Salinity and Bacterial growth

Uzair Aiman

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Hi, my water now has a salinity around 1.020 - 1.023 ( I usually keep the salinity between these numbers). And Ive used MB7 and MBStartXLM, with a dead shrimp to start the cycling process. Its been around a week now and Im having an ammonia of 1.5. I use saliferts ammonia tester. My nitrites read at around 0.5-1. Recently Ive seen that when people cycle their tanks, they lower the salinity so the growth of bacteria increases. Is it true? And if so, how slow will my bacterial growth be with my salinity right now. Is it okay? or did I ****** my bacterial growth process?
 
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ying yang

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Very informative video here from doctor tim
Explains why good to lower salinity and higher the temperature for the bacteria whilst cycling then after nitrogen cycled then lower temp and raise salinity.

As for your question on how fast will your bacteria grow.i dont actually know numbers ha ha but cycling at 1.020- 1.023 is ok.it will not kill your bacteria.as thats what they will be living at in our aquariums when stocked with fish etc.
So you will be fine.but doctor tim above just explains that if lower the salinity then the bacteria dont have to fight osmotic pressure as much and bacteria like slightly higher temperature and multiply/ work quicker/ harder.
Your doing ok and on right track it looks like.
 
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Uzair Aiman

Uzair Aiman

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Very informative video here from doctor tim
Explains why good to lower salinity and higher the temperature for the bacteria whilst cycling then after nitrogen cycled then lower temp and raise salinity.

As for your question on how fast will your bacteria grow.i dont actually know numbers ha ha but cycling at 1.020- 1.023 is ok.it will not kill your bacteria.as thats what they will be living at in our aquariums when stocked with fish etc.
So you will be fine.but doctor tim above just explains that if lower the salinity then the bacteria dont have to fight osmotic pressure as much and bacteria like slightly higher temperature and multiply/ work quicker/ harder.
Your doing ok and on right track it looks like.
I see. If so, do you have any techniques that are easy to follow to decrease the salinity for now? Cause I am a student so money is quite a problem sometimes and getting rid of my already 1.020-1.023 salinity salt water seems like torture to me :'). haahah. But if there is no conservation occuring in doing this process Id just leave the tank be.
 

ying yang

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Im only new to saltwater also myself.2 months ago filled tank with water and cycled.
Just lots research 5 years ago ehen nearly set tank up then research these last 6 months.but as we all know research/ reading different than hands on experience.
But to lower your salinity you would have to take some saltwater out and add fresh rodi water ( i prezume your using rodi water) to lower salinity.and remember all the heat in tank and that surface agitation causes evaporation so when top up the water,use fresh water also.as the water evaporates but the salt stays in the tank.
Your saying your salinity 1.020-1.023?
Why is it fluctuating?
Are you topping up evaporated water often enough by hand or better still using an auto top off device.as keeping the salinity stable is important.
Alot whilst the tank is cycling use this time to get familar and perfect the use of all devices in tank.
Like flow from power heads ( dont want sand bed blowing all over)
Return pump speed if adjustable and make sure your sump if got one can handle all the extra water from a power outage turning the pump off and draining back into sump.also that return nozzle in dt not positioned to deep in dt water as causes more water to drain back into sump unless hole/ siphon break drilled.
Playing/ tuning in your skimmer/ making sure not overflowing,can add a few wipes of vegetable oil at top of skimmer cup so as the bubbles hit it ,it pops the bubbles and drop into cup ( dont put vegetable oil in neck of cup and where rising water will be ( watch you tube videos on this)
Making sure the temperature of tank is staying stable and where you want it to be and extra heat from lights/ motors in pumps/ power heads isnt a problem ( if it is you can add a chiller or put a small fan on top of the tank or sump to blow accross it,but this causes extra evaporation so need extra top off water.
Mqke sure auto top off working correctly and set at correct height.
And basically fix/ correct any issues you may find.
If you dont want to take out the salt water and add fresh rodi water to dilute the salinity then you can just leave it as it is ,it will cycle if add battle bacteria/ use live rock or even if use dry rock/ dry sand and nothing live and do nothing or add nothing then nature will cycle it naturally as bacteria in the air will get in.some cycle in days,some cycle in a month or 2.and some even suggest a cycle of 4 months.so we just got to decide what we want to do.
I would strongly recommend some of the cycling threads on reef 2 reef as i been reading them and very interesting and educational,especially threads with brandon as ge been researching tank cycling and free amnonia and alot stuff in this topic.
Good luck and have fun and hope your tank gives you great joy
 

Mrthundermaker

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Hi, my water now has a salinity around 1.020 - 1.023 ( I usually keep the salinity between these numbers). And Ive used MB7 and MBStartXLM, with a dead shrimp to start the cycling process. Its been around a week now and Im having an ammonia of 1.5. I use saliferts ammonia tester. My nitrites read at around 0.5-1. Recently Ive seen that when people cycle their tanks, they lower the salinity so the growth of bacteria increases. Is it true? And if so, how slow will my bacterial growth be with my salinity right now. Is it okay? or did I ****** my bacterial growth process?
I kept salinity at .025 and did just fine. Cycling is a slow process. Be patient
 
