Will Alk/Ca hold up in stored saltwater? | BRStv Investigates

How long do you store your mixed saltwater?

  • Mix and use

    Votes: 20 11.8%
  • 1-6 hrs

    Votes: 12 7.1%
  • 6-12 hrs

    Votes: 8 4.7%
  • 1 day

    Votes: 14 8.3%
  • 2 days

    Votes: 4 2.4%
  • 3-5 days

    Votes: 11 6.5%
  • 1wk

    Votes: 33 19.5%
  • 2wks

    Votes: 27 16.0%
  • 3wks

    Votes: 10 5.9%
  • 1 month

    Votes: 19 11.2%
  • More than a month

    Votes: 10 5.9%
  • Other (comment your thoughts)

    Votes: 1 0.6%

  • Total voters
    169

randyBRS

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It's here!

The next round of salt mix testing is finally here and today, we learn just how long you can actually store your mixed saltwater without the levels for Alkalinity and Calcium falling.

(Spoiler alert... it's surprisingly longer than you may think) :p .

 
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reacclimating 2 the hobby

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hmmm i'm using the Red Sea Coral pro... lasts about 4-5 days, is circulated and heated, but still test at around 11.5 and 460-480

interesting!

looking forward to the next test!
 
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randyBRS

randyBRS

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hmmm i'm using the Red Sea Coral pro... lasts about 4-5 days, is circulated and heated, but still test at around 11.5 and 460-480
interesting!
looking forward to the next test!
We might have a couple of short follow ups before the results of heated and circulated, but I'm pretty excited myself to see the what heat and aeration do to these levels.
 

Erasmus Crowley

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I wonder if the alk appearing to increase over time might be because of the manufacturer's choice of sodium carbonate vs sodium bicarbonate used in the salt.

For example, if only sodium bicarbonate was used to supply carbonate alkalinity to the salt mix, then it would offgas some CO2 over time as the bicarbonate naturally converts to carbonate. Carbonate can buffer a solution better than bicarbonate. Maybe enough to slightly change the results of a titration test as time passes, until the carbonate and bicarbonate levels eventually reach equilibrium with the CO2 levels in the surrounding air? If the containers weren't aerated or mechanically mixed, and there was minimal air exchange in and out of the container, then that process could take a very long time to complete.

I don't know enough chemistry to say that I'm confident that this is the cause of the observation, but it sounds like a plausible hypothesis.
 

Sleepydoc

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Great video - again!

One comment on measurement error - Several times in the video you stated this but then were puzzled when results increased slightly. If you are stating that your testing kit has a measurement error, then any changes within that range are meaningless.

Assuming that the salt mixes were completely dissolved, there should be no measurable rise after the initial mixing. Likewise any drop should be the result of CaCO3 precipitation. Given the extremely poor solubility of CaCO3 in water one would not expect it to rise again. Any increase in parameters should then be the result of measurement error. Ryan commented on the youtube site on the possibility of chelating agents contributing to drift. I don't know enough chemistry to comment on these. Perhaps @Randy Holmes-Farley can but it doesn't seem like these would be a significant source of parameter drift.

One other thing that would have been nice to know was the presence of any contaminants or sediment in the tanks after a couple of weeks.

Keep up the great work!
 

pelphrey

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I’m curious how much temp plays into this? I keep two 40 gallon containers in my garage. .Org hold RO water right now, I’m the winter water is in the 50-60 degree range. Water can be high 80’s in the summer.
 

Kyl

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I'm on about 4 weeks of my 50 gallon Norwesco with IO @ 1.026sg, non-heated, with a power head coming on for 5 minutes four times a day. I haven't seen any noticeable alk drop (this batch is reading ~9.3) over the course of AWC. I've been pulling samples of it to test just this every Sunday and they're within the margin of error for the Hanna dKH checker.

Thanks for doing this to re-affirm things. I suspect that adding heat + constant circulation is going to produce some much more varied results.


*I should add, I use this for AWC and 1/2 gallon water changes on my frag tank a couple times a week, and it's already been refilled once. So in about ~80 gallons of water used total I haven't seen precip much at all.
 

Sleepydoc

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I’m curious how much temp plays into this? I keep two 40 gallon containers in my garage. .Org hold RO water right now, I’m the winter water is in the 50-60 degree range. Water can be high 80’s in the summer.
The solubility of both sodium carbonate and calcium chloride increase with temperature (in the range we're interested in,) so one would expect either no change, or, in the case of the Red Sea Coral Pro, higher temperatures should help. **Caveat - I don't know if the individual solubilities can be generalized to a solution containing Ca, CO3 and Mg.
 

Peter Clark

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Thank you very much for this! Not the results I expected at all. I only expected one or two to do that well. Impressive. Certainly makes an auto water changer seem like an even better idea. I'm excited to see the temp followup since I normally mix with heat and a powerhead and normally leave that on until I do the water change.

Which ones made the bottom of the tank white? I see two behind you did. I'm assuming one is Red Sea Coral Pro and wouldn't be shocked if the other is Blue Bucket or IO.

Thank you!
 

SnookNRedZ

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This was one of the more interesting videos tackled thus far imo. Bravo. I’ve always wondered what happened to salt when stored.

One thing I’ve wondered more so, is do nitrates and it phosphates develop over time in stored water? Specially in a brute or other plastic container?

In a sterile environment one would assume no contamination would occur, but my house is a far cry from sterile. Have dogs, and frequently have some unwanted bugs come in. (Life of a Floridian!) I have long hair, that is always floating around.

What’s the implications of small this in storage long term? Will it render the water unusable? I try my hardest to keep the bins I use clean and covered, but I’m know I’m not 100%, and dust and particles are almost inevitable.
 

