3 days in and PANICKING!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Nanoreefnovice, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. Nanoreefnovice

    Nanoreefnovice

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm new on this forum, so wanted to say Hi and ask for some advice...

    I started a 15 gallon saltwater tank three days ago. So far I have the tank, filter, heater, light, live sand and live rocks. My hydrometer shot up off the scale after a few hours in, so I removed some water and replaced it to bring down the salinity. All was fine and after 48 hours the salinity dropped to the very bottom of the scale... I'm totally confused. I have no organisms in the tank yet, as I plan on leaving it to cycle for a few weeks. I thought it might be an unreliable hydrometer, so I soaked it in vinegar for 30 minutes this morning, and the salt level is still low enough for the reading to be at the bottom of the scale. Can I just add instant ocean salt until it comes back up again? :frustrat:

    Thanks :mrgreen:
     
    Nanoreefnovice, Sep 2, 2013
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  2. Nanoreefnovice

    kbuser92 Breeder

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    Best thing to do would be buy a refractometer. Hydrometers are unreliable. If you must buy something cheap, the coralife deep six is what I use daily, but I have my top offs down to a science and also regularly double check with a refractometer as well.
     
    kbuser92, Sep 2, 2013
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  3. Nanoreefnovice

    Nanoreefnovice

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    That's great, thanks for the advice. I couldn't think what else it could be other than a reliability issue. I'll definitely try a refractometer :)
     
    Nanoreefnovice, Sep 2, 2013
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  4. Nanoreefnovice

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    Is there a LFS nearby? You could take them a sample of the water and see what kind of reading they get.

    As others will tell you, a hydrometer is a pretty poor way of watching salinity, you'd be best served getting a refractometer

    And yes, if there are no animals in the tank you can add salt directly to the tank. You would NOT want to do this once the tank has been stocked
     
    Northstar24, Sep 2, 2013
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  5. Nanoreefnovice

    ErinCahir Sausage Wrangler

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    You should also allow your water mix for at least 24 hours to get an accurate reading.
     
    ErinCahir, Sep 3, 2013
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