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How much salinity is to too much?

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brandonp View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 26 2015 at 7:25pm
Has anyone accidentally "experimented" with letting their salinity get to high? If so, at what point does it become so deadly that corals can't recover? I ask because when i did a water change on Saturday i got my salinity in the new water to about 1.026. Then i added my magnesium and calcium to my new water. Between that and not toping off my tank for a day or 2 my salinity pegged my hydrometer. The hydrometer numbers only go to 1.028 but the needle goes higher. I'm guessing it was around 1.032 or maybe even more. Wishing i had grabbed my refractometer instead but just hurried and brought the salinity down through a small water change. This was a couple of days ago i brought it down. Salinity is now at 1.023. This made my bird of paradise unhappy and bleach out badly (mostly white but still has polyps) as well as most of my zoas. Zoas aren't melting but still not opened. Curious what are the chances of recovery. Should have mixed mag and kalk before salt. Any experience helps. Thanks everyone

Edited by brandonp - August 26 2015 at 7:28pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dmw913 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2015 at 2:56am
Hey Brandon, sorry to hear about the "experimentation". We have all been there. The wide swing in salinity isn't great and you'll likely just have to ride it out to see what makes it.

I'm a little confused about why you would add kalk and mg in a water change. Kalk is most often used in your ATO and is dosed slowly over time. I could foresee some really wide chemical swings and coral stress if you're adding it to water changes. I'm also a little nervous about adding mg to the new water. Is your salt low in mg? What's the thought behind the addition at the point of water change?   I would suggest double-checking the procedures here and perhaps revamp additive dosing to go low and slow over time for a more stable process, less water chemistry swing and less stress on the corals overall.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dmw913 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2015 at 3:00am
Also, forgot to mention, are you testing/monitoring water parameters of both the new water and the tank to keep an eye on Ca, Mg and the pH swing from adding the kalk? I'm really curious about test results here.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hogie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2015 at 8:53am
Sps is more sensitive to the salinity changes. I bet you zoas will be fine.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brandonp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2015 at 9:03am
Thanks for the reply. I was using kalk cuz its so cheap. Unfortunately kalk just can't keep up with my tanks demands. Also maybe it was precipitating out. I have actually ditched the kalk. I am now using thrive calcium until it's no longer available as they supposedly went out of business. I do have to add mag as I use instant ocean salt. Originally i was trying to keep up with the calcium demand of my tank. No dripper or nothing. Huge huge mistake obviously. After i do a water change should i just add my calcium (not kalk) and mag right away to the tank to get the levels where they need to be? Between that and the dumb hydrometer my crap got messed up. Just trashed it a minute ago as i compared it to my refractometer. Zoas still aren't happy. Hopefully they recover. Sps are doing ok and i think the bird of paradise that was bad will recover. Blasto was great but may have finally felt the effects a couple days ago even though my parameters are good now. How long can zoas hide out before they start to die? Thanks again for the reply.

Edited by brandonp - August 29 2015 at 9:12am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brandonp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2015 at 9:15am
Also only monitored the new water once before adding to the tank as "i had figured out how much to add" clearly wrong though. I always check the tank water the day after doing a change but may need to it right after doing it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dmw913 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2015 at 2:42pm
As a general rule, tanks like supplements to be added slowly over time.  I just happened to be checking a DIY gravity drip doser online earlier that might really fit your needs.  It can be made for $1-2 and uses a recycled plastic bottle, some tubing and a valve.  The valve then drips into your tank over time.  I would give it a Google and see what you think.  Should you need a more accurate or higher volume solution, the BRS dosers are a financially reasonable choice.  Check their dose rate though as I've heard some of them do run at a slightly different than advertised rate.  

Always remember that NOTHING good in a reef tank happens quickly!  :)  Even adding proper amounts of Ca and Mg to your tank can be harmful if it's added in the wrong way.  Low and slow FTW!

As an aside, I have also gained a lot of information about my tank from using a little app on my phone called Aquarimate.  It lets me schedule tasks, log test results and will send me reminders about what's going on.  I have found it really helpful to keep me on my maintenance schedule.

Don't forget to be checking your nitrates right now since any coral death may be affecting those levels and driving them to an unhealthy range.

When things recover, I have some zoos to share if you lose yours.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brandonp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2015 at 3:22pm
I've thought about building a dripper. There is a question i have though about adding chemical during a water change. If i do a change with Instant ocean salt and mag and calcium are low wouldn't i want to have the water going into the tank to have the same parameters? Btw ilk check the app out you mentioned. Sounds like it could be helpful. Thanks again for the help
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dmw913 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2015 at 5:33pm
My best thought on that question would be to do the math, i.e. I would test tank water prior to water change and then test the new water to see how much it's really off.  If it's off significantly, I would actually change salt mixes to more conform with my desires.  Otherwise, I'd still do the W/C, test again and use the BRS calculator to bring my tank levels where I want them pursuant to their instructions, not the new water.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brandonp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2015 at 5:59pm
I got ya. Yeah that makes sense. That's how i did it about an hour ago. New water was a little lower than what is prefer on calcium but still higher than in the tank. Guess is time to build a dripper. Calcium seems to disappear quicker than i can put it in. I appreciate ya once again. Btw what calcium, mag, and salt do you use out of curiosity?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bstuver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2015 at 9:44pm
Are you also checking Alkalinity levels?
Jackie Stuver

"wait these aren't the happy Hawaiians oompa doompa godly heaven on your face zoas?   I dont want them then. lol!" Ksmart
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brandonp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2015 at 9:53pm
Yeah I stay around 10 to 11 dkh. How long can zoas stay close before i need to worry, though i already have been concerned. They have been closed about a week now.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bstuver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2015 at 11:16pm
Originally posted by brandonp brandonp wrote:

Yeah I stay around 10 to 11 dkh. How long can zoas stay close before i need to worry, though i already have been concerned. They have been closed about a week now.


Sometimes when they are ticked off they can stay closed for weeks. They may open back up or the may just melt away it just depends and you never know.
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"wait these aren't the happy Hawaiians oompa doompa godly heaven on your face zoas?   I dont want them then. lol!" Ksmart
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brandonp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 30 2015 at 11:03am
Got ya. Hope they recover. Noticed some of my sps have been discharging some zoox. Still have polyps and color but wondering if they should do ok at recovering? Other than my bop frag all still have good colors. It's weird to me that it didn't happen at first. It's been a 6 days since the water parameters were corrected. Water quality is good now.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dmw913 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2015 at 2:03pm

Hey Brandon -

I actually don't dose those three items at this time for a couple of reasons:  First, I have a 20 gal. tank and it is filled with mostly softies and LPS.  Not a huge demand.  However, the main reason for not dosing is that I take advantage of the Neptune DOS as an auto-water changer.  I change .75 gallons of water EVERY day which is enough for me as far as Ca, dKh and Mg at this time based on tests.  I DO dose vinegar everyday (1ml) as well as Brightwell's potassium (1ml). 

When I do need to dose Ca, I use B-Ionic 2 part or BRS 2 part. 

As for salt, I just finished some older Oceanic and have ordered HW Marinemix Reefer.  Should be here in a few days.  It was a tough choice between the Marinemix and RedSea Coral Pro.  I went with MarineMix because it is a fully synthetic salt and it is augmented with aminos.  I'll report back after I use it. 

Best,

Denise

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brandonp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2015 at 2:08pm
Sounds like a good set up. I appreciate the reply's. Just need to sit tight and wait to see if my corals recover. Thanks. Good luck with the change in Salt
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