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Salinity emergency


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I've got a 24 gallon Aquapod, and my refractometer says the salinity is 1.025. I just checked the calibration with RO water, and the calibration is accurate. I've got a false percula, a mithrax crab, and assorted snails and hermits in there.


I just purchased a fire shrimp, a second false percula, a turbo snail, and xenia. The LFS said that they keep their corals at 1.025. I checked the water when I came home as 1.030. The clown came from a different system that I tested as 1.027. The LFS says their fish are kept at 1.022.


Either the LFS has way too much salt in its tanks, or my refractometer reads low by .005. I think the later is much more likely.


The LFS is 45 minutes away, so I ran to Petco and bought the only hydrometer they had--a swinging needle that says it needs 24 hours of soaking before it should be used. I used it nevertheless, and it reads 1.022 with a couple tiny bubbles that I can't shake off. (I've never used one of these before.)


What do I now? Thus far, I've added 1/2 cup of tank water to each bag, and the bags have been floating in the tank for 45 minutes. I called the LFS and they think that their water is at 1.025. I would think that everything there would be dead if it really was at 1.030. Should I add some salt to the tank to bring the salinity up and meet in the middle? Frankly, with the shrimp and the xenia, I've got more $$ in livestock floating in bags than already in the tank.


Thanks for your responses.

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I say your refractometer is accurate and you should go with that. LFS say all sort of things to make themselves sound good. and those plastic thing you bought at petco are thrash dont trust those, i gotburn by one of those when i first started.

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its not neccisarily what your salinity is, it can be 1.022 or 1.030, its just that it is stable. if you research the way that salt water fish and coral work with the salt you will find that low salt is easier on fish and higher salt is better for coral. I use my refracto to make sure that my water is consistent from change to change.


look at your options.


1)you eaither keep the little guys in bags until you gradually change your whole tank(probably not a good idea).


2)you acclimate the new critters and such slowly then put em in!!!


looks like option 2, coral is usually pretty hardy, i wouldnt worry about it. i havent had any experience with fish however.


tell us how things come out!!!

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recheck your refractometer. make sure you rinse the slide area and the pipet with freshwater (preferably distilled, RO, or RO/DI, hereafter as fw).


recalibrate to zero with the pure/fw sample.


then create a sample/control. mix up some fw and salt to the salt manufacturer's directions for a certain value (usually 1.023 i believe). check that against your refractometer and back and forth.


i wouldn't even bother with the hydrometer but i would give some credence to the lfs's statement of their sg. but out of all those, i would trust the refractometer the most (as long as it's calibrated correctly). a recent near-disaster for me, taught me to calibrate often (once a week). good luck!

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Just a follow up. It's now four days later, and the new additions are all doing fine. I still haven't figured out whether my refractometer is correct, or the LFS. The xenia is expanded and pumping, the fire shrimp is eating voraciously, as is the new clownfish. The turbo snail is chomping away on the algae.


Next time I head to the LFS, I'll bring my water and my refractometer and do some comparisons. Wouldn't the livestock there be doing very poorly, though, at 1.030?

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Have you checked the refractometer with distilled or RO water? If it reads zero it's probably right.

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