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cheese and beer... mmmm
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting ready to do a water change in the morning and I decided to check my SG to see where I'm at compared to the water I'm putting in tomorrow..

My SG is at 1.021-.022!!!
not sure how this happens..

I change my water with an SG at 1.025-.026 each week. I do WC's normally 10g a week for a 38g system with 16g sump. I do WC on Fri. mornings and by Mon. night I need to put about 1G topoff water..(I do this manually for lack of ATO swtiches) and usually again on Thurs. that has been my norm for a few months now.. and I get similar results each time..by the end of the week my salinity drops a few points..

I have a full glass hood on the tank and roughly 3/4 of the sump covered to combat evaporation as much as possible because at the moment I do not have RO/DI and have to get it from the LFS.. I have a 32g garbage bin full with about 20g of ASW to do my water changes and try to keep enuff FW for topoffs.

Now if salt doesn't evaporate from our systems and I'm only putting in the FW that I'm losing... Why would my salinity fluctuate as much as it does?
And how detrimental is this to my fish and corals? I already have seen a difference in the way my goni has been for the last few days.. barely open.. same with my hammer..

And now I have to try and bring the SG back up to where it is suppose to be..and hope I dont have the same issue next..:confused: I DO understand the importance of having a "stable" environment for our critters and I want to acheive this very much.. I seem to be struggling with something that should not be that difficult to fix.. rather frustrating....

I do check my SG multiple times a week and in a row, to make sure I get consistant readings. It is just a plain Kent hydrometer but I make sure to clean it well between uses. as soon as $ pemits, I will get a refractometer but for now this works..

I'd appreciate some tips on topoffs and what works with you guys.. I always figure you lose a gallon you replace a gallon. but apparently not the case here..
 

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Premium Member
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Ratt, you are doing things correct. if you loose a gallon you do top off a gallon. You may want to check for creep though. If you have lids the salt can build in a matter of days, though that is a big change.

Also take a sample to the LFS and have them read the SG, although a Hydrometer is a simple instrument they can become very inaccurate.
 

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Administrator
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I would not trust a swingarm hydrometer, they are just not that accurate or consistant :(
 

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cheese and beer... mmmm
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5,579 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would not trust a swingarm hydrometer, they are just not that accurate or consistant :(
I agree 100% doug, but that is what I have to go by and I check it many times to make sure I get the same reading... .004 points is a little puzzling to me..

Now.... I did just get the Kent last week because my IO hydrometer lost the little weight in the swingarm(do not rinse them with Hot water).. so I may be getting a different reading anyway..

Regardless, I have had this issue since adding my sump and I am still getting use to the routines of having it.. I have a marker taped to the side so when that point is reached, I top off..

the only creep that I can see is in my locline joints for my return.. it is not enuff to account for that large of a jump tho so Im still curious where the stuff is goin.. Maybe McDonalds for the burgers.. :lol:
 

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cheese and beer... mmmm
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My local guy is closed Sundays and Mondays(really?) and the closest FS is like 30 minutes from me.. :/ I have my change water set at the high end, 1.026, and plan on doing 16g tomorrow (possibly half the SB too) Ill see what this puts it at and compare it to the LFS on Tues.

Ill start there and see where that gets me.. Having an RO/DI is really going to help my reefkeeping ability.. having to "run to the sto" for H2O is becomin a pain.. lol
 

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Chasing Stability
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9,244 Posts
You can get a good refractometer for a decent price. I use a Sybon and love it. Make sure you get calibration fluid for it if you go the refractometer route.
 

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cheese and beer... mmmm
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update:

Well... I did a WC today and changed approx. 14g of SW @ 1.026 SG..
After letting it cycle through for a few hours I checked my DT and it is at 1.023-1.024... I still have 2-3g of FSW left in my tub and I'm going to make that SG 1.028 and use it for topoffs all week.. hopefully that will raise it back up to where I want it at 1.025-1.026

I plan on a visit to LFS to have him check it with his refractometer and will be getting one soon..

Also changed one of the bulbs in my fixture to a 10,000k... see how my critters like this..
 

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cheese and beer... mmmm
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
my hammer and my goni are still a bit angry it seems... it could be the drop in SG?
My motni didnt like the exposure to air for a bit during the WC but it seems to be calming down a bit now..

I'm hoping they like this light better than the 6,500K I had in there.. we shall see.. :p
 

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Pro 2nd Amendment
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205 Posts
I wouldn't change ur SG to much till u get it tested or get a meter. Ur salt could be perfect but ur hydrometer is just saying it is low. They can read low when SG is high. Plus u need to soak it in saltwater for 25hrs before first test.
 

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cheese and beer... mmmm
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
They are somewhat of a PITA.. I'm gonna get it checked on tues. To see if my readings match the LFS.. if they do I will feel a lil more confident about using it till I get a decent meter.. all I can really do for now.. I'd. Still like to have at least a 1.024 reading consistent...
 

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Pro 2nd Amendment
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205 Posts
I hear that but if you add the 1.028 top off before you get an acurate reading you might be sending your salenity way to high. I am going through the same thing with my tank right now also. I keep trying to call my LFS (closed on mondays and tuesdays) So they can order me a refractometer (I like to help the little mom and pop stores if can) but havent been able to. Your best bet is just to wait and get it tested tomorrow so you will know for sure. Better to be safe then sorry. Is there any one else u know that you could borrow a hydrometer from and compare it with yours?
 
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