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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I am looking for some help, I am fairly new to reef keeping and have had my aqua reef 300 for around 6 months. I recently decided to invest in a RO Filter, I have bought a TMC 50 and a 200 litre water butt heater and had a spare korrila 1600 power head so stuck that in to circulate. Just so I try and explain everything in my set up just in case. I have 10 meters of pipe going from my outside tap into my shed into the filter, then from the filer I have the outlet going outside with the good water feeding into the water butt, with the pump and heater in. Now to explain how I run it, I fill the water butt to 100 litres with the pump and heater on, when full I and at temp. I take the heater and pump out and add 925g of Red Sea pro salt at a time mixing in a circular motion vigorously adding the first half of the salt then the second half. I then carry on mixing until water goes clear then add the next lot so on and so on but on my first attempt I finished then went back the following day and the water was cloudy or milky, SG bang on 1023 and shined a bright light in couldn't see any residue on the bottom of the water butt that I could see. Second time I have tried and same procedure but this time towards the end of mixing the water turned the same cloudy milky look. Both times dumped the water and had to go to my local retailer and buy it ready done. What is going wrong? Just to confirm I also ran for the recommended period before collecting water.
 

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First give the manufacturer a call and make sure there hasn't been a recall or a bad batch. I don't have experience with red sea pro, but I do see this issue come up from time to time with all kinds of brands, never really seem to get an answer as to why or what causes it. Honestly I'd take the unused salt (if its fairly new) back and ask the LFS to exchange it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi there,
So just to clarify from what I've said you wouldn't say I'm doing something wrong? And if it is a bad batch of salt can I use what I've mixed and have in the water butt ? I've got 100 litres sat there that's gone cloudy

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi guys,

Thanks very much for your help, from what I can understand from the video and an email from Red Sea if the salt water is over mixed then you get this cloudy affect but it is completely fine to use still? What I would like is to be able to keep 100-150 litre of salted ro in the water butt that has the heater in there and the circulation pump. Is this not possible as this will cause the cloudy look? If so any suggestions?
 

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Salt Viking
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I've found that it all depends on your method of mixing the salt. If I mix Instant Ocean by dumping it in a 5 gallon bucket then filling it slowly with RO/DI water (Say, a minute or two to fill the bucket) It'll be cloudy in the tank for hours. If I mix it with tap water slowly it'll be cloudy till the next morning. Mixing it fast with tap water will still make the water cloudy for an hour or two. But my best results and my current method yields the best results. I have my RO/DI water on a stand and a gate valve to drain it out the bottom. Not a ball valve like you can buy at the store but a Valterra gate valve. So I can literally drain 5 gallons of water into the bucket in one linear 1 1/2" stream in about ten seconds. This mixes the water and salt so well, its clear before I can pour it in the tank and there are very very few salt crystals left in the bottom of the bucket if any. It just all depends, I wouldn't worry about it too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi,

I understand what your saying but I am a bit of a perfectionist, just doesn't seem right putting cloudy water in the tank. Will its cause any stress to fish ect? The other major point is that I want to be able to keep a stock of salted ro in my waterbutt for efficiency and just knowing its ready to go. But if I do this and leave the heater in the butt with the pump circulating the water it goes cloudy. Does this mean I can't keep a stock of the water or I should leave the water in there without the pump? Or what? I'm assuming it's not good to leave a vast amount of water in a tank with no circulation.
 

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Salt Viking
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You can leave RO/DI water in a tank indefinately. There is nothing in it for any organisms to eat, or at least not enough to affect your water. As for pre mixed water, I dunno. I've always mixed my water just before I put it in the tank. I've never noticed any ill effects and I don't think it's been proven that it harms anything.
 

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Shark...fish are friends
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the bigger problem that I see is if you are leaving mixed salt water sitting its going to evaporate which will cause the S.G. to increase. Keep the RO water ready, but only mix the salt a day or two before you plan to use it. In a pinch (if you had an emergency and needed salt water quick) you could mix it and use it the same day, its not absolutely necessary to let it sit over night.

