Yeah I definitely know you by name but I did mix up how many survivors you have had, sorry about that haha It's been a lot keeping up with this plus my usual schedule.
As for the the water change, I was aware when carbon dioxide levels increase/oxygen decreases the ph drops and makes ammonia less harmful but never read into this happening with salt water from "buffering". But it seems like this has something to do with you saying the salt water matures?
I think maybe you're inferring a single conversation, but I'm describing 2 things: 1) ammonia, and 2) jar/tank maturity.
[errors have been corrected by writer - how embarrassing
I'm finding as I figure this out that it's backwards from how I usually think about (at least in my mind, which is sort of backwards to start with, so no longer sure which way we're facing LOL). In our/my fw tanks, more CO2 reduces pH, and more of the TAN (total ammonia nitrogen - ie what the master test kit measures) becomes less-toxic NH4+ ammonium. As pH rises (and temp), the proportion of TAN that is NH3 more-toxic ammonia increases. But as I read it yesterday (look at me, the instant expert), at the high pH levels that are typical in saltwater, most/all of the TAN will be NH3.
Being rooted in the fw world, I'm used to taking the liquid ammonia test readings with a grain of salt (pun intended). I'm less interested in TAN results, and more interested in combining that with temp and pH to know what NH3 levels are, and if it's approaching 0.05ppm. But what I'm getting here (ie with respect to the zoe saltwater jars) is that ANY ammonia will be bad, since most/all will be NH3. So my guess is that my prior overfeeding is way more important than I had thought. Bad me.
So now I think I have a better understanding of why
little to no feeding is a big part of the success that some have had.
Second part of this part of the ammonia puzzle (for me) is that IF you have ammonia, then UNLIKE fw world, water changes aren't necessarily the go-to solution. As I understand it, ammonia, like CO2, will lower pH. Meaning some of the NH3 coverts back to NH4+. Changing water will restore pH to higher level, causing some of the NH4+ remaining in tank to covert to NH3. So bad. The recommended course of action here is to neutralize/remove the ammonia first, then change water.
A prior contributor to this thread mentioned using the seachem alert badge to detect ammonia, and I think that's a bang-on suggestion, because it ONLY detects the NH3. I had previously bought some Poly-Fill as an early attempt to lower P04s in my planted tanks. Still have some, and I'm told it will bind the ammonium in the salt jar, so I'll likely put a tiny square in if I start seeing losses.
Your second question, about maturing saltwater. I don't think that aging straight (newly mixed) saltwater more than 24 hrs is necessary. But the jar I will be keeping the zoes in has been running for maybe 6 weeks now, and has a more mature or seasoned community of algae, which I hope will be a good thing.