Question about salt

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BumpaBaaby

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I’m growing SPS and LPS. I’m thinking about switching because of clouding I noticed and Tropic Marin is supposed to be good (according to BRS) I really don’t want to spend the extra money ($39 vs $109) but what choice do I have other than sticking with the same brand?

so far I noticed a spike in DKH. So far after 3 days and a water change (scheduled) I went up to 9.3
 

Humblefish

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I use Instant Ocean (even cheaper than Reef Crystals), and just add baking soda (to raise alkalinity) and/or calcium chloride (that I buy from BRS) to raise both parameters in the mixing vat before doing my water changes.

You would need to test both alk & calcium after mixing the salt, and then use this calculator to increase both parameters as desired: http://reef.diesyst.com/chemcalc/chemcalc.html

Cloudy water shouldn't be an issue if you allow the freshly mixed saltwater to fully circulate for 24 hours before using. 'Thumbs_up_green'
 

clsanchez77

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Instant Ocean and Reef Crystals salts have been the staple of this hobby for over 2 (or 3 for IO) decades. Don't buy the BS that a better salt will make a better tank. It will not. There is ZERO documented correlation between any specific coral and specific brand of salt. Best thing you can is figure out what do you want for the tank and then pick the salt that matches your expectations. If you want "The Best" salt ever made for corals, then all of the above will work. Hell, check out HW Marinemix, who BRS used to advertise as their best salt before they made arrangements with Tropic Marin LOL. Outside of BRS, there are vendors who swear Red Sea is the best, of AquaForest is the best, or ESV is the best, or Brightwell Neomarine is the best. Depends on what salt that LFS shop uses in shop. They are all correct :D

So what is your tank keeping method? What is your target calcium, alkalinity and magnesium targets? Do you want the one salt mix that will Ace a Triton ICP test each and every time? If so, be prepared to pay for that as Tropic Marin is the only one.

You want a pure salt that will mix exactly to the correct parameters each and every time? ESV will do this. Be prepared to spend about an hour mixing your salt (comes in 4 parts) and has the highest cost per gallon of all salt mixes :) Does well on ICP but is high in some heavy elements. Perfectly fine for the corals, they don't know about ICP testing yet.

Do you want the salt mix that best corresponds to reasonable parameter levels and matches a particular/proprietary supplement regime? Then stick with that particular brand, ei Red Sea or AquaForest.

The Brighttwell Neomarine is impressive salt, is recommended by AquaHut and is the choice salt for WWC in Orlando. Take that for what it's worth.

You want a cheap salt that has proven itself time and time again for 30 years or better? Instant Ocean will get the job done. IO and RC do have consistency issues, have to be tested and supplemented. IO will leave solids behind, and RC will leave a brown sludge. Everyone agrees these are not harmful. Go back to the old online Reef Keeping magazines back when our hobby has "Tank of the Month" articles and you will find everyone was using either Instant Ocean or Reef Crystals back then, and their tanks were breathtaking.

Personally, I use AquaForest these days. I can buy this locally at the LFS in Metairie, which works for my location and schedule, and the cost is reasonable. I also use their 3-part balling method and their test kits as I can buy them here locally. Buy local is what is important to me. Have never ICP tested any of these and the corals have never questioned me. Alk, Ca have all done well. Magnesium appears to be higher than it should be, but is not a problem. I loath trying to solve problems that are not actually problems :D

I hope this helps LOL
 

Stoned

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There are other salts that are cheaper and have consistent parameters. I recommend using a salt that is close to the parameters you want to keep your tank at. Red Sea blue bucket or Aqua Forest are good choices in my opinion.
 

Stoned

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Every one knows.. Stability is key. If you keep your alk 8.0 dkh and do a water change using a salt with 10 or 11 dkh. Depending on tank total water volume, your alk may go up. SPS don't like that. Testing water often is the path to stability.
 

Typlus5

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I use HW Marine Mix for the consistency of the mix.
There is no magic salt or we would all use the same one with equal success. I used IO and then Reef Crystals for years but did have to test/adjust every batch to ensure correct parameters. For me, that got old.
 

CenlaReefer

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I use HW Marine Mix for the consistency of the mix.
There is no magic salt or we would all use the same one with equal success. I used IO and then Reef Crystals for years but did have to test/adjust every batch to ensure correct parameters. For me, that got old.
Same here. I find my corals do better with HW. I get super consistent SG when I use precise water measures with the salt weighed-out by means of a digital scale. I plan to stick with this salt mix forever.
 

