natural sea water vs comercial mix for begginners?

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by llandlo, 3 Jul 2011.

  1. llandlo

    llandlo

    Joined:
    3 Jun 2011
    Posts:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    pretoria
    pls can somebody break down the pros and cons of each?
    i inherited a tank and am slowly learning and becoming facinated?
    now i have stared with comercial mix but what would happen if i added sea water in my water change my dad works every month at the sea so what would happen if i get him to bring me back some water?
    is it a case of if you start one way dont change?
    surely sea water is at the correct paramiters naturally and has plenty of algae and lilltle planktons etc...or am i being naive?
    sorry about the newbie questions but just wondering
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. Meneer

    Meneer

    Joined:
    9 Mar 2011
    Posts:
    602
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Brackenfell - Cape Town
    Most guys using natural seawater experience some algal growth due to phosphates and die-offs during the process.


    You are not gonna benefit from the little plankton's or other sea live that existed in the water, as they will die off.
    Also, I would advise leaving the water standing for a week or 2 if you go that way, because you ARE gonna get some die-offs, and those you want to have settle on the bottom of the container.
     
  4. Tremayn

    Tremayn

    Joined:
    21 Mar 2010
    Posts:
    5,226
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Lenasia
    This has been discussed before.. In the end it was something like this:
    NSW:
    PRO:
    -Free!
    -Alreadey mixed

    CONS:
    -Minerals are not balanced eg depending on the region some water will have low alk, some low mg etc
    -presence of pollutants in the water
    -depending on the region, high no3 and po4

    Artificial salt: (if you buy a decent brand)
    Pro:
    -Peace of mind
    -balanced minerals
    -You know what you are putting in your tank
    -no no3 or po4 as you are using your own RO water and a decent salt

    Cons:
    -It costs a pretty penny!
    -You have to mix it yourself

    Thats the basic pro vs con. Many guys have used NSW successfully but I noticed a lot of them having changed over to artificial salt have had better results.. It cost some good cash but I say get a bucket of salt and a RO filter.
     
    Tobes likes this.
  5. Tremayn

    Tremayn

    Joined:
    21 Mar 2010
    Posts:
    5,226
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Lenasia
    Also the problem with transporting NSW here is that you are going to get a ton of die off unless you have a heater and airstone. SO then it will be like pouring skimmate into your tank by the time it arrives in PTA. Also you have to consider which coast the water is coming from, cold water vs warm water (dbn vs cpt water) .. There could be die off but Im not to sure on this :)
     
  6. Boendoe

    Boendoe

    Joined:
    13 Jan 2009
    Posts:
    598
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Wilropark Roodepoort
    I'll stick to mixed salt water, I'm always scared of pollution in the NSW as you never know who dumps what 1 or 2 km up the beach. Sad but true
     
  7. Tremayn

    Tremayn

    Joined:
    21 Mar 2010
    Posts:
    5,226
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Lenasia
    :iagree:
     
  8. coswecanfly

    coswecanfly

    Joined:
    26 May 2011
    Posts:
    625
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Cape Town
    I collect NSW from Landudno with no problems... Params are always exactly right...
     
  9. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    15 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,899
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    May I be contrary :whistling:

    If I had the opportunity, I would only use NSW (collected from an unpolluted beach, of course). We are forever pouring additives, snake oils, etc into our tanks at great expense, but we shy away from using that which our animals actually live in in nature...

    I used NSW for a few years when I started up and lived near the coast, and being able to do large frequent water changes really saved my tank on more than one occasion. Look at it like this: a good rule of thumb is to do a 10% water change every 2-4 weeks. This 10% is to prevent large changes from affecting our animals, because we do not do more regular water changes (and THAT is because of economics...) Now, consider how good your water quality would be if you could do 100%, or even just 60%, water changes every day. Because of the frequency of these large water changes, the water quality would always remain the same, and you would not be stressing your livestock. You would also not need to run a calcium reactor, or add any additives - not even food for your corals (as they will eat the naturally occurring plankton, algae, and whatever else is introduced with the water).

