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Old 03-09-2007, 10:44 AM   #1
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Dumb Question! HOW THE HECK DO YOU GET THE HYDROMETer..

I'm working on starting a new tanks and get the between 1.020 and 1.026. But either it is too low or much much salt. It took me an hour to get it right in the small tank. I am working on setting up a 72 gal now and i dont want to have the same problem.

Any suggestions on metheds to get the salt level correct? Should i mix the salt and water in the empty tank first then add the sand base? or pre-mis it in the buckets and test each bucket?

Help
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Old 03-09-2007, 10:51 AM   #2
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If the tank is completely empty then mixing it up in the tank is easiest. Add the recommended amount of salt per gal (typically 1/2 a cup per gal) to get it close to the 1.020 range and after a day of mixing with a PH take a reading and adjust by either adding a couple of cups of salt (to increase SG) or removing water and adding fresh water.

Retest after at least 4 more hours of mixing and continue to adjust SG as needed.
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:00 AM   #3
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Before I bought my Portable Refractometer (which I highly recommend), I found I didn't get a decent reading unless the water was warm. If you are mixing in the tank, I would get your salinity where you want it and then add the sand.
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:03 AM   #4
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The tank will be empty. That makes complete sense. So i should mix the water and get the PH going for a couple of days to make sure it is mixed right before adding anything.

Sounds easy.

next question. How do i mix it once the tank is running? Mix it in the buckets and then mearsure it?
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roka64
I found I didn't get a decent reading unless the water was warm.
Good point, temperature can greatly affect your SG reading with most hydrometers.

Checkout the following two articles below:

Chemistry and the Aquarium: Specific Gravity: Oh How Complicated!

Hydrometer Observations
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:10 AM   #6
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Dumb Question! HOW THE HECK DO YOU GET THE HYDROMETer..

I would worry about just getting the salinity right, add the sand. If you are starting the cycle, pH will fluctuate, so I wouldn't worry at this point.
I use a 43G plastic bucket to premix my water.
This is my schedule:
Friday-add water, salt, ph, and heater
Saturday-test salinity, add salt/water, if needed (count how many scoups of salt you put in the water), you will know how much to add after a few times.
Sunday-remove old SW, clean my equipment (in the old SW) and add the new water to the tank.
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:17 AM   #7
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I mix mine in a 32 gal (new) trashcan with a Mag 9.5 pump which provides tons of current for great mixing and also due to the heat given off by the pump will heat my water up to 78 degrees and keep it there. Once its time for the PWC I hook up a 20 ft hose and pump it into the tank (not the whole 32 gal, just what I need)

I have three reasons for doing it that way.

1: It's very simple and saves me a TON of time from having to adjust multiple 5 gal buckets to the same SG/temp/ph/ect...

2: Because it's larger batches getting the PH/sg/temp/ect... to match my main tank is much easier.

3: Having the heavy duty pump both saves me time in not having to deal with a heater but also makes getting the water back into the tank much easier then trying to heave 5 gal buckets into the tank.

However you decide to do it I'd make it as easy as possible which will ensure you keep up with proper PWC.
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:58 AM   #8
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I got a plastic garbage can, with wheels. That makes it super easy.
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