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Uzair Aiman

Uzair Aiman

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Im only new to saltwater also myself.2 months ago filled tank with water and cycled.
Just lots research 5 years ago ehen nearly set tank up then research these last 6 months.but as we all know research/ reading different than hands on experience.
But to lower your salinity you would have to take some saltwater out and add fresh rodi water ( i prezume your using rodi water) to lower salinity.and remember all the heat in tank and that surface agitation causes evaporation so when top up the water,use fresh water also.as the water evaporates but the salt stays in the tank.
Your saying your salinity 1.020-1.023?
Why is it fluctuating?
Are you topping up evaporated water often enough by hand or better still using an auto top off device.as keeping the salinity stable is important.
Alot whilst the tank is cycling use this time to get familar and perfect the use of all devices in tank.
Like flow from power heads ( dont want sand bed blowing all over)
Return pump speed if adjustable and make sure your sump if got one can handle all the extra water from a power outage turning the pump off and draining back into sump.also that return nozzle in dt not positioned to deep in dt water as causes more water to drain back into sump unless hole/ siphon break drilled.
Playing/ tuning in your skimmer/ making sure not overflowing,can add a few wipes of vegetable oil at top of skimmer cup so as the bubbles hit it ,it pops the bubbles and drop into cup ( dont put vegetable oil in neck of cup and where rising water will be ( watch you tube videos on this)
Making sure the temperature of tank is staying stable and where you want it to be and extra heat from lights/ motors in pumps/ power heads isnt a problem ( if it is you can add a chiller or put a small fan on top of the tank or sump to blow accross it,but this causes extra evaporation so need extra top off water.
Mqke sure auto top off working correctly and set at correct height.
And basically fix/ correct any issues you may find.
If you dont want to take out the salt water and add fresh rodi water to dilute the salinity then you can just leave it as it is ,it will cycle if add battle bacteria/ use live rock or even if use dry rock/ dry sand and nothing live and do nothing or add nothing then nature will cycle it naturally as bacteria in the air will get in.some cycle in days,some cycle in a month or 2.and some even suggest a cycle of 4 months.so we just got to decide what we want to do.
I would strongly recommend some of the cycling threads on reef 2 reef as i been reading them and very interesting and educational,especially threads with brandon as ge been researching tank cycling and free amnonia and alot stuff in this topic.
Good luck and have fun and hope your tank gives you great joy
It fluctuates sometimes as I realise that some of the evaporated water has evaporated onto the temporary light I have.( its turned off, I just turn it on when testing water parameters). And somehow the salt accumulates there from time to time. Thats my verdict though as Im not sure. My salinity does sometimes fluctuate from 1.020 - 1.023 and I do top off manually with RODI fresh water. Sometimes I also have salt residue on the sides of my tank when in evaporates. I live in Malaysia which is quite hot sometimes so Im not surprised by the rate of evaporation. but is it normal to have salt residue everywhere?
 

ying yang

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Anywhere that the salt water splashes, then the water evaporates you will have " salt creep"
As you can see on my pictures i got salt creep coming out the pipe ( manufacturer glued this so must be tiny hole letting out slighest. And on top the cover for sump.then in other picture as water comes down pipe into sump,i have 2 sponges there to minimise the splashing but still seems to splash over side of sump ( i put my hand there and can feel 0 water splashing up lol )
I havent got around to installing my automatic top off unit yet and only top off with rodi once a week but my salinity stays same.mine is 360 ish system.
Your fluctuations from 1.020- 1.023 seems to my very unexperienced eye to be bit extreme.
Maybe put a cover over tank so dont get as much salt creep on your light?
Maybe lights to close to water level?
Maybe pumps faced to much towards top of water causing more splashing on your lights & possible more evaporation?
Im in england so completely different climates so my evaporation wont be nowhere near yours.
How often are you adding fresh rodi water as top off ? Once a day ?
Be good if a more experienced person gave a reply to see if salinity fluctuation from 1.020- 1.023 would affect fish,crabs,shrimps,snails,corals?
I know inveratabrates they say more sensitive to changes in water chemistry.and if slowly lowered through salt lost through salt creep and evaporation maybe its ok as happenning slowly but would need to change it back higher salinity just as slow i believe .?
Just like when buy new livestock and we slowly acliminate ^_^
 

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neon_reefer

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I cycled my tank at 1.018 @ 81F. I increased the salinity by water changes and topping off with saltwater after the cycle was finished, It took 10 days to get a 0 ammonia Everything that I have introduced in the tank so far has been great, Using Tropic Marin Pro-Reef. Im at 1.026 steady! tank is 4 months old now.

