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Thread: High Salt Level

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    High Salt Level

    I made my water changes tonight and made a mistake that I just discovered after coming home now to find almost all my coral are dying (if not already dead) and all of my shrimp, starfish and snails also dead.

    I have a 55 gallon tank and I did a 15% water change. I acciently put twice the amount of salt while mixing it. So when I came home now, I took out about 5 Gallons and replace it with fresh water.

    Can someone tell me if this will affect the fish that seems to be fine now? Also what else should I do? :crap:

    Are my corals dead? Do I need to remove the shrimp, starfish and snails? I can't find all of them!


  2. #2
    Senior Member rockgarden's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    The top end of the salinity range that many, if not most, corals can manage is 1.028. Therefore, your goal should be to get your tank parameters back below that level as soon as possible. Ideally use RO/DI water but if not available then use tap water despite the presence of chlorine (treat witht e chlorine/chloramine neutralizer, if available). The die off that is already underway may trigger a tank cycling episode. Hopefully not.

    Regardless of the endpoint salinity level that you reached when you made the initial mistake, the main effect would have been the shock effect and there is nothing much you can do about the corals or creatures that died outright other than get them out of the tank.

    What to do now:
    1) Add a healthy dose of carbon to your filtration system if you have a way of doing so.
    2) Increase the water circulation rate in your tank to its peak and if you are operating with a skimmer, operate it at full capacity. If you have a basic air stone and pump available, use that as well to increase water moment and help keep oxygen levels high.
    3) Return your water parameters to the 1.025 level at a reasonable speed using FW.
    4) Use a mixture of FW and your tank water to prepare three QT tanks. Nothing fancy - use anything with a capcity of 2 - 5 gallons. Use one QT container to house corals that appear to be dead. Use the second to house corals that appear to be almost dead. Use the third QT container as a temporary home for the coral that seems to have survived. Leave in your main tank, anything that appears to have survived the intitial shock and is attached to rocks or too large to move easily.
    5) Remove any obviously dead creatures (fish, snails, crabs, etc.). It is very important to remove the dead snails and cucumbers as they foul water terribly when they die. Use the QT containers above if you aren't sure if dead or alive.
    6) As soon as your water parameters are in the correct salinity range, add a few new hermits and snails - but only if the ammonia and nitrite are zero or close to zero - it's a balancing act at this point - you want the fresh cleaner crew to eat what you can't see but you don't want them to succumb to a full-blown ammonia cycle.

    Best I can do with ideas at the moment. Best of Luck.


  3. #3
    Senior Member pwall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    what was the SG at ?
    Ottawa (Orleans), Ontario
    Yahoo IM: pwallnfld

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