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Old 01-12-2012, 01:15 PM   #1
coweta
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High Salinity


Help! I just found out that the ro/di that has been added to the tank may have been saltwater and not fresh water ro/di. I checked the salinity with a hydrometer and it registered off the grid (seriously, the needle was past the numbers, I checked it in freshwater to make sure it was working). My fish seem healthy. Our custodian who is sweet enough to get the water for us (I'm at an elementary school) told me that he thought the time before last they gave him saltwater, but he never questioned it because it's a SW aquarium. How do I bring the salinity down? thanks for any help! BTW, I have a 75G aquarium
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:21 PM   #2
kevin32
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If you want to bring the salinity down I would do so in water change and lower the salinity that way. DO NOT lower the salinity all at once because that could be deadly to the coral and fish.

My RODI water are freshwater and I add my salt to it. That way I can adjust the right salinity I want. The correct way is to steadily decrease the salinity over a couple weeks so the fish and coral can tolerate it or else they could possibly die.

Hope I help, I'm sure other experts will shine in.
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:36 PM   #3
coweta
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High Salinity


Kevin32
Thanks so much for your quick reply! How should I remove/add the fresh water? Can I remove from tank and add to the tank, or should I add to the sump? Also, how much do you recommend at a time? A gallon? two gallons? Then wait a week or two and do another one or two?
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:36 PM   #4
chrisd
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Depends on how high it is but I would do a series of water changes one after the other. Waiting say a couple hours between changes.
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Old 01-12-2012, 02:03 PM   #5
coweta
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High Salinity


I think I really screwed it up. The fish are definately stressed. The yellow tang has brown down it's front. The clown fish are struggling. I'm so upset. I feel so bad. I added 1 gallon of fresh ro/di water to the tank instead of the sump. I had removed a gallon of water from the tank. Do you think they'll live? The lights are on a timer and they are off now.
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:24 PM   #6
JohnWesolowski
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While lowering the salinity, it would also be helpful to use an air stone to get more oxygen in the water. Higher salinity also means less oxygen. I wouldn't move it down more than .002 every few hours (e.g. 1.030 to 1.028, then wait at least 3 hours for the next water change.)
I check my pH and Specific Gravity on my new water every time I do a water change. RO can have extremely low pH if not buffered.
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:36 PM   #7
tbardoni
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisd View Post
Depends on how high it is but I would do a series of water changes one after the other. Waiting say a couple hours between changes.
+1. Get that salinity down...quickly. I'd personally do a 10% change at a time, waiting 1-1/2-2hrs between each change.

You HAVE to keep an eye on the Ph and try to match temp...try to stress the fish as least as possible. Adding an airstone to the tank will help with maintaining the Ph.

Good luck.
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:15 AM   #8
chrisd
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I wouldn't add straight rodi water to the tank. Instead do 5 gallon water changes and add in a half cup of salt to the new water each time. Slowly add the new water allowing the water to mix with the tank water. This will help to prevent any sudden drop in salinity or ph and lowering the salinity gradual.
How do the fish look today ?
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Old 01-13-2012, 05:18 PM   #9
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How much water does he get you at a time? Topping off with one container of saltwater should not cause your levels to go off the chart. Before doing anything major, you need to get a verfication of your salt level. Maybe bring some water to the LFS for a double check.
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Old 01-13-2012, 05:22 PM   #10
kevin32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisd View Post
I wouldn't add straight rodi water to the tank. Instead do 5 gallon water changes and add in a half cup of salt to the new water each time. Slowly add the new water allowing the water to mix with the tank water. This will help to prevent any sudden drop in salinity or ph and lowering the salinity gradual.
How do the fish look today ?
x2
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:15 PM   #11
coweta
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I was so excited when I saw the tank this morning, all the fish looked fine! I am going to and do a water change tomorrow. I think taking a sample to LFS is a good idea. We have about 6-8 huge buckets of ro/di water, maybe they're 5 gallons? But the ones we have now are definitely fresh water. I also checked my nitrates and ph and all was good. This tank is one that my school has had long before I arrived, but no one would take care of it or wanted to learn about it. I feel like I've been given a great gift...a sw tank that I can buy for but don't have to pay for There is just a lot to learn. I'm having trouble with the protein skimmer right now too. I put it on the protein skimmer thread, so If you're familiar with it please hop over there and see the picture. I need some advice! Thanks so much for all your help. This site has been so helpful. I feel like I have learned so much in a little amount of time.
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:02 AM   #12
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What is the SG now please? I would dip a gallon at a time and add a gallon of RODI buffered if your pH is off as well.

BTW, have you by chance replacing evap with RODI Salt or RODI Fresh?
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:20 AM   #13
coweta
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Yes, we accidently got saltwater rodi to top off after evaporation. I have replaced about 5 gallons and see no drop yet. I know I am using rodi fresh now. My tank is 75G so I guess it will take a while.

Another question...do I put the fresh rodi in the sump? This is what I'm doing. Once I put it in the tank and the fish got very stressed. Now I'm putting it in the sump.
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:11 AM   #14
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A few things:
1. invest in a refractometer as they are more accurate than a hydrometer. Hydrometer's aren't very accurate to begin with and lose accuracy as minerals, etc build up in them over time.
2. +1 on having the LFS test the water (buy the refractometer while there, but be sure to get a good one...it will run around $100 for a very good one depending on where you are at). I try to have the LFS test my water about once a month just to verify my own test kit results.
Adding to the sump works fine. Other option if you have additional powerheads in the tank is to turn off the main pumps during water changes and you can then add directly to the tank. I have a 175g tank so do about 30g changes. I turn off the main pumps, but leave the three additional powerheads running so when I add a bucket to the DT it is immediately dispersed throughout the tank. I usually use a pitcher for the first half of each 5g bucket so it is added slowly, then slowly pour the last half in the tank. If you don't have additional powerheads running, then use the sump. Just be careful you don't let the water level in the sump go too low as it can burn out the pumps....this includes the protein skimmer, which I just shut off during water changes, then turn back on when I am done.
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