BumpaBaaby

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Instant Ocean and Reef Crystals salts have been the staple of this hobby for over 2 (or 3 for IO) decades. Don't buy the BS that a better salt will make a better tank. It will not. There is ZERO documented correlation between any specific coral and specific brand of salt. Best thing you can is figure out what do you want for the tank and then pick the salt that matches your expectations. If you want "The Best" salt ever made for corals, then all of the above will work. Hell, check out HW Marinemix, who BRS used to advertise as their best salt before they made arrangements with Tropic Marin LOL. Outside of BRS, there are vendors who swear Red Sea is the best, of AquaForest is the best, or ESV is the best, or Brightwell Neomarine is the best. Depends on what salt that LFS shop uses in shop. They are all correct :D

So what is your tank keeping method? What is your target calcium, alkalinity and magnesium targets? Do you want the one salt mix that will Ace a Triton ICP test each and every time? If so, be prepared to pay for that as Tropic Marin is the only one.

You want a pure salt that will mix exactly to the correct parameters each and every time? ESV will do this. Be prepared to spend about an hour mixing your salt (comes in 4 parts) and has the highest cost per gallon of all salt mixes :) Does well on ICP but is high in some heavy elements. Perfectly fine for the corals, they don't know about ICP testing yet.

Do you want the salt mix that best corresponds to reasonable parameter levels and matches a particular/proprietary supplement regime? Then stick with that particular brand, ei Red Sea or AquaForest.

The Brighttwell Neomarine is impressive salt, is recommended by AquaHut and is the choice salt for WWC in Orlando. Take that for what it's worth.

You want a cheap salt that has proven itself time and time again for 30 years or better? Instant Ocean will get the job done. IO and RC do have consistency issues, have to be tested and supplemented. IO will leave solids behind, and RC will leave a brown sludge. Everyone agrees these are not harmful. Go back to the old online Reef Keeping magazines back when our hobby has "Tank of the Month" articles and you will find everyone was using either Instant Ocean or Reef Crystals back then, and their tanks were breathtaking.

Personally, I use AquaForest these days. I can buy this locally at the LFS in Metairie, which works for my location and schedule, and the cost is reasonable. I also use their 3-part balling method and their test kits as I can buy them here locally. Buy local is what is important to me. Have never ICP tested any of these and the corals have never questioned me. Alk, Ca have all done well. Magnesium appears to be higher than it should be, but is not a problem. I loath trying to solve problems that are not actually problems :D

I hope this helps LOL
I’d like to keep my calcium at or around 450 and it’s been about 470 after water changes. No biggie there but the alkalinity has gotten my attention. It’s been well over 9.0 after water changes. I was thinking RC has to be high in those minerals.
I did the ICP test once and it said I had copper in my tank. I don’t think I’ll be doing ICP again. Like you said “my corals haven’t asked me yet” lol
 

BumpaBaaby

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I use HW Marine Mix for the consistency of the mix.
There is no magic salt or we would all use the same one with equal success. I used IO and then Reef Crystals for years but did have to test/adjust every batch to ensure correct parameters. For me, that got old.
Is this the one you use?
 

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clsanchez77

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I’d like to keep my calcium at or around 450 and it’s been about 470 after water changes. No biggie there but the alkalinity has gotten my attention. It’s been well over 9.0 after water changes. I was thinking RC has to be high in those minerals.
I did the ICP test once and it said I had copper in my tank. I don’t think I’ll be doing ICP again. Like you said “my corals haven’t asked me yet” lol

RC is famously high for alkalinity. It was formulated back in the days when the community approach to SPS was high alk, high calcium and high magnesium. Don't get me wrong, it does well as long as you maintain those high levels. @Stoned is right, the corals care about stability more than they care about your arbitrary target number (within reason :D). Today, we know a rock stable but slightly lower number produces better results than a much higher number that is allowed to glide in between water changes. With that in mind, Reef Crystals is probably the only old salt that I would say does not make much sense today. But there is a critical mass of hobbyists who still stand behind it, so they still make it.

Wither either IO or RC, you want to test salinity and alkalinity at a minimum. Both are prone to fluctuations in alkalinity. Fluctuations in calcium are less consequential.

