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FAQs on Seawater, Synthetic or Natural 2

Related Articles: Synthetic or Natural Seawater, Saltwater Impressions (Synthetics Review) By Steven Pro, Specific Gravity,  Water Changes/ChangingpH, Alkalinity, Marine Alkalinity

Related FAQs: Seawater 1, Seawater 3, Seawater 4, Seawater 5, Seawater 6, & FAQs on Mixing, Supplementing, Storing, Moving, Physical/Chemical Troubleshooting/Fixing... By Make/Manufacturer: Natural Seawater. Synthetics: Aquarium Systems (Instant Ocean, Reef Crystals), Aquacraft (Marine Environments, BioSea...), Central Garden (Oceanic), Kent Marine (SeaSalt), Red Sea (Red Sea Salt, Coral Pro Salt), SeaChem Marine (Marine Salt, Reef Salt), Energy Savers (Coralife), Tropic Marin, Other Brands... About Buying Pre-mixed Seawater, About  Synthetics Manufacturers Advertising Claims...  Spg 1, Treating Tapwater For Marine Aquarium Use, Reverse Osmosis Filtration 

Convenient? Inexpensive? Safer? Longer lasting? None of the above.

Saltwater Storage I'm in the process of setting up a 125 gallon FOWLR system. I have been doing a lot of reading about mixing salt water, but still have a question. I'm using a 44 gallon garbage can with RO water, a power head, and a heater to premix my water. I let the water in the garbage can heat up to tank temperature, then add salt mix and stir with powerhead. My question is, after I mix the salt water to the right salinity can I store the container without the powerhead and heater? <Without the heater would be ok, but leave the powerhead to keep the water from stagnating.> and if so for how long? <A week or so> Thanks in advance, Mike <Please remember that you will have to reheat to the appropriate temperature before use. -Steven Pro>

Question (marine aquarium set-up, cycling) Hi, I have a CPR protein skimmer/bio-filter that's only good for up to 60 gallons. I have a 150 gallon and I am going to build a wet/dry or a osmosis filter for it,  <Two very different pieces of gear, different purposes.> I am wondering if I should start cycling the water now with just that and then in a little while put the other filter on, or should I just wait till I have everything?  <I would start now... the longer the system runs before adding livestock, especially with live rock, the better> One more question when adding salt to a new aquarium do I still have to mix it in a separate container? <Not if there is no life present. No live rock, sand...> Thanks for your time, Chris. <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Hardened salt OOOPS! Left the lid off the salt bucket and it hardened up. Any solutions on breaking it up besides hammer and chisel? rocky <yep...add water. Thanks for asking ;) Anthony>

pH, and stored water question Hello there and thank you for helping all of us out. You guys are doing a great job over in San Diego. I have been reading your FAQ's and read about leaving window's and door's open through out the day to raise pH. Is this true? <There are instances in which some houses that are well sealed have a buildup of CO2 which becomes a buildup of CO2 in the tank, depressing pH.> Another question that I have is; the water that I have in my 35 gallon trash can has two Aquaclear 802's at the bottom pushing water upwards for aeration. Should I take these out and use an air pump with a stone at the end of it to aerate the water or is the first method good? <I use the pump method.> Or keep the powerheads and add a pump to it? <You could do that too.> Are these two methods the same? <Actually, I like the pump pushing water up creating a lot of surface agitation vs. the airpump.> And yet another question that I have is, should I wait a while, say 12 hours of (aeration/circulation) and then add the salt (Instant Ocean) to the water for mixing? <At least 12 if not 24.> Or vice-versa? Also, I've been aerating the stored water about a week and then adding it to the tank for a water change. Does this timing period sound right, or could I add the water sooner? <After another 24 hours with salt mixed in you should be fine.> Alright, I think that's it for now, but I'll be back with more questions later. Thanks for all your help. Hamilton of Riverside, CA <Have a nice day! -Steven Pro>

Mixing salt water Hello Bob, I've read your article "Treating Tap/Source-water for Marine Aquarium Use" but am still a little unclear so hopefully you can help me out. Questions: - If I mix salt water in advance (1 week or more) before using it, do I need to treat the tap water to remove Chlorine, Chloramine... <chlorine...no, but if you have chloramine, it is not a bad idea to de-aminate (Amquel, etc). Ultimately, not a big deal with vigorously aerated pre-treated water> - Even you gave some hints on what products to use to treat tap water but I still could not guess. Would you please spell it out for me ;) ? I really appreciate it. Thanks, Dzung <Kordon brand Novaqua or Amquel are fine. For bulk dechlorination, the chemical ingredient sodium thiosulfate is the active ingredient in most every dechlorinator. It is an inexpensive and easily obtainable product in the photography hobby (fixing solution) Anthony>

Mixing my own saltwater Dear Mr. Fenner, <<Actually, it's JasonC today, how are you?>> Thanks for setting up such a great website and providing invaluable advice for free! <<I'm glad you are finding it useful.>> I have been buying saltwater from the LFS @ .99/gal and would like to start mixing my own. I came across the article related to the above at your site but did not get an exact method to go about using tap water (as Tom Walsh has been successfully adhering to). Could you please outline the steps from scratch or point me to the appropriate link. <<Appropriate link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water4maruse.htm >> Thanks in advance ! Best, Mimi <<Cheers, J -- >>

Marine set-up query Hi Anthony Sorry for the 20 questions. I know some answers are in the FAQ's and I wouldn't mind your opinion. Finally, This is my proposed initial set up- 404 with carbon and some bio-balls, run my SP2500's as powerheads, skimmer and live rock. How much live rock do you think for a 70Gal tank? <more the better, depends on the type/density of rock used... 100-140lbs of Fiji rock on the high end> What test kits are necessary? <begin with ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, alkalinity and calcium. Phosphate if nuisance alga persists> How long do I wait before adding fish? <at least a month would be nice> Should I use Syn sea water even if I live by the ocean? <ABSOLUTELY!!!! Natural seawater has numerous dangers and problems for long term success. We could talk for hours about this. Rest assured, use synthetic seawater for consistency and safety... especially if your tap water is even reasonably good> Should the carbon be used constantly or put in once a month for a few days. There seems to be different ideas. <constantly with small amounts changes frequently. Monthly can shock corals and some live rock fauna terribly> A guy at work said not to worry about it. <better safe than sorry... no harm to daily carbon, but many possible dangers with intermittent or without> Anything else I should be aware of? <strangers with beady eyes> Yet another suggestion I've had is run a fluidized sand bed filter in my 404 line. <fluidized bed filters are more risk than they are generally worth... only employ if you will have a massive fish load> Thanks for everything. Regards Scott <best regards, Anthony>

pH alk? Thanks again for all the help. I'm sorry to say I have another question... I use instant ocean mix with aerated ro/di water salted to 1.025. This new salted water tests kH of 13-14dkh with 2 different tests. Isn't this pretty high? Is it normal?  <quite normal. Good sea salts have slightly more ALK reserve on first mix than NSW. If you are not doing water changes more than weekly, then this slightly higher ALK is a blessing by design> the ro/di water premix after air is around ph 6.9, kH 0-1 or so low it wont measure. thank you, Neil <best regards, Anthony>

