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Rotten Kitty
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Almost out of salt mix and looking to get something different. I currently use Crystal Sea Marine Mix and it just dosn't disolve fully. Plus the calcium level is only about 300ppm when tested with a salerfet test kit @ 1.023, well my specific gravity may be the reason it only tests at 300ppm. Anyway look at this report
http://www.animalnetwork.com/fish2/aqfm/1999/mar/features/1/default.asp
And it shows that most salt mixes contain an ungodly amount of trace elements not to mention nutrients nitrate and ammonia. Instant ocean for instance has 5x more nitrates and 50x more ammonia over natural saltwater. Look at this composition chart for natural seawater...
http://www.aist.go.jp/GSJ/~imai/info/seawater.html
http://www.caspianenvironment.org/itcamp/iran1_4_5.htm
Now I've looked for a natural compositoin of NO3 in sea water but it varies from .02 ppm to .6ppm probally at the low end for coral reefs so .02 x 55 = 1.1ppm not much after all. This is also assuming the ammonia is converted to nitrates.

With regular water changes you are always maintaining a higher concentration trace elements, not to mention some of these are heavy metals that would tend to sink into the sand bed. Now the nitrogenious compounds would be taken up fairly quickly by bacteria, algea, denitrification. Many experienced reef keepers only do small water changes every few months, implying that the trace elements are being taken up and the reef does better with less?

I really don't like the trace element composition of any of the main saltwater mixes, but will probally go with instant ocean since it's just as good as the others and many people have stated it is consistant in quality from batch to batch.

Any comments on water changes, trace element concentration...:rolleyes:

~Jimbo
 

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Rotten Kitty
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Not sure of ammonia content of the reefs, but is probally so low that 50x makes very little difference.

~Jimbo
 

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Jimbo, I've been following a thread on Ron Shimek's board at Reef Central. He's not happy with the amount of extra metals etc. in salt mixes and will be doing some comparisons/testing down the road to see which one is better. I can't get on to RC right now (recurring problem with this site) but if you're interested I'll post the addy when I get on (can't remember the name of the thread until I see it). :rolleyes:

BTW, I've tested IO salt before doing water changes and it does test for a small amount of nitrates and ammonia. I think they all do.

Cherry
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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Nuby, don't feel bad about buying Reef Crystals, that's a perfectly good brand of salt and it's the "improved" version of IO.

I've used IO for years at home, I use Kent at the shop and I'm impressed with the CA reading right out of the bucket with Kent, here it was 280 for IO and 400 with Kent for new saltwater freshly mixed.

As for ammonia and nitrate, how long are you aging that water before you test it? New saltwater that isn't properly aged and aerated, WILL show ammonia and possibly nitrate. It's actually caustic. Dumping 5 gallons of this into a 50+ gallon tank IME doesn't make a big deal, but if possible, age the water overnight or longer.

When I'm doing a tank maintenance I can't age the water for more than an hour or so, but I have not experienced problems with this. I don't fuss too much about matching temp either. If the salinity is in the ball park (I compare the nsw with the tank, and if adjustments up or down have to be made to the tank, I mix the nsw accordingly), then I go for it.

Jenn
 

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Rotten Kitty
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Hi all, I got the information about the NO3 count from this lab report link below. IO has 5x more NO3 than natural seawater. We need to convert the molar values to ppm
We need the atomic weight of NO3(Nitrate)
N=14amu(atomic mass units) get this from a periodic table
O=16amux3 atoms
Total for NO3=52amu(atomic mass units)
Atomic weight for NH4(amonia) is 18
So we have .00020 millimoles X 52=0.0104ppm even at 5x this value for IO we get .052ppm, not enough to sneeze at

Ammonia(NH4)
Value .00020 millimoles X 18(NH4)=0.0036ppm for natural saltwater, IO is about 50X higher for ammonia is .18 ppm again not enough to sneeze at.