I used dr Tims and ammonia chloride solution.
 
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Uzair Aiman

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Well Im not running a sump. I just have a small powerhead and a hang on filter. (10 gallon tank). May I know what can I use to cover the top of my aquarium? One that wont affect lighting etc. And also, Where do you actually point your powerhead to? Because I usually see them pointed slightly upwards so in create currents and waves to the surface of the water, is that correct? Cause these waves seem to really accumulate salt creep at the sides of my tank. And yes the light is quite close to the water level, it just rests on the aquarium top because its just a normal light, for this temporary period until my zetlight arrives. How do you reduce salt creep and the fluctuation of salinity? do those points that you covered help the stabilization of the salinity and reduce salt creep?
Anywhere that the salt water splashes, then the water evaporates you will have " salt creep"
As you can see on my pictures i got salt creep coming out the pipe ( manufacturer glued this so must be tiny hole letting out slighest. And on top the cover for sump.then in other picture as water comes down pipe into sump,i have 2 sponges there to minimise the splashing but still seems to splash over side of sump ( i put my hand there and can feel 0 water splashing up lol )
I havent got around to installing my automatic top off unit yet and only top off with rodi once a week but my salinity stays same.mine is 360 ish system.
Your fluctuations from 1.020- 1.023 seems to my very unexperienced eye to be bit extreme.
Maybe put a cover over tank so dont get as much salt creep on your light?
Maybe lights to close to water level?
Maybe pumps faced to much towards top of water causing more splashing on your lights & possible more evaporation?
Im in england so completely different climates so my evaporation wont be nowhere near yours.
How often are you adding fresh rodi water as top off ? Once a day ?
Be good if a more experienced person gave a reply to see if salinity fluctuation from 1.020- 1.023 would affect fish,crabs,shrimps,snails,corals?
I know inveratabrates they say more sensitive to changes in water chemistry.and if slowly lowered through salt lost through salt creep and evaporation maybe its ok as happenning slowly but would need to change it back higher salinity just as slow i believe .?
Just like when buy new livestock and we slowly acliminate ^
 

Azedenkae

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I see. If so, do you have any techniques that are easy to follow to decrease the salinity for now? Cause I am a student so money is quite a problem sometimes and getting rid of my already 1.020-1.023 salinity salt water seems like torture to me :'). haahah. But if there is no conservation occuring in doing this process Id just leave the tank be.
If money is an issue, I'd suggest just letting it be and keep cycling at your current salinity. It may take a bit longer, but you'll get there regardless. Saves having to replace a bunch of saltwater with freshwater, and then having to raise the salinity again later.
 
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ying yang

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When positioning power heads im looking for.
Good flow in the aquarium so no dead spots so no detritus builds up affecting the water chemistry in a bad way.
Good surface agitation of water surface to promote good gas exchange ( by pointing power head towards suface)
Any livestock fish or corals are doing ok with the flow and make sure tuned in so mainly the corals arent getting to less flow or to much flow.( not so important for fish unless far far far to much flow and fish getting blown all around tank because got 101 million different powerheads in tank all cranked upto 100% lol
As for your light is just a normal light resting on top of tank? Do you mean just a normal bulb like in a bedside lamp for example? Either way whilst cycling the light isnt actually needed for the bacteria to do their job.some i read leave lights completely off whikst cycling and some leave it on to promote some algae growth to start the algae cycle and get through the ugly stage quicker but some argue that slows the bacteria down as they got competion for the nutrients in the water and oxygen blah blah.
If power head in a small aquarium causing to big a wave and getting lots of salt creep at other side,could try put power head in one the corners and face it diagonally upwards so got further to travel before hitting opposite glass so not cause as much salt creep ( granted will only gain extra few inch so maybe neglible positive)
A glass top or perspex top would help with splashing and salt creep but need make sure oxygen can get to water surface for gas exchange.a cut out at the back be ok.a glass or perspex cover will block out some of the light as light has got to travel through it,but if kept clean regulary i think it only small few % loss.
You say got 10 gallon tank so smaller tanks = less stability and any changes just happen quicker so reason why your salinity fluctuating between 1.020- 1.023 from evaporation and loss of salt from system due to salt creep.( your the best judge of this as you can see how much you got in person.
With the salinity flucatating like this during your cycle ,i doubt have that much negative impact on your bacteria doing their job,but as i said in a previous post,during cycling imo is good time to try get your tank stable as you can with salinity,temp,and all devices used etc so then when have livestock you got a stable tank and livestock is happy as can be.
But you could just add more fresh rodi water more often if losing to much from evaporation or if found out your salinity is getting severlry affected by loss of salt through salt creep can add slightly higher salinity water during your water changes to bring salinity back up.( never add salt directly to your aquarium whilst livestock in tank they say unless a emergency i guess
 

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