Making your own salt

Making your own salt

Postby Dman » Sat Mar 24, 2007 3:03 pm

Running this as a business requires me (and probably others) to reduse costs where I can. Here's a recipe that was shared with me a while ago:


The following artificial seawater recipe is taken from "Chemical Oceanography" by Frank Millero. It makes a recipe that matches 35 ppt seawater in terms of major ions, but does not try to match all minor and trace elements, most of which will be present as impurities in the major elements.

23.98 g sodium chloride
5.029 g magnesium chloride anhydrous (magchlorhexahydrate is MgCl2.6H2O)(Mg -
4.01 g sodium sulfate
1.14 g calcium chloride
0.172 g sodium bicarbonate

0.699 g potassium chloride
0.100 g potassium bromide
0.0254 g boric acid
0.0143 g strontium chloride
0.0029 g sodium fluoride

Water to 1 kg total weight.

From the above, I use only the elments in bold type.
I use this water mixed 50/50 with I.O. for parent and rotifer systems and 25% for larval and growout systems. These ratios will probably change in the next year or so if I find I'm not experiencing any problems. Almost a year and no problems yet. If things continue to go well, I'll probably start using IO at less than 25% and only for trace elements.
The sodium chloride I use is also water softener salt - Sifto's Crystal Plus which is available at H.D., 20K for $3.99, but I usually buy 30 bags when they have their sales of it at $2.99 a bag.
The bicarb, I get at the discount supermarkets and the remaining salts I buy from Univar

I ran a cost analysis and this works out to about $6.83 for 150 gallons. Can you say MUCHO savings
Prisoner Number 8
Currently Paroled (Awaiting a full pardon)
Look for me in 2020
Dman
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 6:56 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Postby Dman » Mon Apr 02, 2007 12:03 am

I also built a little spreadsheet that allows me to plug in ratios (homebrew+IO) to total volume and salinity adjustments with or without ratios. Perhaps it could be made into an online calculator or some such nonsense. Except I don't know the first thing about doing such a thing. Maybe when things get settled in here.
Prisoner Number 8
Currently Paroled (Awaiting a full pardon)
Look for me in 2020
Dman
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 6:56 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Postby David M » Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:04 am

How about listing sources for these products? :D
Seahorse Aquatics Current Availability List: http://www.sdreefs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39000
David M
 
Posts: 977
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:10 am
Location: San Diego ( La Mesa)

Postby Jabba » Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:47 pm

Looks like most of these could be found locally if you want to try with smaller quantities, those who live in the warmer climates may have trouble finding the ice melt chemicals

Sodium Chloride = water softener salt

Magnesium Chloride = Mag Flake Image used for melting ice

Sodium Sulfate = ?, not sure of a cheap local source...

Calcium Chloride = Dow Flake Image used for melting ice

Sodium Bicarbonate = baking soda Image

The Mag Flake and Dow Flake are ice melt chemicals, which you might be able to find at a Home Depot or such. They are used by some for calcium and magnesium additions to reef tanks, check http://www.twopartsolution.com. I'll have to see if I can find some before they disappear for the summer.
User avatar
Jabba
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:10 pm
Location: Maryland

Postby AquaticEnterprises » Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:35 pm

D, if you want to shoot me that spreadsheet, I can make a little program that would calculate it all automatically for you as well in Visual Basic. Should be pretty simple and easily adapted to the web. I have a little number I use for selling coral that calculates my Ebay and Paypal fees! :D Pretty helpful when doing paperwork.
Fred
AquaticEnterprises
AquaticEnterprises
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 7:28 pm
Location: Neenah, WI

Postby Dman » Fri May 18, 2007 1:22 am

A new addition to the recipe
Seachem's ReefPlus
http://seachem.com/products/product_pages/ReefPlus.html
Dosed as per manufacturer's recommendation
Prisoner Number 8
Currently Paroled (Awaiting a full pardon)
Look for me in 2020
Dman
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 6:56 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Postby Lazer Bubble » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:48 pm

