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Old 04-29-2009, 10:48 PM   #1
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hydrometer vrs refractometer

hi been running my tank for 7 wks withliverock,inverts and 4 fish everything is doing well. used my hydrometer all this time with a salinty reading at the 1.023 mark. Well today i wanted to insure my investment for my fish one being a purple tang$$$ and bought a refractometer which gave me a different reading of 1.028 which is out of the window so to speak. that is quite a variance. What are the repercussions of the salinty being this high even though the fish are thriving, and how do i correct the salinty level in the proper way? Thanks
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:28 AM   #2
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To correct the salinity remove a small amount of saltwater and replace with ro/di water or whatever fresh water you use during water changes. Be sure to change small amounts, a gallon or two at a time, and that should do the trick. Just check the salinity after replacing with fresh water.
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:51 AM   #3
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Yes, there can be a big difference between a hydrometer and a refractomenter.
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Old 04-30-2009, 01:07 PM   #4
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That actually was about the difference in readings from my hydro to me refracto. I agree, remove some SW and replace with FW.
Mtlion is correct, I would only add don't do a few gallons at a time if you have a small tank.
What size tank do you have?
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:06 PM   #5
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Agree with the others, but also want to add that 1.028 isn't THAT far above where it can be. Granted... FOWLRs often times run lower salinity, but having a salinity of 1.026 is pretty normal for a reef.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:09 PM   #6
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75g thanks for imput. it was the best 70.00 i spent for a precision reader!
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:35 PM   #7
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Good advice given...Reefractometers are one of the few things that EVERY SW tank owner should have!!

Glad you picked one up!!
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:04 PM   #8
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A refractometer is more accurate, just make sure it's calibrated. You can check the calibration by applying freshwater and making sure it reads 0 . If not adjust up or down.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:12 AM   #9
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Better yet, get some 53.0 mS calibration fluid meant to calibrate electronic salinity meters. Using it, your refractometer should read 35 ppt, or a little higher than 1.026. That way, you're calibrating in the range you're normally measuring at.
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Old 05-04-2009, 03:52 PM   #10
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If you are using "freshwater", use RO/DI water...distilled water...
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