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Old 03-13-2003, 04:45 PM   #1
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Inlandreef and reefs.org doing analysis on salt mix's

Just saw this on an e-mail listserv I am on about reef keeping. Please read and if you feel this is something your in favor consiter donating. I think I am going to donate $10 toward this research.

Quote:
Fellow reefkeepers,


We wanted to make you aware that the folks over at Inland Reef Aquaria
(http://www.inlandreef.com/) in conjunction with Reefs.org
(http://www.reefs.org) have taken the initiative to start a fund for a very
thorough analysis of many of the salt mixes on the market.




The Inland Reef / Reefs.org Salt Analysis Project


In coordination with the Reefs.org, Inland Reef is undertaking a detailed,
independent analysis of the synthetic salt mixes currently available to
hobbyists.


Some recent studies
(http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-0...ture/index.htm) have shown that
there may be substances in salt mixes that are toxic to some marine life.
However, the two salts that fared the best in the referenced study were
never analyzed for content.


Another popular analysis of salt mixes, Atkinson and Bingman, 1999
(http://www.animalnetwork.com/fish2/a.../1/default.asp),
did not include these two salts and is now over 4 years old -- manufacturers
change their formulations frequently.


The preliminary plan is as follows:


1. Obtain samples of each of the following salt mixes:


Aquacraft Bio-Sea Marinemix
Aquacraft Coral Marine Sea Salt
Aquacraft Marine Environment
AquaMedic Sea Salt
Aquarium Systems Instant Ocean
Aquarium Systems Reef Crystals
Coralife Salt
Kent Marine Sea Salt
Marine Enterprises Crystal Sea Marinemix
Red Sea Fish Pharm Sea Salt
SeaChem Sea Salt
Sera Premium Sea Salt
Tropic Marin Sea Salt
Waterlife Ultramarine
Wiegandt HW Marine Mix


We will get three samples of each, and try to get different batches by
ordering a couple months apart and/or from different suppliers. We will get
most of the salts from our wholesale distributors, but will have to order
some from other retailers. We will not use any samples supplied direct from
the manufacturer.


2. Obtain three different natural seawater (NSW) samples. We will collect
one from the Atlantic (U.S. east coast), one from the Pacific (U.S. west
coast), and have one mailed to us from the South Pacific region.


3. Mix a quantity of each salt with the same batch of RO/DI water.


4. Determine the weight required for each to mix to a 1.025 specific
gravity.


5. Measure initial pH and pH of the NSW samples.


6. Send out samples of the dry salt to Northern Analytical Labs
(http://www.northernanalytical.com/) for an Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass
Spectrometry (ICPMS) test. This test will give elemental quantities for
Lithium through Uranium down to the part-per-trillion range with a 1%
accuracy. We will either evaporate the NSW samples, or check to see if the
lab can get comparable results with a liquid sample.


7. While waiting for the lab, let the liquid samples stand for a number of
days and test pH periodically during the wait period. We can not aerate the
samples, as it would be difficult to provide aeration in a manner that is
identical for each sample.


8. Publish results on Inland Reef's website and on the Reefs.org web site.
Include full elemental analysis, weight determination (do you get 50 gallons
from a 50 gallon bag?), and pH results. Cover both the bag-to-bag
consistency and the comparison to each other and NSW.


The cost of this project will be considerable. For the number of samples we
are running the cost is $280 per test. 15 salts plus NSW X 3 = 48 tests --
that adds up to $13,440.


We are pursuing several routes to fund the effort. We will be seeking
donations from the salt manufacturers, there will be a number of raffles for
high-value marine aquarium items, and finally, we are seeking donations from
you, the aquarium hobbyist.




To help fund this project, we are asking for donations. To donate to this
cause, please see: http://www.inlandreef.net/saanprdo.html


Donation amounts of $5, $10, $25, or $100 (or any variation thereof) are
available.


A running tally of donations will be posted in this thread on the Reefs.org
web site: http://reefs.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=27367


Thank you in advance for any and all donations to this project!


Sincerely,


-- The folks at Inland Reef Aquaria and Reefs.org
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Old 03-13-2003, 05:03 PM   #2
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From what I understand, Dr. Ron did a study of 4 of these salt mixes (IO included) and found Crystal Sea Marinemix Bioassay (which I think is the same as Marine Enterprises Crystal Sea Marinemix)
to be the "best" (ie. lowest in heavy metal content, closest to NSW) and found IO to be the worst. So much worse he is discarding abuot 150 gallons worth of IO in preference to Crystal Sea Marinemix Bioassay. Our local reef club is bulk buyng 50 case lots (150 gallon worth each) and selling to members for $22 each. WAY cheaper than I can get IO at the LFS! I think I spent over $50 for an equivilent aount of IO of which I have about 120 gallons worth left. My Instant Ocean salt is for sale cheap, any takers?
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Old 03-13-2003, 06:42 PM   #3
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Mark, They make refernce to Dr. Ron's study in the above message. But what they note is that
Quote:
However, the two salts that fared the best in the referenced study were never analyzed for content.
So it seems that they feel Dr. Ron's study was incomplete.

I personally use IO and given the price differental I cant bring my self to change at this point. I await their results with anticipation.
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