Using NSW

Has anyone in the club ever collected NSW from any of the beaches in DE? I was reading on RC tonight where a long time hobbyist has been using water from Long Island Sound for over 30 years with no problems.

Just wondering why more people don’t use NSW when it is so close. I have never tried it because I always thought it was dangerous due to bacteria and other chances of pollution. It seems this may not be a real problem.

What do you think?

i thought there would be a large die-off and that it would have to be replaced very frequently.

I think it could be a major problem. In the marine biology labs in Lewes they use NSW for most of there experiments, but use Milli-Q for there reef tank though which I believe is by far purer then our RODI. With the number of fish kills locally and the amount of factories and chicken farms that run off I think it would be dangerous. It is very high in nutrients and as Paul said much of the bacteria algae and animals in it may not survive in reef conditions, die off, and dump nutrients.

Anywhere around here is also considered very high in nutrients for what it should be in the area. At this latitude, even before humans dumped there crap in the water, it is supposed to have more nutrients then the “desert like” tropical waters. Just think of your light penetrations when you can’t see the bottom of the bay through a foot of water.

Doable, but would be very limiting in what you keep and I would never recommend it. But that is just one persons opinion. If you want to look into it some more I would search in the forums in Florida as there have been VERY long threads about this topic before on ReefCentral, and I am sure on the club threads. If it is a debated topic in Florida where the conditions more closely match the target range for reef tanks, then considering using water from around here… Not for me.

Great points Jon. This is exactly what I was hoping for, a good friendly debate. I will post a link to the thread on RC just for informational purposes.

I would think the water around NYC would be a major source of pollutants, but there were at least 3 people on the thread using this water with good results. The thing that spiked my interest was not just that NSW did no harm, but that the corals and fish seemed to respond very positively towards it when ever they did a water change.

I am not about to go out and start using it anytime soon. I just want to research the topic more.

if someone were to use an UV sterilizer between the tank and the ocean water, would this help? or would this defeat the purpose of taking NSW?

I enjoy a good debate like this.

Well we have to ask what the purpose of NSW is. If it is simply for cost reasons it is different then claiming it is better for the tank. The claims that, " the corals and fish seemed to respond very positively" well I just wonder if they hadn’t been doing many water changes before and just the change of water was helpful. Too many factors and there is no real numbers or documentation. If they said there zoas grew faster and had photos of growth rate then we might have something to discuss.(well of course then I would just say you had higher nutrient water)

I think this is all about saving money. Fact is local waters will be high in nutrients and lower in Ca. The chemistry would be off and there would be the risk of pollutants. How significant the risk I don’t know.

I know this third post back is very old, but I didn't want people to read it now that the thread is active again and get a possibly incorrect conclusion... “[B] Here is an article that was written for RKmag by Dr. Ron a couple of years ago. Basically, they ran some tests on a few ASW mixes and found that they had really high levels of many heavy metals (like lead and silver) when compared to NSW.

Perhaps that is one reason why the organisms look so much better in NSW. [/B]”

Maybe. But that comparison is seriously flawed, IMO. Not the least concern of which is the fact that Ron did not actuallly test NSW, and so there is no reason to assume that anyone collecting their own or buying comemrcial NSW gets water as pure as he quotes.

Further, some NSW commercial sources are (or were) actually heavily contaminated with certain metals, even by their own posted data. Other studies looking at local ocean water show other contamination.

That said, collecting your own NSW is likely a great way to go if you have a decent source.

There are few sources I trust more when it comes to chemistry then Randy Holmes Farley who typed the above quote. I think the bottom line for people in NYC and Delaware is the last sentence, “if you have a decent source.”

Also Paul B who talks on that forum spends so much time talking on the forum I am surprised he has time to do water changes. Speaking of which I’m going to do water changes.

NSW in DE would need to be collected at least a couple hundred yards offshore. It’s not as simple as just walking into the water with a bucket.

And I also need to do water changes today!

Just a quick note about NSW changes. Atlantis Marine World uses NSW to do changes on their 20,000 gallon reef tank. So, if they do a 20% water change, it means they are putting in 4,000 gallons of NSW at one time. This bit of info is from their website.

Notable Facts
Home of the Western hemisphere’s largest all-living Coral Reef display;
More than one million gallons of water;
Exhibit ocean water delivered by tanker truck from Shinnecock Bay

Interesting. I am pretty sure they dump TONs of calcium into there tank though. Seems like they do the same thing as UD does at there marine bio lab with using a tanker truck. Was pretty nice while working there to turn on a faucet or turn on a hose that has SW on it collected locally. Was little concern about matching the chemistry of the water the animals were collected in. Just turn on a faucet and you have it.

Something to keep in mind is the costs involved in making 4,000 gallons of SW using a synthetic salt. I would bet using natural sea water for an aquarium like that was more finically driven then motivation to do what is best for the animals. For many of use in DE it would prove cheaper to mix our salt as the scale is completely different.

+1 to what Jon said, when your talking XX,XXX gal aquarium NSW will soon start to look much more attractive.

Interesting topic.

Well I’ll add my little bit of back ground. Can’t say that I’ve used it but when I went down in September for snails I brought home about 20 gallons in a cooler. When I put the water in the cooler it was dark green and cloudy. verdict_in Anyway got home and let it sit and all the crap settled down and the water was super clear without doing anything. I don’t think I would use it in my tank without running it through a filter or a UV but did seem to be usable if it was closer may consider it.

Whats all this talk about water changes? are you supposed to do them? :smiley:

Who lives near the beach and has a decent Nitrate and Phosphate test kit? I have to agree with Jason though it would be a lot better to get away from the shore a little bit then to collect right off a dock or fishing pier.

When I’ve been out fishing 20-30 miles out water is crystal clear :stuck_out_tongue: just need to make a little trip out every other week or so :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve been out 30 miles the water/vis can be CRAP, depends on the currents around here for the visibility in the water. And I go UNDER the water, not sit on a boat drinking beer :smiley:

[quote=“IanH, post:16, topic:2442”]
I’ve been out 30 miles the water/vis can be CRAP, depends on the currents around here for the visibility in the water. And I go UNDER the water, not sit on a boat drinking beer :D[/quote]

Yeah sure you know your just under the water drinking beer :BEER

Who me?? Noway! BoNg :BEER

coincidentally, the current RC TOTM uses NSW from the Atlantic for WC. oh, and he just so happens to live in the canary islands!

lol just saw that 2… haha