The Reef Tank banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Hotty Toddy !!
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I store my ro water in a plastic trash can with a lid. I mix my salt, marine buffer & Prime water conditioner myself. I also keep a heater (79 degrees) and a pump in the trash can to help mix everything before I do a water change. Yesterday, I look in my container, and there is a white chaulky film coating the sides of the can, all over the pump, heater & hose. What could that be? I've had the trash can about a month and a half. Two weeks ago, I noticed some tan sediment in the bottom. I rinsed it out with clean ro water, then filled it about a third full - now it's all white. WTF!
 

·
Perfeshunal Hikk
Joined
·
8,887 Posts
Do you put the salt in first or the water? If you put salt in first, thats a bad mistake and will cause issues.

And, you say RO water but then you mention water conditioner, why are you conditioning RO water?

Wats the TDS reading on the RO water and what kind of salt is it?
 

·
Just send me a PM ;)
Joined
·
16,796 Posts
I agree with Randy on this one...do you test before you add the buffer? Why are you adding prime to the water, with RO there is no need. What has happened is that the Calcium has come out of suspension and has formed what is commonly called a snowstorm. This means that your Calcium level somehow got way too high and the solution could not longer hold it in suspension.

  1. What type of salt are you using?
  2. Prior to adding the buffer, how long are you waiting to measure your alkalintiy and calcium? Have allowed at least 12-24 hours before buffering the water and testing for proper pH, Calcium and Alk.
  3. What test kits are you using? How old are they?
  4. How are you adding the salt to the water?
 

·
Hotty Toddy !!
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well....

I use Instant Ocean ( just pour it in 1/2 cup at a time - usually about 2-3 cups per dose every day or so until salinity gets right),
API test strips,
I don't have a TDS meter ( any suggestions on one?)
I add the buffer when I add the salt.

Now that I think about it, I may have overdosed on the buffer this time. (I usually just sprinkle a little in without measuring)

My LFS told me it would help ease stress when I do water changes.. (adding conditioner).

One more question-- How long will RO stay fresh in the trash can?
 

·
Just send me a PM ;)
Joined
·
16,796 Posts
ok.. just a word of advice...

Never add what you aren't testing for. Using test strips isn't much better than not testing. Don't take that the wrong way, but you need to step up to better titration tests like the Elos, Salifert or Sera.

No need to add conditioner or prime or anything else to your water other than the salt (and calcium/buffer, but only if you really need it to get the levels between 8-10 dKh and 360-440 calcium)

For a TDS meter...

This is the one I use.. decent little meter..
http://www.airwaterice.com/product/SENNODUALTDSMETER/Dual_TDS_Meter_Senno.html

RO with stay fine for quite some time in the trash can, but if it is going to be sitting for more than a week or so, I suggest adding at least a circulation pump.

How are you testing Salinity (please don't say Hydrometer.. please say refractometer)?

When adding salt, just add it slow enough that the salt dissolves completely between cups. Measure the amount of water you have and use the 1/2 cup per gallon rule to get you close and the adjust from there. It has been my experience that the 1/2 cup/gallon will net you about 1.023 salinity ( I usually add about 16 cups to 25 gallons~ of water to get to 1.026)

after mixing the saltwater, let it mix for at least 12 hours before making any adjustments or testing it for the levels. Make sure you are running a heater and a mixing pump with the temp of the water being right at the same temperature as your display tank. Always mix your salt for at least 12 (24 is preferable) before doing a waterchange.
 

·
*Assume something witty*
Joined
·
638 Posts
I have this white, chalky film showing up in my saltwater mixing containers, as well. I don't know about the explanation being that my Ca levels were too high for the water to hold it in suspension. When I test for Ca after mixing up a fresh batch of SW using IO, it tests out at 380 ppm. That's pretty well below the level that many reefers keep their Ca levels. How could my Ca be falling out of suspension? I thought I read somewhere that the Mg level has a lot to do with how much Ca the water could hold in suspension before precipitating out. The Mg level of my freshly mixed SW tests out at 1000 ppm.

Currently, when I mix up fresh SW for my weekly 5G water changes, I supplement enough Kents Liquid Calcium to bring the level up from 380 to 425-440 ppm. Also, I dose enough Epsom Salt to bring the Mg level up from 1000 to 1250 ppm.
 