Is this the one you use?

That is the one BRS always advocated as the best all time reef aquarium salt mix, before they changed their mind to Tropic Marin. Keep in mind, Tropic Marin is not newer and did not change. They both are premium salts. The only thing that could have changed in my mind is their supplier's contract :D

Between HW Marinemix and Tropic Marin, HW Marinemix will run cheaper at about $0.44 per gallon, but keep in mind as of now we can only buy this through BRS. I do not know of any other US retailers (could be wrong, just don't know of them). Tropic Marin runs a little higher at $0.50 to $0.55 per gallon depending on purchase size, but there are also multiple retailers to purchase this from. If you think that is getting high, ESV runs around $0.60 per gallon.

For reference, Instant Ocean runs about $0.23 per gallon.

AquaForest Reef Salt runs about $0.40 per gallon, depending on where and size you buy, and Red Sea Blue Bucket is around $0.42 per gallon. For these costs, I used regular retail price and ignored the sale prices.
 

BumpaBaaby

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RC is famously high for alkalinity. It was formulated back in the days when the community approach to SPS was high alk, high calcium and high magnesium. Don't get me wrong, it does well as long as you maintain those high levels. @Stoned is right, the corals care about stability more than they care about your arbitrary target number (within reason :D). Today, we know a rock stable but slightly lower number produces better results than a much higher number that is allowed to glide in between water changes. With that in mind, Reef Crystals is probably the only old salt that I would say does not make much sense today. But there is a critical mass of hobbyists who still stand behind it, so they still make it.

Wither either IO or RC, you want to test salinity and alkalinity at a minimum. Both are prone to fluctuations in alkalinity. Fluctuations in calcium are less consequential.



That is the one BRS always advocated as the best all time reef aquarium salt mix, before they changed their mind to Tropic Marin. Keep in mind, Tropic Marin is not newer and did not change. They both are premium salts. The only thing that could have changed in my mind is their supplier's contract :D

Between HW Marinemix and Tropic Marin, HW Marinemix will run cheaper at about $0.44 per gallon, but keep in mind as of now we can only buy this through BRS. I do not know of any other US retailers (could be wrong, just don't know of them). Tropic Marin runs a little higher at $0.50 to $0.55 per gallon depending on purchase size, but there are also multiple retailers to purchase this from. If you think that is getting high, ESV runs around $0.60 per gallon.

For reference, Instant Ocean runs about $0.23 per gallon.

AquaForest Reef Salt runs about $0.40 per gallon, depending on where and size you buy, and Red Sea Blue Bucket is around $0.42 per gallon. For these costs, I used regular retail price and ignored the sale prices.
I’m either going to stick with reef crystals or make a change to HW since people here use it. I can’t afford Tropic Marin . Sometimes I like to change 5g for the heck of it. Right now my DKH 8.8 . Lower numbers are proven to be better but salt brands tend to run high alkalinity.
 

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clsanchez77

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So I mixed up a batch of RC at 5 gallons my salinity is 1.025 and DKH 9.3...

Sounds about right. That 9.3 used to be considered gold, many years ago lol. Today, we are keeping tanks more stable at lower alk levels.

I’m either going to stick with reef crystals or make a change to HW since people here use it. I can’t afford Tropic Marin .

If money is an object, do consider the AquaForest Reef Salt. I consider it a good quality salt at a good price. I would not consider it a premium salt, but it is more than good enough for anything you would want to do with it. Each salt container comes with the batch ICP test certificate.

Click on "Worth Knowing" for tabulated parameters. At 35 ppt, you will be getting 8 dkh on average.
 

BumpaBaaby

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Sounds about right. That 9.3 used to be considered gold, many years ago lol. Today, we are keeping tanks more stable at lower alk levels.



If money is an object, do consider the AquaForest Reef Salt. I consider it a good quality salt at a good price. I would not consider it a premium salt, but it is more than good enough for anything you would want to do with it. Each salt container comes with the batch ICP test certificate.

Click on "Worth Knowing" for tabulated parameters. At 35 ppt, you will be getting 8 dkh on average.
Should I just leave my alkalinity at 9.3 instead of aiming for lower readings? There’s no way I can lower my Dkh naturally, is there?

petco has the bucket of RC for $36 and aquatic Sealife had aqua forest but I never tried it
 
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