Low pH and alk but high Ca Hi WWM Crew, I seem to be having a problem with low pH and alk in my 50 reef. My readings are as follows: pH-7.9 alk-2.5 Ca-490 I am adding daily Two Part ESV B-Ionic 25ml of each. I also add 60 ml daily of Kalk. Additives are all added manually. The tank is 3 years old and I do two 10% water changes monthly. For the last three months I have been using ocean water for these changes. <I would recommend going back to synthetic water.> I have noticed my green star polyps have not been opening full for about 3 weeks. Could the low pH and alkalinity cause this? <Yes> All other organisms doing fine. Any advise greatly appreciated. Mario <I would do several large (50%) water changes to bring your parameters back into line. Once they are good, you should be able to easily maintain them with the Two-Part additives. -Steven Pro>

Re: Low pH and alk but high Ca Thanks for the quick reply Steve, why would you not recommend natural ocean water? <Generally, chronically low in pH and possibly contaminated with pollution, parasites, or bacteria blooms.> I figured the plankton in it may help feed some of the SPS corals, clams, etc. <Parasites are also in that plankton. -Steven Pro>

Saltwater Storage Steven- It's me with the water problems again. The store in Buckhead is "The Fish Store and More". They are a great shop and only 4 miles from the house. I have probably made a rent payment for them over the past year. <Yes, a very nice store and a very expensive hobby.> I was all set to order a RO/DI unit until I found out about all the wasted water. I thought I read it wrong the first time. Waste 300 gallons for 100 pure ones. That seems like a crime when we are facing a possible TOTAL watering ban this year. I could not do it, so I opted for this other filter. Thinking that it would suffice. OOPS!!! Is there any other choice? <Yes, you should look at DI units, deionization units.> I read that the pressure pump would cut down on a little of the wasted water with the RO/DI units but it still seemed like such a waste. <Yes, with the pressure pump some high-end units get their waste to product water ratio down to one to one.> Is the waste water good for anything that you know of? <African cichlids> Both of the canisters on my current filter are the same size. Could I possibly swap the second filter out for another of the first and get rid of the copper/zinc mix? <You could, but then you are just filtering out sediment and chlorine.> Or would there be little benefit from that? <Correct, but the unit could be used as an excellent prefiltration component (minus the copper-zinc part) for a DI unit.> It is a very common filter size. Maybe I could find a carbon filter of some sort that would fit. Do you think that would help? Would either of these filters (filter#1 and/or a carbon filter of some sort) remove nitrates? <No> Thanks again, Den <You have two deionization options. Either a Kati-Ani unit (which is what I use) or a Kold-Sterile unit from Poly Bio Marine (the makers of Polyfilters). I have a friend, Bob Nell, that uses the Kold-Sterile unit and he has gorgeous tanks. He was tank of the month at ReefCentral a few months ago. Either would make a fine choice. -Steven Pro>

Salt water storage Hi everyone- I was hoping you folks could help me. I keep a 40 gallon dark blue Rubbermaid tub with my premixed saltwater and have a heater and a 120 gph powerhead in there. I always keep the lid on it. <All sound practices.> This batch has been sitting about a week or so. I took the top off and I have some sort of black looking algae starting to grow on the sides in the current. I tested the water for phosphates and nitrates. Phosphates were nil but the nitrates were around 25ppm or a bit more. It also smells a bit "beachy". <Ok> I run the tap water through a filter that filters out pesticides, chlorine, sediment, some metals and VOC's and some other stuff. <Is this an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Tapwater Purifier? Your description of what it filters sounds just like the wording off of the side of the box. If it is one, you should not have any nitrates. The TWP should have taken care of it all, unless the cartridge was exhausted. Double check for the color change.> I have tested the tap water before and have had no nitrates or phosphates. My question is, is there something in my storage process that could create the nitrates? <No> I would hate to throw out 40 gallons of mixed water. Is there any way I can remove the nitrates? <Yes and no. Nothing practical. If the cartridge was bad and it allowed nitrates to go through, there are other contaminants present that you cannot test for. You will have to discard the water if I am correct with my guess.> I just started doing the water storage routine a month or so ago. I had been mixing the water and adding a dechlorinator/chloramine and letting it sit for just a day. Since I have started this water storage routine I have had a major explosion of red algae. Is there any way these two things could be related? <Possibly related, although it could have been something that was warming up and happened anyway after switching to the storage routine.> The filter for the tap water is also new. <I would double check the cartridge anyway. I had one of these years ago and I never was able to make more than 40 gallons of clean water before I had to replace the cartridge.> Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, den <Talk to you later. -Steven Pro>

