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Old 12-25-2013, 03:31 AM   #1
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Instant Ocean Salt & starting params

I decided to test RO water with instant ocean I had mixed the other day before doing a water change. It has been running in a bucket with a small powerhead and a heater.

I was kind of shocked to see the following results with Salifert test kits:

Magnesium: 900
Calcium: 300
dKH: 10.5

I guess this explains why I have been struggling to keep my calcium and mag up, eh?

There is probably the possibility of a bad batch, but I'm curious if any of you are using a higher "quality" salt mix that has starting calcium/mag/dKH around what one wants for an SPS reef? (~450-500 calcium, ~10.5 dKH, ~1400 Mag)

I don't care if it's more expensive than instant ocean, as I figure I'm paying around $2 per 5 gallon bucket of water (1/4 bottle of seachem mag) to get mag where it's supposed to be. That and I'm tired of making sand when dosing 2 part due to the stupidly low magnesium I'm constantly battling.

Thanks in advance!

-greg
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Old 12-25-2013, 07:49 AM   #2
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Are you using buckets of salt? If so you might wanna mix the salt before use as some of the heavier elements in the salt mix can jostle during shipping. So while you would get some low readings at the top of the bucket you would find your levels rise when hitting the bottom of the bucket.

Just a thought. I use the 200g boxes myself, but I still shake the bags inside up before use, I figure it cant hurt.
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:11 AM   #3
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Your readings will also depend on which grade of Instant Ocean you have and the salinity of your new saltwater. The elements are directly proportionate to how dense (salinity) your mix is. The regular IO has lower readings compared to the Reef IO with same salinity. The reason IMO is that the regular IO is preferred for fish tanks only which do not need good elements needed for reef tanks. Unless you find it more economical to use supplements of course. Fish tanks can get away with lower salinity and make your fish more comfortable while it is preferred to have a salinity of 1.026 for reef tanks to get the most of those elements from your mix.
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:58 AM   #4
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Instant Ocean is a FO-FOWLR salt. It's not nearly as close to NSW as it's cousin Reef Crystals, and many other "reef" grade salts.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:57 PM   #5
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Thanks guys,

Yeah, I'm testing when salinity is 1.025 and the temp is ~75 to match what my aquariums are this time of year. I purchased a box with several bags & mixed them up in a 5 gallon bucket I had.

I'm thinking about trying the Red Sea Pro salt. Given their published starting params, it seems like it might be less work to have the starting point I want/need. Thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:22 PM   #6
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It's ok. All the reef grade salts are fine to use. I've used Oceanic, Red Sea, Seachem, Kent, Coralife, Brightwell, D&D Ocean, Reef crystals, Tropic Marin, and probably some I can't remember, without Ill effects.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:33 PM   #7
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Thanks all, I do appreciate it!
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:35 PM   #8
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So far with my reef, I've used several of the salts X listed. Whatever is on sale, as it have to ship salt in due to none available around me. So far, Red Sea pro is my favorite in terms of mixing together. Other than that, almost all the same.
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