More problems...


New member
Ok, so not a major problem, but I figured if I mentioned problems in the subject then more of you seasoned vets would come to my rescue. I have two hydrometers. One says my water is 1.020 and the other reads around 1.023. I was just wondering if there was a way to figure out which one was correct....or more correct. Also what should I have my water temp at? And what should my specific gravity be, like 1.026? I was also wondering how powerful my powerheads need to be in a 55 gallon tank. Thanks.


part time superhero
This is a typical problem with hydrometers as they are very inaccurate. You best bet is to obtain a refractometer for $30-50 which will give you much higher accuracy and consistent results. I wouldn't make any massive adjustments in my salinity until then.


New member
when you do get a refractometer, calibrate it as described here .

A miscalibrated refractometer is just more precisely wrong than a hydrometer ;)


New member
Ok, so still no answer on the powerheads or specific gravity. Any help would be appreciated. Also, if my salt isnt exactly right is it still ok to add LR?


New member
The powerheads depend on what you plan on keeping. SPS need a lot of flow and light, LPS not as much.
You should start reading if you want to be successful. This hobby can get very expensive if you wait till things start dying to find out if you are doing it right.


New member
You can calibrate your cheaper hydrometers to a good one, like if your LFS where you spend $ has one. Take yours in.

cheap hydrometers aren't calibrated for squat, but they are repeatable, so they take to a re-scaling just fine and then are quite accurate. make great backups too.

LR is tough stuff, relatively speaking. Also, it has probably been shipped nearly dry a couple of times (ie wet papr towels etc), stored in a holding location for curing, warmed, cooled etc :D
so, it will be super happy being in anything resembling ocean water once again. Once your LR has established its bacteria colonies after some months, then maybe a salinity shock could wipe out some of the bacteria/coralline/small marine life that has survived or repopulated

massive changes in salinity can explode or collapse cells if they can't handle the osmotic pressure. This effect usually is more drastic, the smaller and simpler the life is. This is why fish can take a fresh water dip, but the little micro-parasites can't. Or the ends blow out of caulerpa that gets thrown from one salinity into a fairly different one.

Go slow, get good feedback equipment (test kits, meters,etc)

and read read read read read :D

Anybody still read Borneman's coral book?