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Seattle Aquarium NSW results

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mattseattle

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Joined
Jul 15, 2003
Messages
2,694
Location
Seattle, WA
As many of you know I've been having issues keeping my alk. and calc. and all balanced and up to decent levels. Finally I bought good test kits (Salifert) instead of using Red Sea as I bought when I first got into the hobby. For some reason I also thought the Seattle Aquarium NSW would be balanced in the stuff my tank needed so I didn't test it prior to placing it into my tank for the original fill. I've been doing water changes with this water as well (about every 2 - 3 weeks) except lately and I stopped while I tried to get everything in balance. So this weekend when I did a water change I decided to test it for Calc, Alk, Magnesium, pH as well as SG. My tests came back really low so today I decided to go back to the aquarium and get a liter of water to do tests again to confirm my results instead of thinking maybe it was a weird batch. Here are my results of the water:

Water was tested after bringing it up to 81 degrees and I used Salifert test kits for everything except where noted:

Calcium - 320
Alk - 7.0 / 2.51
Magnesium - 960
pH - 7.8 (test strip)
SG - 1.024 (done with a hydrometer)

Does anyone else use the water from the aquarium? have you had similiar results?

My plan from now on out is to go ahead and buy an RO/DI unit and just start making my own water. Hopefully then I won't have issues with keeping calcium and alk up to par and have to use so many additives to get everything up. Right now I'm in the process of raising my magnesium levels up to between 1250 and 1350 and get my alk and calc stabalized.

Thoughts? :)
 

mattseattle

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2003
Messages
2,694
Location
Seattle, WA
latest tank tests

after testing the NSW from the aquarium i decided to do a thorough testing of my tanks water.

Calc is at 400
Alk is at 9.0 / 3.20
Magnesium is 1170
pH is 8.3
SG is 1.025

i think i'm finally getting there....seems my alk has become more stable after dosing magnesium. my alk would usually go from 3.2 down to 2.8 during the course of a 24 hour period. so far in the last 48 hours it hasn't swayed from 3.2 which i consider an improvement. i'm still trying to get a hang of where my parameters should be and how to maintain them.
 

aquariumdebacle

electrolyte addict
Joined
Jul 4, 2003
Messages
613
Location
Seattle
Sound Water

I went on an oceanographic cruise on the Puget Sound Sunday, October 26th, 2003. We did a variety of samplings: Secchi disk, CTD, plankton, currents, and a navigation demonstration. The conductivity measurements were of the most interest. The suprising aspect of the results is that the top ten meters are almost brackish down to 15ppt at the surface. This is a result of our lovely little spell of "liquid sunshine" last week as the rivers discharged their effluent. This should also be taken as a precautionary to using the Seattle Aaquarium seawater. Always test it before using and realize that in times of heavy rains that more run-off will be present. This will include more fresh-water, oil, debris, and other lovelies that we continue to put into the sound. I was able to retain some of the copepods from the plankton sampling and currently have them in my frig. I will be working with Below Sea Level to try and culture them.
 

mattseattle

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2003
Messages
2,694
Location
Seattle, WA
thanks for the info. i think the solution is i'll just 'mix' my own water in the future after purchasing an ro/di unit. the instability of the seattle aquarium water seems like it's going to cause me more problems than what it's worth. the cost and convenience of the aquarium water was always nice....only .05 cents a gallon and i live close by so it was easy to transport the needed amount to my place.

when i originally filled the tank it was during the time of our dry spell and the parameters of the aquarium water were still off. i can't say how much since i didn't do 'great' testing back then.
 

jazznreef

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
219
Location
Seattle/Magnolia
seattle aquarium seawater

I used this water for a couple years while in graduate school. I also dumped trace elements into it before using. Overall, it worked out pretty well for me. Unless you are keeping an sps tank i think the water will do you fine. Once your cash flow is more positive and you migrate to sps then it's definately time to take more control over your tank's environment. That definately does not include using aquarium seawater. But, for some tanks I think it works just fine. Fish only, soft and some hard corals do great in my experiences. As for buying an ro/di unit, you will need that for top off water irrespetive of where your salt water is coming from.
 

mojoreef

Reef Keeper
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Messages
7,530
Location
Sumner
Dan you are right on the timing of taking water from the aquarium, after rainfalls is a big no no. Another cause of your low salinity is the natural tempurature. Even with out a rain fall the water in the sound at its natural temp will be around 1.009 .

Mike
 

mattseattle

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2003
Messages
2,694
Location
Seattle, WA
for top off water i've been buying it....but right now i've spent more on buying water than what it would've cost me to just buy an ro/di unit at the beginning! :) another one of my learning experiences....i'll definitely buy one in the next few weeks.
 

jazznreef

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
219
Location
Seattle/Magnolia
ro h2o

yea, agreed, buying ro/di h2o from a LFS is a major rip off. heck, i could sell it to you for half the price and still make off like a bandit.
 

mattseattle

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2003
Messages
2,694
Location
Seattle, WA
i think i've finally reached success....*knock on wood*

today my water parameters are:
magnesium - 1260
alk is 9.3 / 3.31
pH - 8.3
calcium - 410

my alk and calc are slowly rising now with the additives instead of having huge downfalls each day.
 
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