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Old 10-17-2011, 08:37 AM   #1
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Why is the salinity increasing? and cycling question

We're currently cycling a 10 gal. and the salinity was staying stable at .026; however, it rose to .028 yesterday, and to .030 today. What would make in increase like that? We've been topping it off with fresh water twice per week. The tank is very full with water, should we remove some of the saltwater to add more fresh water?

Please give any imput. This is our first attempt at saltwater.

Here are today's test results from API test kits
pH 8.2
ammonia 1.5 ppm
nitrite between 0 and .25
nitrate 5 ppm
salinity 0.030
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:53 AM   #2
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Looks like your tank is still cycling... Just let it be for now.
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Old 10-17-2011, 09:44 AM   #3
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I agree as long as it`s cycling just let it go. After the cycle you`ll need to bring it back down by doing what you suggested.
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:55 AM   #4
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What are you using to measure your salinity? If you are using the hydrometer sometimes air bubbles on the indicator can cause a reading change up or down.

Still, as indicated, during a cycle the salinity level isn't as critical as long as it meets the minimum level. The large water change normally done at the end of the cycle to get rid of any excess Nitrates would level out the salinity.
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:19 PM   #5
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We're using a hydrometer. I'm wondering if we're using it right, though. We fill the water through the top and fill it up over the arrow, put it on a flat place and then tap the top to release air bubbles.

I'm glad to hear that the higher salinity level shouldn't hurt our cycle and that the water change at the end will help out with this.
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:34 PM   #6
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A better way to check your salinity is with a Refractometer...it's more pricey, they run about $50.00, but a lot more accurate. Here is a link to Marine Depot but you can get a refractometer from just about any online aquarium vendor. Some LFS' may have them as well but none in my area carry them. Marine Depot Aquarium Refractometer

As for the hydrometer, I found that it was very difficult to get the thing filled without getting some bubbles and tapping doesn't always work..there may still be microbubbles you can't see. I used to turn the thing upside down until it was under the water completely and then turn it up to let it fill..it seemed to cut down on the bubble problem. It wasn't unusual, however, for me to fill and empty the thing a few times before I could get a bubble free fill.
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:40 PM   #7
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In a 10g you need to top off with freshwater everyday because a lot is evaporating.
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:58 PM   #8
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With such a small tank, I'd also suggest a refractometer as there's not much room for error in a 10g.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:19 PM   #9
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It sounds like a refractometer should be on our list of future purchases along with a new heater.
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