To make a fresh-water aquarium salt mix, use a known aquarium salt blend and as pure a water supply as possible. Mix the recommended dosage of about 1/4 cup or 101g per gallon and be sure to follow all the instructions given by the salt distributor to arrive at a salinity measurement of about 1.026sg at room temperature. Once you have the proper salt mixture, you are ready to start putting your aquatic friends in the tank. Care should be taken to watch them closely so that they do not get stressed, as stress can result in loss of appetite and vitality and can also cause the fish to develop blood pressure problems. Aquarium salt should be added to the water about one hour before the fish are introduced into the tank.
You can obtain quality aquarium salt mixes. Some specialty aquarium salt mixes are manufactured especially for hobbyists. There are two basic aquarium salt types – common table salt and reef salt. Reef salt is more concentrated and contains a larger variety of minerals and salts than standard salt does. It is ideal for aquarium use because it has larger sodium and magnesium ions compared with standard salt. Standard salt is used for freshwater tanks, freshwater reef tanks and saltwater aquariums.
The next step in creating the best reef aquarium salt mix is to identify the essential trace elements that you want to include. Trace elements are crucial to maintaining the health of both your fish and your aquarium. They help to regulate alkalinity and ph and are particularly important for corals and cephalopods. The essential trace elements you will need are magnesium, calcium, potassium and bromine. The minerals should also be spaced apart by about 50 percent, depending on the size of your tank.
One of the most commonly overlooked salts is sodium chloride. This is the common salt in municipal water treatment systems and in most households’ tap water. Sodium chloride is beneficial in small doses, however, in high doses, it becomes toxic to marine life. For this reason, hobbyists are encouraged to supplement their saltwater mix with potassium chloride. Potassium salt dissolves in water better than sodium chloride, so the two minerals will generally get along.
The next element to consider is ph. Ph in salt form is a positively charged ion. In its normal state, it is a slightly negatively charged ion, similar to an alkaline earth metal. Because of the way it reacts with other elements, ph helps to regulate the chemical processes in your aquarium. If there are too many pollutants floating around, or if you are trying to grow some species at the same time, ph can cause problems. Ph can help to maintain a stable environment for delicate marine animals.
The third essential ingredient in a Kent marine saltwater aquarium salt mix is calcium. Although it isn’t strictly necessary, calcium offers your fish nutrients they need for proper functioning. In addition to its normal role as an ionic exchange agent, calcium also plays an important role in water temperature regulation. It helps to keep the water temperature from becoming too hot or too cold.
Both calcium and magnesium ions dissolve in water. When mixed with other elements, they become more soluble, which allows them to enter various cell layers. Once they enter the cells, they do not dissolve into a normal salt solution, rather they become attached to the molecules of the cells. They then exert their positive electrical charges on the cell.
High-quality formula mixes should always contain borate. This element is naturally produced by the anaerobic bacteria living in your tank. You can obtain it by purchasing a commercially produced borate solution. Other commercially available supplements containing borate are also available. These supplements are often included in low-grade borate formulas. However, the powdered form of borate is more effective because it is already in a liquid state.