Re: Saltwater Storage Steve- Thanks for the quick reply about the stored water problems. It is not a Aquarium Pharmaceuticals filter. It is a double canister under sink filter, the description of each canister is below. The filters should still have months of life left. I have only ran a few hundred gallons thru. Filter 1....This cartridge is utilized as a Stage 1- Pre-Filter in our Twin Ultimate Water Filters. Combining the highly adsorptive efficiency of an extruded Carbon block with several layers of sediment prefiltration (5 microns) to effectively reduce Volatile Organic Compounds, Chloroform, Chlorine, THM's and other pollutants. It also increases the overall life and effectiveness of the Stage 2 - Doulton Ultracarb Filter Element. Typically lasts for a full year, about 2,500 gallons. <Sounds fine.>  Filter 2....Combining KDF, a compound of Copper and Zinc, <Oh... I don't like the sound of that.> and Granulated Activated Carbon this filter acts as the Stage-1 filter in our Undercounter Twin Superior Water Filter. Works especially well on Chlorine, Iron, Sulfur, Lead, heavy metals and many organic contaminants (VOC's) including pesticides, herbicides and trihalomethanes by using reduction-oxidation techniques combined with the adsorptive nature of activated carbon. Lasts for about 2500 gallons. Could the copper and zinc compound in filter two cause a problem in the tank? <Yes, could give you problems. Anthony and I were just discussing the usage of zinc orthophosphate in our local tapwater and how one of our big local freshwater fish breeders has experienced a rash of congenital defects from its introduction. His gentleman is going to RO water for many of his tanks and still has some problems. Both Anthony and I suggested he use RO/DI and have his product water tested for contaminants. I would be very leery of this product. You will probably notice problems with your inverts first.> If a filter filters out chlorine would it filter out chloramine also? <I am not sure.> I ask because chloramine is not mentioned in the list. <Yes, conspicuously absent?> I have had unexplained (to me) deaths of 2 cleaner shrimp, 1 sea anemone, and several hermit crabs in the past month. It seems like the blue leg crabs are dying but the red are fine. Don't know why. Any thoughts on that? <It could be the water. It could also be many other things. There is not enough information at this point.> The fish (Naso Tang, Sailfin Tang, Yellow Tang, Regal Blue Tang, and Damsel) have all been doing great. I always match change water as best I can. I am in the process of upgrading into a 125 gallon tank and I was hoping I could clear up this problem before the move into the new tank a month from now. <I would strongly suggest a RO unit. Take a look at the SpectraPure line. That is what I sell.> If I am mixing and storing the water for a week do I need to filter it at all? <I prefer to use purified water whenever possible and I recommend it most times.> We are on Atlanta city water. Not the greatest but good. <I have been there a few times. My sister-in-law and her family live in Kennesaw. There was a very nice store in Buckhead, can't remember the name. My sister-in-law's water seemed ok there, but the one local tank I saw used RO water. He had extreme hair algae problems when he was using city water.> Thanks again, Den <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Re: Acronym, Water Change Chemistry Hello again, I was just reading your web page Q&A's again. Great content. I have a few more Q's for you. What is FOWLR? <It stands for Fish Only With Live Rock.> Also, after adding buffer to my RO/DI makeup water to get it to 8.4 or higher do I use this buffered water for my Kalk slurry or do I use fresh RO/DI? <Aerated water but not buffer for the Kalkwasser.> To make water changes do I add the salt first and then the buffer or vice versa? <I prefer to add the salt first, Anthony the other way around. It probably does not matter much either way.> I've been using tap water for the Kalk doses because my RO/DI is tied up with the buffer and I figured it would be best to ask first. This has brought my PH up to 8.2 but still drops down to 8.02 but I am not giving up. Do I do this daily? <I does Kalkwasser just about every night.> I am adding one tablespoon of Kalk powder to a half gallon milk jug and then shaking for 5 minutes, letting sit for about 5 minutes and then sucking up through my protein skimmer inlet to mix well before going into the 60 gallon acrylic sump. <One tablespoon is an awful lot of Kalkwasser for a 60 gallon tank. I only use about 1/2 teaspoon nightly. Please get calcium and alkalinity test kits, if you do not already have them, to confirm your dosing regimen.> Thanks again for all of your A's, Jeff Reed <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Make up water Hi Anthony, I was testing some more new make up water and found the following. R/O water buffered to DKH 4 after aeration.  Add salt, wait 24 hours and check Calcium 420 mg/l, DKH 12, temp 78. <very fine!> All looks good but I thought I should verify the PH.... it's 8.0?  <not surprising for new seawater... even more mixing/time will raise pH> With a new mix I thought I should get at least 8.2.?? Is this O.K. for new water or do I need more Kalk or buffer?  <just see if regular Kalk doses in the tank get it up high enough (should). I'm afraid at these levels If I add anything I'll precipitate out the carbonates as I did early this week. Thanks Larry <good heavens no! they really are nicely in the ballpark already! don't believe all of the SPS reefer hype of max Alk and Ca levels...only serves... not needed for all>

Re: Make up water  One dumb question. Won't good circulation provide good aeration?  <not a dumb question at all but also incorrect (a common misconception). Aquarists with overstocked fish tanks and undergravel filters know this: powerheads with venturis off lead to gasping fish behavior... turn the venturi back on and the O2 saturation increases and fish are relieved. Circulation of the system from top to bottom does help, but aeration from a skimmer or aspiration (venturi) of air through a pump is better> I mean, if I have good circulation (I have two 295 GPH power heads and my return is a 3MDQX 875 gph @ 6', and I am pushing up only 5' and it's split into three outputs at the tank) a total of about 1500 gph and I run my Berlin skimmer with a mag 7 pump 24hrs/day, will this not provide good aeration?  <Sure... good, yes. But enough, I don't know. The simple test that I mentioned before will clear this up. If a vigorously aerated glass of water gives a higher pH reading then when you started... you do have a slight problem with accumulated CO2 (easily corrected with increased aeration)> I will try your suggestions below, thanks for your patience! Larry <my pleasure, bud. best regards, Anthony>

Salt Water Anthony I use Instant Ocean salt for water change RO Water is aerated for a week then add SeaChem buffer then salt.  <a week is much longer than necessary. In fact, aerated for that long you might lose/tie up some carbonates (CO2 in air...insoluble calcium carbonate formed). Mixing for a day or two is fine... longer than that dark storage is recommended> Each time I did it this way carbonator drop out. Used three different Instant Ocean salts. RO water test from the lab was ok. Hope you get the new book finish soon gave me a call when you do. RGibson <excellent, my friend... the second volume of my book might get slightly delayed. Finishing a collaboration on the first volume of a series with Bob Fenner and Steve Pro... full color illustrated Reef Invertebrates... then fish and corals :) kindly, Anthony>

