Kessil

What do you do after a water change?

WAR5150

Supporting Member
Here's a slightly different question for everyone: What do you do with your old saltwater after a water change? I assume everyone just dumps it in some fashion. I ask because I'm curious if there is anything useful (and less wasteful) that can be done, but I doubt it. My questioning comes from the idea how I hear freshwater hobbyists seem to have good results when they use old aquarium water for watering plants they may have. Obviously we're not doing that with saltwater, but it would be nice if there is some sort of secondary use that it could have. I doubt there is, but why not ask?
 

phatduckk

Supporting Member
My auto water change dumps outside, on the side yard where the garbage cans live.
Manual water changes I just dump down the driveway.

I wish it didn't kill plants but, like you, I have no idea how to repurpose the water.
 

Angry Andy

Supporting Member
I dump the water down the drain, but then I either (A) cook dinner or (B) take my wife out to dinner for dealing with the smell of 50 gallons of stinky water, not to mention the mess I make while cleaning powerheads, skimmer, socks, and whatever else in the kitchen sink that she keeps spotless every day..... I should probably use the utility sink in the garage, but that area is another mess altogether

I love my wife; I just hate when she is angrier than me.... (and *AT* me!)

But to be serious, I also wish I could re-purpose the dirty saltwater.

At least when I make water, I have a 50-gallon container that I re-purpose the wastewater from RODI and use that to do laundry and water plants.
 

WAR5150

Supporting Member
At least when I make water, I have a 50-gallon container that I re-purpose the wastewater from RODI and use that to do laundry and water plants.
I do the same with RODI, the machine is hooked up to my washer's water line so the "waste" fills the washing machine.
 

JVU

President
BOD
This won’t be helpful to everyone else, but for the past year or so I’ve been using the waste water from my 15% display water changes as the source water for 100% water changes for my Aiptasia breeding tanks! The old water from the Aiptasia tanks gets poured down the driveway into the gutter since I don’t have a sink in the garage.

This doesn’t conserve relative to doing just a display water change or just the Aiptasia tank water change, but cuts the water waste in half compared to doing both as separate water changes.
 

Vincerama2

Supporting Member
Who is going to be the first to set up an evaporative distiller to make rodi out of old salt water?
I imagine that any distiller would work with any water at all. Basically a large bucket with an oversized domed lid that collects condensate at the edges of the lid? (I'm thinking of how an oversize pot lid over a pot of boiling water drips along the edges of the oversized lid onto the oven.

I mean, in theory, you could run it through your RODI again at a huge waste of filters and membranes!
But that's an interesting question as Gov. Newsom has stated that CA will be investing heavily in water reclamation facilities soon.
Anyway to answer the original question, I pour the water into the kitchen sink, or rather I pump it into the sink.

I'm wondering though, if there is anyway to just dump it into the lawn without the salt killing everything around it. It's not much water when I change water (44 gallons), but would dumping used salty aquarium water be more useful flowing back into the aquifers rather than into the drains?
Another thought ... water that goes into your kitchen sink/bathtub/toiler will get sent to a sewage treatment plant. Water that you dump into the street often goes directly into the bay ... now I'm guessing that the pests in our aquarium water won't survive in the cold bay area, but you never know. So is it better to dump the water into the bay, or into a treatment plant?

The more I think about it though, the more I'm reminded that my teenage daughters spend so much time in the shower that anything I do with my used aquarium water is proverbially a drop in the bucket.

Though I do like the idea of an evaporative/solar reclaimation.

And I guess you could even just leave a full stinky rubbermade tub of water out in the sun and let it all just evaporate over time, then scrape the salty remains into the garbage can after a week or two ...

V
 

JVU

President
BOD
I definitely recommend against dumping old salt water on grass or other irrigated landscape. Buildup of salts in irrigated land is one of the major problems for plants in the arid West like where we live. You’ll be doing way more harm than good.
 

Da_Neefer

Supporting Member
Honestly I think the best way to “reuse” old saltwater here on the west coast is to let it evaporate off in a large shallow container and throw away the remaining dry salt. Probably a slightly stinky affair and one that requires a decent amount of outdoor space but I can’t think of any serious negatives. I’d never let it pour into soil unchecked. There’s a reason armies salted the fields of their enemies.
 

GabeB

Supporting Member
This won’t be helpful to everyone else, but for the past year or so I’ve been using the waste water from my 15% display water changes as the source water for 100% water changes for my Aiptasia breeding tanks! The old water from the Aiptasia tanks gets poured down the driveway into the gutter since I don’t have a sink in the garage.

This doesn’t conserve relative to doing just a display water change or just the Aiptasia tank water change, but cuts the water waste in half compared to doing both as separate water changes.
I'll do this with my quarantine tank occasionally. (DT water in to quarantine, never the other way around). Waste goes down the toilet most often.
 

sfsuphysics

Frag Swap Coordinator
BOD
After water change....
Admire, nit pick, puff a pipe
Best fishes y’all

Was going to say, change my shirt which most likely is very wet, or a hot shower to wash all the salty stuff off my arms.

Honestly I think the best way to “reuse” old saltwater here on the west coast is to let it evaporate off in a large shallow container and throw away the remaining dry salt. Probably a slightly stinky affair and one that requires a decent amount of outdoor space but I can’t think of any serious negatives. I’d never let it pour into soil unchecked. There’s a reason armies salted the fields of their enemies.
Helping that drought one rain drop at a time?
 

Chromis

Vice President
BOD
I definitely recommend against dumping old salt water on grass or other irrigated landscape. Buildup of salts in irrigated land is one of the major problems for plants in the arid West like where we live. You’ll be doing way more harm than good.
Even the effects of tap water on my garden has to be amended by an acidifying agent like sulfur, otherwise the soil becomes too alkaline and the plants can’t get the nutrients they need.
 
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