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

chet31

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I longest I've had pre-mixed salt sit around was for about 2 months. Used it w/out any issues to water chemistry (used Hanna instruments for CA & pH measurements).
 

THillPSU

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I have a 175G system and do 40 gallon water changes. For 3 years I have mixed the salt in a Brute can with a pump to circulate it and a heater to keep it at temp. Sometimes I go 4-5 days without doing the water change. I will at times turn the pump and heater off at night and restart it in the morning. I have never seen any negative affects from that process so if it "breaks down" it is news to me.
 

keithIHS

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There are a bunch of different chemicals all dissolved together and some may react with each other or with the oxygen and carbon dioxide that will dissolve in the water from the air. The manufacturers work pretty hard to create a stable mixture, before and after mixing, but like everything, there are compromises and tradeoffs to be made. Check out the BRSTV series on saltwater stability. They looked at a few basic parameters. Most, but not all, were stable/unchanged for weeks. The biggest problem is high alk and Ca may precipitate. I don't recall if they looked at the stability of trace elements.
 

alicel

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I've never thought this to be much of a worry.

When I need to clean my tank and do a water change I only get 5gal at a time since my tank is 16gal.
I have a bad habit of leaving my 5gal bucket of new SW in my car for about a week before I take it inside to finally find the energy to clean the tank and actually do the water change. But every time, I make sure to test the water first. I'll check parameters and it is usually always fine. I did have to adjust the pH once but that was it.
I have left a bucket of new SW sitting in my hallway for about 5-6 weeks before using it and still had no issues.

If anyone thinks I am risking the health to my tank and the creatures within, please say so, and explain why, so that I may be better educated!! :)
 

keithIHS

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I've never thought this to be much of a worry.

When I need to clean my tank and do a water change I only get 5gal at a time since my tank is 16gal.
I have a bad habit of leaving my 5gal bucket of new SW in my car for about a week before I take it inside to finally find the energy to clean the tank and actually do the water change. But every time, I make sure to test the water first. I'll check parameters and it is usually always fine. I did have to adjust the pH once but that was it.
I have left a bucket of new SW sitting in my hallway for about 5-6 weeks before using it and still had no issues.

If anyone thinks I am risking the health to my tank and the creatures within, please say so, and explain why, so that I may be better educated!! :)
Your pH was probably too low? If so, it was from CO2 dissolving in the water from the air and turning into carbonic acid. Keeping it covered airtight can fix that.
 

flyfisher2

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I don't worry about it breaking down per say but I do notice that when I come back to the brute for my weekly mixing, if I've left a little in the bottom from the previous week I notice a weird smell. Kinda sweet? the hose feels slimy and everything ends up getting rinsed before a make a fresh batch. I'm guessing its just lack of circulation and maybe some bacteria.
 

lefkonj

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I make 65 gallons every two weeks, it gets used up over the two week period and repeat. Temp, Air, etc etc could be a bigger question. Mine has a pump in it to get it moving around, not a big one just some flow, along with a heater.
 

stephanjupillat

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I've got two, Rubbermaid I think, food grade 30gal cans for my water station. I have a 60 gallon tank and always kept about 25 gallons mixed and ready. Submerged powerhead and heater were always on. 15% water changes every week so I had plenty of saltwater left in the can after water changes. Topped off with RODI water and then added more salt so I always had about 25 gallons of saltwater ready. After about a month the saltwater started to smell and the water had "floaties" in it. Disinfected with vinegar, started fresh batch, then about 1 month later it started smelling bad again. Even tried turning heater off and then back on 1 day before water change. Didn't help. Bleached everything and now I mix 12 gallons 2 days before water change. 9 for the tank 1 gallon for top off water to replace skimate, then dump the rest. No idea what what the floaties in the water were or what caused that smell but probably didn't want that in my DT. I use tropic marin pro. Lid was always on the RODI water and I've tried lid off and on for saltwater can. Least I have 25gal of RODI always ready in case of emergencies that I can mix and heat up but I have no idea how some of you are keeping saltwater fresh for 6+ months. My saltwater was obviously cloudy and smelled after 3 or 4 weeks.
 

denvereefroli

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BRS ran a test on this. No brand "broke down" or had significant preciptation. According to them you can store salt almost indefinitely. Certain brands require specific mixing instructions, for example, I use red seal coral pro than needs to be mixed for a short time at 68 deg. f. since it is saturated with higher levels of alk/calcium to prevent precipitation, but even if it did, you'd only lose 1% of the elements according to red sea.
 

alicel

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Your pH was probably too low? If so, it was from CO2 dissolving in the water from the air and turning into carbonic acid. Keeping it covered airtight can fix that.
Yes, it was too low. My buckets don't have seals so that's probably why. They are just plain-jane 5gal buckets from home depot.
 

ctopherl

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There are a bunch of different chemicals all dissolved together and some may react with each other or with the oxygen and carbon dioxide that will dissolve in the water from the air. The manufacturers work pretty hard to create a stable mixture, before and after mixing, but like everything, there are compromises and tradeoffs to be made. Check out the BRSTV series on saltwater stability. They looked at a few basic parameters. Most, but not all, were stable/unchanged for weeks. The biggest problem is high alk and Ca may precipitate. I don't recall if they looked at the stability of trace elements.
I was thinking of the same BRS series and was thinking that some of the salts actually showed pretty dramatic changes, especially ones starting with higher alk/CA (red sea coral pro stands out in my memory)
 

keithIHS

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Smelly cloudy is bacteria (?)
Some salts are less pure than others so maybe less clean and feed bacteria? And maybe, no offense meant, some reefers and gear are less clean? OK stand by for the snark...
 

srad750c

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The longest period I have pre mixed my salt has been about 3 days, never had a problem with hw-Marinemix Reefer salt. I can't find it locally anymore so I bought RedSea Coral Pro salt the other day, it says don't mix for more than 4 hours and don't aerate during mix period because it would cause precipitation of certain components of the salt mix. Guess I will have to start ordering my salt online now.
 

Jay Norris

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I never worry about my saltwater breaking down, as I use NSW and do partial water changes every two weeks or so. I have stored NSW for over 6 months without any problems.
 

Arabyps

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BRS did a study on this. Bottom line is there is no significant change in the saltwater parameters over a few weeks using popular salt brands.

 

MattW33

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I mix up 300 L batches of tropic marin proreef, these are used over 3 months for an auto water change system. Not had any issues so far, maybe salts with very high alk might see some precipitation, but can't see why it would be an issue for lower alk salts.
 
BRS

Do you take notice when your coral starts stretching or shrinking?

  • YES and usually there is a probem

    Votes: 83 65.9%
  • YES but I never have a problem

    Votes: 28 22.2%
  • NO

    Votes: 6 4.8%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 9 7.1%
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