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Old 11-18-2003, 09:24 PM   #1
Reefdude5
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What's the perfect salinity?


Just wondering what everyone's Specific Gravity/Salinity (I use Specific Gravity) is, and why. Do different corals prefer different salinity? Is a specific salinity better for fish?
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Old 11-19-2003, 09:06 AM   #2
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Hi Reefdude,
I keep mine at 1.025
But, I have a question for everyone: We all use NSW as a guideline, but the figures for NSW are an average - and the ocean is much more saline at depth than it is on the surface (where corals grow), plus much more saline at higher latitudes, right? And deeper water (where data is collected) is more saline than near offshore areas (where corals grow).
However, most salinity data is collected at the surface, right? I'm wondering just how well the data for NSW reflects the actual salinity on coral reefs.
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Old 11-19-2003, 11:08 AM   #3
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Ours is 35.97 at 82.4F right now.
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Old 11-19-2003, 11:11 AM   #4
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Austin something around 1.020-15 is better for fish. Most hard corals are just as happy at 1.020 and we see no difference long term at 1.030 either.
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Old 11-19-2003, 03:46 PM   #5
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So you mean keeping it at 1.025 instead of 1.025 has just resulted in more $ swirling into the sink! I thought that a slightly higher sp would in effect make more trace minerals available to the corals? And if hypothetically someone was a little infrequent in filling up the top off resevoir, hypothetically what sp fluctuations would corals be okay with?
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Old 11-19-2003, 05:11 PM   #6
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I know one thing, I have salt in mine!
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Old 11-19-2003, 05:49 PM   #7
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Old 11-23-2003, 09:34 PM   #8
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1.025 generally, but can reach 1.027-28 with evap. before i top up...

That is how it comes as i buy natural sea water from our LFS...
Id never use a salt mix again, as this nsw has been great and there is no mixing needed!
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Old 12-31-2003, 12:18 PM   #9
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So how much of a swing is acceptable for which corals? Are there any inverts or fish, like shrimp, which are particuraly sensitive?
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Old 01-02-2004, 12:05 AM   #10
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depending on what you keep, salinity may be an issue. In order to keep your Ca and alk at saturation (supersaturation compared to the ocean, like 425 to 450 and alk above 11-12 dKh) you will need full strength seawater at 35 PPT give or take some small percentages, so long as it is stable and consistant. Seastars and many other inverts are sensitive to salinity changes, and swings result in greater metabolic work of organisms that maintain specific osmolarities inside their bodies with respect to salinity. Red sea specimens have evolved with higher salinities (38 to 40 PPT) while the Indonesian Ocean specimens are in the 35 to 35.5 range (Millero text). As far as what happens at depth for our tanks, unless you're bringing up some of the specialty life from the hydrothermal vents, this should not affect our coral systems in any way, although these differences in salinity drive the oceans rate of turnover and currents, and account for the transport of heat content in these currents (think gulf stream and the mid Atlantic states of the US) as they rush north to replace heaver North Atlantic cold hypersaline surface waters that sink due to salinity differences (cold= increased density, evap of surface waters increases sali9nity= increased density, etc)
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Old 01-02-2004, 12:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
unless you're bringing up some of the specialty life from the hydrothermal vents


Hmmmmmmmm..............What can I do with my hot tub?
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Old 01-02-2004, 03:57 AM   #12
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It was informal, but I trust it made my point:

http://www.thereeftank.com/article/



There is no static ideal for specific gravity, temperature, or even pH. There are ranges which themselves seasonally shift within annual ranges.

Granted, the article is least illustrative of that principle with regard to specific gravity, but you have to see the monsoon rains here to believe it, and then SG can fluctuate like nobody's business.

Reef organisms in the wild are sufficiently nourished and not fighting sewer conditions, so they can osmoregulate against most SG shifts without too much trouble. Since captive reef organisms are often found working on a tighter energy budget and in foul conditions, this has misled many into seeking a static set of "ideal" parameters to inflict the least additional stress on their tank inhabitants.

There's something to be said about 'toughening' tank inhabitants. Inuring them to shifts in water parameters better prepares them for inevitable in-tan environmental accidents.

Having fluctuations in those parameters furthermore encourages thriving biodiversity --since not all the residents share the same ideals, and fluctuation in the shared environment tends to provide each species with their 'fifteen minutes of fame' each day, and often provides environmental cues for normal, wild behavior as well.

JM02
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Old 01-02-2004, 09:59 AM   #13
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Tom and Horge;
Very interesting comments and article! Thanks!

Tom, why does a higher salinity allow for supersaturation of Ca & alk?
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Old 01-02-2004, 10:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by tankgirl2
...why does a higher salinity allow for supersaturation of Ca & alk?
There are two sides to the supersaturation with respect to Calcium: on one hand you have a phenomenon called salting out that will reduce the number of total ions in a solution based on a particular temp as salinity increases, and on the other hand you have inhibition of seed crystal formation that allows for precipitation of a salt out of solution. Without getting into a long post on the physics of this, the prevention of the formation of pure CaCO3 crystals by the presence of Magnesium at 1300 "poisons" the seed crystal formation, requiring a higher concentration of Ca++ and CO3-- ions to form the initial crystals. This prevents the precipitation of Ca++ and alkalinity at varying levels and conditions present in most home aquaria and surface tropical oceans. Sulfate ions also play a role, as well as the presence of the many other ions that "share" the burden of solubility in ocean water. As pressure increases, the solubility decreases, such that many of the observed current phenomenon that occurs in the ocean is driven by salinity directly, and indirectly by wind (both in terms of "pushing" the water and through evaporation), solar radiation (heat content and evaporation), and precipitation and river effluents (dilution). There's a really good section in the Millero book involving both surface currents, circumpolar circulation and deep oceanic "rivers" driven by a multitude of mechanisms, but primarily by density gradients due to changes in salinity.

A very good read.
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Old 01-02-2004, 10:52 AM   #15
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man its a chem lesson all over again!!!!!!
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