Bad salt mix

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by fc_uk, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. fc_uk

    fc_uk

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Atlantic Beach, FL
    So, I have recently purchased Red Sea Coral Pro salt on one of those massive pro bags.

    Every time I makeup new water for a water change, the new salt mix is cloudy. I've stirred it until my arm falls off; I put a 1200 gph pump in it while my ro/di has filled the container it's in. I've done both (manual and pump) at the same time. I continued the use of the pump for two hours after I stopped adding water (it takes my ro/di about two hours to fill the container.

    Heck, I've even let the freshly mixed water sit for days and the water is no longer cloudy, but I can see all the particulate sitting on the bottom of the container. If I stir it ... guess what?

    Bottom line: something is in this salt that does not dissolve.

    Anyone else notice this? I am about to dump this entire bag in the ocean and run out and buy different salt.
     
    fc_uk, Sep 14, 2013
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. fc_uk

    reefnoob

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    864
    Likes Received:
    106
    For my salt I mix with a pump for an entire day. I don't let it sit by itself without a pump...
     
    reefnoob, Sep 14, 2013
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. fc_uk

    fastrd400 It wasn't me! Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    7,846
    Likes Received:
    881
    Location:
    Bay Area, California
    I use Salinity, same thing. For some of the salts it is normal. It will clear in the tank and not hurt anything.
     
    fastrd400, Sep 14, 2013
    #3
  4. fc_uk

    chichimom79 reef junkie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    Messages:
    2,993
    Likes Received:
    618
    Location:
    Southwest Missouri
    Are you adding water to your salt mix or adding salt mix to the already made up water? This makes a big difference!
     
    chichimom79, Sep 14, 2013
    #4
  5. fc_uk

    Aquarian

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,822
    Likes Received:
    1,206
    Location:
    Connecticut USA
    Sounds like a bad ionic balance.
     
    Aquarian, Sep 14, 2013
    #5
  6. fc_uk

    fc_uk

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Atlantic Beach, FL
    Yes, it does! I wait until I have produced between 0.5-1 gallon of water, then I add the salt. My water changes are 5 gallons weekly, so we are looking at about 1.75-2 cups of salt to get the salinity right, depending upon the mix.

    Well, that is my hope and that is what I have been going with to be honest. I've got a 75 gallon dt with a 20 gallon custom sump. Salt gets added to the sump, where I let the skimmer and gfo mix that around for a while. About 20 minutes later I turn the return pump back on to the dt and it makes the cloudiness a lot less. My concern here, and the reason for this approach, is the corals in the tank. Some have gotten quite upset and significantly retracted when I have not done this.

    Good point. The full story here is I did that more of an experiment just to see what should happen. In real life I am a chemist. My thought was: lets see what time and brownian motion do to the solubility of the mix (answer: absolutely nothing). So as not to be wasteful, I pushed the 5 gallon mix that had sat for about 3 days through a 0.22 um lab grade filter, which is sterile by default.

    And this is my real concern. The salts, ions, etc in the mix at the levels they should be present at should be soluble in water (assuming a proper salinity mix) within 1-2 hours max. Now, if you don't reach that solubility within that time frame, then something just is not right.
     
    fc_uk, Sep 14, 2013
    #6
  7. fc_uk

    fastrd400 It wasn't me! Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    7,846
    Likes Received:
    881
    Location:
    Bay Area, California
    Is this a new salt for you? With the salinity, it says right on the label that it will be cloudy at first.
     
    fastrd400, Sep 15, 2013
    #7
  8. fc_uk

    fastrd400 It wasn't me! Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    7,846
    Likes Received:
    881
    Location:
    Bay Area, California
    You should also add the salt to the amount of water you want to make, not add the salt and then let the container fill to the desired level. I'd also try mixing half your salt amount for an hour, then add the rest to see if you have any changes.
     
    fastrd400, Sep 15, 2013
    #8
  9. fc_uk

    Sakura2282 Reef lover!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,103
    Likes Received:
    277
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    This is a very interesting thread. I have never had this problem when I mix the salt for my water changes and I only use my hand to do it, I don't stop moving my hand until I feel the salt is well diluted to make sure it won't settle on the bottom of the bucket. When I mix mine it only gets cloudy for 20 minutes after that the water is crystal clear. By the way, I use Instant Ocean.
     
