Saltwater Aquarium – Finding Salinity

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 87,889
    Marine Biologist Jim Karanikas demonstrates how to set up a salt water aquarium and how to find salinity.

    Jim Karanikas: Hi! Jim Karanikas here, and I am going to show you how to set up a saltwater aquarium. Now, the first thing we are going to need is of course water. We're going to take tap water and dechlorinate it with dechlorinating drops. What you do is you take the water from the sink, through your bucket up, you have about four to five gallons in a average bucket. We're going to add in the appropriate amount of dechlorinating drops into the bucket. Then we are going to stir it around, and we are going to also need to add some synthetic salt to the water. Now, there are many companies out there that make, synthetic salt for saltwater aquarium.

    Some are to be used in just a fish-only aquarium and then some of them are, for reef tank. Now today I am just going to be using a product for a fish-only tank. Now, I've got about four gallons to five gallons of water in here. Approximately one cup of sea salt mixed with two gallons of water gives us the proper salinity. So I am going to take some salt out of the bucket here, got about two cups in here and I am going to pour in, and we are going to stir it around. And we are going to mix it around real good so it all dissolves. This takes only a couple of minutes, the salt is fast dissolving. Once we've got it stirred up and dissolved, we are going to make sure that the salinity is at correct level.

    Now, a hydrometer is a piece of equipment that you would use to measure the salinity of sea water. This is the old fashion type, basically as a bob and that bob is in the water, salt water is more buoyant than fresh water. So the more salt that we put in the water the more buoyant it is. Therefore, the higher that this little piece sticks up out of the water. Now, when we set this down in the water, it's going to bob, and I want to make sure that the level, the surface is at this level right here in the screen zone, that's going to be between 1.020 and 1.025 on this hydrometer.

    Now, there is also available, new modern date hydrometer. This hydrometer is little easier to use. You don't have to let it settle and sit in a bucket of water, you just basically scoop in, grab some water, pull it out and we want to see what the level is by where this pin rest. You can see that it's at about 1.021, which is right about where we want to be. So coming up next we're going to talk about lighting in our saltwater aquarium.