Salt Water Hi Anthony, just making another batch to try to complete the turn over my whole 125g tank. This time I thought I would try your buffer suggestion. I let the R/O water aerate with a power head for two days, added some buffer to bring the DKH up to 7, let that sit for a few hours, then started to add salt. When I was nearing 1.020 I noticed the salt was not clearing as fast a usual (usually takes 3-5 min to clear, as I add in 1 cup at a time) but did not think anything about this and continued to add up to 1.023. The water stayed cloudy for all last night, and this morning it is still not clear but not as bad as before. I also noticed a white precipitate sticking to the sides of my Rubbermaid container that comes off easily when rubbed.  <excess carbonates> Have I just precipitated all the good stuff out and now have a bunch of garbage water?  <nope... but do a ALK test to confirm> Why did this happen, was a buffer value of 7 too high for the freshwater before adding salt?  <hard to say but possibly... just because water passes through a RO doesn't mean it is always and forever pure. Do check the quality of the effluent for minerals (another ALK test to see if it is pure or just very low...hence, some minerals still getting through and less buffer needed)> I used Tropic Marin salt, <a very fine salt> my last bit before going to Instant Ocean.  <my preference> I also used my last bit of Kent SuperBuffer before opening my new Seachem buffer. Thanks Larry <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Salt Water Test done DKH 11, 400 mg/l calcium water tests O.K. so on to changing...thanks for the quick response.  <ahhh...yes> BTW I did purchase an ORP meter, and PH from Pinpoint,  <excellent!> my old Corning PH pen style meter needed daily  calibration.  <indeed not built to last...alas> After beginning changes of 15 gallons of water my ORP was at 235!! Seems like I have been getting lazy over the years, and have been changing less and less water creating more and more pollution... I do love to feed my fish.  <a common problem for many kind hearted aquarists> At least after all the water changes I'll be able to monitor better with the Redox meter. (another great suggestion from your book...yes I am reading some on vacation... not just while in the bathroom) <it is great to hear that not everyone reads my book with their pants around their ankles. A warm and fuzzy moment :)> Larry <best regards, Anthony>

Saltwater Bob, I patronize a local marine LFS store that sells salt water obtained from the ocean. It is run through a UV sterilizer. I checked your posts and couldn't' find a discussion on this matter. My questions: a. Is water made from packaged mixes superior to sea water? <For most settings, circumstances, synthetic is superior...> b. If so, why? My thinking is that it would be hard to beat God's mixture but I have a feeling you are going to vote for a mixture. <Yes my friend. The "natural" water is fine in nature... Aquariums are more akin to little sewers than a slice of the ocean... Please read here re this issue: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seawater.htm and the linked FAQs> c. Even if a mixture has higher ratios of necessary components, is there a likelihood that sea water has phytoplankton's or other micronutrients that mixes lack? <And pollutants, pests, parasites...> As always...thanks tons...you guys are the best! William Snyder, Stuart, FL <Glad to offer our input and opinions. Bob Fenner>

Instant Ocean vs. Coral Life I found this special on Instant Ocean salt at my LFS - $50 for 200 gallons. I normally use Coral Life salt ($50 per 150 gallons). In your opinion, is there a difference between the 2? <IMO/E Instant Ocean is a superior product, in composition and consistency> What can I expect if I were to change? <Higher, more stable pH, calcium... resultant incremental better health of livestock, ease of maintenance> What's the best salt you recommend? <Tropic Marin, and Tetra (!), if you live in Japan (only place sold). Bob Fenner> As always, Thanks, Craig

Buffers WWM Guys, I am topping off and doing changes with RO water. Also, I use B-Ionic two-part mix for calcium supplementation and Instant Ocean to keep SG at 1.025, pH is 8.4. How would you recommend I buffer my RO water? I tried using baking soda and it precipitated out when I added Instant Ocean. Why did this occur? <You added too much buffer. The salt mix has buffering compounds, too, and with what you put in first, the pH got too high and drove the calcium to precipitate out of solution. I prefer to buffer my water after adding the salt. I aerate and heat the water first for a day. The add the salt mix and mix for another day. Lastly, I test the salt water for salinity, pH, and alkalinity and buffer according to the results of my tests. If you wish to buffer before adding the salt, only add enough buffering compounds to bring your raw RO water to a neutral pH.> I am interested in raising my calcium to 450 from 350 ppm. I have good coralline growth and tolerable slow growth in my SPS/LPS corals. Perhaps I could cut back on the Bionic I use if I buffered my water? <Perhaps, on use a calcium reactor to really accelerate growth. That is, if you have a large enough tank. I would find it hard to justify the expense if you told me you had a 29 gallon mini-reef. If 75 gallons or more, the money you save on supplements will outweigh the initial cost in a few years.> What should I use for this? <I think Seachem products, Marine Buffer and Reef Builder, but there are other fine products. Aquarium Systems SeaBuffer is also nice. -Steven Pro>

Nutrients in salt mix Hi Bob I'm wondering if when you do a water change do you add nutrients for algae growth even if your salt mix is nitrate and phosphate free and you are using ro-di water. <yes, my friend... so many of the common elements are seawater (in your sea salt of course) are useful to much/most/all aquatic life... it is people who "label" the various growths (coral vs. algae for example) as "desirable" or "undesirable"> I think I'm doing too many water changes 25% a week and I can't control my hair algae in my 130g. reef. <the water changes are likely good and necessary. Nuisance algae if a bigger/more complex problem... usually driven by the fact that most people only have one skimmer on their tank and that skimmer doesn't or can't produce a full cup of skimmate EVERY single day... thus, nuisance algaes are driven. A lack of moderate to strong water flow is also a common problem. Read here and explore the many algae links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/index.htm> My nitrates and phosphates are zero ,I have a refugium with Caulerpa growing well ,but can't control the hair algae. <Nitrates and phosphates are hardly all that can feed nuisance algae and I seriously doubt the Caulerpa is helping or hurting much. There are so many cause for algae as above links will reveal> My LFS told me that if you have no nitrates or phosphates to do very little water changes maybe 5% every 2 months. He does no water changes at all in his reef tanks and everything is super clean even in the tanks with 400 watt metal halides. <irresponsible advice in my opinion and a poorly informed method of treating the symptom algae) and not the problem (nutrient accumulation). And so, the fish must suffer in the accumulated concentrations of their own urine and feces (filters degrade this, not export it) and there will be no reliable influx of fresh minerals for other desirable invertebrates on live rock/sand. Too often, such a tank will carry on for a year or two and give false reassurance. Just curious if anything is ever sold from this vendor's tank without water changes? If so, what does he call the seawater used to replace sales water removed with livestock?> I have good skimmer , <daily dark skimmate like clockwork? over 8oz daily on a tank this size?> my alk is 14-15dkh <a bit to high... risking crystalline carbonate precipitation of you spike calcium (snowstorm)> calcium 400, <very fine> ph 8.2 <a bit low if it is a daytime reading> corals are nice, no phos or nitrates in make up water. Do you know of another nutrient that could be in the salt mix making it grow. <wrong culprit my friend... more like general accumulation of nutrients in tank as per above> I use Kent sea salt. Maybe molybdenum or something. <nope> thanks d. <best regards>