    Also, consider the quality of the ASW: A few years ago there was a huge discussion about abnormal amounts of heavy metals in ASW. Although it did turn out that Dr. Shimek was "ghost busting" a bit, the fact remains that ASW contains many metals at much elevated levels. As an example, I had some ASW analysed by our local university, and the following table is a summary of some of the results, compared to what the manufacturers stated, or to what had been previously publicised. I must state that this was a "once-off" analyses of water from a single sample in each instance, and that the "old established tank" sample would obviously have been influenced by the inhabitants, feeding, etc. Also, this test was done a few years ago, and must NOT be seen as even remotely indicating the quality of the various products on the market today - I am ONLY using it to illustrate that there were large variances between the ASW's at that point in time, and that it could still be the case...

    [​IMG]

    Hennie
     
    Last edited: 3 Jul 2011
  10. Charl_Stanhope

    Charl_Stanhope

    Joined:
    17 Jan 2011
    Posts:
    2,194
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Big Bay
    Ive been using nsw for two years now and i must say.ill never go with the ASW. I almost never feed my corals and Im able to do two 25% water changes a week.All i do is add a buffer with each water change and dilute it a little with r/o. the salinity in Hermanus is like 1.028 and i want 1.025/6. I tested my water I collect and the no3 was so little(almost undetectable)and the po4 was 0. And my system costs me next to nothing to run every month.Im all for nsw but then you have to collect clean.. i wouldnt trust water in Cape town tho. im lucky I stay in Hermanus.
     
  11. coswecanfly

    coswecanfly

    Joined:
    26 May 2011
    Posts:
    625
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Cape Town
    South of the harbour is fine... Current runs south to north... :biggrin:
     
  12. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    4 May 2007
    Posts:
    5,974
    Likes Received:
    119
    Location:
    KZN
    I have to agree here with Hennie, been running my tanks on NSW for almost 10 yrs now and collect my water from the main Ballito beach, never had any more issues with algae than anybody else. If you really want to see polyp extension on SPS give them a NSW water change. Commercial salt was invented for folk that did not have access to NSW and it does work very well, but somehow has been perceived to be better than the real thing.
     
  13. Tremayn

    Tremayn

    Joined:
    21 Mar 2010
    Posts:
    5,226
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Lenasia
    Hate you guys at the coast! Lol I would also use NSW
     
  14. *Philip*

    *Philip*

    Joined:
    8 Feb 2011
    Posts:
    168
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Tableview
    I use water from 2 Oceans and have not had a problem. Tested a week old drum a few days ago, cause some people complained about phosphates and I found nothing. No problems with algae.
     
  15. llandlo

    llandlo Thread Starter

    Joined:
    3 Jun 2011
    Posts:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    pretoria
    So the answer is tottally horrible os brilliant....
    Hahahah this is a facinating hobby
     
  16. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    15 May 2007
    Posts:
    2,899
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Bloemfontein
    Just a heads up on Two Oceans water - as far as I know, they pipe their water from either the harbour, or from Table Bay (not sure which...), but wherever it comes from, the salinity CAN be affected if it rained heavily in town or surrounding areas. Generally it is quite acceptable, I believe, but just be careful for a few days after heavy rain.

    Hennie
     
  17. Charl_Stanhope

    Charl_Stanhope

    Joined:
    17 Jan 2011
    Posts:
    2,194
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Big Bay
    I always test the salinity of the nsw I collected{its always higher than the desired salinty,like 1.028} and always collect fresh water and use it the same day.asap. I then add a little r/o water so
    i have the desired salinity,heat it to the same temp as my tank and there we go. My corals are growing like nuts and I dont even have good lights.
     
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - natural water comercial Forum Date
Natural sea water - is it worth it General Discussions and Advice 3 Sep 2016
natural sea water for my new aquaria 120litre General Discussions and Advice 24 Feb 2012
Corals as natural indicators for water parameters Water Parameters and Additives 7 Oct 2011
Natural seawater General Discussions and Advice 24 Jul 2008
Natural sea water for tank ? New Members 24 Jul 2008
Natural sea water and synthetic mixes General Discussions and Advice 30 Aug 2007
Apollo's Natural Sunlight Reef Medium Tanks 7 Dec 2015