What made you choose to leave those select elements out of the original recipe?
Lazer Bubble
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:45 pm

Re: Making your own salt

Postby William » Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:12 am

Dman wrote:
23.98 g sodium chloride
5.029 g magnesium chloride anhydrous (magchlorhexahydrate is MgCl2.6H2O)(Mg -
4.01 g sodium sulfate
1.14 g calcium chloride
0.172 g sodium bicarbonate

0.699 g potassium chloride
0.100 g potassium bromide
0.0254 g boric acid


Here is my theoretical mixture that uses MgSO4 (Epsom Salt) rather than MgCl2 and Na2SO4 since epsom salt is very easy to come by and the other two are not so easy to find. Also, measuring out anhydrous MgCl2 is not so easy as it is likely to absorb water leading to underdoseage.

29.1 g sodium chloride (water softener salt)
10.65 g magnesium sulfate heptahydrate (epsom salt)
1.16 g calcium chloride (ice melter)
0.172 g sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
0.68 g potassium chloride (food supliment: available from amazon)
0.097 g potassium bromide (used for developing film: available from B&H or amazon)
0.026 g boric acid (antiseptic: available from amazon)
0.019 g strontium chloride (Kent turbo strontium)

By my math here is how Dman's and my proposed mixture compairs to Natural seawater. (Componants of natural seawater from Marine Aquarium Refrence by Moe. (Moe gives credit of values to "Harvey 1963")) Numbers are in ppt.

Ion----------Dman's-----Moe------Mine
Chloride----19.33-------19.37----18.74
Sodium-----11.55-------10.77----11.58
Sulfate-------2.05--------2.71------2.57
Magnesium--1.28--------1.30------1.30
Calcium------0.41--------0.41------0.42
Potassium---0.39---------0.39------0.39
Bromide----0.067---------0.065----0.065
Boric Acid----0.025------0.026-----0.026
Strontium----0.008------0.010-----0.010
All very similar.
Last edited by William on Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:29 am, edited 9 times in total.
Will
User avatar
William
 
Posts: 2178
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:19 am

Re:

Postby Dman » Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:32 am

Lazer Bubble wrote:What made you choose to leave those select elements out of the original recipe?


There was no choice, more like an involuntary omission as it wasn't until much later that the epiphany to add them occurred.

acroporas,
What is pricing like on Epsom salts?
Prisoner Number 8
Currently Paroled (Awaiting a full pardon)
Look for me in 2020
Dman
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 6:56 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Re:

Postby William » Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:18 am

Dman wrote:acroporas,
What is pricing like on Epsom salts?


It is quite cheep, and avalable at any drug store/farmacy and most grocery stores. Sams's has an 8lb bag for $3.78.
Will
User avatar
William
 
Posts: 2178
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:19 am

Postby William » Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:54 pm

I just realized that epsom salt is hydrated. I updated my recipie to reflect this (you need more than 3x as much). I also added where you can find all of the chemicals necessicary.

I actually have all of the ingredients except the two potassium salts. Now the big question: am I be brave enough to try this on my reef tank?
Will
User avatar
William
 
Posts: 2178
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:19 am

Postby "Umm, fish?" » Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:59 am

I think I'd try a test tank with a few representative frags first. :)
Andy

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” --Mark Twain
User avatar
"Umm, fish?"
Read-Only
 
Posts: 3119
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: Boulder, CO

Making your own salt

Postby dlries » Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:45 pm

So has anyone tried this out? I'm curious as to how others work to manage the costs associated with the salts. If you are using instant ocean and running say 800 gal of water total between tanks, sumps, lines, etc, and you are doing a 20% change every other week or so, that's 160gal of water you have to make every other week. The pale of Instant Ocean to make 160 gal of water is around $35 or over $900 a year.