Mixing Salt Hi! I'm new to reef aquariums...anyway, I have a very simple question...since I'm already an experienced aquarist in terms of freshwater ..... my question is how many pounds of salt should be dissolve per gallon of water? <Generally written on the side of the bag. About 1/2 cup per gallon. -Steven Pro>

Red Tide Questions Can someone answer a few questions about the red tide?  1) I understand it is a surface condition, is water drawn from Scripps pumps really affected? <Mmm, yes... the principal species of algae (Dinoflagellates... Gonyaulax, Gymnodinium spp. if memory serves) are principally surface/epipelagic... but enough of these single cells and their chemical metabolite does make it to the depths of the two intakes at the end of the pier where water is drawn/pumped up> 2) What, specifically, is the problem if introduced into a mature reef/fish tank? <General toxicity. Interference with fish respiration/electron transport... "cascade" effect with other biota> 3) I usually heat and filter Scripps water for a couple days before using it, often with LR or bio-balls from sump in there as well. Could easily add UV. The question is, can you filter out or kill off the algae? <In a matter of time, yes... but more at play here than live algae... Better to store in dark for a couple of weeks, then bleach, dechlorinate, decant or diatom filter (and UV, aerate, ozonize if you want) in-between storage and actual use.> TIA for any answers to these questions, David. <Bob Fenner, who along with Mark Ferguson wrote about using "Scripps" (William TV.) water for booklets back in the (yikes!) sixties.>

Precipitate in new tank (let it snow, let it snow, made it snow) I just had something very strange happen to my tank. I tried to search the FAQ's but did not immediately find the answer to my problem. On Monday (two days ago) I filled up my new 75 gal reef-ready tank with sump with RO water and added Instant Ocean salt mix.  <whoa, bub! Was the RO water aerated(12-24hrs), then buffered(6-12 hrs), then salted (mixed 12+hrs)? Else, we have a slight problem with alkalinity depletion.> I started the pumps running (Mag 7 return and Mag 5 on an AquaC EV120 skimmer) and have left the tank pretty much alone since then. The salt seemed to dissolve well overnight and the tank has been clear. The skimmer was disconnected last night but turned on again this morning. There is nothing in the tank other than water. This evening the tank is very cloudy. It looks like there's a haze in the tank. However, if you look up from the bottom towards the light you can see that it is actually some very small white particles swirling in the water. I guess something precipitated and is just floating in the water. <perhaps a Ca/Carbonate snowstorm/precip> Is this harmful?  <likely not too bad... please turn on the skimmer> Is there something I can do to get rid of it?  <check your alkalinity and free calcium levels. Target 12dkh ALK and 400+ Ca. If you are lower than 8 dKH and 350ppm Ca, then there was a precip problem and you simply need to do a proper water change to dilute and reconstitute> I have some live sand and Florida aquacultured live-rock on order, scheduled to ship and arrive on Friday. This rock has a lot of life and should only be out of the water for 4-5 hours so I was hoping a lot of life would survive.  <likely would be fine anyway... but a water change would give you peace of mind...read archives here on WWM about R/O water, mixing salt, buffers, etc to get a better understanding why the need for aerating first, then buffer, then salt.> I can have the shipment held, if my tank is in trouble. <little trouble if any... minor> Thanks for your help. I never expected this to happen without adding anything to the tank. Henry <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Precipitate in new tank Thanks for the quick reply. Glad to hear there's no major problem. I did not know to aerate the water for the period stated.  <yes...critical, drives off carbonic acid and raises the temporary pH. Then add buffer to boost the pH to a better level so that buffers don't get wasted in salt mix> I brought the water home and added the salt mix shortly thereafter. I will buy a Ca/Alk kit to check the levels. Why did it take two days to precipitate? <just a theory, but it took nearly that long for buffers to get exhausted and skew the Ca/ALK dynamic> I will do a water change tomorrow, before the sand and rocks arrive. Is something on the order of 5-10 gal enough? <not really... either a large water change (over 30%) or experiment with buffer and/or calcium additives to return to normal levels. Let test kits confirm all of this first.> I appreciate the work you guys do. <thanks kindly, Anthony>

Changing Salt Mixes Dear Bob/Steve/Anthony: I almost feel embarrassed to ask you this question, but I am rather concerned...Here goes: My reef system has been running for almost a year. For the initial set up and all water changes, I have used only one brand of salt mix (Tropic Marin). <Pricey, but about the best you can get> Well, my local dealer has stopped carrying this brand, and I would rather not mail order it due to the prohibitively high cost of shipping for the quantities I need. Obviously, I am interested in switching brands, most likely Instant Ocean. My question is, will there be any type of adverse reaction among my animals if I switch brands of salt mix? the make up water will be identical, SG, frequency of water changes, and other factors will not change, just the brand. <Not likely discernible change in any way... only a few percent difference in quality in my estimation. Good products from Aquarium Systems> I know I'm probably being overly paranoid, but do commercial formulations vary enough to cause such problems when switching brands. If it would be a problem, I'd just assume pay a lot more rather than stress my animals. <Some brands are actually quite different (some appallingly inconsistent and/or poor in make-up), but the major brands are all fine. There are real and phony analyses of these about for those willing to look...> Thanks in advance! Scott F. <I would try/switch over to Reef Crystals (tm) or "regular" Instant Ocean with no worries. Bob Fenner>

Salt Mixes <Anthony Calfo in your service> I have read in the site that Instant Ocean is as good as any salt mix. <or better... they have extraordinary quality control and consistency> I came across this web site (http://www.aquacraft.net/s9911.html) that claims the result of an independent study shows significant differences in the composition and batch-to-batch consistency of various brands. What is your opinion about the "S-15 Report" that makes these claims? <the report is ancient history and very biased/inaccurate according to many respected industry professionals whose word I am likely to heed> Instant Ocean is rated very low and Bio-Sea Marine, Coral Marine and Marine Environment are rated very highly (of course they sell all of these brands too). <now you are talking <wink>> Is there a real difference? Cost isn't particularly high for these, compared to buying Instant Ocean at a LFS so I would give them some thought if they were really better. What is your opinion on the brand names mentioned above? <In my Mariculture greenhouse and retail store in the past ten years... I have used literally tens of thousands of gallons of Instant Ocean. I have had giant clams spawn sexually in it, corals reproduce asexually and sexually, fish spawned and reared their own fry unassisted by me, and I watched jellyfish medusa grow to full adulthood (over 6") over a two year period all in Instant Ocean seawater mix. I have absolutely nothing but respect for Instant Ocean and highly recommend it to anybody who wants something tried and true. Best regards, Anthony Calfo... author of the Book of Coral Propagation, Volume 1>

