HELP! bamboo shark and massive drop in salinity

lovesharksmorethanmyself

Feeder Fish
Original poster
MFK Member
Nov 26, 2018
20
4
3
22
Southern California
Help me out here! I usually keep my salinity at 1.024, but when I checked it this morning it had jumped up to 1.027, so I went to pour some RO water in but I guess I added a little too much and it dropped to 1.018. I added a small amount of salt, and my shark layed breathing hard in his nest. I left for work, came back, and he was in the same spot as I left him and the sg read 1.027 again. Was going to add the tiniest amount of RO to lower it maybe 1 level but my hand slipped and it ended up dumping like a half gallon in my 75g tank (220g isn’t done being set up yet). I checked the salinity and now it says it’s at 1.018!!! Again!!! My shark is laying on the sand breathing pretty hard, not wanting to move, though he did seek out and eat the food I offered him. What do I do now? I know you’re supposed to lower the sg slowly and raise it even slower. But I also didn’t think something as small as 1/2g could lower the salt level so drastically in a 75g? Or maybe it just isn’t mixed yet? Im starting to wonder if my refractometer is messed up? It’s electric and pretty old, doesn’t seem to read temp. accurately either. But now I have accidentally ****ed up twice today and have been up for the majority of the past two days, so I am concerned and exhausted and begging for someone online to take control and tell me what to do. What’s gonna happen and what do you propose I do? I’m worried about him and stressing him even more. My poor baby has fallen victim to my clumsy tired self :(

I should add that the other two fish seem completely unaffected
 

tlindsey

Silver Tier VIP
MFK Member
Aug 6, 2011
13,717
10,691
1,645
Ohio
Help me out here! I usually keep my salinity at 1.024, but when I checked it this morning it had jumped up to 1.027, so I went to pour some RO water in but I guess I added a little too much and it dropped to 1.018. I added a small amount of salt, and my shark layed breathing hard in his nest. I left for work, came back, and he was in the same spot as I left him and the sg read 1.027 again. Was going to add the tiniest amount of RO to lower it maybe 1 level but my hand slipped and it ended up dumping like a half gallon in my 75g tank (220g isn’t done being set up yet). I checked the salinity and now it says it’s at 1.018!!! Again!!! My shark is laying on the sand breathing pretty hard, not wanting to move, though he did seek out and eat the food I offered him. What do I do now? I know you’re supposed to lower the sg slowly and raise it even slower. But I also didn’t think something as small as 1/2g could lower the salt level so drastically in a 75g? Or maybe it just isn’t mixed yet? Im starting to wonder if my refractometer is messed up? It’s electric and pretty old, doesn’t seem to read temp. accurately either. But now I have accidentally ****ed up twice today and have been up for the majority of the past two days, so I am concerned and exhausted and begging for someone online to take control and tell me what to do. What’s gonna happen and what do you propose I do? I’m worried about him and stressing him even more. My poor baby has fallen victim to my clumsy tired self :(

I should add that the other two fish seem completely unaffected



Why are you using R/O water ?
 

krichardson

Bronze Tier VIP
MFK Member
Jun 19, 2006
25,553
10,454
480
Datnoid Island
I was scratching my head at what could have caused those s.g. fluctuations.I have never used an electric refractometer,only the basic swing needle hydrometers.
Get one and get a good reading of where your levels are,slowly adjust if needed and hopefully your baby bamboo can adjust as well.
 

Itsadeepbluesea

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Apr 6, 2008
2,548
638
150
35
Sounds like it is the equipment that is the issue. I would get a new one and not be so reactive with changes. Wild swings back and forth are worse than it being slightly off.
 
  • Like
Reactions: twentyleagues

twentyleagues

Blue Tier VIP
MFK Member
Apr 5, 2017
4,007
5,507
429
Flint town!
Sounds like it is the equipment that is the issue. I would get a new one and not be so reactive with changes. Wild swings back and forth are worse than it being slightly off.
Agreed. All the above is good advise. Get a good quality refractometer. Dont make wild changes. 1.027 wont kill it if it got there slowly neither will 1.018 if the same. And no a 1/2 gallon of water will not cause that big a swing in 75g. I have also never seen electronic refractometers.
Why are you using R/O water ?
You should always top off salt water with ro. Actually rodi is better. Salt doesnt evaporate so you use fresh so you keep a constant salinity.
 

tlindsey

Silver Tier VIP
MFK Member
Aug 6, 2011
13,717
10,691
1,645
Ohio
Agreed. All the above is good advise. Get a good quality refractometer. Dont make wild changes. 1.027 wont kill it if it got there slowly neither will 1.018 if the same. And no a 1/2 gallon of water will not cause that big a swing in 75g. I have also never seen electronic refractometers.

You should always top off salt water with ro. Actually rodi is better. Salt doesnt evaporate so you use fresh so you keep a constant salinity.


Ok good to know kept Marbled Catsharks years ago but topped off with tap water. Many things have changed since my days off keeping Saltwater fish.
 
  • Like
Reactions: twentyleagues

krichardson

Bronze Tier VIP
MFK Member
Jun 19, 2006
25,553
10,454
480
Datnoid Island
Ok good to know kept Marbled Catsharks years ago but topped off with tap water. Many things have changed since my days off keeping Saltwater fish.
That was one of my faults back when I was into saltwater,not using R/O water.I did use a tap water purifier that was made by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals.I wonder if they still sell those?
 

Itsadeepbluesea

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Apr 6, 2008
2,548
638
150
35
Agreed. All the above is good advise. Get a good quality refractometer. Dont make wild changes. 1.027 wont kill it if it got there slowly neither will 1.018 if the same. And no a 1/2 gallon of water will not cause that big a swing in 75g. I have also never seen electronic refractometers.

You should always top off salt water with ro. Actually rodi is better. Salt doesnt evaporate so you use fresh so you keep a constant salinity.

Agreed on the 1/2 gallon of water. If you see a while changes with something like that, that is a clue it is equipment related.
 
  • Like
Reactions: twentyleagues

twentyleagues

Blue Tier VIP
MFK Member
Apr 5, 2017
4,007
5,507
429
Flint town!
Ive kept salt water for years. I had a rodi 200 gpd setup and had a total of over 1800g of saltwater in my house. Ive had all manner of corals and fish including sharks and rays. With the intense lighting corals need if you use anything but rodi you are asking for a huge algae farm. Breaking the water down to its bare "essential" then adding salt puts only the "good" stuff back in to it. Less to worry about, just whats in the food you feed for extra levels of po4 and no3. For testing specific gravity a lab grade refractometer is the best option. I had a swing arm style for quick checks of the mixing stage for my w/c water and quick system checks. They can be inaccurate if not rinsed properly or if air bubbles are present on the arm. I calibrated my refractometer with new calibration fluid on the 15th of every month.
The three main things needed for a successful salt tank is a good sg measuring device, good source water, and a top quality skimmer. The rest can be mediocre including care if you have top quality of those things. Just my opinion but you have no idea the crazy things ive seen.
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store