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Old 01-06-2003, 12:17 AM   #1
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Saltwater mixing & brands

I just wanted to know anyone's thoughts and sucess on the different salt water mixes. Currently we use Instant Ocean. It seems to be working OK. Does anyone know if it (Instant Ocean) has elements or stuff it in (trace elements, ammonia, nitrite or nitrate)? Is it dangerous to change from one brand to another (Instant Ocean to Coral Reef or Coralife or etc.)?
What advantages does one have over the other?

The reason I'm asking is that my tank has been set up for about 2 months. the ammonia & nitrites are zero but the nitrate is up (around 10ppm). I made some fresh saltwater in a clean bucket & tested it. It also shows 10ppm. I find this strange. Does anyone have any thoughts?

My tank now is a 29gal, 40lbs LS, 20lbs LR. Livestock is 11 snails (6 astrea & 5 trochus/tiger), 2 cleaner shrimp, 2 scooter bleenies & a green serpent star.
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Old 01-06-2003, 09:48 AM   #2
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10ppm of nitrate is fine for what you have in your tank.

IO is supposed to be nitrate free. I suggest you try to verify your test kit since both your tank and your fresh saltwater has the same reading. If you still feel IO is causing nitrates in your tank then as reefrunner found out a while back you can contact IO and they will ask you to send them a sample of your salt. They will test your salt and if its found to contain nitrates they will replace your salt.

IO from what I have seen is more or less the industry standard when it comes to salt mix. Yes all saltmix's for saltwater tanks will contain trace elements. There is a set of trace elements that have been deturmined to be essencial to life in the ocean. These essencial trace elemnts are in the IO mix.

I found this link a while back and I love using it for questions like this.

The Composition Of Several Synthetic Seawater Mixes

The above link will take you to a very detailed article showing some lab tests where they took several different sea salt mix's

On the question about mixing sea salts. Well I cant say for sure but I would have to wonder if your trace element levels would suffer to some extent as each brand of sea salt will have some variations in its trace elements. With that said I have switched between brands once or twice myself but have tried to stick with IO as much as I can.
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Old 01-06-2003, 10:21 AM   #3
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I started with Reef Crystals. I now use IO as it dissolves much much better in my opinion.
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Old 01-06-2003, 10:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hara
I started with Reef Crystals. I now use IO as it dissolves much much better in my opinion.
You musta got some bad reef crystals, every bag I've ever used dissolved much easier and more quickly than any other salt on the market. I use IO (rather than reef crystals) cause I don't think you gain as much as the difference in price would indicate.
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Old 02-14-2003, 10:21 PM   #5
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Greetings.

Since you are talking about salt. Are there any links, etc. that can tell me how much salt do I need to make a 5 gal bucket to reach 1.026?

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Old 02-14-2003, 11:08 PM   #6
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my best guess, from my mixing experience (I use a 4 gallon bucket) would be 3.5 cups of salt.
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Old 02-14-2003, 11:16 PM   #7
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Directions on IO bucket says to mix 1/2 cup per gallon of water but doesn't specify what SG this will produce.
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Old 02-14-2003, 11:33 PM   #8
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I use a very unscientific method.

First I mix in a 30 gal trashcan with a PH and a heater.

I heat my water up to 80F then I add a fair amount of 6oz cups of salt mix. I sift it side to side to help it disolve once it hits the water.

I let that sit for a few hours. Then I check SG. If its not where I want it I add some more.

I dont use the instrutions on the box myself. After you do it a few times you get the feel for how much to add.
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Old 02-15-2003, 03:08 PM   #9
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I also use IO salt. I mix it kinda like fishfreek does. Since I have a small tank, I mix about 5 gal at a time. I just dump some in from the bag...kinda got a feel for how much to dump in I guess. Make sure the water is up to the correct temp before you make any final adjustments to the salinity though.
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Old 02-15-2003, 03:49 PM   #10
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I use IO and generally mix up in a 5 g bucket. I use about 2-2 1/4 cups and reach about 1.023 sg. But "feel" and trial/error is important. I'm probably not mixing a true 5g for instance. I usually try to leave a little room to add more water the next day if my reading is too. Important to let it sit and dissolve for a few hours. I try to leave it over night and then retest.
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