Is your salt "breaking down" and do you worry about it?

BRS

Do you worry about your pre-made, mixed saltwater "breaking down" before it can be used?

  • YES

    Votes: 60 13.6%
  • NO

    Votes: 337 76.4%
  • I do now

    Votes: 37 8.4%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 7 1.6%

  • Total voters
    441

revhtree

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I recently saw a discussion about people wondering how long their pre-made saltwater would or could last without breaking down. There was also the question that if salt breaks down in your mixing container will it not also just break down in your tank? Then there is the question of what exactly is meant when people say their salt is "breaking down?" Let's talk about it today!

1. Do you worry about your pre-made, mixed saltwater "breaking down" before it can be used?

2. What's the longest you allow your pre-made saltwater to sit until it's used?



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MiniReefInABox

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Longest I have had a bucket of salt that was already mixed sit for was 2 weeks. I’m not too terribly worried because I have seen the BRS investigates videos about the levels in the water overtime and the swings aren’t terribly detrimental. I wouldn’t purposely keep salt sitting though because there’s no need with my water change schedule.
 

zalick

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I’m no chemist but I can’t imagine it “breaks down”. I’m not sure what that would even mean.... precipitate out? everything is in solution.

I keep a pump in my 100g container and it mixes the water a few minutes every hour.


1. Not at all.
2. Unlimited. Longest I’ve probably gone is around 6 months or so
 

sp1187

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is breaking down a thing?
I've gone 10 days. and there is always 5 outa 40 gallons left that gets mixed into the next batch.
are there posted test results on water breaking down?
besides salinity increase due to evaporation.
 

Quietman

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I mix 10 gallons at once in a covered container and I know it's gone several weeks before being used up. Doesn't seem to have impact on my dosing needs or salinity. I also have almost no precipitation on the pump. I don't heat the water during storage and I only use the pump the first 48-72 hours to mix the salt and then turn it off.....usually when I walk by and hear it running and think..."why is that still on?" I've used HW Reefer since day one.
 

Calm Blue Ocean

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My bigger fear is that the longer it goes the higher chance of it becoming contaminated. I prefer to use my saltwater after it has been mixing 24 hours but don't like it to go more than 48 or I start to get antsy. But generally I mix it as I need it. If I want to do a water change tomorrow I'll start my saltwater today.
 

Arcite

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1. Do you worry about your pre-made, mixed saltwater "breaking down" before it can be used?
What does "breaking-down" even mean? Salt is just ions, as long as your containers are food-grade and have no charge, I don't see how salt water can "break down."

2. What's the longest you allow your pre-made saltwater to sit until it's used?
3 weeks
 

uhgster1

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I don’t go over two weeks with reef crystals. But I did have an issue with salt that was solidified in the bag before mixing. I had to grind everything down before putting it in the water. It never mixed completely. There were small particulates that looked like styrofoam balls circulating everywhere. When I tested the alkalinity it was at 3.5. I mixed the water foe three days and the particles never dissolved. I threw away the other two "blocks" of salt.
 

Auquanut

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1. Do you worry about your pre-made, mixed saltwater "breaking down" before it can be used?
I'm assuming that "breaking down" for most means precipitation in the reservoir. I changed from Fritz to Brightwell Neomarine when I started long term storage. The fritz would precipitate on the mixing pump pretty significantly during the 24 to 48 hour mixing stage, and after being stored for 3 to 4 weeks without a pump, the precipitation in the reservoir was pretty bad. Not as concerned about the Alk that was precipitating out as the buildup on the pump and AWC tubing/doser. With the Brightwell, I get almost no precipitation in a month of storage.

2. What's the longest you allow your pre-made saltwater to sit until it's used?

About a month. Give or take.
 

ReefHomieJon

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I don’t mix salt at home and haven’t done a water change in like a year and a half so how is the salt supposedly breaking down? Since I’ve gone so long in my tank I can’t imagine mixed salt water in a bucket “breaking down” even after a few weeks. Some of yall might just be paranoid lol as long a you keep good movement on it with a strong powerhead I would think it would be good(keep a lid on it so the salinity doesn’t rise)
 

Treefer32

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I don’t go over two weeks with reef crystals. But I did have an issue with salt that was solidified in the bag before mixing. I had to grind everything down before putting it in the water. It never mixed completely. There were small particulates that looked like styrofoam balls circulating everywhere. When I tested the alkalinity it was at 3.5. I mixed the water foe three days and the particles never dissolved. I threw away the other two "blocks" of salt.
I would have contacted IO. They'll replace bad batches of salt. They've done that for me in the past, even sent me complimentary buckets of salt because a batch was mixed with the wrong ratios of calcium, mg, etc, and I was able to prove it to them. Even sent samples of the salt to them, their labs confirmed my findings. If it's solidified then it got wet somewhere along the line and/or was in too much humidity or something. I would definitely have asked for a replacement from IO or from the place I bought it!
 

Treefer32

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I have a 75g mixing station. Heck, I sometimes add too much salt as I'm filling it from the fresh water and let it mix with an external Hammer head reeflo pump (about 5000 gph) . As it fills it mixes, and then I let it run for a few hours to fully mix, and shut it off and let the salt water stand stale for a few weeks until I need it. I like to have it on hand in case of an emergency, premixed and ready to go. . . That said, when I'm ready to do a scheduled change, I turn the pump back on and let it oxygenate for a few hours before the water change.

The water circulates in our tanks day in and day out... I don't see how salt water goes bad over time. If it did we wouldn't be in the hobby... Nothing would survive.

We do water changes not to replace the salt because it's "bad". It's to export bad things that polute the salt water - breaking down of organics like phosphates and nitrates. And the consumption of various salts (like calcium chloride and magnesium chloride) by consumption (things physically consuming the salts) to build new mass and body structures or by various algae.
 
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