I'm wondering if anyone has had any success with the home brew or if there is a way to reclaim the salts with out the other fun stuff we don't want in the water. Particals you can filter out, but I'm not sure how to purge out the other chemicals that you don't want carried over. You'd still have to supplement and replace the used elements, but I figured there had to be a way to reduce the expense.
dlries
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:31 am

Postby veng68 » Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:16 pm

Dow flakes now have a higher levels of Bromine

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1166963&perpage=25&pagenumber=1

Not sure if this is bad for fish but it's not too good for corals.

[edit]Actually looking at the amount of Dow Flakes used....... it may not be a problem.

Cheers,
Vic [veng68]
veng68
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:12 pm

Re: Making your own salt

Postby Greshamh » Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:38 pm

dlries wrote:So has anyone tried this out? I'm curious as to how others work to manage the costs associated with the salts. If you are using instant ocean and running say 800 gal of water total between tanks, sumps, lines, etc, and you are doing a 20% change every other week or so, that's 160gal of water you have to make every other week. The pale of Instant Ocean to make 160 gal of water is around $35 or over $900 a year.

I'm wondering if anyone has had any success with the home brew or if there is a way to reclaim the salts with out the other fun stuff we don't want in the water. Particals you can filter out, but I'm not sure how to purge out the other chemicals that you don't want carried over. You'd still have to supplement and replace the used elements, but I figured there had to be a way to reduce the expense.


We're running around 2+ million gallons currently of which is all mixed by us. We start with evap solar salt and add in what is lacking. We're not growing coral or breeding fish though, we're growing phyto. For our zooplankton, we use IO.

Depending on your use, you can always bleach the water then treat the bleach. The ALK/CA/MG levels/ratio will be squewed though so be prepared to test and add back what is lacking.
Greshamh
 
Posts: 743
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 12:04 pm
Location: anywhere but here

Postby veng68 » Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:35 pm

Dman and Acroporas,

Just wondering, typically how big is a batch of your home made salts and how much water does that make?

Cheers,
Vic [veng68]
veng68
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:12 pm

Postby dweakl01 » Sun Dec 30, 2007 11:31 am

Curious if anyone is using this DIY recipe on a regular basis with corals? If so, could you post your recipe and any ratio you mix with major brand salt? Thanks, in advance.
dweakl01
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: PA

Postby acropora1981 » Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:18 am

acroporas,

you said that you changed the recipe to reflect the hydrated epson salt...did you post that updated recipe? i dont see it...
when you do things right, people wont be sure you've done anything at all
User avatar
acropora1981
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:59 am
Location: Ontario

Postby William » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:34 am

acropora1981 wrote:acroporas,

you said that you changed the recipe to reflect the hydrated epson salt...did you post that updated recipe? i dont see it...


I justed edited the first post to reflect the change.

acroporas wrote:29.1 g sodium chloride (water softener salt)
10.65 g magnesium sulfate heptahydrate (epsom salt)
1.16 g calcium chloride (ice melter)
0.172 g sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
0.68 g potassium chloride (food supliment: available from amazon)
0.097 g potassium bromide (used for developing film: available from B&H or amazon)
0.026 g boric acid (antiseptic: available from amazon)
0.019 g strontium chloride (Kent turbo strontium)

Will
User avatar
William
 
Posts: 2178
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:19 am

Postby SteveH » Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:13 pm

Am I doing my math correctly in figuring out that this will make enough for 1 liter of salt water? Has anyone actually made this? And if so, how many times did you multiply the recipe in order to get a substantial amount to make it worth making? After it's all said and done, does it end up costing less than a regular bucket of salt?
SteveH
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:09 pm

Re:

Postby Dman » Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:14 am

SteveH wrote:After it's all said and done, does it end up costing less than a regular bucket of salt?


From the last line in my first post:

I ran a cost analysis and this works out to about $6.83 for 150 gallons.

So ya, I'd say it costs a fair bit less.

