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

GillMeister

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Thanks much.

OK, so the conversation we are discussing here was started by someone who watched a BRS video on calcium and alkalinity concentration of freshly dissolved salt mixes stored for various lengths of time. The question this person posted about storing saltwater mixes used the term “composition” when the terms alkalinity and calcium concentration were actually what was discussed in the video. This poster also mistakingly claimed that video stated salt mixes change in 24-48 hours after mixing when in fact the video stated one of the eight salt mixes tested had a decline in calcium and alkalinity.

So, long story short, I still propose no one on this planet thinks salt water breaks down but many people wonder and worry about the stability of calcium and alkalinity concentrations during storage.
Yes, I agree. It's still an interesting question. Knowing if you should have anxiety about storing mixed salt is a good thing to put to bed.
 

Kscope

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I didnt read the entire thread so if someone alteady posted this I apologize . BRS did a whole series on salts and storage.
 

Bruce60

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In a previous home I had two large tanks with a fish room behind them. I used to mix up 55 gallons of salt water at a time and store it for weeks without any apparent issues. I no longer have the luxury of that space, so I mix up 20 gallons at a time for a water change and keep for minutes to a day or two. Still no issues.
 

tehmadreefer

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Is it anything to be concerned about?
No, it’s actually very beneficial as it is binding things you don’t want in your tank, like metals and such.

you can find the info somewhere on here thought it naught be a bit difficult to find from Instant Ocean.
 

Buckster

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I generally have 40 gallons of salt mix and 40 gallons of RODI. Since the salt did not come with instructions to keep circulation after mixing then why would there be an issue?
 

GillMeister

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I didnt read the entire thread so if someone alteady posted this I apologize . BRS did a whole series on salts and storage.
Dig a little deeper. There's a post within a post within this post that refers to your BRS link. This seemed to get people thinking salt mix might 'expire' or something.
 

iMi

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I agree with many who have responded and also don’t see how saltwater can “break down.” Isn’t salt just an inorganic substance dissolved in water? I could be wrong but if saltwater doesn’t ”break down” in our aquariums, why would it break down in a tub?

I suspect the people who came up with this concept are also responsible for the “sanitizing” of dry rocks with bleach, boiling and some more bleach for good measure, as if the rock was from another planet.
 

weezeoh

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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."


3 weeks
I’ve had mine in a 70 gallon drum for 4 months as I’ have been waiting to fill my case 1800 . It just started to separate . Along the heater amd pump wire a brown slimy coat has taken over and it also appears at the water line . I’ve been told saltz have an anti clumping agent (clay) mixed into our salt donor won’t clump . I think that’s the breakdown and my question is, what does that don to that saltwater left ? Is it reef safe?
 

SpiceReefer90

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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?



image via @FLSharkvictim
IMG_4778.JPG

20210409_204606.jpg
 

SpiceReefer90

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I use Red Sea Coral Pro salt and like to keep my Alk at about 9.5 to 10 dKH. I've noticed that if I've had the salt mixed for more than about 5 days my Alk and Ca drops after a 15 gallon water change to my 90 gallon, normally I'd be at about 9.5 dKH and 440 Ca before, and those drop to about 8.9 to 9.1 dKH, and about 415 to 425 Ca. However if I mix the salt and do a water change within a few hours to a day those levels stay the same or even increase. Not sure about other salts, but I think Red Sea precipitates after some time.
 

s_spowart

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I have kept sea water both natural, and mixed for a couple of months with nothing but an air stone on it to keep it moving in my water butt.
All I need to do is a quick check of the salinity before use to make sure it hasnt risen too much due to evaporation. If it has, mix it with a bit of fresh ro to bring it back down before use.
 

steamman

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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?



image via @FLSharkvictim
IMG_4778.JPG
Does anyone circulate the stored salt water until it is used?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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If saltwater started to break down then we have a much bigger problem, the ocean covers approx 66% of the earth.

While I agree that most (not all) salt mixes are fine if stored as ASW, it is not nearly as simplistic as this or many other posts in this thread suggest.

Freshly made artificial seawater is FAR LESS STABLE than is reef aquarium or ocean water.

The reasons are primarily two fold:

1. Artificial seawater lacks many of the things that slow or prevent abiotic precipitation of calcium carbonate in the ocean or in an aquarium. Most notably, those would be organics, phosphate, and even whole bacteria. They get onto fresh calcium carbonate surfaces and slow or prevent additional precipitation. Magnesium does that too, but is equally present in new salt water as in aquariums.

2. ASW is often far higher in alkalinity (and often calcium) than is the ocean. ALkalintiy and pH are the biggest drivers of precipitation. High alk salt mixes are clearly less stable than are lower alk salt mixes or the ocean.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Does anyone circulate the stored salt water until it is used?

Only salt water with organic matter (natural seawater, old aquarium water, or the few salt mixes that contain organics) need aeration for storage.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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The mfg should answer these for clarity.

Manufacturers are often not the best source of info in the hobby even about their own products (very disappointing, but true).

That said, some have clearly answered already (Red Sea coral Pro clearly states it goes bad by precipitation if mixed too long; they even have a video of it happening). While that is not always true even for that exact mix, and the wording of their warning lacks scientific accuracy (perhaps due to translation issues), they are trying to provide an answer.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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No, it’s actually very beneficial as it is binding things you don’t want in your tank, like metals and such.

you can find the info somewhere on here thought it naught be a bit difficult to find from Instant Ocean.

Normal Instant Ocean does not include any metal binders, and I advise against them.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I agree with many who have responded and also don’t see how saltwater can “break down.” Isn’t salt just an inorganic substance dissolved in water? I could be wrong but if saltwater doesn’t ”break down” in our aquariums, why would it break down in a tub?

I suspect the people who came up with this concept are also responsible for the “sanitizing” of dry rocks with bleach, boiling and some more bleach for good measure, as if the rock was from another planet.

I could list a dozen different chemical reactions that take place over time in stored salt water. I'm not claiming they are all bad (or good), but they do happen, such as oxidation of ferrous iron to ferric iron by reaction with O2, making it much less soluble and less bioavailable).

Look at my mixing barrel. Just inorganics...

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BRS

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

  • YES and usually there is a probem

    Votes: 61 65.6%
  • YES but I never have a problem

    Votes: 21 22.6%
  • NO

    Votes: 3 3.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 8 8.6%
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