How Long Can I Leave Saltwater Sitting Out?

bettaf1sh 7789

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I mixed up some saltwater on Saturday night with the intention of setting up my tank on Sunday, but unfortunately I haven’t had time and may not have time for a few more days. The water is in 5 gallon Home Depot buckets and is mixed with all salt dissolved. I took the powerheads out but can put them back in. How long can I leave the water in buckets before I setup my tank?
 

Fisker

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IMO, the only issue with leaving saltwater out is running the risk of bacteria growing.Stagnant water breeds bacteria. Sometimes, bad bacteria.

I'd put the powerheads back in, and watch pretty closely for any signs of bacterial life that shouldn't be there. If you see anything suspicious, IMO, it's worth it to just eat the loss and mix an entirely new batch, seeing as you're setting up a tank. Might not be a big deal for an established tank, but for something so new, I'm afraid that any prolific life form will find a niche to live in. Worst case scenario, maybe bad bacteria try and invade a niche you don't want them in.

Realistically, you're probably fine. Just be wary.
 
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bettaf1sh 7789

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IMO, the only issue with leaving saltwater out is running the risk of bacteria growing.Stagnant water breeds bacteria. Sometimes, bad bacteria.

I'd put the powerheads back in, and watch pretty closely for any signs of bacterial life that shouldn't be there. If you see anything suspicious, IMO, it's worth it to just eat the loss and mix an entirely new batch, seeing as you're setting up a tank. Might not be a big deal for an established tank, but for something so new, I'm afraid that any prolific life form will find a niche to live in. Worst case scenario, maybe bad bacteria try and invade a niche you don't want them in.

Realistically, you're probably fine. Just be wary.
Would it make a difference if I chucked it into the tank with the filter? I just don’t have time to rinse the sand, transfer live rock, etc. but I suppose I could pump it into the tank and plug the filter in. Typically I buy premixed water from a lfs for my reef tank and and sometimes it will sit around for a few days in 5 gallon containers, it is an established tank, but I have yet to have problems.
 

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Sure, if it's easier for you to drop it into the tank instead of plopping powerheads into the buckets, it should have the same effect.

Just make sure you're not adding anything to add ammonia or something like that until you have rock and sand in there. Other than that, you'll basically just be circulating water.
 
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bettaf1sh 7789

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Sure, if it's easier for you to drop it into the tank instead of plopping powerheads into the buckets, it should have the same effect.

Just make sure you're not adding anything to add ammonia or something like that until you have rock and sand in there. Other than that, you'll basically just be circulating water.
Alright. I might be able to make some time tomorrow morning to setup the tank. Will the water be okay sitting from Saturday night to Tuesday morning? I’ll throw a pump in there for the night as well.
 

Fisker

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I'd leave the water with the pump in it.

Generally, I never like to leave stagnant water for more than a day or so. Even then, I'm a bit wary of using it. If you have the pump, it's ALWAYS worth it to have the water circulating, even if it's for no other reason than oxygenation.
 

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I agree that once it's mixed the saltwater should be in flow within a day or so. Amazing how much longer I can go without cleaning out my containers when I transfer the water within a day. I used to leave it for a week and that built up the nasties really quickly in the containers.
 
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bettaf1sh 7789

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I'd leave the water with the pump in it.

Generally, I never like to leave stagnant water for more than a day or so. Even then, I'm a bit wary of using it. If you have the pump, it's ALWAYS worth it to have the water circulating, even if it's for no other reason than oxygenation.
I agree that once it's mixed the saltwater should be in flow within a day or so. Amazing how much longer I can go without cleaning out my containers when I transfer the water within a day. I used to leave it for a week and that built up the nasties really quickly in the containers.
Okay, I put the pump back in (it’s just a regular pump and it’s pretty strong so it’s mixing quite a bit) I’ll see if I can make time tomorrow to get sand rinsed and get the 10 gal in place. I plan to add the sand, water, filter, and powerhead and let it run for a few hours or until it is mostly settled and not too cloudy. Then I’ll transfer live rock from my already established tank, run it for a few days and monitor parameters, then add my damsel and make sure I closely watch the parameters for about a week or two. Good plan?
 

AvalancheDave

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IMO, the only issue with leaving saltwater out is running the risk of bacteria growing.Stagnant water breeds bacteria. Sometimes, bad bacteria.

I'd put the powerheads back in, and watch pretty closely for any signs of bacterial life that shouldn't be there. If you see anything suspicious, IMO, it's worth it to just eat the loss and mix an entirely new batch, seeing as you're setting up a tank. Might not be a big deal for an established tank, but for something so new, I'm afraid that any prolific life form will find a niche to live in. Worst case scenario, maybe bad bacteria try and invade a niche you don't want them in.
Dechlorinated tap water or salt water prepared from RO/DI water has much lower bacterial populations than aquarium water.

Studies have found that adding fish to water dramatically increases bacterial populations. This is stating the obvious since organic waste is going to encourage growth not to mention fish (and all animals) are heavily colonized with bacteria.

Evaporation and low oxygen levels are the only concerns I can think of and they're easily remedied.
 
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bettaf1sh 7789

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Update. The saltwater is in the tank with sand, a filter (only sponge in it right now) a heater, and a powerhead. I’m gonna transfer some of my live rock over tomorrow I think once the water has cleared up a bit more.
 
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