What worries me is the much greater concentrations of the trace elements. Check out these elements Vanadium Nickel Chromium Aluminum Copper on the graph some of them are extremly higher than natural salt water 1000X or more. I have to wonder if some of these concentrations can adversly affect some corals and fish.
http://www.animalnetwork.com/fish2/aqfm/1999/mar/features/1/default.asp
Makes me want to run my salt mix through carbon :p

~Jimbo
 

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Bubble Algae Warrior
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don't know if the question about what brand test kit was for me, but hey- a little extra input never hurts right? ;)


I use elcheapo Aquarium Pharmeseuticals test kits and i've been told they are not the greatest for accuracy, but they have never failed to alert me to any legitimate water quality concerns.

I do age my water as long as i can (6-8 hours to overnight- yeah, i'm sure 6 hours is likely the minimum), with a waterpump to mix. i mix it about room temp and warm it up with hotter water and check the salinity. i keep my tank at 79F and my house at 70, so it doesn't take much.

I must now confess to the sin above all sins, i do not use RO or DI or RODI water..... i use *gasp* TAP!

I have tested my tap water with all the test kits i have and it has no chlorine, no nitrates and only trace phosphates on the low range tester- and that gets removed with Kent phosphate
sponge... it is soft, so i have to keep trying to get my alk to a proper level- which i am trying to do slowly so i don't nuke my urchin....

as far as metals, i use a white polyfilter to check for weird colors, and havn't seen anything alarming...just hope it is something i can rely on.

I wonder if any of the stuff in the IO i am using had either dissapated during aging (which is the point, huh?) or was at such a low amount my test kits don't pick up on it
i dunno...its interesting...and i think i went off the subject a teeny bit :D
 

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Going Broke
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I guess before I take this too literally, where is the source of the seawater. I can't believe that all sea water a equal in quality and level of trace elements. Is the sea water from the Pacific NW ocean, Atlantic, Red Sea, Antartica, and at what depth was the sea water taken from? I keep hearing this is what sea water is, but no where does it reference the source of the sea water.

If I'm going to mimic water from the South Pacific, I certainly do not water to compare my water parameters to the water off Oregon Coast.

Just my thoughts. Maybe I'm missing something here.... like a brain :D

But I have used IO since 1984, and have also used Reef Crystal, Kent, and Crystal Sea Marine Mix. For what's it worth to me and my wallet, IO is just as good as others. But then I have a CA reactor too. I had an outbreak of Cyno when I switched to Reef Crystal and Crystal Sea, but that could have been a coincidence.
 

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Hi guys. I use Seachem test kits. I don't think it matters how long you mix the water because there isn't anything in there to convert the 'baddies'. :D

Actually the small amounts of ammonia and nitrates don't bother me... the problem of heavy metals in the mixes does - I hate the thought of those things building up and saturating the sand and rock in my tank. 'Old tank syndrome' is something I would like to avoid. Maybe I'll start using a polyfilter. :rolleyes:
 

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Rotten Kitty
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1,882 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Reefcam the natural sea water came from the surface somewhere in the tropics. Would have to assume it was a reef area so it should be a nutrient free zone.
The salinity of near-surface seawater in the tropics is approximately 35 parts per thousand (ppt),
from the test report.

~Jimbo
 

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Food for thought

Proline makes a concentrated version for 400g mix of salt....All you have to do is mix with 80 pounds of non-iodized high purity sodium chloride to make 400 gallons this is what alot of aquaculture farms are using im sure. It claims to have very low levels of caustic materials present in other salts that cause "metal plating"

this product can be had at Aquatic Eco if anyone is interested, and if anyone has tried this please post their findings and beliefs. Here is the link for it

http://www.aquaticeco.com/aquatic1v...flag=0&iteminfo4=0&itmid=7887&passitemid=7887

FWIW the total cost of the mixture for 400g comes up to about $60 which is about $30 per 200g (I dont even think you can find IO 200g buckets that cheap)
 
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