Water mixing question

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Water mixing question

Postby mfd78 on Mon Mar 14, 2005 5:17 pm

Hi all! Rookie question for you...whenever I mix a batch of water, I keep getting a white film all over my heater, thermometer and stuff. I'm using tap water (RO unit on order!) and use an airstone to mix things up.

Is this calcium or what?

Thanks,
Steve
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Postby Mark on Mon Mar 14, 2005 5:58 pm

What salt?

I'll find various films sometimes in my water mixing containers ... seems to vary according to the salt in my experience.

Some is likely un-dissolved chemical of some sort, some might be bacterial - I'm unsure. But like the smell of some salts - there's differences observable during mixing/residues.
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Postby mfd78 on Mon Mar 14, 2005 9:10 pm

I've been using Instant Ocean.

I don't notice it when I just use a powerhead with no bubbles but when I use the airstone or powerhead with bubbles, I get the film.

It looks like hard water buildup but softer. Vinegar/water removes it pretty well.
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Postby meisen on Tue Mar 15, 2005 8:40 am

It sounds like calcium or magnesium (or some combination of the two). Are you adding the water to the salt or adding the salt to the water? With Instant Ocean, its important to add the salt to the full amount of water you are mixing. Do it somewhat slowly IMO, otherwise the solution becomes locally saturated with calcium and actually causes some precipitation to occur. Some salt mixes occasionally produce a residue on their own, usually due to some small variance in the manufacturer's process.

Out of curiosity, what is your salt mixing to calcium/mg wise?

I usually get 380/~950 out of IO which is admittedly a bit low on both counts. I bring it up to NSW levels with epsom salts and driveway heat.
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Postby mfd78 on Tue Mar 15, 2005 9:41 am

Hmmm. I've been adding some water, then the salt, then the rest of the water which would probably result in the condition you are talking about. I'll try your way and see what happens.

As far as the calcium goes, I've never tested it yet. I've only been set up a month and just have some LR and 3 fish along with a clean up crew working in there. Is calcium something I should check anyway?
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Postby meisen on Wed Mar 16, 2005 8:37 pm

I wouldnt worry too much about calcium other than the mixing issue at this point. Sooner or later it will be come a concern if/when you start adding stony corals.

I was just curious if you knew your results as I am always watching for weird salt batches.....
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Postby jbartig on Fri Mar 18, 2005 5:19 pm

How to Mix a Batch of Synthetics Seawater in Under Five Minutes
by Craig Bingman
Aquarium Frontiers September 1997
http://web.archive.org/web/20001212230600/http://www.animalnetwork.com/fish2/aqfm/1997/sep/bio/default.asp

I found this to be an interesting article on mixing salt water. The key points for me were mix your solution rapidly, aerate your salt water before use, and keep your salt container tightly sealed.

Currently, I've been using a drill with a plastic paint mixing attachment. It works quite well at getting the salt mix to dissolve quickly. Both instant ocean and reef crystals dissolve completely for me. I do notice over time, though, that I do get a white substance precipitating out of the solution. I assume this is calcium carbonate.

Jeff
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Postby moujon on Fri Mar 18, 2005 10:07 pm

IO does the same thing for me- starts mixing clear and then precipitates out even at the proper SG. Since I've just got the softies I haven't worried about it.
Shel
Image
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Postby mfd78 on Sat Mar 19, 2005 7:55 am

Good to know it's not just me having this issue! Also, the article was very interesting...thanks jbartig!

I checked out IO's home page (actually Aquarium Systems) and that was hopeless. They don't have any instructions or FAQ's at all on their salt which is a LITTLE strange...maybe I'm not looking in the right place. They have a tech support number that I'm going to call on Monday and see what they have to say. The quest continues....

Steve
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