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Old 05-08-2009, 05:17 AM
jassz jassz is offline
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Default Do I need to adjust my Specific Gravity?

Hi all, newbie here.

I just bought/moved an existing FOWLR tank last weekend. The previous owner apparently kept the SG at 1.024. We moved 100+ gallons of exisiting water (it's 135g with sump), and the new water was also tested at the time we added it (I'm not exactly sure what it was, the prev. owner checked it). So I'm quite baffled as to why now, not even a week later, the SG could drop to 1.019. I did change out about 15 gallons a couple of days ago (the nirtrate was climbing), and the SG of that change water was about 1.019, but I figured that 15 gallon wouldn't drop the overall SG. It doesn't make sense it could have dropped, so I'm a little suspicious of the hydrometer.

But if my SG really IS 1.019 (the readings are consistant), is it harmful to the fish or rocks to be at this level? Most fish seem fine, a couple seem lethargic but I don't know what they are normally like. What advantage would there be in bringing it up? How do I bring it up? I mean, I know you add salt, but how on earth do you gauge how much? From what I've read bringing it up too fast could be problematic.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:21 AM
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check your hydrometer, they do go bad and this article on bogus info
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:22 AM
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Default Sg

I would bring it up to 1.022.
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:00 AM
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1.022 to 1.026 is normal for FO and FOWLR tanks albeit there is no good reason to have it any lower than 1.025, where reefs should be 1.025 to 1.026.

Best bet it to either buy a refractometer $50-60 and periodically recalibrate your hydrometer (I've seen them off by as much as 0.008), or take a water sample to your LFS and get them to test with a refractometer so you can figure out how much yours is off by. I have two hydrometers (one is SeaTest and one is Coralife...I think); one is under by 0.002 and the other is over by 0.002.

For a really rough guestimate...about 2 tbsps will raise the sg by about 0.006 or 7 ish in 5 gallons. This is just my guestimate from mixing salt up in my buckets.
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myka View Post
...
For a really rough guestimate...about 2 tbsps will raise the sg by about 0.006 or 7 ish in 5 gallons. This is just my guestimate from mixing salt up in my buckets.
Unless I'm reading this wrong, I would think you'd need 5x that much (10 tbsps) to raise 5g by 0.006. According to Instant Ocean directions 2 1/2 cups will raise 5g to ~ 1.024.
1.024 - 1.000 = 0.024
0.024/4 = 0.006
2 1/2 cups = 40 tbsps
40/4 = 10
Therefore, would it not take 10 tbsps of salt to raise 5g of FW (1.000) to an SG of 1.006?
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:30 PM
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Thank you for you replies. We use refractometers where I work, and check the zero (I think what you call calibrating) daily, as well as run two known controls. So I know they are accurate. I will take a sample in and check it.

So, if the SG is low, how might this affect the fish? The Stars and Stripes puffer seems very lethargic, and he was actually puffed this morning when I went down there. The dog might have scared him. He ate some food off a stick the second day or so, but I haven't seen him eat since. I also haven't seen the lion fish eat since the second day or so. Everyone else (2 triggers, another puffer and a wolf eel) are eating like pigs. I tested the water yesterday, and it was neg for ammonia, nitrate and nitrite, and the pH was 7.8 (which is what it has been since I got the tank). Is that a little low?

Thanks again.
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Reefer View Post
Unless I'm reading this wrong, I would think you'd need 5x that much (10 tbsps) to raise 5g by 0.006. According to Instant Ocean directions 2 1/2 cups will raise 5g to ~ 1.024.
1.024 - 1.000 = 0.024
0.024/4 = 0.006
2 1/2 cups = 40 tbsps
40/4 = 10
Therefore, would it not take 10 tbsps of salt to raise 5g of FW (1.000) to an SG of 1.006?
Well I did say it was a really rough guestimate, but it takes about 3 1/4 cups to get the sg to 1.026. I know that for sure because I put 3 cups and a bit in, and then I add a little more to adjust it.
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myka View Post
1.022 to 1.026 is normal for FO and FOWLR tanks albeit there is no good reason to have it any lower than 1.025, where reefs should be 1.025 to 1.026.
Higher oxygen saturation in the water and ionic regulation of salt from the fish should be easier at a lower salinity. Nothing wrong with 1.019, I know a few FOWLR tanks running for many years at 1.018.

As for the Stars and Stripes, it shouldn't be the salinity bothering him. They often spend their juvenile lives in Brackish water estuaries. He might just be a lazy puffer as so many are.
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Old 05-09-2009, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenSpottedPuffer View Post
Higher oxygen saturation in the water and ionic regulation of salt from the fish should be easier at a lower salinity. Nothing wrong with 1.019, I know a few FOWLR tanks running for many years at 1.018.
As much as I'm aware of this I've personally seen no benefit, and I don't see any rationale to keeping the salinity so far away from NSW.
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Old 05-10-2009, 05:06 AM
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So, I tested with the refractometer, and the reading was 1.016. So the hydrometer is inaccurate, but not in the direction I had hoped! I did add some salt today and will add more. I did'n't want to bring it up too fast.
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