!!!HIGH SALINITY, AM I A ONE MAN GANG? OR ANYONE ELSE IN??

Battlecorals

Aquaculturist
View Badges
Joined
Oct 15, 2009
Messages
4,414
Reaction score
6,324
Location
Wisconsin
Not so curiously, this is another one of those subjects that I seem to find myself and explaining and repeating more often than others. Anytime I'll send over some system param's if someone ask's, the very first response, and usually alarmingly so, goes "Whoa! is that a typo, or do you really keep your SG that high?" Likewise, sometimes after orders are delivered, I'll get the same questions after my water has been tested, the customer often concerned their own testing equipment may be off, or if I do in fact keep my salinity "that high".




The answer is yes! And it's short and relatively simply story as to why, rooted solely in anecdotal observation and minimal reaction. Truth is, I have been running my salinity at roughly 1.028-1.029 for many years now, and my sps along with all of my fish have been loving it!

Essentially what happened (and this is exactly how I explain it to people) is that, when I'd fill orders, back in the old system, I'd sporadically pump water back into the system with the flip of a switch. Same thing went for skimmer cleaning. I'd flip that switch and replace an "unknown amount of water", with another "unknown amount of water". No measuring of any sort. Purely based on "feel" and whether my float valve was submerged or not. Mind you, I am not suggesting anyone follow my lead on that pursuit. Just explaining how I did it.

Well, one day many years ago, and it really was one of those "well one day" type instances, I couldn't help but notice that my SPS were looking good, and I mean really good, like that thick powdery looking flesh that I had never quite been able to achieve, in all my years. I saw deep coloration and bursting new growth at every node. It was remarkable! Over all things were just doing much better than I was generally used too. After simple rundown of some basic params, the only real blaring change from my norm of many years, was that rather than seeing 1.025 on my refracto it was closer to 1.027.


this simply will not do


So over time, with my rouge water replacement methods, my salinity had crept up. And upon this serendipitous revelation, seeing the apparent effects on my own tank inhabitants, I have been keeping it high ever since. Really, it's just that simple. I stumbled upon something that seemed to be a good thing, and I have been riding high ever since.

So what do you think? Anyone else keep there SG higher than the "norm"? And if so, do you think you have seen any improvement in coral appearance and over all vitality?

Or, am I just wasting good salt on a whim and an accidental coincidence?



 

Rispa

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Messages
1,441
Reaction score
677
Location
Texas
I'm interested in hearing more input on this.
 

mtfish

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
338
Reaction score
323
Location
CC, texas
I am assuming you are using man-made salt mix. Perhaps the higher salinity is adding something other than just "salt" to your tank, explaining why you get the growth you are seeing (in part). Sort of like adding trace elements without actually adding anything more than salt. Myself, I use natural salt water and run my tank at 35 ppt. I see no advantage of running a tank at higher than "normal" salinity.
 
OP
Battlecorals

Battlecorals

Aquaculturist
View Badges
Joined
Oct 15, 2009
Messages
4,414
Reaction score
6,324
Location
Wisconsin
I am assuming you are using man-made salt mix. Perhaps the higher salinity is adding something other than just "salt" to your tank, explaining why you get the growth you are seeing (in part). Sort of like adding trace elements without actually adding anything more than salt. Myself, I use natural salt water and run my tank at 35 ppt. I see no advantage of running a tank at higher than "normal" salinity.
Been using The regular Tropic Marin Mix for well over decade now. And i had same thoughts exactly. Something higher in the water like traces's may be helping contribute. Thanks a lot for the post!
 

dragon99

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 30, 2016
Messages
2,021
Reaction score
2,388
Location
Texas
Do you have an ICP of your water? Curious what effect the high SG has on things besides the major ions.
 

JBKReef

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
May 15, 2017
Messages
1,568
Reaction score
1,883
Location
Burlington, KY
^ I was wondering this as well...

With the increased salinity there is additional elements elevated as well. Mix that with dosing, I would be interested to see where some trace elements meet the major ones.
 

chipmunkofdoom2

Always Making Something
View Badges
Joined
Jun 6, 2017
Messages
1,823
Reaction score
3,372
Location
Baltimore, MD
To the best of my knowledge, none of the measures of salinity that we use in the hobby (refractive index, specific gravity or conductivity) actually directly measure how much sodium chloride there is in the water. They all measure properties of the water that are reasonable proxies for determining the relative salt content of the water.

A good example of this can be seen when measuring conductivity of seawater. When I mix saltwater, I target 52 mS/cm. When I used Red Sea Blue Bucket, I would often have to supplement magnesium to reach 1,350 ppm. After supplementing, the conductivity of the solution would rise (I think it was about 52.3 if I recall correctly). The salinity of the water didn't really increase, the overall conductivity did because of the additional magnesium salts added.

EDIT: per Randy's statements below, this was an increase in salinity, because salinity is more than just a measurement of sodium and chloride.
 
Last edited:

Dr. Dendrostein

Marine fish monthly
View Badges
Joined
Nov 8, 2017
Messages
6,102
Reaction score
11,196
Location
Fullerton, California
Not so curiously, this is another one of those subjects that I seem to find myself and explaining and repeating more often than others. Anytime I'll send over some system param's if someone ask's, the very first response, and usually alarmingly so, goes "Whoa! is that a typo, or do you really keep your SG that high?" Likewise, sometimes after orders are delivered, I'll get the same questions after my water has been tested, the customer often concerned their own testing equipment may be off, or if I do in fact keep my salinity "that high".




