Mixing saltwater

LawrenceP

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I feel pretty dumb right now. I've done a few water changes without giving it any thought. I have some 1 gallon jugs, threw the salt in there, and then put RODI water in. Shake the jug real good and I have perfectly mixed saltwater, right? At least that's what I thought. I see now I need a bucket with a heater and a powerhead. My fish seem to be doing fine but the first two corals I had did not fare well.

I guess I want to know how bad this was for my tank. Is the issue that the parameters (pH, alk, etc.) need a while to stabilize before the saltwater is added to the tank? I was changing out 10% of my water at a time so hopefully this didn't cause wild swings in my tank. Thanks for helping me understand.
 
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EriksOasis

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My salt mix instant ocean reef crystals call for one half cup per gallon. I usually mix five gallons at a time so that is two and a half cups of salt I pour in the bucket filled with RODI water with a small power head and let mix for around 30 mins until all the salt is dissolved and the water is clear again.
 

EriksOasis

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Also you want to measure your newly mixed salt water with a refractometer. At this point you may want to measure what your tanks salinity is right now before making any new salt water and changing out more water.
 

bif24701

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Use RODI water.

Always add salt to water, not water to salt.

Add just a little less than you think you need and check salinity with refractometer and slowly add if needed until 1.025.

Use a any pump that can move the water round mixing it until all is dissolved and water is clear. Heater needed of temperature is not equal to display system.

Some instructions to salts say that you "must" use with in a a few hours. I use Instant Ocean and it can sit mixed for days no problem.

It's best to leave water mixing for at least a few hours to stabilize CO2/O2, temp, and mineral reactions.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I feel pretty dumb right now. I've done a few water changes without giving it any thought. I have some 1 gallon jugs, threw the salt in there, and then put RODI water in. Shake the jug real good and I have perfectly mixed saltwater, right? At least that's what I thought. I see now I need a bucket with a heater and a powerhead. My fish seem to be doing fine but the first two corals I had did not fare well.

I guess I want to know how bad this was for my tank. Is the issue that the parameters (pH, alk, etc.) need a while to stabilize before the saltwater is added to the tank? I was changing out 10% of my water at a time so hopefully this didn't cause wild swings in my tank. Thanks for helping me understand.

I never heated my water, and it isn't ever "needed' to mix it , although if you do largish water changes, it would be.

As folks mention, adding salt to water is better than adding water to salt, but if it all happens in a few seconds it won't make much difference.

Shaking is as good as mixing with a powerhead.

The one thing your system is missing is aeration. It may not have much O2 in it, and depending on the mix, may dissolve to an unusually high or low pH.
 
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EriksOasis

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Everyone has their own way of doing things. But like I said I put salt into RODI water use a power head to mix for at least 30 mins or longer don’t usually heat it up as it’s about 72 degrees and I’m only doing ten gallons at a time not sure how much fluctuation occurs with ten gallons at 72* out of 45 gallons at 78*
 
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LawrenceP

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Everyone has their own way of doing things. But like I said I put salt into RODI water use a power head to mix for at least 30 mins or longer don’t usually heat it up as it’s about 72 degrees and I’m only doing ten gallons at a time not sure how much fluctuation occurs with ten gallons at 72* out of 45 gallons at 78*
Thanks. That wouldn't change your temperature much. You're changing about a quarter of the water so it'll drop your tank temperature about 1.5 degrees. I'm still pretty new to this but I imagine dropping to 76.5 degrees for a short time wouldn't hurt anything.
 

chris k.

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Check with salt manufacturer. Some salts have to mix a minimum amount of time to prevent calcium precipitation. The salt i use (fritz) requires 24 hours mixing time. I dont think i need that much time. However i mix the salt a day before. And i always do a full check when i get a new batch of salt.
 
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LawrenceP

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OP, what salt are you using? Some salts have specific mixing times. I use coral pro and it states on the bucket not to mix more than four hours. It's ready in about an hour from mixing for me.
I also use coral pro. Same thing - it says .5 to 2 hours but not more than 4 hours. I guess I just skipped over that when I read the packaging.
 

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Just make sure the water isn't heated when mixing and after an hour you should be ready to go. Since I keep my RODI in the garage I normally fill a few 5 gallon buckets and let them sit in the house for the day to cool to room temperature, about 74 degrees. One power head per bucket, pour 2-1/2 cups of salt per 5 gallons and I normally get 1.025 SG or 35ppt.
 

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If you own a saltwater aquarium or a reef tank, I think this blog is for you. It's a way to make saltwater for aquariums. Using a high-quality RO/DI system in your home will remove all the harmful substances and ensure that your saltwater will not be the cause of triggering an algae bloom or degrading the water quality of the fish tank.
 
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