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Old 08-09-2004, 05:32 PM   #1
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water changes

Normally I do a partial water change about every 10 days to keep my nitrates at 0. I have 8 gallon gas cans that I go get RO water with. About 3-4 days before I plan on doing a water change I put the salt in and run a bubble wand or powerhead for 24 hrs. Well I missed the planned day to do a water change and the saltwater sat in the gas can for about 6-7 days with salt in it (after running the power head for 24 hrs) I tested it and the PH was 7.7-7.8, I put some ph up to get it up to 8.0 and put it in. Does salt water "expire" just sitting in cans....should I leave the cap on or off when waiting for my day off to do a water change? Also.....since I have a smaller tank(29 gallon) I have to top off every 3 days because the salinity goes up fast. You can add unsalted RO water right? I normally add a gallon or so over about an hours time, in front of the power head so it disperses quick. My fish don't seem to mind but they are a really hardy bunch. Thanks!
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Old 08-09-2004, 05:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
Does salt water "expire" just sitting in cans....should I leave the cap on or off when waiting for my day off to do a water change?
Yes it does expire, long ago I killed many fish because Iwas using "expired" salt water. If it's a tightly sealed container and/or the water is properly aerated before putting it in the tank you shouldnt have any troubles with it.

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You can add unsalted RO water right?
Yepper, regular RO works perfect for top offs. I go through about 1 gallon of RO a day.
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Old 08-09-2004, 08:20 PM   #3
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If aerated and kept moving a little, NSW should last for at least a few weeks or longer before expiring. In your case, the sealed gas can and lack of aeration just lowered the pH. You could've opened it up and aerated overnight and I bet the pH would've come back up.
The RO is right for topoff, I have a 20 gallon with aDIY auto topoff. Before the auto topoff I would add at least a half a gallon a day or more. Add smaller amounts every day instead of a gallon every 3 days to avoid any stress to the fish. HTH
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Old 08-09-2004, 10:32 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, now that my replacement tank is sitting on the ground without a glass top I'm going to top it off everyday. I already noticed a big difference being topless.
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Old 08-09-2004, 11:05 PM   #5
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I don't get it, wouldn't the water at the LFS expire then? They only sit in a huge 250 gallon plastic circular container with no water movement at all.
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Old 08-10-2004, 10:36 AM   #6
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NSW won't ever really "expire". If it stays in a sealed container then there is no gas exchange, the NSW will have a high CO2 concentration which will drive the pH down. Also, without any movement and with the lowered pH some components of the NSW may fall out of solution or precipitate that would normally stay in solution. Even if this does happen, if you buy a bucket, take it home, drop in a powerhead and aerate it overnight, everything should balance back out. If that is the case, I would check the water for pH, calcium and alk before using just to be on the safe side.
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Old 08-10-2004, 10:47 AM   #7
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Thanks for clarifying jack; I should have put more detail in my response. The water that killed my fish was over a month old, non-airtight container, no water movement or aeration, stored outdoors. SW isn’t like milk where it spoils. Given the proper conditions it would probably last indefinitely.
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