The answer is yes! And it's short and relatively simply story as to why, rooted solely in anecdotal observation and minimal reaction. Truth is, I have been running my salinity at roughly 1.028-1.029 for many years now, and my sps along with all of my fish have been loving it!

Essentially what happened (and this is exactly how I explain it to people) is that, when I'd fill orders, back in the old system, I'd sporadically pump water back into the system with the flip of a switch. Same thing went for skimmer cleaning. I'd flip that switch and replace an "unknown amount of water", with another "unknown amount of water". No measuring of any sort. Purely based on "feel" and whether my float valve was submerged or not. Mind you, I am not suggesting anyone follow my lead on that pursuit. Just explaining how I did it.

Well, one day many years ago, and it really was one of those "well one day" type instances, I couldn't help but notice that my SPS were looking good, and I mean really good, like that thick powdery looking flesh that I had never quite been able to achieve, in all my years. I saw deep coloration and bursting new growth at every node. It was remarkable! Over all things were just doing much better than I was generally used too. After simple rundown of some basic params, the only real blaring change from my norm of many years, was that rather than seeing 1.025 on my refracto it was closer to 1.027.


this simply will not do


So over time, with my rouge water replacement methods, my salinity had crept up. And upon this serendipitous revelation, seeing the apparent effects on my own tank inhabitants, I have been keeping it high ever since. Really, it's just that simple. I stumbled upon something that seemed to be a good thing, and I have been riding high ever since.

So what do you think? Anyone else keep there SG higher than the "norm"? And if so, do you think you have seen any improvement in coral appearance and over all vitality?

Or, am I just wasting good salt on a whim and an accidental coincidence?



I believe Red Sea (the real one) has high salinity. My tank at 1.029- 1.031
 

Abhishek

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 2, 2016
Messages
2,419
Reaction score
3,452
Location
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Ok here's my tank currently . It was sitting at s.g - 1.027 - 1.028 when I checked it a while back with alkalinity around 7.0-7.5.
Sporadically lost few frags - 20K lokanis and other smooth skins . Thats when I found it was creeping high .
But due to my careless nature and switching over to calcium reactor from ATI essentials - now my alk is sitting at around 9.0.
Acros looking much better but my salinity is still 1.027 - 1.028. And the smooth skins are looking better than ever .
Am not sure if alkalinity with high salinity has a correlation but my high alk with high salinity seem to be working for me.

Adam - whats your alkalinity now a days? And I do use Tropic Marin regular salt too following your footsteps

Regards,
Abhishek
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
32,799
Reaction score
20,819
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
IMO, the true effect of salinity vs the effect of specific ions (calcium, potassium, alkalinity, etc.) is quite hard to disentangle.

1. If we took natural seawater at 35 ppt, pretty much matching the target levels many folks have for most ions, and then removed a substantial amount of just sodium chloride, dropping the specific gravity from about 1.0264 to 1.0200, what would we observe, biologically? Good? Bad? I've never seen anyone really try it in full detail, although many people sort of do this anyway since they have 35 ppt equivalent target levels despite not having 35 ppt salinity. One could use a Balling sodium chloride-free salt mix to try this...

2. If we raise salinity by concentrating seawater, as Adam reports in the first post, everything rises. He then may be intentionally controlling some values (such as calcium), but maybe not others (such as, well, most things lol ). Is the observed effect because salinity is high? Because one specific thing (e.g., potassium) is high? Or because a variety of things are high together? If we kept those things high and just had less sodium chloride so total salinity was back at 35 ppt levels, would that still show what he reports?

Lots of interesting experiments and so little time :D
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
32,799
Reaction score
20,819
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
The salinity of the water didn't really increase, the overall conductivity did because of the additional magnesium salts added.
The salinity did rise, because salinity is not just the sodium chloride, but the mass of every ion in the water. :)
 

chipmunkofdoom2

Always Making Something
View Badges
Joined
Jun 6, 2017
Messages
1,823
Reaction score
3,372
Location
Baltimore, MD
The salinity did rise, because salinity is not just the sodium chloride, but the mass of every ion in the water. :)
You're absolutely right Randy, thanks for the clarification. In trying to illustrate that salinity does not only mean sodium chloride concentration, I ended up misusing the terms myself! :confused:
 

TJ's Reef

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 26, 2013
Messages
2,463
Reaction score
258
Location
Everett, WA
I've been running my systems at 1.0265-1.0275 for past 7 years since I first collected fish from Hawaii (Oahu) and found that the waters there were much higher in S.G. than I expected. 1.027 or higher even inside of Pearl Harbor and above 1.028 in some of the bays without a river influx. I run a modified Triton/DSR Method so pretty easy to keep this level with my dosing regimen.
 

Is Reefing the ONLY option for you?

  • Reefing or nothing!

    Votes: 43 59.7%
  • I would consider freshwater.

    Votes: 24 33.3%
  • Not sure...

    Votes: 5 6.9%

Online statistics

Members online
1,688
Guests online
4,078
Total visitors
5,766
CWT Aquatics - Acrylic Sumps, Tanks, and More!
Top