Marine Setup Step 5 - Mix the Seawater

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Cross section of vat used for mixing seawater and/or storing/curing live rock. Edward Kadunc

[edit] Step-by-Step
Aquarium Setup

  1. Investigate
  2. Make Lists
  3. Buy Your System Components
  4. Assemble and Test Your Gear
  5. Mix the Seawater
  6. Add the Rock and Substrate
  7. Rest and Test
  8. Inoculate Your System
  9. Add Herbivores
  10. Add Hardy Fishes

[edit] A Vat of Ocean in Your Closet

By Robert M. Fenner from The Conscientious Marine Aquarist

If you’re serious about this enterprise, you’ll follow my advice and already have one or more storage vats (clean Rubbermaid Brute trash containers or the like are perfect) to mix and age your saltwater.

These can be tucked away in a closet, the basement, the garage, or a shed, but each container should have a lid to keep out dust and debris. A small powerhead pump or air bubbler, along with a heater in cold climates, should be running in the vat when water is being prepared.

[edit] Tip

Many beginning aquarists choose to mix their saltwater in the aquarium itself, but I strongly recommend having a supply of premixed, pre-aged, ready-to-use aquarium water. This will save you countless woes over the coming years, it will make routine maintenance and water changes quick and convenient, and it may even help save your system and all its contents in a water emergency.

[edit] Mixing the Saltwater

  • Follow the directions on the salt mix itself for rehydration; a normal ratio is 1.4 pounds of dry mix to 5 gallons of freshwater (1 kg per 30 liters).
  • Aim for a specific gravity of 1.023 to 1.025, but let the freshly mixed solution circulate overnight before you try to test it. Newly mixed saltwater may be cloudy, and some mixes clear more slowly than others. Measurements done before all of the salts have dissolved will not be accurate.
  • If the specific gravity is too low, add more salt mix; if it’s too high, add more water.

[edit] Recommended Reading

[edit] Good Books for Beginning Marine Aquarists