Re: Salt Mixes Thanks for the quick response, Anthony.  <Always welcome> Do you think there is any benefit from using Reef Crystals (from the same company that makes Instant Ocean) given that it is more expensive? <benefit, yes... worth it for most aquarists: no> Most of what I read seems to say there in not much benefit for the additional cost.  <agreed...since most reef keepers must necessarily supplement their aquaria with Ca and Alk anyway (Kalkwasser & buffer, Kalk and Ca reactor, two-part liquid supplements, etc)... the point is moot. The extra Ca and carbonates in Reef Crystals are still not enough to carry you all the way to the next water change. A fine sea salt, but not practical for aquarists with larger aquariums IMO. I bought an 8,000 gallon pallet when I first set up my greenhouse (tested WC parameters and gauged necessary supplementation), then switched to Instant Ocean and never looked back.> I am about to set up a 75 gal MFWLR (mainly fish with live rock) with perhaps some hardy invertebrates a few soft corals in the future. <it sounds very nice and appropriate. Many soft corals feed largely by absorption and the presence of feeding fishes and their activities contributes nutritively to such animals. Best regards, Anthony>

How Long Can You Keep New Saltwater Around? Good morning, Me again and so far so good with my tank.....feeding as advised and I think that all is well for the time being. My question....I had quite a bit of salt water left when I was curing my rock....about 25 gallons or so.....when I thought that a major water change did not seem likely I put the plastic garbage can with a tight cover in my basement (around 40 degrees) I have it set up so that I can run some air in it and put the heater in it before water changes.....but....right now it is off.....I knew I wouldn't be doing a change for a while as the tank was still showing a bit of nitrite and I wanted to leave well enough alone.....I think it is now time to start my weekly changes. How long will that water be OK? <As long as you keep it covered, it should be ok for awhile. The only consideration is for evaporation elevating the salinity.> If I just plug in my pump and heater for a few days should it be OK or does it ever rot.......I can mix up some new stuff but I hate to throw that old water away...It's been in the basement for almost 3 weeks..... Thank you and have a great day...Helene <Double check the salinity, heat to appropriate temperature, and aerate well to reach peak dissolved oxygen and you should be just fine. -Steven Pro>

SALT MIXES Hi Guys, Not really a problem this time, but a question I'm sure you guy's can answer for me. Having had a reef tank for the last nine years, I've tried most of salt mixes before deciding that Instant Ocean or Reef Crystals works best for me. Usually I'll run the Instant Ocean for about nine months, then the Reef Crystals for a couple of months and this seems to really perk things up when I make the changes. Now the question that's been bugging me for years. If the Reef Crystals are supposed to have extra calcium, buffers, and trace elements, why does the same amount of Instant Ocean weigh 4 lbs. more per 200 gal. bucket? Like I said I've been using these for years, and wouldn't change for the world, but I've always found this curious. Thanks Again, [read the column every day], Joe G. <thanks Joe.. and I agree...I love Aquarium Systems salts. This is a good question... it was explained to me years ago but I can't recall clearly what the answer was!!! I'm thinking it was that the instructions have them mixing up at different salinities (I don't have a package of each handy to confirm). Let me know if this is not the case. We'll drop a line to Tom Frakes if Bob or Steve do not recall. Kindly, Anthony>

White Precipitate Hi guys, I am having a problem with a salt mix that I pre mixed and let sit for a couple of days. The container that I used is covered with a white powdery substance. The salt was mixed 3 days ago and the power head and the heater is also covered. I have never seen this happen. I used Instant Ocean mix with a quarter teaspoon of marine buffer. I mixed 20 gallons. Any ideas? Richard <I do not know for sure, but it sounds like something that happened to me once. You formed a precipitate, most likely calcium carbonate. Do double check with your test kit, but if the water is low in calcium or alkalinity, do not use it. I did and I had a ton of problems which forced me to do a new near 100% water change. Generally, aerate your water first, then add salt mix, and finally add the buffer after testing the newly mixed water. -Steven Pro>

Auto top-off RO water in reef tank If you used raw RO water for auto top off what should be added. I do not used Kalk. -RGibson <Well, Kalkwasser would be nice. Other than that, the water should be aerated and buffered. -Steven Pro>

salt, ozone questions I want to switch salt mixes from marine mix to tropic Marin. First off, do you think this is advisable, and how should I go about the switch without stressing my animals? <Worth a few percent to make the change... can simply replace one with the other> Also, in your book you advocate ozone, but I have read anti ozone statements on bulletin boards. <I've heard some folks still believe the world is flat. What do YOU think?> Has your opinion changed since the writing of your book, or do you think too many people used the ozone incorrectly. <Ozone is of a bit more use than Ultraviolet Sterilizer use... neither are cure-alls... not either or both will grant good water quality in the face of poor maintenance...> Thank you once again for your valuable advice. Ken <And you for yours. Bob Fenner>

New water pH (marine) Hi, <Anthony Calfo here in your service while Bob makes his way to the Outback...where the men are men and the sheep are nervous> I have a question about ph of new salt water. I am making my new water with Coralife salt mix. the bag says it should make water with a ph of 8.3 of so. <a minimum pH in my opinion... natural seawater is 8.45 and pH naturally falls fast enough in aquaria> I am making it using R.O. water (which tests at about 25ppm total dissolved solids -pretty good I'd say) <agreed but still needs to be aerated and re-mineralized before any marine use else it will waste buffers in salt mix and system water> after I make the new water, making it as close to 1.023 sg as I can get, I test the ph and I am measuring between 8.0 and 8.1 I use 2 different ph kits and get very similar results. these ph values seem too low to me, any thoughts on what is going on ? <above... aerate R/O for 12 hours first, then add SeaBuffer (carbonate, borate, bicarbonate) and mix for another few hours before use as evap top off or salt mixing. Yours is low because the raw R/O water has consumed alkalinity> thanks for all your great articles and info. Brian <a pleasure...best regards, Anthony>

Buying premixed water, Buying Seawater Sorry to bother you again, I just remembered that I also needed to ask you another question. The local aquarium where I live sells salt water from the sea for 5cents per gallon. The salinity is a bit low at about 28 ppt. Can I raise the salinity with a salt mix? The water they sell contains phosphates, is it advisable to remove it? If so, how can I remove it? Bottom line, do you think I should go ahead with this water from the public aquarium or stick with mixing with r/o water and a packaged salt mix? <too much risk of contamination or seasonal inconsistencies with natural seawater. Look back through past FAQs for proper treatment of demineralized water. But do mix up your own synthetic seawater for consistency and peace of mind. Unless you personally feel like boating several miles off shore to retrieve seawater and bring it back home to filter and sterilize it...hehe. Kindly, Anthony>

Re: buying premixed water In reply to your comment about water treatment from the public aquarium, the water from there is U.V sterilized and filtered and they use the same water in all of their coral reef exhibits, so perhaps you thought I would be the one collecting the water myself? Maybe I was not clear in questioning, but could you re-advise? Thanks again. <I would still advise you to continue using RO water and a good quality synthetic salt mix. -Steven Pro>

Salts, Sea salts Hello, I have a FOWLR tank and am deciding on which salt to use. I have heard conflicting facts about different brands (as usual in this marine world), the brands I am looking into buying next is tropic marin or reef crystals. I am currently using Instant Ocean but, want to know how me and my fish will benefit from a better salt? Will the fish actually "be happier" with better salt? I can get a 200 gallon bucket of tropic marine for around $40, which I consider pretty good, so please advise, Thank you. <I strongly prefer Aquarium Systems brand sea salts (Instant Ocean and Reef Crystals). They have been time-tested and set the standard for quality control and consistency. I have reared jellyfish from planulae in it, spawned Tridacnid clams in it and raises thousands of coral commercially in it. Definitely Aquarium Systems for me. Anthony Calfo>

Make up water Hi Robert, <Steven Pro this evening.> While making up my salt mix for water changes using r/o water, I have noticed a white sediment/clouding in the water. 1st I add TMC re-mineral (M)), aerate and heat the water up to temperature (25/C) before adding TMC's synthetic salt (1.024). Once I have turned off the air pump the sediment settles on the bottom of the container, it is like a white powder. what concerns me is this going to be harmful to the in habitants of my fish/invert tank. The only explanation I have for this occurrence is possibly the 120l water bucket the r/o water is stored in. could it be contaminating the water? Or do you think it is a mix of the two TMC products. Thanks for all the help and advice you have given me so far. Brent ><> <Well Brent, this has happened to me a few times in the past. The first thing to do is check the pH, alkalinity, and calcium levels in this new water. My best guess is calcium carbonate has precipitated out of solution and is sitting in the bottom of your barrel. Not good for your inverts. In the future, try aerating and heating the water first. Then add the salt mix and lastly the buffer (remineralizer). -Steven Pro>

Made my first batch of salt water... Thanks for the help thus far in convincing me to go the more economical and "better on my back" approach of making my own seawater with my RO system and Instant Ocean salt. So I'm pouring in my RO water into a 28 gallon Rubbermaid container and once it's nearly full (3 day process with my 3 gallon tank on the RO system and slow 18GPD membrane), I dump the appropriate amount of salt into the water and mix. Amazing how quickly the salt dissolved. For some reason, I was thinking that it would take a long time, but it was simple to get it all dissolved. Anyhow, I know I should age the water from somewhere between 24 hours to a week. Your site and FAQs also mention the use of a heater and pump for circulation. My question is... do I have to have the pump and heater in the water at all times during aging, or can I just heat and circulate the water 24 hours before a water change, provided the water temp is heated long enough to be equal to my tank's temp. The problem is that I don't have power on my patio where the water is being "made" and I have to leave a small crack in the sliding door for the power to the pump and heater. Is it bad for the water to "age" at a temp of around 50-60 degrees? What about the circulation? Is it bad for the water to sit stagnant in a dark covered Rubbermaid container? Thanks for the info. -Eugene <Here is what you have to do. Fill up garbage can with RO water. Aerate and heat for 24 hours. Now add salt and mix for another 24 hours. You are now ready to go. It is only bad for your electricity bill to have to heat the water on a patio at 50-60 degrees. Dark is fine too. -Steven Pro>

Mixing, matching synthetic salt mixes I have a 90 reef setup, I have read at many places that instant ocean salt is the best salt to use, I have been using Coralife, would I create problems if I switched brands? <No problems in making this change. No special mixing...> maybe my next water change could be half of each? <You can do this "all at once". Bob Fenner> Thank you in advance ....Kevin 

Sea salt marketing Bob, A conversation/bit of advice I just had with Jason C. just reminded me of something I have seen thinking about for a while. It's one of those things that I thought the industry would address for years but never has. Is it because someone has examined the market and determined there is no need...or just that no one bothered to get around to it yet? Let me know what you think, and if you agree, would you pass this along to Tom Frakes and/or the powers that be at Instant Ocean... they really do have the best sea salt <smile>. Marine/Reef aquarists are forever complaining about problems with depressed alkalinity and pH (natural processes and poor husbandry alike). Many folks use RO/DI and/or otherwise demineralized water, yet most of them do not properly aerate and re-mineralize/buffer it before mixing with their sea salt. It seems to be such a waste of precious buffers in valuable sea salt and the beginning of a slippery slope that many traverse at some point in their tanks history.  <Mmm, actually all sea salt synthetics are artificially boosted (some more so, and consistently so than others for sure) in the way of alkalinity> Furthermore, it is my understanding that sea salt is formulated with an assumed/average quality of expected hardness to the source water used. Thus, the quality of synthetic seawater produced is inherently deficient from go when mixed (inappropriately) with demineralized water. The question is... would it be worthwhile for a salt manufacturer to market (adjusted formulation?) a sea salt for aquarists using demineralized water? A sort of "Mix and Go" philosophy for the new era of aquarists that all have a higher demand for calcium/carbonates even when not keeping coral (as so many have live rock with corallines, and other various invertebrates). Just a thought. Do let me know what you think... (and Hi! Tom, if you get to read this <smile>) <Well... many makers do sell buffers as separate products... will cc Tom.F here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sea salt marketing Bob and Anthony, I am attaching a response to your questions. Let me know if this creates more questions and I will try to answer. Regards, Tom <Thanks for this Tom. Will post on our WetWebMedia.com site. See you about. Bob Fenner> Anthony and Bob, Thanks for the support and interest in our salt. I will address the issues you brought up. Your observation that some recipes are formulated to add to "typical" tap water hardness is correct for some brands. At one time this was the case with Tropic Marin (per Dr. Beiner ) and in distilled water the Ca was only about 320ppm for 35 ppt. salinity. water counting on about 80 ppt from German tap water. Instant Ocean has actually been formulated to provide NSW levels in distilled water. Magnesium is generally not a big issue and most "hard" water has mainly calcium and may also have high carbonate. In our opinion, excesses of these were not a problem as they would only result in more precipitation of CaCO3 due to supersaturation and then with pure water we started out at the correct level. Some brands are dramatically low on Ca and especially magnesium and my personal opinion is that this is done for two possible reasons. First, magnesium is one of the highest cost raw materials in a blend and reducing it by 25-50% will cut costs. Secondly, the biggest source of turbidity is due to the magnesium Chloride and reducing it can improve initial clarity of the mixed salt solution even if the ratios of the elements does not match seawater. Calcium at a lower level can also save money and reduce precipitation in very hard tap waters. With Reef Crystals we started to movement to enhanced formulas but it has it's limits. Regarding the issue of wasting buffers on un- equilibrated purified waters, I am not sure this is really an issue. If there is an excess or deficiency in dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2), this will affect the initial pH of the mixed solution but due to the conservation of charges (+ and-) the result after proper aeration is essentially the same but this may take a day or two to reach equilibration. Instant Ocean is formulated about 50% above seawater in buffer at about 3.25 meq/l versus 2.6 meq/l for NSW so there is surplus. I hope this answers some of your questions. Regards, Tom Frakes