    Sakura2282, Sep 15, 2013
    #9
  10. fc_uk

    chichimom79 reef junkie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    Messages:
    2,993
    Likes Received:
    618
    Location:
    Southwest Missouri
    When you have too much of your trace elements in that little of water, you are precipitating out calcium if I am remembering correctly. You have to start out with as much water as you need and slowly add your salt. Hope that helps in the future. :)
     
    chichimom79, Sep 15, 2013
    #10
  11. fc_uk

    RockStacker

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    111
    Location:
    CA-USA
    From my experience with RSCP, if you exceed the saturation point it ends up precipitating stuff and your solution ends up all wrong.
    Next time, produce your target RO/DI water volume first and then slowly add the salt mix.

    I have heard that a long time ago at school in one of the classes, I forgot which one. Maybe it's chem lab.

    Also, RSCP powder is not made up of identical particles.
    It is made up of different particles packaged in a homogenous mix. Sometimes, some packages undergo stratification so the top part of the package contains different particles than what is on the bottom.
     
    RockStacker, Sep 17, 2013
    #11
  12. fc_uk

    SigEpLucas Nano Reefer VIP Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO USA
    I know this is an old thread but I'm experiencing the same problem. In my case I filled a bucket with 5 gallons RO/DI, then plugged in a small powerhead and slowly started added 2 1/2 cups of RSCP salt mix. it was cloudy at first but crystal clear in the morning. I brought it to work and plugged in another small power head and heater to bring up to temp and aerate. I also added about a 1/2tsp of SeaChem Marine Buffer to make sure PH and everything was right. After about 6 hours the water was super cloudy. I unplugged and waited until the next day and the water started to clear but white stuff was settled on the bottom of the bucket.

    Is this going to be safe to add to the aquarium or should I dump it?
     
    SigEpLucas, Feb 25, 2015
    #12
  13. fc_uk

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    10,437
    Likes Received:
    973
    Location:
    VA USA
    What does the white stuff look like? Clumpy? Dust balls? Maybe it's dust? I'm guessing the skimmer would get rid of that stuff. But can't say I wouldn't be worried about its safety.
     
    wontonflip, Feb 26, 2015
    #13
  14. fc_uk

    SigEpLucas Nano Reefer VIP Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO USA
    It literally looks like salt on the bottom of the bucket that just hasn't dissolved. I let it sit another day and now the water is crystal clear other than the salt looking stuff on the bottom but the salinity is still coming in at 1.026. It's definitely not dust with a new bucket and it's been covered. My best guess is it has something to do with the Marine Buffer I added and that causing some kind of reaction.

    Any thoughts that I can just use the clear water on top and leave the other at the bottom? nothing has gone into the bucket that would be bad for the tank so I can't imagine it being harmful just didn't want to use cloudy water.
     
    SigEpLucas, Feb 26, 2015
    #14
  15. fc_uk

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    10,437
    Likes Received:
    973
    Location:
    VA USA
    I don't think you should have to put PH buffer, though. Is your ph THAT far off? PH will adjust depending on the light/darkness, too. I've never used buffers, so I have no clue if this is a side effect. Try making another bucket without the buffer and see if the same thing happens.
     
    wontonflip, Feb 27, 2015
    #15
  16. fc_uk

    SigEpLucas Nano Reefer VIP Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO USA
    I probably don't need it I guess I just always used it as a precaution to make sure the ph stayed at the right level. I've made two other batches now without it and it didn't get cloudy so that's probably what did it.
     
    SigEpLucas, Feb 27, 2015
    #16
  17. fc_uk

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    10,437
    Likes Received:
    973
    Location:
    VA USA
    Coolio. and yeah....ph fluctuates anyway.
     
    wontonflip, Feb 28, 2015
    #17
  18. fc_uk

    Big K

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    164
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Was the water warm when you added salt and then cooled off? It may have been a super solution and precipitated the excess salt after it cooled.
     
    Big K, Mar 5, 2015
    #18
  19. fc_uk

    SigEpLucas Nano Reefer VIP Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO USA
    Was actually the opposite. It was cold when it was mixed. The next day it was heated up as it was being aerated and that's when it turned cloudy.
     
    SigEpLucas, Mar 5, 2015
    #19
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.