salt mixing how long?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Mc, 10 Oct 2011.

  1. Mc

    Mc

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    Hi All

    I have been wondering about how much of a difference it makes to let your freshly mixed salt water stand over night, and what that does to the actual chemistry of the water, also how much of a difference it makes if you heat up your water before adding it, would a 0.5 degree drop in temperature make a big difference? Lets say I mixed enough water for a 10% change, and all the salt dissolved quite quickly, as the red sea coral pro usually does, and then I just added it right away what would the problem be? Anyone who understands this your advice is appreciated.
     
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  3. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    You need to let the newly mixed salt stand for a while allows the parameters to stabalise, as there will be a few reactions going on in newly mixed salt water.
    Heating the water also promotes stabily in your tank. you dont repsond well to a cold front do you? neither does your tank.
     
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  4. Mc

    Mc Thread Starter

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    What reactions, and how long?
     
  5. Jeann1

    Jeann1

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    Basically @Mc leaving the mix over night gives it time to settle.. because salt seems disolved does not mean it is (dissolve can also refer to chemical concentration in the mix - also giving reactions time to complete - like PH, alk, Kh, Ca, Mg etc.)

    I use to make salt mix and do waterchanges in a few hours, since i stoped doing it, my tank looks healtier.
     
    Last edited: 10 Oct 2011
  6. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    In all honesty, I personally see no point in letting fresh mix sit any longer than necessary. I'll admit I used to simply because everybody said you should, but I don't any more because I couldn't find any valid reason why you should, especially when doing small water changes like 10%.

    When I mix salt I have a powerhead and heater in there, I simply wait until the water has heated up, then add salt, and wait for the water to go clear, this varies depending on what salt I use, but then I test salinity and in it goes, normally within an hour or two.

    I think if you are wanting to adjust any parameters of the new mix, like alkalinity or calcium or magnesium etc. then make your additions and let it sit overnight but apart from that, I see no need, rather make adjustments once the water is in.
     
  7. Mc

    Mc Thread Starter

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    I am also thinking this, cause I hear alot of people saying things like it needs to settle (no offense intended), but im not sure what that really means I know alot of people leave there water over night, which I have never done. So far I haven't seen any bad results, but with recently adding a nennie it seems to pull in a bit when I do changes. @Jeann1 what you say about the salt looking dissolved, but not actually being dissolved makes sense, but if thats the case then if you left it for a while wouldn't the salinity change, cause I find it only takes a few minutes for my salinity to settle, even if I measure it a few hours later its still the same. I might just try leaving it over night next week, and see how the nennie reacts.
     
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  8. Jeann1

    Jeann1

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    To be honest.. i dont know. I also heared leave it over night.

    The last few times i used over-night salt mix, and my tank does seem happier.. so this might be one of the debatable items..
     
  9. pXius

    pXius

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    I've done a emergency water change on a mates tank, close to 50% and as soon as the water was at the right temp with salinity at the correct level the water went into the tank with no ill effects. This actually got me wondering as well.

    Currently I still mix my water the previous day and do the waterchange the next morning so thats about a 14-16 hour wait. However I do my last adjustments right before it goes into the tank. (adding RO or salt to lower or boost salinity).
     
  10. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    This was a reason NEMO gave
    salt mixing - Marine Aquariums of South Africa
     
  11. Mc

    Mc Thread Starter

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    Thanks @butcherman that helps. I guess im just a bit stuborn don't like to do something if I don't understand what im doing. Anyone know how long this process takes for the ammonia to be realeased, and the pH to stabalise. @viper357 do you have a nennie in that tank.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  12. chas84

    chas84

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    @Mc I'm glad you started this thread. The general rule does seem to be to leave it overnight so that it can "settle" or "stabilise" etc. This had me very worried: I buy salt water from two LFS. At the one shop, the "Omie" mixes up salt for you while you wait, and at the other shop I normally phone to hear if they have water "ready", if they don't or have just mixed, they let me know at what time the next day (or same day if it was mixed the previous day) it will be ready. I must also add that I have many shrimps, LPS and a RBTA that haven't shown any issues with using the "just mixed" water as opposed to the water that has been mixed the previous day.

    Both shops' livestock are in very good condition (Corals looks extremely well cared for), and both offer good advice.

    After reading the link posted, I guess it's much like letting a newly opened bottle of red wine "breathe" in a decanter before drinking it - it won't kill you drinking straight after opening, but it sure makes a difference :)
     
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  13. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Reef maniac also said it is best to leave it for 24Hrs to mature due to pH etc.
     
