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Complete Newbie Question - Mixing SW


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Sorry if this is a stupid question, but can I mix my salt water in my tank to start with. Will be setting up my new Boyu 20g tank next week and just want to get this right.



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I would mix it up in batches in 5g buckets. That'll give you practice at tuning the specific gravity (SG) to where you want it.


1) Put the water in the bucket

2) Make sure it is in the correct temp range for your hydrometer (skip this step if you use a refractometer)

3) If you have a powerhead or water pump sitting around, chuck it in the bucket and get the water moving. If you don't have one, go to step 4.

4) Add some salt. Generally, 1/2 cup of salt will bring one gallon of fresh water to an SG of ~1.025. Depending on the mix you use and the range you are shooting for, you may need more or less salt.

5) Once it is at the right temp and SG, dump, pump, or siphon it into the tank.

6) Repeat as many times as needed.


If you overshoot your SG goal, add more fresh water. If you run out of room in the 5g bucket, alter the next batch to make up for it.


After doing this a couple times, you'll be a pro.


Edited for spelling errors

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Although Mr. Fosi didn't mention it (it may have been assumed you know this already) - You should be using RO/DI water for mixing / topoffs - You can also get away with distilled water from your grocery or Wally World. I think that some folks have had luck with regular tap water, but it's not highly recommended


Welcome to NR!

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Here here!


I use filtered tap water in my 5.5g, but I do not recommend it to those who can avoid it.

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Thanks for the replies.


I am going to buy my RO water from my local LFS to start with and see how I get on, although in future I may by my own RO unit.




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