ATO Messed Up and Salinity Swing?

PlasticOcean

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Was cleaning the optical sensor on my ATO yesterday and forgot to plug the unit back in (was very distracted yesterday bc of some unpleasant news).

I'd say the tank evaporated without replacement for about 12 hrs. Water level was down about an inch below the sensor, not in the DT itself (only in the AIO back chamber). Tank is 45G.

Checked the SG and it read 1.023 which is where I've been keeping it. Foolishly, I turned the pump back on (was on a Zoom meeting) and it quickly refilled, dropping salinity to 1.022.

My tank is currently cycling, at day 12. Is this sudden salinity swing gonna cause problems? Should I slowly top off with saltwater for until I get back to 1.023?

Hopefully first and last time I make this mistake. :( I was surprised the SG read 1.023 before taking any action. Using Milwaukee DR so inclined to trust it. Wish I hadn't turned pump on so hastily.
 

melonheadorion

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I assume that this is a fish only tank? or no fish at the moment. . if so, it isnt that big of a deal. you can ultimately get teh salinity back up if you remove a little water and add a little elevated saltwater back to it, or just wait until you do your water change to get it back to where you want it
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PlasticOcean

PlasticOcean

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I assume that this is a fish only tank? or no fish at the moment. . if so, it isnt that big of a deal. you can ultimately get teh salinity back up if you remove a little water and add a little elevated saltwater back to it, or just wait until you do your water change to get it back to where you want it
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Thanks melonheadorion. It’s got no livestock, was just concerned bc the drop was so sudden and I didn’t know how my bacteria would react. Assuming it’s not much of an issue at such a small swing, like you said. I was able to bring it back by leaving the ATO off and topping off with fresh saltwater for a few hours. Definitely a good learning lesson prior to have any livestock. From now on I’ll set an alarm anytime I unplug something for maintenance!
 
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melonheadorion

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even with livestock, that swing wouldnt have been enough, or abrupt enough to affect fish. that swing would have been introduced over a period of time, so i doubt it would have even effected the fish enough to matter. at most, the fish might have gotten a little stressed, but i dont think you would have had too much of an issue unless it was an immediate change from like .022 to .024~.025
 
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Fish Think Pink

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Thanks melonheadorion. It’s got no livestock, was just concerned bc the drop was so sudden and I didn’t know how my bacteria would react. Assuming it’s not much of an issue at such a small swing, like you said. I was able to bring it back by leaving the ATO off and topping off with fresh saltwater for a few hours. Definitely a good learning lesson prior to have any livestock. From now on I’ll set an alarm anytime I unplug something for maintenance!

I would forget to set alarm and still would have problem. What finally worked for me is leaving cabinet door open if I'm doing something inside. Had to train family not to close door but instead come find and tell me door is open so I would look inside cabinet and remember I had started XYZ so I finished XYZ (and then close door).
 
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kittenbritches

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Slight salinity swings won't affect your tank whilst cycling. Also, salt doesn't evaporate, so a quick top-off shouldn't have changed your SG if you only topped off the same amount that had evaporated. I'd guess it's more likely that the water hadn't all mixed prior to your checking SG post-top-off.
 
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ying yang

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I learnt some great stuff watching this.
One of his cycling tips is to reduce the salinity so the bacteria can get to work harder/ faster as dont have to fight osmotic pressure as much along with some other good advice.
Bacteria are strong and been around for trillions of years so doubt you dropping the sg by a point or 2 will kill them ^_^

Goid luck with your tank and hope you get great enjoymemt fron it ^_^
 
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