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what is best is a relative term, 1.025 is generally acceptable,. This is a pretty good question and should bring on lots of various replys :)
 

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Saltwater Section Specialist
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Jim, don't say that! 1.020 is Ok for a fish only system but not for corals. They will die a slow and agonizing death. In 1.030 they are a goner too. Hard corals will be the first to go. It is true that salinity does change on the reef but reefs all over the world are dying.

I'd really recommend 1.024 - 1.026 for stony corals (heck for all corals) and you can go a bit lower 1.022 - 1.024 if you are doing a FOWLR. Fish only you could do 1.020 or even slightly lower. Above 1.026 things get a bit dicey so I'd watch the upper end carefully.

Nicole, get a bulb hydrometer like this.

Hagen Living Sea Floating Hydrometer with Thermometer, C & F

You can't get much more accurate even with a refractometer and it's much less expensive. Remember, it's glass so be careful.
 

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LOL i knew this would bring a fast response, i just say what my personal experience in my own tanks have shown me. Your mileage may vary .
 

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*blackback butterflyfish*
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i am definately going to get that kind of hydrometer. it went up to 1.023 today...this is better for the fish but i should raise to get 27 to get ready for corals? or would you say higher?
 

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No keep it between 23-25 outside those limits is only for certain circumstances, such as if all your corals are red sea such as mine were, or in a fish only tank where you can lower it to help prevent disease. I no longer keep saltwater so i will leave this section to Jarred and doc in the future. :)
 

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I keep all my SW tanks (FOWLR and reef) at 1.024-1.025 with a bulb hydrometer. Works great
 

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Is there really such a thing as an "ideal salt level?" hmmm!!! Some things are not really that hard to figure out. IMHO and in my experience, if you stay at 1.023 and 1.025 you should be ok....regarless of what you keep. I've always stuck to those numbers and never had a problem. Unless I was doing something else right that of which I'm totally unaware about...LOL!!! Anyway, those have always been the "ideal" numbers for me and worked great.
 

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*blackback butterflyfish*
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
thanks everyone that replied..im goin to stay between 1.023 and 1.025.
 

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what is best is a relative term, 1.025 is generally acceptable,. This is a pretty good question and should bring on lots of various replys :)
Gotta agree here, I keep my tanks at about .025 as well.
 

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sorry every1 if u were confused because it says about half of the posts on this thread were edited by me-i changed the title so it was the proper word and changed the title of everyother post so it didn't look out of whack.
 

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*blackback butterflyfish*
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
update: salinity is at 1.025 and im curious...it says in my book to mantain this you have to top off with freshwater...so when i do a water change i should top off the tank with freshwater first...then take out 20% then refill with salt water? i never had to worry before because my level was low...no i dont want it too high.
 

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Saltwater Section Specialist
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Top off is a continual operation. Many of us (myself included) use an auto top off switch to add water from a reservoir of DI freshwater. Others add it at intervals to replace water lost due to evaporation. The more frequently that top off water is added, the more stable the salinity remains.

Water changes are separate from topping off and should be done when the tank is topped off.
 

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~/root
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update: salinity is at 1.025 and im curious...it says in my book to mantain this you have to top off with freshwater...so when i do a water change i should top off the tank with freshwater first...then take out 20% then refill with salt water? i never had to worry before because my level was low...no i dont want it too high.
To top off simply means your water level isn't "all the way to the top". When the water from your tank evaporates it leaves the salt (salt doesn't evaporate) therefor when you want to top it off no need to mix anymore salt its just as simple as topping off with fresh water. Eventually when you really start getting into the hobby you can get an ro/di unit and hook it up to an auto-top off which does the job for you :)
 
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