Left my bucket of salt open - doh!

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by vsiege, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. vsiege

    vsiege Active Member

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    So I made that classic mistake of leaving a bucket of salt open for a day. The salt has gotten hard from absorbing the moisture from the air. Does anybody have any advice as to how to scrape, chip away, or make it easier to continue to use it. Many thanks in advance.
    While scraping away with my flat blade screwdriver did work, it wasn't all that efficient.
     
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  2. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    If it is really hard, like a rock, you might as well forget it, replace the salt and chalk it up to experience. If you can crumble it with your hand, you can still use it. Just break it up first.
     
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  3. ThePurpleTwelve

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    Sorry man but I have to say this: you spelled "doh" wrong its actually spelled "d'oh" with an apostrophe:yummy:
     
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  4. saintsreturn

    saintsreturn Well-Known Member

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    second what Dave said... good luck!
     
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  5. cracker

    cracker Well-Known Member

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    Think it will go bad ? It would dissolve eventually.
     
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  6. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    Once the salt gets rock hard it becomes very difficult to dissolve. So, yes, I'd consider the salt bad for making SW for aquarium use at that point. However, you could use it to hatch brine shrimp and most other typical plain aquarium salt uses in the hobby. That way it not a total loss.
     
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  7. vsiege

    vsiege Active Member

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    Thank you everyone for your insight, I really appreciate it. Looks like I'm going to have to go get another bucket of salt.
    I especially thought it was funny about how to spell do'h.
    Happy reefing to all.
     
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  8. StevesLEDs

    StevesLEDs RS Sponsor

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    I've had some luck throwing some dessicant in with a 'solid' half bucket of salt. Since salt is hygroscopic (absorbs water, typically through humidity in the air), it ever so slightly melts the salt. Then when the bulk of the moisture evaporates, it leaves you with little salt grains that are 'welded' together. Desiccant takes out that last bit of moisture, leaving the salt-brick quite brittle.

    Here's how I got learnt on the matter! It all starts with the usual, tank problem >water change > long hours> tired and forgetful by the time it's done. Left the bucket top cracked open to find a brick a few days later. I happen to have some silica gel beads that we use in our plasma cutter machine, and put them in a mason jar with the top left open, and placed those in the bucket and closed the lid. A week later, took out the jar and the salt still appeared rock hard. I gave up and went to salvage just the plastic bucket by dumping the salt-brick into the trash can. As it slid out in one piece and hit the bottom of the trash can, it broke into about half fine powder and half chunks. D'oh! I could have used all of it after all.

    Now when that happens, I repeat the process and just drop the bucket from about 1 foot off the ground a few times and it comes back to life, in bite sized chunks that are perfectly usable. @ $70+ a bucket nowadays, it was worth the $20 in (reusable) desiccant and 5 minutes of my time.

    -Jeff
     
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    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
  9. vsiege

    vsiege Active Member

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    Thank you all! I got past the top layer.
     
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