Salty Q&A: Why so Much Emphasis on Evaporation in Saltwater Systems?

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cardinal fish corals

An ever-shifting salinity level is very stressful to aquarium inhabitants

 Question: I’m a long-time freshwater aquarium hobbyist but considering branching out to a saltwater reef system. In talking with some of my reefkeeper friends, I’ve noticed that they’re rather fixated on evaporation from their tanks and doing daily top-offs. Why so much emphasis on evaporation on the saltwater side of the hobby? This isn’t really an issue at all on the freshwater side. Also, I do a lot of traveling for business purposes, so I’m wondering what others in my situation do about top-offs. – Submitted by Amir Answer: Great question, Amir! Saltwater aquarists are so focused on compensating for evaporation because they want the salinity in their systems to remain as stable as possible. As water evaporates from a saltwater system, all the salt and other stuff dissolved in it gets left behind. The more water that evaporates, the more concentrated these dissolved solids become… MORE

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Saltwater Smarts is a unique online resource created by long-time aquarists Chris Aldrich and Jeff Kurtz to inspire and entertain a new generation of marine aquarium hobbyists while helping them acquire the reliable, authoritative knowledge base they need to succeed with a saltwater system. By clarifying key concepts, techniques, and terminology, as well as sharing expert insights from fellow enthusiasts and industry professionals, Chris and Jeff hope to promote a more accessible, sustainable, and enjoyable marine aquarium hobby. Read more about our mission and the contributors who are part of our team.

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