high salinity - how fast can I lower it?

Discussion in 'Reef Fishes' started by reefer2b, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. reefer2b

    reefer2b

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Cartersville, GA
    This morning my coral beauty wasn't doing well. I checked my salt level with my hydrometer. It was at 1.028 (it usuall hangs around 1.026). I haven't added salt water for about 5 months; I can't seem to get it down within a normal range. Anyway I added about a gallon and half of fresh ro/di water. The fish immediately improved and the water dropped to .026. I need to change the filter and plan on using more fresh water. Should I wait until tomorrow so the fish and other critters have time to adjust to the lower level or would it be better to do it today to get the level lower.
     
    reefer2b, Mar 10, 2009
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. reefer2b

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    10,437
    Likes Received:
    973
    Location:
    VA USA
    maybe just do it gradually by siphoning it through an airline tube? At least it will be really gradual. I do that sometimes when I'm not in a rush to top off. I'll just start a siphon and leave it.
     
    wontonflip, Mar 10, 2009
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. reefer2b

    ccCapt Reef Hacker Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    3,302
    Likes Received:
    815
    Location:
    Northeast PA
    Why do you want to go lower? Natural seawater is 1.026. Also, get yourself a refractometer. Hydrometers are very innacurate.
     
    ccCapt, Mar 10, 2009
    #3
  4. reefer2b

    Teixeira29 Live Rock Fish only

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Gloucester, MA USA
    I would start a siphon with my mouth into a syphon tube a gradually let in go into the tank!
     
    Teixeira29, Mar 10, 2009
    #4
  5. reefer2b

    reefer2b

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Cartersville, GA
    I'd like it to be around .024. My fish seem to be less stressed at that reading on my hydrometer. They don't seem to be breathing as fast and much more active. I'm going to look into a refractometer.
     
    reefer2b, Mar 10, 2009
    #5
  6. reefer2b

    cthegame

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    8,704
    Likes Received:
    641
    Location:
    California
    I would take a sample of your water to the LFS and have them test your salinity. Then just mark your hydromter to make sure you're getting the right reading when you do water changes.
     
    cthegame, Mar 10, 2009
    #6
  7. reefer2b

    parrotchute DUSTOFF MEDEVAC

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,668
    Likes Received:
    241
    Location:
    Ware, MA
    Def check the hydrometer....it shouldn't be going up if your water level is the same and you haven't added salt. If anything, it should drop. I had a similar thing happen...got a refracto and realized my hydro was very inaccurate.
     
    parrotchute, Mar 10, 2009
    #7
  8. reefer2b

    ccCapt Reef Hacker Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    3,302
    Likes Received:
    815
    Location:
    Northeast PA
    Interesting. In the ocean they live and prosper in 1.026, yet they suffer in your tank at the same salinity nature provides them? Something tells me your hydrometer is WAY off.
     
    ccCapt, Mar 10, 2009
    #8
  9. reefer2b

    stagofdoom Phi Kappa Psi

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,533
    Likes Received:
    120
    Location:
    Franklin, Tennessee
    havnt added salt water in 5 months??? do you do water changes?
     
    stagofdoom, Mar 10, 2009
    #9
  10. reefer2b

    cthegame

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    8,704
    Likes Received:
    641
    Location:
    California

    +1 capt
     
    cthegame, Mar 10, 2009
    #10
  11. reefer2b

    reefer2b

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Cartersville, GA
    yes I've done water changes when I change the filter. I've just used fresh ro/di water. That's little over 2 gal. which is 10%. Usually it gets done every 3-4 weeks.
    I'm going to try to get to the fish store this week and see what they have in the way of a hydrometer.
     
    reefer2b, Mar 10, 2009
    #11
  12. reefer2b

    montoya

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I have fish and a variety of softies in my tank. I'll routinely adjust mine up or down between about 1.023 and 1.026 in a matter of minutes with no visible ill effects. This usually happens if I let the water get too low and need to top off with a few gallons of fresh water at once. Over time my salinity seems to drop (maybe from skimming?) and I will add salt water to swing it back the other way over 10 - 15 minutes.

    I too find that my critters seem to do a little better when my salinity runs on the lower side. I try to get it stable at around 1.024.

    If you have the patience however it's probably better to adjust salinity over a longer period of time. It certainly wouldn't hurt to bring it down to your desired level over couple day period.
     
    montoya, Mar 10, 2009
    #12
  13. reefer2b

    cthegame

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    8,704
    Likes Received:
    641
    Location:
    California
    i think fish can tolerate lower salinity but inverts prefer to be in the 1.026 range. At least thats from my own experience. I usually keep it at 25 to have some room for evaporation changes. Ideally, i would prefer a consistant 26
     
    cthegame, Mar 10, 2009
    #13
  14. reefer2b

    Bifferwine I am a girl

    Joined:
    May 13, 2006
    Messages:
    46,915
    Likes Received:
    5,888
    Location:
    Lynnwood, WA and missing Tucson, AZ
    It's best to change the salinity gradually. You can get a good hydrometer for $40 from Drs. Foster and Smith. It's definitely a worthwhile investment.

    If you've had your hydrometer for more than 6 months, chances are good that it has gone bad. Most things I've read about hydrometers state that they need to be replaced every 6 months, even if you follow the instructions like washing and drying them in between uses.
     
    Bifferwine, Mar 11, 2009
    #14
  15. reefer2b

    SSalty Team Liquid Force

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,752
    Likes Received:
    104
    Location:
    North Dakota
    I would never trust a hydrometer. If your hydrometer reads .026 chances are is that your salinity is actually .03

    Get yourself a refractometer.
     
    SSalty, Mar 11, 2009
    #15
  16. reefer2b

    reefer2b

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Cartersville, GA
    I'm ordering a hydrometer today. I did a water change this morning with some slightly salty water. According to my hydrometer it's a little lower than yesterday and everyone seems happy. So for now I'm going to leave it until I get the hydrometer.
     
    reefer2b, Mar 11, 2009
    #16
    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.