Re: Elevated pH, VERY low Ca, Rising KH Anthony, <Jack, good evening> Before I test the raw water, I thought you should know that I ALWAYS aerate the raw water for at least 12-24 hours before adding salt. <excellent> Often it aerates for days. <overnight is enough, my friend> Once the salt is in, it usually aerates for another 12-24 hours. <appropriate> That said, I rarely aerate the water I use to replenish evaporated water. <hmmm...could be tempering some alkalinity indeed> So, should I test the raw water before or after aerating? <at first both to know how effective/necessary aeration is for improving temporary hardness> I assume you will advise me to aerate all water I put into the tank... <agreed, my friend> Thanks, Jack <quite welcome>

Planning Large Reef w/Water Reserve Hello Bob, I am now in the concept stages of planning my dream reef tank to coincide with the purchase of a new home 18-24 months from now.  <Ahh, good to plan, anticipate> It will be an in-wall ~1100 g 12'x4'x3' tank with LR/LS optimized for SPS corals, 2 mixed shoals of Anthias and some other hard to keep, but compatible, favorites on my list. <Wow, some system!> I read through the large-tank/designer-tank/circulation/plumbing/mud FAQs and still have some questions. I ask these questions, because I would rather spend the money once going REAL SLOW and be happy with the results. <We are in agreement with this approach, philosophy> I received a burst of inspiration to add a very large water reserve to my tank plans. It came from an UK-based hobbyist magazine article on a 2300 g water reserve attached to a 1200 g tank with 300 fish and "wall to wall" corals. This at-home system had lots of attached commercial equipment, but it gave me ideas for 2000-2400 g of extra water. First of all, are you familiar with any similar setup in the USA or the article I am referring to?  <Think I saw the article in a recent PFK issue, and yes... many folks have sizable reservoir, water storage facilities> What is your opinion on the large water reserve concept?  <A good one. My memorialized opinions re can be found here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water4maruse.htm> With respect to gas exchange, should the large water reserve be a open top container or would an buried water tank serve the same purpose if the main aquarium had adequate circulation installed? I would also like your definition "adequate" as I could not find a similarly configured system in the FAQs. <Should be recirculated, heated... best to use an external pump, pump from bottom, discharge at surface in such a size, type arrangement.> I am leaning heavily towards EcoSystem Filtration (with light skimming as you recommend) with two 200 g mud sumps for redundancy, increased bioload potential, and room to hold water in case of power failure. After the tank is well established with critters, I plan to add a mated pair of Mandarin fishes. With Leng's system, would an additional refugium be beneficial to the Mandarins?  <Yes> If so, would you recommend a sand bed to complement the mud for added critter diversity, or would a 3rd mud-sump/refugium be the better approach?  <Sand> In preparing for the Anthias and Mandarins, would it be wise to start the refugium a year prior to the large tank? <Not so much time, but a good month or two> Finally, I was considering using an actuated ball valve to control water flow on two alternating pathways on a closed circulation loop from a pressure rated pump. The loop would feed a PVC structure hidden behind the rock work. This would be in addition to 4 Sea-Swirls used as returns from the sumps from a non-pressure rated pump. I have two thoughts here. First and foremost is redundancy in the circulation plans in case one pump fails. The second is having the top 8"-12" of the tank as an open water column with chaotic water flow for the Anthias, some carefully selected Surgeonfish, and some Green Chromis dithering about to keep everyone at peace. What are your thoughts on actuated ball valves used for alternating circulation loops? <Generally unnecessary... better/fine to have all the water pressure, flow discharge in a chaotic fashion w/o the expense, restriction of valving. Try the set-up w/o the valves first and see if you still consider them useful is my suggestion.> Would you consider the Sea-Swirls overkill? Am I missing something here (including simplicity)? <Other circulation is worthwhile> As a side note, I am returning to the hobby after 12 years. After reading about 8 or 9 books on the hobby last year, I must confess that I enjoyed the CMA the most. I truly appreciate your ongoing efforts on WWM and the efforts of your colleagues in establishing a treasure chest of information! <Ahh, thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Will share. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your help.- Rob

How to Mix seawater <Greetings surfer, Anthony Calfo in your service> I have searched your site and have not found your detailed instructions on pre-mixing and storing seawater. So here is what I do - Is this OK. The ro/di water goes into the containers at a ph of 5.0. I add Aragonite and let it dissolve for a day.  <stop there...before adding anything, save some money on "buffer"/Araga-anything by aerating purified water for 12-24 hours before doing anything to it. This will drive off carbonic acid (test and confirm) and raise the pH (hence saving buffer, and is proper procedure)> The ph is now about 6.5. I add salt and aerate for 2-3 days.  <Aieeee! stop again my friend...always re-mineralize purified water to near normal pH for seawater otherwise you'll waste precious buffers in the expensive salt mix... a cheap "Seabuffer" type product will be fine> Then I add Proper Ph 8.2. The water goes into the tank then after a total of 4 - 5 days. <way too long, but no harm. You can make seawater in 24-36 hours properly... longer has no real advantage> Thanks for your advice or directions to your detailed description on your site. -- Chuck

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