Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   hydrometer help (

Freddy 08-25-2010 09:54 PM

hydrometer help
I need help with my hydrometer. This isn't really a saltwater tank, but it is brackish, so I need to measure the salt level.
Today at my lfs I got a floating hydrometer/thermometer. The reason I got it over the independent hydrometer is because I only need salt levels from 1.000 to 1.010. The independent hydrometer bottomed out at 1.012.
I got the hydrometer and took it home. I put it in my tank - you're supposed to put it in a place with no current - and guess what? With two filters in the tank, THERE'S NOWHERE WITHOUT CURRENT!!!:evil:
Whew... sorry. Unless you have experienced it, you have no idea how mad it makes you when the hydrometer keeps floating in circles in the middle of the aquarium so you can't read it.

So I got some water in a bucket and put the hydrometer in there. It read 1.000 salt. (or specific gravity, but idk what the abbreviation for that is). I used a whole carton of aquarium salt. Yes, I know that you're supposed to use marine salt, but I have heard from several people that for brackish aquariums, freshwater aquarium salt is better because it doesn't affect pH. So I used roughly enough aquarium salt to treat 107 gallons of water (I have a 90 gallon tank, but whatever. I'll add fresh water if it's too salty.)

The hydrometer is supposed to float according to how much salt is in the water. Density and that science stuff that I don't want to think about right now with school tomorrow. So why is it at 1.000? If anything, it's a little less than that. It's hard to get an exact reading right now.

bearwithfish 08-26-2010 07:18 AM

if memory serves me doesn't fresh waer aquarium salt break down a bit faster? and in my opinion (again not having run brackish before) i would go with the marine salt for its predictability....

onefish2fish 08-26-2010 08:54 AM

what are you trying to keep that requires a low pH and brackish waters? im not sure how low a refractometer can read, but that may work as it runs off a drop of water. ( check out ebay )

Freddy 08-26-2010 06:32 PM

Not necessarily low pH, just not high pH. I'm going to have archer fish, maybe some purple spaghetti eels (depends on if my lfs guy could special order them).
I heard refractometers are really expensive. I would like for this hydrometer to work since it's not really high on my priority list and I already paid $10 for it. It's reading below 1.000 now. I wonder if the reading inside the glass slipped down while it was being manufactured.I think it's just a slip of paper that's curved. This is not a top of the line model.
The most common recommendation I've heard is 5 tablespoons per gallon. This was enough salt to treat 107 gallons, and some of it had already been used.I measured 24 hours after adding salt so it could circulate around the tank.

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