Issue with changing salt mix?

fiji4118

Tang
M.A.S.C Club Member
#1
Hi all. Been a while since I switched salts. Went from reef crystals to tropic Marin. Did a 20-30% change on Sunday (this is my normal change amount) and see this difference still today in my euphyllia. Zoa's also closed. Love your thoughts.


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fiji4118

Tang
M.A.S.C Club Member
#2
One additional bit of info. Adding a tiny yellow watchman and candy cane pistol shrimp. Both under 1". They don't appear to be moving enough sand to create sediment in the water column but perhaps its not perceptible?
 

SynDen

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#3
Did you test the new salt mix and compare with previous? Doing that really would be the only way to diagnose possible issues.
My guess though, is that the new salt maybe has higher, or lower, alk/ca then previous, and it just threw off the stability for a bit. Likely will correct as stability with the new salt is established.
 

fiji4118

Tang
M.A.S.C Club Member
#4
Did you test the new salt mix and compare with previous? Doing that really would be the only way to diagnose possible issues.
My guess though, is that the new salt maybe has higher, or lower, alk/ca then previous, and it just threw off the stability for a bit. Likely will correct as stability with the new salt is established.
Soo.... Tested my alk today. It was up a whopping 50 points. That's from 145 (8.12) to 190 (10.64). Who knows what it was right after the water change. So apparently TM is MUCH higher in alk than reef crystals. I'll need to drive up my alk to account for the increase in ALK. Going to mix a batch to see what it is so that I can get the tank to that level. Back frogspawn coming back. Not sure on the front hammer.


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fiji4118

Tang
M.A.S.C Club Member
#5
Should I try and drop the alk or ride it out since it's been 3 days?

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jda123

Dolphin
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#6
Check your batch number on the TM salt. There are well known issues with some bad batches.

TM has to travel a long way and it can settle. Always dry mix it before you use.
 

Visualsnow

Cleaner Shrimp
M.A.S.C Club Member
#7
TM pro reef is an alkalinity of 7 at 1.025. I like what JDA advised, even though I think stratification is a thing of the past unless the salt has been very...very well travelled. It's much more likely your alkalinity test is incorrect or your salinity test is incorrect and frankly I'd do a second test of each and recalibrate before claiming a salt is the problem. I'm not saying it's impossible, the TM issue was not related to alkalinity or salinity, and the batches are large.

Instruments fall out of calibration faster than your average salt will stratify so if you haven't recalibrated your measurement tools, I would look at those first honestly.

Check your reagent dates, check your refractometer, check that your pipette and your cuvettes are well cleaned and free of smudges, and if you're using a digital refractometer, make sure it's accurately taking the temperature of your water, otherwise your salinity will measure lower.


For what it's worth, depending on the test you used, it could just be reading the test incorrectly or taking the test sample past the correct equivalency point.
 

Jacob H

Copepod
M.A.S.C Club Member
#8
Did you mix the salt up before you used it? A lot of these salts especially TM coming from Germany settle out during travel and you have to mix them up again.
 

fiji4118

Tang
M.A.S.C Club Member
#9
TM pro reef is an alkalinity of 7 at 1.025. I like what JDA advised, even though I think stratification is a thing of the past unless the salt has been very...very well travelled. It's much more likely your alkalinity test is incorrect or your salinity test is incorrect and frankly I'd do a second test of each and recalibrate before claiming a salt is the problem. I'm not saying it's impossible, the TM issue was not related to alkalinity or salinity, and the batches are large.

Instruments fall out of calibration faster than your average salt will stratify so if you haven't recalibrated your measurement tools, I would look at those first honestly.

Check your reagent dates, check your refractometer, check that your pipette and your cuvettes are well cleaned and free of smudges, and if you're using a digital refractometer, make sure it's accurately taking the temperature of your water, otherwise your salinity will measure lower.


For what it's worth, depending on the test you used, it could just be reading the test incorrectly or taking the test sample past the correct equivalency point.
It appears to have been a mixing issue. After mixing it does test within parameters. I do a lot of testing on my tank because it's so small. I ran multiple tests against the ALK since it came back so high.

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fiji4118

Tang
M.A.S.C Club Member
#10
Did you mix the salt up before you used it? A lot of these salts especially TM coming from Germany settle out during travel and you have to mix them up again.
I did not. And that appears to have been the culprit. Fortunately only lost an 8 head hammer and saw my acan completely change colors. Hopefully they go back to where they were. Have some zoas that still aren't opening fully since the change.

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jda123

Dolphin
M.A.S.C Club Member
#11
I know that BRS did some testing on salts and say that dry mixing is not needed, but they also used new salt sent directly to them and did not really test any far traveling kinds - this test was more stupid than most of their stuff. You NEED to dry mix all salt, or use the whole bag. This is why I like the 50g bags of IO - I use the whole thing in a 44g brute, but if I have to mix less it is really easy to shake up in a 5g bucket with a lid.

Glad that you figured it out.
 

Visualsnow

Cleaner Shrimp
M.A.S.C Club Member
#12
I know that BRS did some testing on salts and say that dry mixing is not needed, but they also used new salt sent directly to them and did not really test any far traveling kinds - this test was more stupid than most of their stuff. You NEED to dry mix all salt, or use the whole bag. This is why I like the 50g bags of IO - I use the whole thing in a 44g brute, but if I have to mix less it is really easy to shake up in a 5g bucket with a lid.

Glad that you figured it out.
I guess one point I didn't make it though I don't mix the whole thing at once more often than not, when not, I'm storing the salt in an upside down bag to limit air in the bag.... So in a sense, my storage method is self mixing. Either way, you bring up a good point. Some salt mixes also need to mixed all at once, like the hw marine salt mix.
 

jda123

Dolphin
M.A.S.C Club Member
#13
The uniform particle size is a joke. The weight is more important and so is the ability to attract/bind moisture which changes things even more. This is what really makes salt need to be dry mixed. Dr. RHF has talked about it for years. In large systems or if you mix large amounts, it probably does not matter much... but it can be a big deal a few gallons at a time.

If any of you were around when Oceanic made salt, the huge blue bucket could sometimes have legit alk of 30 at the top and 4 at the bottom. It was good salt, but it just needed mixed up...and it weighted like 60 pounds or something like that.
 
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