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Old 11-21-2011, 09:24 AM   #1
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Tank water level has me BEYOND confused

So I just set up my 90 in the apartment. I have a 12g top off tank and had the tank up and running for about 3 weeks. Lighting is an Outer Orbit 2x250 MH and 4x T5. Salinity was 1.024 after my last water change. During the 3 weeks top off was about 5-7 g a week although I always keep the windows open.

I left on business for 5 1/2 days. When I got home saturday the top off tank was empty and the tank was down a good 5-6 inches from the top. I immediately started making RO/DI water but when I checked salinity it was 1.026 ?

I got the tank level back up about 3 inches and now salinity is 1.021. I still need about another 2" of tank fill but I'm trying to figure out what happened ?. My first thought was excessive evap because the apartment was closed up for 5 days but then I would have expected the salinity to be much higher and would have expected to be able to refill the tank and get back to 1.024.

I'm mixing some new water and plan on topping off the tank to get the salinity back up a few points and I will apparently have to get a glass top before my next long trip.

It's seriously like someone came in and took 15g of water out of the tank. There are no leaks, no signs of water on the floor or anywhere.

Thoughts ?
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:33 AM   #2
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I'd put my money on evaporation. I replace over a gallon a day in my 125g. Those halides can cause excessive evaporation as well.

As long as there were no leaks that you can find I wouldn't worry too much about it.
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:06 AM   #3
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Make sure you don't change your SG to fast. Instead of using fresh water in your top off just use the 1.025 or what every you run so that it doesn't change to rapid. Are you using a refractometer or a hydrometer to measure your SG?
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:52 AM   #4
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Evaporation won't take the salt with it. So either you're measurements aren't accurate or there was a leak or some sort of accident. That is very strange if there's no sign of leakage.

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Old 11-21-2011, 11:57 AM   #5
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Using refract and I have 2 of them that I have used for a while, checked with both (they differed by .001 but close enough in my book).

The salinity is the part that's confusing the **** out of me. I mean I know that a closed house will cause higher rates of evap but I would have expected the salinity to go up and then I would refill with fresh water and it would be all good.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:02 PM   #6
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Are both refractometers calibrated at room temp with RODI water? Temp of the Refractometer can make them very inaccurate. If its not a leak, it's user error.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:07 PM   #7
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Both were done with RODI with fresh made water (I double checked them both this morning). Maybe I'll make some water and let it sit for a while to get to room temp and double check them.
I've gone around the tank numerous times and for once being a not so uber clean person has paid off. There is a small amount of dust that would have shown water if any had leaked. (especially that much)
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:20 PM   #8
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Side note: new mixed water shows 1.025 on refract.......still completely confused and looking for a leak somewhere.
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:24 AM   #9
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even a leak wouldnt change sg...
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:08 AM   #10
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Ya I would guess evaporation. Are you topping off with salt water? If you are, saltwater doesnt evaporate and that couldve done it.
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