SnookNRedZ

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I also use Red Sea Pro, and am kind of on the fence on switching salts after seeing the true values it mixes to, and how long it will keep for. I also have been heating and agitating the RODI prior to adding salt, which has been my practice for almost 2.5 yrs of using that salt. I may switch back to classic Instand Ocean, and just keep a smaller reef crystal bucket on hand for elevating new water parameters, but making the bulk of the mix plain ‘ol IO.

Awesome work BRS. Hope to see y’all at RAP Orlando in a few weeks. Just bought my ticket today!
 

kkiel02

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Well reed crystals surprised me! It’s cheap and somehow keeps a high cal and alk! I was going to try another salt but not too sure now. Maybe neomarine but the levels are lower...
 

VJV

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This series is inspiring me to redo my saltwater mixing station and move it to the basement (my son insists he needs his bathroom back ).

This means i will need to pump the water up several meters so I will need a pump. I will also need a valve at the end of the hose so i can control when to start and stop the water.

Question is, if i turn on the pump with the valve closed so that I have tine to climb up the stairs, will this harm the pump?

Many thanks!
 

Jstn

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@randyBRS Awesome video, I currently use redsea pro for the elevated parameter since I do AWC it allows we to dose less 2 part in theory, i haven’t tested the parameter drift and I usually store it for 2-3weeks in a brute. I have however noticed a lot of precipitation most likely from CaCO3 explaining the levels dropped but also some brown junk. I used instant ocean (both kinds) and got some brown junk also; Could you comment on the visual levels of precipation on these various mixes that you evaluated ? Currently I’m more interested a salt mix that’s stable parameters and the cleanest mix to allow me to go longer without cleaning my storage container.

Thanks !
 

Sleepydoc

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This series is inspiring me to redo my saltwater mixing station and move it to the basement (my son insists he needs his bathroom back ).

This means i will need to pump the water up several meters so I will need a pump. I will also need a valve at the end of the hose so i can control when to start and stop the water.

Question is, if i turn on the pump with the valve closed so that I have tine to climb up the stairs, will this harm the pump?

Many thanks!
Tell your son that the fish need a bathroom, too!

As far as the pump goes, most of these pumps depend on the water flow to cool them, so if you leave it running against a closed valve for too long it could potentially cause an issue, but for your purposes you can safely leave the pump running for a few minutes without worrying. Check to make your pump is capable of pumping at a reasonable rate against the higher head pressure, though.

You can also get a remote control outlet that will let you turn it on and off without doing any wiring. If you have a smart home setup like HomeKit, Nexia or Smart Things you can get controllable outlets for them as well.
 
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VJV

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Tell your son that the fish need a bathroom, too!

As far as the pump goes, most of these pumps depend on the water flow to cool them, so if you leave it running against a closed valve for too long it could potentially cause an issue, but for your purposes you can safely leave the pump running for a few minutes without worrying. Check to make your pump is capable of pumping at a reasonable rate against the higher head pressure, though.

You can also get a remote control outlet that will let you turn it on and off without doing any wiring. If you have a smart home setup like HomeKit, Nexia or Smart Things you can get controllable outlets for them as well.
Remote control outlet: AWESOME. Had not think of this. Thanks!

He turned 16 and wants his own bathroom back. Go figure
 
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randyBRS

randyBRS

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Great video - again! One comment on measurement error - Several times in the video you stated this but then were puzzled when results increased slightly. If you are stating that your testing kit has a measurement error, then any changes within that range are meaningless. Assuming that the salt mixes were completely dissolved, there should be no measurable rise after the initial mixing. Likewise any drop should be the result of CaCO3 precipitation. Given the extremely poor solubility of CaCO3 in water one would not expect it to rise again. Any increase in parameters should then be the result of measurement error. Ryan commented on the youtube site on the possibility of chelating agents contributing to drift. I don't know enough chemistry to comment on these. Perhaps can but it doesn't seem like these would be a significant source of parameter drift. One other thing that would have been nice to know was the presence of any contaminants or sediment in the tanks after a couple of weeks. Keep up the great work!
Agreed there should be no measurable increase and since it was within our own margin for testing error, better understood that the levels remained "flat" versus an increase. I guess I could have provided more clarity to why it was odd that IORC didn't follow trends like RSCP, when some would consider them both salts with elevated levels. I'd say this didn't come through as well as it should have, since I already know/knew that there was obvious precipitate in both tanks, yet only one showed measurable signs of it during testing....leading to the next video coming this week, showing the precipitate results for all 8 stored tests.
 
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randyBRS

randyBRS

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I’m curious how much temp plays into this? I keep two 40 gallon containers in my garage. .Org hold RO water right now, I’m the winter water is in the 50-60 degree range. Water can be high 80’s in the summer.
Should have this test done in the coming weeks. :)
 
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randyBRS

randyBRS

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@randyBRS Awesome video, I currently use redsea pro for the elevated parameter since I do AWC it allows we to dose less 2 part in theory, i haven’t tested the parameter drift and I usually store it for 2-3weeks in a brute. I have however noticed a lot of precipitation most likely from CaCO3 explaining the levels dropped but also some brown junk. I used instant ocean (both kinds) and got some brown junk also; Could you comment on the visual levels of precipation on these various mixes that you evaluated ? Currently I’m more interested a salt mix that’s stable parameters and the cleanest mix to allow me to go longer without cleaning my storage container.
Thanks !
Thanks! Watch for the precipitation update on Friday.
 
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randyBRS

randyBRS

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If you didn't catch the Livestream today, here's what you missed from our follow up discussion about this topic!

 

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