I mix my IO RC in a 5 gallon bucket, I fill it with 2-3 gallons of RO/DI water, then pour in the salt and then use a plastic spatula to stir the salt in the bucket. It's clear in a matter of a couple minutes... half the time I don't remember to mix it the night before I do a water change and I haven't had a problem... as long as the salt is mixed in and the water temp, S.G., and pH match your DT it doesn't need to sit...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, so can I leave salt water my saltwater in a rank with no circulation? I was assuming I would need a pump I'm there not to mix but to stop the water going stagnant.
 

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Salt Viking
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Ok, so can I leave salt water my saltwater in a rank with no circulation? I was assuming I would need a pump I'm there not to mix but to stop the water going stagnant.
No, if your premixing saltwater and storing it for any length of time, you need to keep it circulated. If you let it sit too long the dissolved oxygen can change, as with the Ph.
 

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Shark...fish are friends
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not sure that water really cares if its stagnant or not... IMO the only reason to put a powerhead in a mixing bucket is to mix the salt... I'm not sure what difference it is going to make otherwise...

EC hit it pretty good in that thread that Brassaxe posted...
If it's a sudden thing, it really doesn't matter. Meaning you put the salt in an empty bucket, then dump another bucket of water into it, you're fine. If it's a slow process, like an RO/DI filling the container, it's very important to add salt last. As an example. If you have enough salt to make up 5 gallons of water, but there's only 1 gallon of water in the bucket, the water can become super saturated, and your calcium and carbonates will precipitate out. You'll end up with white dust all over the mixing tank, and water thats low in calcium and carbonates. It's a good rule of thumb to always mix salt with water, and not water with salt.
 

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Salt Viking
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You know it's quite difficult to find information on the effects of long term saltwater storage. I know for sure it'll stay in solution indefinitely. But for some reason I think the Ph can change depending on conditions. Maybe I’ll do some testing. This may be an unexplored/unnecessary territory we are getting into. Either way, if you research this on the intertubes you’ll find its fine to throw stagnant saltwater in you tank regardless of storage time. Nobody knows why it’s ok, but with all the experience with it out there and nobody having issues. I’d say it’s fine..
 

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Shark...fish are friends
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I would assume when we say stagnant water then the only reason not to use it would be if it was developing a film / there was something in it that could settle out... i.e. if you are using tap water that had crap in it you might have a film form across the water that you wouldn't want to use -> RO/DI doesn't have crap in it to let a film develop... with salt water the salt could possible settle out (precipitate out?) so you keep it moving to keep it from precipitating... or you don't store mixed salt water and don't worry about it =) just guessing...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I understand that that's what I meant by I assume I need to keep it moving, sorry I don't fully understand everything like I say I've only been doing this six months and only just started filtering myself. The problem is that if I leave it circulating it goes cloudy as explained in the Video earlier. I would say from what I've heard the only way to do it is mix on the day rather than having a waterbutt full of salted water ready to go? Am I really the only person that wants a stock of water so I'm always ready? In the Red Sea video it says not to mix for an exess of 4 hours, so if I need to leave the water to mature do I just leave it sat still in a container for a day after?
 

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Salt Viking
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No, alot of people have premixed water ready to go. If continuous circulation makes it cloudy then just mix it until the salt dissolves and turn off the pump. If you see any film or precipitation then turn it back on. Don't worry about it being cloudy, it'll either be cloudy or it won't. Like I said, I've never seen any ill effects from adding cloudy saltwater to the tank.
 

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Underwater Demolitions
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I've just started using Coral Pro; I was using IO reef crystals. Like the OP, I was using the methods of mixing we're all used to: mixing, aerating for 24 hours until it is clear and all parameters match, then doing my water change. First batch with Red Sea coral pro went extremely cloudy. I freaked out and called Red Sea. They were very helpful in explaining why it is important to mix this brand of salt differently. I believe Future Doc talked about it being a super-saturated "amped" salt and that the extra calcium and alk would precipitate after a few hours. He was right.

In hindsight, I would not have bought this salt because I am usually not ready to do a water change that soon after mixing. Also, since heating the water also causes it to precipitate, you cannot do a very large water change in emergency circumstances without a drop in the tank temp. I would think 20% is the max I would go. And you certainly can't store the salt mix for over 24 hours without it becoming very cloudy.

This is probably not the salt for you unless you have a tank that is heavily stocked with stony corals. I know it's the last bucket I will buy.

HTH,
Helen
 
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