·
Hotty Toddy !!
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I do use a hydro, but I have recently bought a refractometer. Thank you for the info. Everytime I have a problem, ya'll have always helped me through. Thanks again.
 

·
Just send me a PM ;)
Joined
·
16,796 Posts
I have this white, chalky film showing up in my saltwater mixing containers, as well. I don't know about the explanation being that my Ca levels were too high for the water to hold it in suspension. When I test for Ca after mixing up a fresh batch of SW using IO, it tests out at 380 ppm. That's pretty well below the level that many reefers keep their Ca levels. How could my Ca be falling out of suspension? I thought I read somewhere that the Mg level has a lot to do with how much Ca the water could hold in suspension before precipitating out. The Mg level of my freshly mixed SW tests out at 1000 ppm.

Currently, when I mix up fresh SW for my weekly 5G water changes, I supplement enough Kents Liquid Calcium to bring the level up from 380 to 425-440 ppm. Also, I dose enough Epsom Salt to bring the Mg level up from 1000 to 1250 ppm.
It could be as simple as mixing the salt too quickly. I have never had this happen to me personally, but I have heard of it happening to others. Just mix (add) the salt slowly and everything should be good. Any particular reason you want to bring you Calcium levels up that high? 380 is all I keep mine at, there really is no benefit to keeping you levels above the 380 mark.. only negatives (nothing to do with the tank, more with equipment) as the Ca levels exceed 400 ppm, they start depositing more rapidly on warm areas (pump shafts in particular) which will eventually cause the pump to stall, and if not caught in time, fail. With a sandbed, I have noticed that I get better growth when my alk is right around 10 dKh and calcium at 380-400

Also, when you are adjusting levels, adjust the one that is furthest out of whack first..in your case the Magnesium. adding calcium to boost it up and then Mag could cause the calcium to precipitate out of suspension.
 

·
*Assume something witty*
Joined
·
638 Posts
It could be as simple as mixing the salt too quickly. I have never had this happen to me personally, but I have heard of it happening to others. Just mix (add) the salt slowly and everything should be good. Any particular reason you want to bring you Calcium levels up that high? 380 is all I keep mine at, there really is no benefit to keeping you levels above the 380 mark.. only negatives (nothing to do with the tank, more with equipment) as the Ca levels exceed 400 ppm, they start depositing more rapidly on warm areas (pump shafts in particular) which will eventually cause the pump to stall, and if not caught in time, fail. With a sandbed, I have noticed that I get better growth when my alk is right around 10 dKh and calcium at 380-400

Also, when you are adjusting levels, adjust the one that is furthest out of whack first..in your case the Magnesium. adding calcium to boost it up and then Mag could cause the calcium to precipitate out of suspension.
Sorry, Tony. I don't really have a very good answer for why I'm targeting 425-440 Ca and 1250 Mg. The only thing I'm basing that on is the reported water parameters of fellow reef hobbyists here at TRT and other reef aquarium websites. It always seems that those forum members who are most active and most trusted on the sites (and actually report their water parameters) keep their params, on average, around 425 Ca, 1250 Mg, and 10 dKH. That's just a casual observation of mine and not any type of scientific sampling.

Do most members here just mix their saltwater to their preferred SG and leave it at that, or do most monkey around with dosing, supplementing, or otherwise adjusting their baseline SW mix?
 

·
Just send me a PM ;)
Joined
·
16,796 Posts
Most advanced aquarists use a basic salt and then add what they need to it like you do. That gives them the control over the salt mix that they want. Since you are messing with the salt anyway and dosing to get it up to the levels that you want, have you tried another salt that has those levels already? Coralife (yes it is actually a good salt) comes out of the bag with those levels for the most part.. may be something you want to consider.
 

·
*Assume something witty*
Joined
·
638 Posts
Most advanced aquarists use a basic salt and then add what they need to it like you do. That gives them the control over the salt mix that they want. Since you are messing with the salt anyway and dosing to get it up to the levels that you want, have you tried another salt that has those levels already? Coralife (yes it is actually a good salt) comes out of the bag with those levels for the most part.. may be something you want to consider.
Well, I just recently switched to Reef Crystals because I thought it was supposed to have higher levels. However, after mixing up a fresh batch of SW, it tested out with the exact same levels as the IO I had been using.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top