  14. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Yes, I have a few tanks with a few anemone's in. If you are concerned about the way your anemone reacts to the newly added water then at a guess I would say it may possibly be due to the difference in temperature, kind of like a cold draft going down the back of your neck, it makes you shiver. I would very strongly advise you to heat up your new water before adding it to your tank, whether it sits for 1 hour or overnight, get the temp as close as possible to your tank temp.
     
    Last edited: 26 Nov 2015
  15. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    While this may be true, I really don't think it will make a difference when doing small changes like 10%, but when you're going for big 50% water changes then it definitely makes sense to 'age' your new water and make sure parameters are the same, otherwise you run the risk of a big parameter swing in your tank which is not a good thing and may negatively impact on your livestock.
     
  16. Mc

    Mc Thread Starter

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    Thanks viper
     
  17. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Valid points above. At the end of the day it is not a trainsmah to not let it stand, but if you wanna give your inhabitants the best, let is stand aerated overnight. Chemical Equilibriam, oxygen saturation, gas exchange etc. Is not an instant process.
    With regards to heating it: don't for two reasons: 1. Fact: Ca, strontium, magnesium and other carbonates,will precipitate out of solution on your heater,. Considering that you are adding new water to dilute pollutants and replenish minerals,, no brainer.
    2. Personal observation: corals are accustomed to cold currents on a regular basis, as during a tidal influx, cold water wells up from the open ocean, bringing food, etc. I have witnessed a temp difference of up to 11 degrees colder water rush onto coral reefs from the moz channel. Amazing polyp extension.. I suspect its due to the food and not the temp, and I suppose if I was a coral I would b disappointed with barren cold water..... Hmmm makes me think... Surge device, cooled, timed with mulm release and some wriggling zooplankton...
    10 percent water change, hmmmm how much difference will it make... Imho enough.
     
  18. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    It is very important to mix salt and let it "acclimatize" over a period of time. It also needs to be aerated. Just because the mix is clear or shows no sign of residue, does not indicate that all the chemical balancing has taken place, the DO level is acceptable and the continuing chemical demand on O2 is negligible.

    Newly mixed salt, or salt added directly to an aquarium can result in elevated levels of ammonia and or depletion in DO due to the consumption caused by the chemical reaction.

    Salt mixes are taylor made for the closed system type aquariums. Additives and enhancements are formulated for different types of aquaria. This, by brand type, can cause conflicting results when testing the stated measurable elements stated on the bucket. All elements will differ from, newly mixed to properly mixed and stabilised salt mixed.

    In short. Brand salt mixing instructions are not there to frustrate the reefer. They are there to ensure that the salt mix one puts into ones tank is what is indicated on the bucket. So read the instructions on you salt mix. If you salt mix dose not come with instructions and you cannot aquire it, then the chances are it is a poor salt mix and should not be considerd anyway.
     
  19. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Agreed. On the back of my Seachem Reef Salt packet it says it is ready to be used immediately, but they "suggest aerating the water until it achieves oxygen/carbon dioxide equilibrium." Problem now though, what hobbiest on this planet knows when the mixture has reached oxygen/carbon dioxide equilibrium? Does that take 5 minutes or 5 days? I think sometimes certain aspects of this hobby are over-engineered so to speak and it takes the fun out of the whole 'hobby' aspect of it.
     
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  20. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Yup "but" a good indicator is the stabilisation of pH and an ammonia test.

    Once the pH has stabilised, it is a good indicator that the DO has also stabilised.

    Mg is one of the biggest factors in marine salt mixes. It causes ammonia in it's dilution and chemical reaction. This is why aeration is recommended, to release the ammonia and allow for pH stabilisation.

    Dean, test the next batch of Seachem salt mix you make up. OR ANYONE ELSE on other brands. Test for the major elements at 35.5ppm salinity at a temp of 25c. Do tests half an hour after all salt has dissolved and then after mixing to manufactures recommendations and the pH has stabilised.

    pH
    KH
    Ca
    NO2
    NH3

    We, Nemos Installations, have, and do mix more salt mix than any other entity in SA on a daily basis. We fully understand, and have felt the repercussions of, salt mixes not properly mixed. And this is with many different brands over the years.
     
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  21. Mc

    Mc Thread Starter

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    NJ this makes sense now appreciate the info.:thumbup:
    I will do this test on the weekend when I do my water change.
     
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