Easiest mixing salt!

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry' started by aqua-nut, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    I know some of you use ESV's B-Ionic salt system. For those of you who don't...

    It's a four part salt mix. Two dry, sodium chloride and magnesium sulfate, and two liquid, part A and B.

    This is my first experience with it. When I opened the NaCl bag I was a little discouraged. There were lots of lumps! Big lumps! This is usually the kiss of death with most all-in-one salt mixes. I gave it a shot anyway.

    About two minutes after dropping it into the RO/DI there were no lumps. It was completely dissolved! The water was clear!!

    Same thing with the mag-sulfate! In fact it might have mixed even faster. It's completely mixed by the time I measure out the A and B parts.

    So in the time it took me to measure out the parts, it is mixed. There seems to be no precipitant like my previous salt.

    When Craig Bingman spoke about reef chemistry, he mentioned you should mix the usual salt mixes before using because they settle out. Now that seems like a BIG pain. I never did it. Now there is no need to do that - or feel guilty about not doing it.

    Lastly, the old salt was very dusty. I wore a mask because it irritated my nose and lungs. ESV doesn't seem nearly as dusty.

    So that's the upside. What's the down side?

    No endless supply of plastic buckets! Well maybe this could go on the positive side too? :)

    Four things to measure. That's not all that bad. Kind of like making biscuits from scratch vs. Bisquick. You still need to measure out something. Doing it three times more is not that bad.

    Cost. It could be a little more expensive. I was using Redsea Coral Pro at about $0.43/gal ( I got it on sale for $0.36/gal). ESV is about the same as RS-CP when RS-CP is not on sale.
  2. Thanks for the write-up, John! I've heard a harrowing story about the long-term effects of breathing in particulates from salt mixes, and make sure I wear a respirator when making saltwater with "conventional" salt.

    Were you able to test the water parameters?
  3. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Wow, hadn't heard of this being a problem before. Interesting...
  4. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    I haven't tested it yet. I'll include the new SW in my testing in the next couple of days.

    I was thinking about all the fine particles from conventional one part salt vs. the lack of dust from ESV. I wonder if the fine particles are the hard to dissolve components? Perhaps they are made really small so they dissolve better???

    I'm not sure how much damage is done by the infrequent exposure we get. Exposure to the fine particles on a daily basis couldn't be healthy! Of course there are people with all sorts of allergies and sensitivities. I don't wear a respirator (although I do have one), just a good dust mask. It's like wearing safety glasses - no harm in using them.

    Might have to change my handle to 'reef bandit'! :)
  5. DeeAnnMG

    DeeAnnMG Guest

    Following. Thanks for the info.
  6. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Supposedly the reason it mixes so well is because the hard-to-dissolve parts are already dissolved in the liquid parts.
    But yes, finer particles should mix faster as well.

    Good data!
  7. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Took me a while to get around to testing. I hate testing. The kits seem so, well, crude and amateurish.

    My mix was a little lower than NSW specific gravity (1.0245 vs 1.026). I did this on purpose to bring down the SG of the main tank. This might have effected the readings a little. If I remembered quantitative Chem (or math!), I could figure it out! :)

    I'm more concerned about the inaccuracies of the tests. My testing procedures are, of course, without error! :rolleyes:

    With that caveat...

    Alk = 8.6 dKH
    Ca = 387 ppm
    Mg = 1320 ppm

    This is a tad below the published values for a SG of 1.026:
    alk at 3.25 meq/L (9.1 dKH)
    450 ppm Ca
    1400 ppm Mg.
    DeeAnnMG likes this.
  8. DeeAnnMG

    DeeAnnMG Guest

    I decided to give this salt a try, ordered some last night. I still have half a bucket of the other stuff, so it'll be a while before I try it. The biggest reason I want to try this salt is that, like you I'm not good about mixing my salt before adding it to the water.
  9. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Just to be clear, I always mix salt several days in advance. My big reason for switching was I didn't like how RSCP took so long to dissolve and it always left a lot of precipitant in the mix container, pump, heater, etc.

    It's nice to know it can be used right away. We never know when an emergency WC will be needed!
  10. DeeAnnMG

    DeeAnnMG Guest

    Huh, I haven't been mixing for several days. It has always been at least 24 hours though. I hope that has been long enough.
  11. xulio

    xulio Supporting Member

    I like Craig Bingman’s trick: Get a nice plug-in type drill, attach a large paint mixer (Home Depot) and go to town. It creates a serious vortex mixing the salt. The water is crystal clear after a couple of minutes (and that is mostly to get rid of all the air that was driven into the water while mixing it). I use it after 24 hours but I’d bet that I could use it in a pinch if I needed.
    DeeAnnMG likes this.
  12. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    I only mix five gallons for Salinity but I usually only let it sit for a few hours, enough for it to be mostly clear.
    DeeAnnMG likes this.

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