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

Appoloreefer

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Why would a salt solution break down? It's a chemical solution and until you add organics it shouldn't change.
I have seen on BRSTV that some salt mixes break down and the calcium, alkalinity do not stand up if mixed and let to sit for long periods of time, but for the most part most commercial salt mixes hold up pretty good when you mix and let them set for long periods of time. When I am going to do a water change I usually mix my salt 24-48 hours prior to using it and make about 3 gallons more than what I am going to be using just in case I need more. I use Instant Ocean Reef Crystal salt mix. I have a 125 gallon which is currently cycling but when I need to do water changes I will do 20% every two weeks if needed or 40% monthly. I know there are people out there that never do water changes and I think that is great and usually works on well established larger tanks.
 

SpiceReefer90

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Does anyone circulate the stored salt water until it is used?
My mixing pump is set to circulate for 15 minutes every 4 hours. That seemed to help with my last 2 water changes, as mixed salt sat for more than 1 1/2 weeks in both cases. After 15 gallon change Alk decreased from 9.79 to 9.66, Ca remained the same at 407ppm, and Mg dropped from 1433 to 1413. All of these changes were less drastic than when I mix and let sit. Using Red Sea Coral Pro.
 

Panama Brown

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I don't do water changes via Reefers Moonshine Method. If I need to raise salinity I just slowly pour my salt right into my sump filter socks.
Kung Fu Reaction GIF
 

Koty

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I do worry a bit as Aquaforest Reef Salt (that i will not use in the future) has amino acids and vitamin C if I recall correctly
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I do worry a bit as Aquaforest Reef Salt (that i will not use in the future) has amino acids and vitamin C if I recall correctly

Yes, mixes like that have the potential to change as bacteria consume those organics, and if not aerated, might even become anaerobic and produce hydrogen sulfide.

Personally, I think if people want those things added to their aquaria, there are much better ways than via the salt mix.
 

Belgian Anthias

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It may depend of the storage container used. Is it plastic ( polymer containing usable carbon) on which bacteria like to grow? In the case bacteria will grow fast and consume what they can from the mix. Was the container previously used for something else, for example to store used aquarium water? Was the container properly disinfected ? The mix is best stored in the dark, also photo-autotrophs may grow , produce protein and use from the saltmix, cycling the content of the container.

Most salt mixes contain a limited amount of nitrogen and phosphorus which limits the growth. In the case, how suitable is a standard salt mix for cycling a new tank?
Mixed salts ready to be used, it will not take long for the mix to contain some organics which will be cycled.
A salt mix stored ready to use, a lot of the usable content may have been stored in organics.

Dissolving salts, store the mix at high concentration, if necessary.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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It may depend of the storage container used. Is it plastic ( polymer containing usable carbon) on which bacteria like to grow? In the case bacteria will grow fast and consume what they can from the mix. Was the container previously used for something else, for example to store used aquarium water? Was the container properly disinfected ? The mix is best stored in the dark, also photo-autotrophs may grow , produce protein and use from the saltmix, cycling the content of the container.

Most salt mixes contain a limited amount of nitrogen and phosphorus which limits the growth. In the case, how suitable is a standard salt mix for cycling a new tank?
Mixed salts ready to be used, it will not take long for the mix to contain some organics which will be cycled.
A salt mix stored ready to use, a lot of the usable content may have been stored in organics.

Dissolving salts, store the mix at high concentration, if necessary.

IMO, that is a poor plan.

Trying to make hypersaline artificial seawater can easily result in precipitation of calcium carbonate because you are pushing alkalinity and calcium much too high to be stable.

I'm also not sure what you mean by usable carbon, but bacteria are not consuming the carbon that is part of any ordinary plastic container.
 

Belgian Anthias

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IMO, that is a poor plan.

Trying to make hypersaline artificial seawater can easily result in precipitation of calcium carbonate because you are pushing alkalinity and calcium much too high to be stable.

I'm also not sure what you mean by usable carbon, but bacteria are not consuming the carbon that is part of any ordinary plastic container.
Hypersaline? It is the intention the salts stay in solution. Also depending on the mix used.

Ordinary? These days ordinary plastic containers ( polymers) must have good UV resistance but also be biodegradable. A lot of bacteria have a preference for certain plastics. Heterotrophs will grow using carbon from the plastic if other nutrients are available.
Tube denitrators? The tube quality ( soft plastic) used makes a big difference for the attachment of the biofilm?

Putting water in a plastic container it will not take long before organics are produced, exempt if everything is properly disinfected. The container and the water. High salinty will limit growth. It is always just a question of time for the water to become unusable for the purpose.

Drinking water in a bottle, it also has an expiring date.
 
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lefkonj

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Have been doing an AWS for a few years. Every 14 days I make 65 gallons of fresh salt water. Have not had issues with 'break down' as the levels in my tank are extremely stable. I think there are so many variables to this one it is not an easy question? Temperature of water (salt dissolved better at a warmer temp than a colder one), evaporation, type of salt, length of storage, mixing methods, etc etc
 
BRS

Do you have ONE FISH that excels in all these attributes? Health, looks, temperament & activity.

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  • Other (please explain)

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