreciate the question. But I don’t see how dilution to get to the right salinity would be an issue
Jim explained it, but I'll try again.

If you TRY to make hyper-saline seawater, you may fail, due to the potential precipitation of calcium carbonate. That calcium carbonate will not redissolve when diluting it, hence you may lower alk and calcium in the final product. That is well established science.

I also agree with Jim that alk in the settle mix will say if it is OK or not.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Yes but the question is about going from 45ppt to 35 ppt and is that a high enough salinity mix to worry about precipitation. Your original statement just said if the salinity was too high. In this specific case of 45 I still don’t see the issue.
What concentration do you think is an issue? Instant Ocean and Red Sea Coral Pro get the problem even at 35 ppt. It gets worse as alk and calcium increase.
 

robbyg

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What concentration do you think is an issue? Instant Ocean and Red Sea Coral Pro get the problem even at 35 ppt. It gets worse as alk and calcium increase.
I have definitely mixed Instant Ocean Reef Crystals to 45ppt in the past and saw no precipitation. I then diluted it back to 35ppt and ran some tests and the water was fine. So you tried Instant Ocean and had problems? That was not my experience.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I have definitely mixed Instant Ocean Reef Crystals to 45ppt in the past and saw no precipitation. I then diluted it back to 35ppt and ran some tests and the water was fine. So you tried Instant Ocean and had problems? That was not my experience.
Calcium carboante is supersaturated even at 35 ppt, and can precipitate. I mix Instant Ocean to 35 ppt and get this:

1585171226180.png
 

xxkenny90xx

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No amount of "science" could get me to throw out a brute can of fresh saltwater (not that that's what you all are recommending). Just get it to 35, test it, and adjust levels as needed
 
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