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Does Aquarium Salt Go Bad?

Discussion in 'Marine and Reef Chit Chat' started by sothoth, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. sothoth

    sothoth Member

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    I use salt mixes for my tanks. This has worked very well for me and my wife. However, I've had a problem with water changes when I'm near the bottom of the salt bag (that means when it's been open and I've been using it for several weeks/months).

    The salt eventually hardens up, and when I dissolve it, there is white particulate floating in the water. The particulate takes FOREVER to dissolve (like, days pass and it's not all dissolved). I've heated it, let it sit for days, etc, but there is still this white particulate.

    If I do a water change with this water, I get problems. My corals seem shocked. I lost some very nice zoanthids this way. My fish are OK and the more robust corals seem not to care, but I'd like to get to the bottom of it anyway. If I get a brand new bag of salt (same brand) and dissolve it right away (I mean I don't let it sit around to get moist or to harden up) then it's all good.

    I take it that this is a common experience. Any suggestions for keeping the salt dry to begin with? I live in a small coastal town in California, so it's generally humid here all the time. But I think this should be happening to everyone and not just me.

    My best guess is that the particulate is calcium or one of the elements in the salt that gets wet and then forms a solid that won't go into solution in water very well. Pure salt shouldn't have this problem.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Lynden

    Lynden a "fish hater"

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    I find that unbeleivable that you lost zoanthids - they are the toughest of the tough :eek:

    I have had this same problem. Maybe try putting it in a sealable container? :dunno:

    -Lynden
     
  3. timmystood

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    I had this problem with my Marine Puffer tank.. so what i've invested in each time is a bucket of salt.. most brands also offer buckets of their salt and although very expensive.. it is the best way to have good salt.
     
  4. Donya

    Donya Crazy Crab Lady

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    I've found that helps, but it can still fail. I had salt in a jar for quite a while, completely sealed...took the lid off to use it one day and it was half the original volume and a solid lump. I had to take a knife to it and hack pieces off :lol: took forever to dissolve, but it didn't have any adverse effects. I thought shocking was usually a result of having "raw" salt left undissolved in the new water?
     
  5. Siamese Fighter05

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    Been having the same problem with my reef crystals not dissolving in the water.

    Are you using a good powerhead to stir it up? When i went for a stronger one everything dissolved pretty quick and normal again :good:
     
  6. crazyelece

    crazyelece Member

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    IME I would recommend bucket salt as well. I have never had an issue with using the buckets and one bucket usually gets me around 6 months as I do not change my water much. The salt is the same consistancy from top to bottom. Also the buckets may cost more initially but they are typically cheaper pound for pound. Also you may be able to buy a bucket once and then buy bags after you use the bucket up. Just pour the bag into the empty bucket and store it there.
     
  7. sothoth

    sothoth Member

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    They all closed up and never re-opened. That was 6 weeks ago. I really liked that colony, orange in the center with green tentacles. Out of respect to the dead, I put a nice anthelia on the live rock where they once were.

    And... I've had the same issue with buckets as well. I doubt they're air-tight, which apparently they'd need to be to prevent this. So... I'll get smaller bags of sand and vacuum seal them. I know that's kind of looney, but I hate losting corals.
     
  8. Siamese Fighter05

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    I'd hate to lose them as well especially at todays prices :crazy:
     

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