As for making this on a larger scale, we were doing it here for about a year, at a rate of 50% with IO. But with the demise of a good portion of our broodstock (another matter entirely) coupled with the onset of higher bromide contents in the Dow Flake, we've switched back to 100% IO until further notice. (or at least until I can source an alternative to Dow)
Prisoner Number 8
Currently Paroled (Awaiting a full pardon)
Look for me in 2020
Dman
 
Posts: 424
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 6:56 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Re:

Postby SteveH » Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:30 pm

Dman wrote:
SteveH wrote:After it's all said and done, does it end up costing less than a regular bucket of salt?


From the last line in my first post:

I ran a cost analysis and this works out to about $6.83 for 150 gallons.

So ya, I'd say it costs a fair bit less.

As for making this on a larger scale, we were doing it here for about a year, at a rate of 50% with IO. But with the demise of a good portion of our broodstock (another matter entirely) coupled with the onset of higher bromide contents in the Dow Flake, we've switched back to 100% IO until further notice. (or at least until I can source an alternative to Dow)


Great, I think I'll give it a try. Luckily, I bought 30 pounds of Prestone Driveway Heat 2 years ago. I think I should lock it up in a safe .. it's like gold.
SteveH
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:09 pm

Postby William » Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:22 pm

Well, I finally decided to give this a try.

I did a 30% water change on my fish system with DIY salt.

To each bucket (old IO bucket, holds about 7 gallons) I added:

580 gm Morton's Table Salt
20 gm Publix Brand Epsom Salt
2 gm Prestone Driveway Heat
1 gm Publix Brand Baking Soda
and a dash of Pickling lime

I let the buckets sit for 30 minutes, prior to adding it to the system. The water was still very cloudy when I added it to system.

According to the recipes above, this was 5x too much baking soda. But since this is a fish system, I was more worried about pH than Ca and and since I have no pH or Alkalinity test kit, the easiest way to avoid pH problems it to overdose the soda...

Immediately after doing the water change, the whole system turned VERY cloudy. (visibility was ~2"). It took two days for the water to clear. I suspect this was from the huge baking soda overdose.

So far, the fish seem to love it. And I'm loving the cost. Next time, I'll try it with a bit less baking soda though.

It cost a little under 3 cents a gallon to make, compared to 20 cents a gallon for IO.
Will
User avatar
William
 
Posts: 2178
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:19 am

Postby KathyL » Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:55 pm

The overdose on carbonate (baking soda) will precipitate Calcium and carbonate out of the water, hence the cloudiness. You will end up with less alkalinity than you wanted, and very low Calcium.

It may be smarter/ better to get a pH meter or test kit, than to proceed this way. Saltwater is a balance of many things, and adding more of one ingredient affects the balance of the others. Risky business, particularly if you are not testing pH and other things.
User avatar
KathyL
 
Posts: 3442
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:13 am
Location: Missouri, USA

Postby William » Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:30 pm

Yea, I know the chemistry. In a reef tank overdosing carbonates, is a bad thing, but in a fish system when you don't care about the calcium levels, it is not so much of a big deal. I always keep the alkalinity high and the calcium low in my fish system.

But I really did not add that much baking soda.

According to the directions on a bottle of Seachem Reef Builder, you should add 3gm / 40 gallons 2x a week.

My system holds 60 gallons, so according to Seachem, I should be adding 4.4 gm 2x per week.

I added only 4gm of baking soda to the system through that water change. That is less than the recommended dose.

I know that if I had added 4gm of baking soda directly into the tank, that it would not have caused any calcium precipitation.

Yes I know I should have test kits, especially while I am experimenting with mixing salt, normally I test my water so infrequently, I just mooch off the LFS when I am curious about my water chemistry.

After everything stabilized, the calcium ended up at 300ppm and the alkalinity 7meq/L. Pretty close to what it was before... (I dont have test kits at home, I just mooch off the LFS when I am curious about my water chemistry )

I think next time I am going to try mixing it without any baking soda at first and see if it clears quicker. It it does I will then add the baking soda after everything else has dissolved and see if that does not cloud everything up so much.
Will
User avatar
William
 
Posts: 2178
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:19 am

Next

Return to Business



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests