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How long until saltwater is FULLY mixed? | BRStv Investigates

How long do you mix your saltwater before using it?

  • <1hr

    Votes: 24 19.2%
  • 1hr

    Votes: 15 12.0%
  • 1-2hrs

    Votes: 9 7.2%
  • 2-3hrs

    Votes: 6 4.8%
  • 3-4hrs

    Votes: 9 7.2%
  • 4-5hrs

    Votes: 5 4.0%
  • 5-6hrs

    Votes: 2 1.6%
  • 6-7hrs

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 7-8hrs

    Votes: 1 0.8%
  • 8-12hrs

    Votes: 9 7.2%
  • >12hrs?

    Votes: 34 27.2%
  • Days....?

    Votes: 10 8.0%
  • Other (comment below)

    Votes: 1 0.8%

  • Total voters
    125

randyBRS

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Happy Friday Reefers!

So, how good is our eyes at judging when saltwater is fully mixed? Well today we aim to explore how long it really takes for saltwater to reach a fully homogeneous solution based on our scale for clarity and contrast.

Spoiler alert... it took much longer than I would've thought! :D



 

dimo

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Did you wipe a finger on the glass in any of the tests to see if it's particulates sticking to the glass making it look more hazy than it truly is?

As for voting I picked 5-6 hours. Sometimes longer though. My water change involves bringing a brute can next the tank filling it with 20 gallons of rodi water, dropping in a pump, and then dumping in the salt (Regular instant ocean for me). I usually takes 1-2 hours to see the bottom pretty easily. At that point I check salinity and if it's good I drop in a heater and wait until it warms up. Once it hits 78 I do my water change. Start to finish it's about 6ish hours. Sometimes sooner or later depeding on how long it takes to heat or if I need to adjust the salinity.
 

balkin

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I have always mixed my salt for 24 hrs, mostly because that's just how I do my maint. I prepare water with salt and heat the day before my water change!! Although on my new system I am going with unheated auto water changes!
 

Marksreef

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Coral Pro.
Mix 2 hours un heated then turn heater on and usually takes 1-2 hours to heat then use.
Min 3. Max 4 hours total mixing before using.
 

Sleepydoc

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Tropic Marin Pro

I usually do a 15 gallon water change and add more RO/DI and salt mix to my 32 gallon reservoir to fill it up right away.

Most people report a brown precipitate with Reef Crystals, and the Red Sea coral pro had it's alkalinity drop over time with last week's test, so I would expect both of those to show some haze even though they were 'completely mixed'
 

Mical

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Randy love the chart! I was hoping you would bring up the fact that some salt mixes separate when they sit for any length of time, so reefers should stir up their salt BEFORE they add it to their mixing bucket and water. You get more a more consistent mixture of all trace elements. Great video btw.
 

smiley28

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I voted much shorter then my mixing time cause I really thought some mixes probably mixed pretty quickly. Guess not. I’m really curious to see week 4 results.

Edit: I do feel a little better knowing my alk is stable through using all of my mixing station water.
 

EMeyer

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Just a friendly reminder that search engines cannot index or search for information that is buried in a video, only text. What is the answer - how long did it take in these tests?

I mix > 24 hours because it reduces alkalinity, and I find that most salt mixes start waaaay too high.
 

K7BMG

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Well back when I had fish only tanks I was a 2 - 4 hour guy, start with water within a degree or two of the DT then mix, watch the bottom of the container for clear and use.

Now I have always been mixing the day before I plan to use, so have fallen into the 24hr guy.
 

jfahim

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From experience....maybe just an anomaly but I mixed reef crystals in a 44 gallon brute container a few weeks ago.

I kept it heated and mixing with powerheads for about 5 days. Worst mistake ever. There wasn’t precipitate everywhere and alk fell to about 4.

So my guess would be mix it for 24 hrs unheated!
 

Nadir

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I am curious ...... Does the temperature you mix the salt in make a difference by using more salt and would raising the temperature use less salt?
I am sure that the temperature (tank ready 78f) can also make a difference in clarity?

Could you clarify that question (no pun intended).
 

Steve1025

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I heat my RO/DI water, 120 litres to 26c, add the salt which is mixed with a return pump and air pump, let it run like that adjusting salinity if needed for 12 hours, then change.
 

dragon99

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Interesting episode, but I feel like judging mixing of saltwater by visual cues alone is flawed. Most of the cloudiness observed is likely from calcium carbonate precipitate which has nothing to do with whether the saltwater is mixed.
 
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randyBRS

randyBRS

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Interesting episode, but I feel like judging mixing of saltwater by visual cues alone is flawed. Most of the cloudiness observed is likely from calcium carbonate precipitate which has nothing to do with whether the saltwater is mixed.
This is a really good point. Some salts may show precipitation prior to a full 24hrs of mixing, so there should be some consideration as to that.

In which case, I added another test to this small series on salt testing which begs to answer the question, "do you really need to clean your mixing barrels prior to mixing new saltwater batches?" The thought process here is that....will CaCO3 precipitate in even the slightest amounts act as a catalyst to creating precipitate in future batches? With plastic containers that can hold precipitate or pumps/heaters with old precip still on them, is it possible that the existing precip acts as a seed to precip in new batches?
 

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