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extremely low salinity


saf

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Hi everyone

 

I just started an 30L (approx 8ish gallon) tank with about 3kg of live rocks and 2mm aragonite coral sand.

 

It has been cycling for a week now and i've just got all my test kit and hydrometer over the last couple of days.

 

These are are the measurements as of today from the API salt water master kit.

ph: 7.9

ammonia: 0.00

nitrite: 0.00

nitrate: 5ppm

salinity: 1.014

 

I understand that salinity should sit around around 1.026 and with my reading i am concern this may cause issues.

 

I will be getting my LFS to retest the water tomorrow but im worried i may have stuffed everything up. The live rock over the past week has started to change from purpley red to now brown which i think is a good sign ?

 

Please help

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I would let the tank sit for a month but thats just my opinion. I always cycle my tanks for at least 30 days. Just mix a gallon or two of heavy salt water and adjust and test, adjust and test. Also get a refracto meter and calibration fluid for it. You will thank yourself in the long run.

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You could just top off with saltwater for a couple days to get the salinity up, but if it was me I'd just dump some salt mix in there. The rocks are gonna cycle anyways so I wouldn't worry about hurting them. Oh and purple to brown is bad, sounds like coraline algae is not too happy.

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oh man, this sucks lol.

 

Ill have to pick up some more salt tomorrow when i get my water tested.

 

I will definitely be letting the tank cycle for a much longer time because its only been 1 week and ive already had such a rocky start.

 

Could the coraline algae be going brown because my tank is starting to cycle?

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oh man, this sucks lol.

 

Ill have to pick up some more salt tomorrow when i get my water tested.

 

I will definitely be letting the tank cycle for a much longer time because its only been 1 week and ive already had such a rocky start.

 

Could the coraline algae be going brown because my tank is starting to cycle?

 

You can buy a 200g box of instant ocean reef crystals for 55$ shipped online that should last you awhile. I would also get that refractometer if you can. I wouldnt say anything is bad at all without pictures. You should try and take a few when you have some time. Low salinity with nothing in the tank isnt going to harm anything. Just simply raise it up by adding a salt solution. Dont add any livestock or do any water changes till your ammonia is 0. When mine hits 0 i add a small clean up crew and wait till my algea cycle is over before i add corals but that is my preference and not the usual way. Algae cycles can last months in a new system while it is balancing out and establishing itself. You'd be safe adding the clean up crew after your cycle then adding other live stock a week later.

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I agree with the above but wouldn't add bare salt directly to the tank. It's likely some will settle in dead spots without getting mixed and it may be awhile before you'll get an accurate reading. It's much easy to just mix a concentrated batch and use that to top off, or siphon out some water and add the concentrated water.

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Yeah never add dry salt directly to the tank. If some does not dissolve or gets trapped in the sand and disturbed later it can have some serious effects. Just mix up highly concentrated water and add it.

 

You might think about introducing a source of ammonia. Either in the form of pure ammonia or just toss a raw unseasoned table shrimp in until the ammonia spikes and then remove it. This will kick start the cycle.

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Confirm the specific gravity (not exactly the same thing as salinity) is 1.014 or not. Some hydrometers are better than others, and it's always good to calibrate them. The easiest way is to test the water with a calibrated refractometer (try a local store or other reefkeeper) and see how the hydrometer reads the same sample.

 

http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/index.php

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When I'm setting up a tank I always add salt directly - that's of course with only substrate in the tank. I actually fill my smaller setup tanks with RO/DI then add the salt last. I find it's easier than premixing and completely safe as long as there is no livestock.

 

As far as salt not dissolving - that would be a tough one. If any amount of water touches the salt it's going to dissolve, being hydrophilic. Now there will be a period of time if a large amount of salt is added all at once that you may have a few grains here and there on the bottom. But with any water movement it will dissolve long before it has a chance to cause any problems.

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