What happens to salt water in a jug?

kev-dog1

New member
Let's say I bought a 5g jug of salt water last week, 2 weeks ago, or even a month ago...hypothetically...and it just sat in a closet.

Without a power head and heater, what happens to it over time?

And how long can it be stored with a powerhead (and heater?) and remain viable?

Or does it simply need to be 'stirred' every so often.

Anybody know?

Kev
 

gflat65

New member
Personally, I'd mix it before using (for a number of hours). If the fill/outlet hole is large enough, I'd just drop a PH in it and leave it until needed. I'd be afraid of stale water if it sat mixeed, but not mixing...
 

Fanof49ASU

Premium Member
This is a good question, and I hope in future meetings that this can be addressed in detail.

This is the most basic ingredient of any tank (yet probably the most important), and it's the one that's taken for granted the most.
 

gflat65

New member
I don;t know that much has been studied on this. In the past, if I had a lot of water that sat several days with no circulation (salt mix), I'd usually flush it, just to be on the safe side. I do 30 ish gallon WC's at a time, though, so bad water could be hurt. I may waste water, but I play to the safe side. How much volume are you talking?
 

gflat65

New member
All other things being fine (no contaminants, etc.), I'd think that if tyou mixed for 24 hours, then used it on say a 55, you should be fine. How longs it been sitting? It seems like someone mentioned on the forum that they left theirs uncirculated and had no problems, but I'd be afraid to make it a common practice (better safe than sorry).
 

kev-dog1

New member
Mostly hypothetical really...but now with a nano to tend, with 1g water changes, and my habit of buying water instead of making it...I foresee partially full 5g jugs sitting around. :)

So basically it just needs to be 'stirred up' every so often prior to remain viable?
 

c_stowers

New member
I let mine set for 2-3 days all the time without mixing or heating. The day before I use it, I always rejuvenate it to re-equilibrate the pH with the air. The only thing you have to worry about IMO is that stagnant water can attract bacteria that isn't necessarily good for the tank.
 

HowardCath

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10490814#post10490814 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by c_stowers
The day before I use it, I always rejuvenate it to re-equilibrate the pH with the air.

Chris, what do you mean by "rejuvinating"? Stirring and leaving it open to air?
 

forensicdoc

New member
Strange, as back in the days when I went to the critter to get water (before I started making my own), I would typically store it for days to a few weeks before use. I never thought about it twice and never noticed any bad results from the water changes. Not a scientific study, but pretty good anecdotal evidence.
 

NeveSSL

Got tubes?
I have refrained from posting because I can't remember where I saw it at, but I believe recently Randy Holmes Farley mentioned you can store it as long as you want in low light and sealed.

I'll see if I can find that article when I get home from work.

Brandon
 

HowardCath

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10503241#post10503241 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by forensicdoc
Strange, as back in the days when I went to the critter to get water (before I started making my own), I would typically store it for days to a few weeks before use.

I did that, too... just not brave enough to come right out and say it until now. The Crittter was just too far of a drive to go get water at the time I felt like doing a water change .
 

c_stowers

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10502910#post10502910 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by HowardCath
Chris, what do you mean by "rejuvinating"? Stirring and leaving it open to air?

Yes, I let mine stir with a powerhead (with venturi). This seems to re-equilibrate the pH. I'd be interested to see this article from Randy. In theory, you could let it set indefinately if it did not get contaminated, but I imagine that that would be inevitable since none of us are autoclaving out SW.
 

crumbletop

New member
Maybe the quote from RHF you remember comes from this article:
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-03/rhf/index.php

Here is a quote from the article:
I make up 88 gallons at a time. Assuming that it is made from adequately pure freshwater, mixed artificial seawater can be stored for as long as needed without continuous stirring or heating. I keep mine for a few weeks completely unstirred after initial mixing. It will not become anaerobic (although used tank water or natural seawater may become anaerobic due to the breakdown of organics in it, and should not be stored unaerated).
 

gflat65

New member
Ahhh. Good info. I've thrown out 30 gallons at a time before because I robbed the powerhead for something else and forgot to replace it for days/week. Makes sense that without any organics, it should be okay unaerated.
 

c_stowers

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10506483#post10506483 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by crumbletop
Maybe the quote from RHF you remember comes from this article:
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-03/rhf/index.php

Here is a quote from the article:

I will have to disagree with Randy on this one (even though I highly respect his opinion). I've noticed that even RODI grows bacteria if left stored for >2 weeks. This is apparent from the biofilm that accumulates on the surface, but is most noticable on the sides of the container it is stored within. I have noticed the same thing in stored SW. Maybe this bacteria has no effect, but I doubt so. The bacteria must be growing on something, and thus depleting some of the constituents of synthetic sea salt. Also, bacteria condition their media, typically to very low Ph. Thus, as they grow, they will lower the pH of the saltwater by re-buffering it themselves.
 

crumbletop

New member
I have not noticed any film on my RO/DI reservoir or any residue. I don't store salt water very long so I can't say I've noticed anything either way with that. It is very odd that you have RO/DI growing stuff. That suggests a dirty container and/or some sort of ongoing supply of nutrient/substrate. My hands never get into my container, so I'm pretty sure I don't add anything. I have had a continuous water presence in the reservoir for about 1.5 years now.
 

DMBillies

New member
I've never had issues with my RO/DI trash can (read: relatively open to contamination through unsealed lid) growing anything, but it is continuously stirred with a powerhead and each "batch" of water rarely sits in it for more than about 4-5 days max (I probably top off close to 40 gallons a week).

That said, my saltwater trash can "grows" a brown film on the sides of the container and, if I leave it go long enough without cleaning out the container, the top will start to get a skim even with constant stirring.

Now, the reason I put "grows" in quotation marks is because I'm not certain this is actually growth. The bottom of the bucket gets significantly more nasty than the sides and the accumulation actually hardens to a crust if I leave it long enough. Because it accumulates more on the bottom, only happens in my saltwater bucket, and because it actually gets really hard, I'm more inclined to believe that it is a precipitate of some sort (as opposed to bacterial contamination). However, that probably doesn't adequately explain the formation of the film on top...

I often wondered how much organics are actually present in the salt we buy and whether bacterial contamination (which is essentially inevitable) could be consuming or converting a constituent of the salt (organic or inorganic) that is then able to precipitate out of solution. As time goes between cleanings, the bucket will then harbor these bacteria, precipitate more out of the next batch of water, and then create more scunge. This is all just wild speculation, but something has to be going on here.

If it is a precipitate, I wonder how that affects your saltwater composition over time.
 
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