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Old 10-08-2004, 02:58 PM   #1
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HELP ! Salinity out of control

I need some help here. I keep my tank (72-bow) salinity at .023-024. For the past 8 weeks I have noticed that it keeps trending upwards to .025-.026 Salinity is checked with a refractometer and one of those cheap plastic models. Both give the same readings.

I top-off with about 2-3 gallons per week because of evaporation(no salt added) and conduct a 10-15% water change monthly.

I have been dosing with Seachem products recently. Reef Buuilder, Marine Buffer, and Reef Advantage Calcium. to get my reef numbers up. This morning I checked my salinity and found it to be .028!!! WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? Are the seachem products raising my salinity? Suggestions for a way ot of this mess without any loss of life?
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Old 10-08-2004, 03:05 PM   #2
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Are you calibrating your refractometer before each use with distilled water?
Are you using a skimmer? Sometimes skimming can mess with your salinity.
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Old 10-08-2004, 03:09 PM   #3
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No I am not calibrating, Should I?? and Yes I use a Remora-Pro with a Mag5. I just started using the Mag 5 pump this week.
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Old 10-08-2004, 06:22 PM   #4
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Yes you should always calibrate your refractometer with fresh water before measuring your salinity. refractometer should of came with a small flathead screw driver for calibration

Sometime when you adjust your collection cup low it will pull out some water which will increase salinity, this is what I've read on forums.
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Old 10-08-2004, 07:27 PM   #5
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definitely make sure your refractometer is calibrated. Although calibrating it every time may be a bit much, but it won't hurt.

It is possible that some of those supplements you are using have some salt in them (Reef Advantage Calcium perhaps?). This is just a guess however.

Are you replacing with freshwater the exact amount of water that is being evaporated? I know this sounds like a stupid question, but if you are replacing just a tad less than required each day, the rise in salinity will add up in 2 weeks time.

Your skimmer will actually decrease the salinity over time, not increase it. So this not the problem.
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Old 10-08-2004, 07:45 PM   #6
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For a quick fix why dont you do a small water change and just add RO water with out the salt mix
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Old 10-08-2004, 08:17 PM   #7
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If your replacing with freshwater like you said then the small amount of water removed by the skimmer would be replaced when you replace the evporation water.

I hadnt heard the part about seachem causing higher salt levels.

Your certin that the top off water is freshwater (no salt added) and when you do your water changes the salinity of the water being added is the same as the salinity you desire (.023-.024) as you describe?

Doing a FW water change will bring down the salinity but you want to bring it down slowly as to not shock any of the inhabatants.
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Old 10-08-2004, 09:24 PM   #8
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might need to do small top offs more often then once a week? i do it like every other day
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Old 10-09-2004, 12:19 AM   #9
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Yes, recalibrate. Where do you store your refractometer? If the temp of the instrument is different from you sample, it may give bogus readings. Make sure you calibrate it frequently. Also make sure your fresh water source theat you use to calibrate is the same temp as your tank, or else you can still get a bad reading.
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Old 10-09-2004, 01:52 AM   #10
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Also it sounds stupid but make sure you rinse it because you get some salt deposites in the hydrometer that will show a raised salinity each time you use it.
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