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Old 09-25-2003, 03:49 PM   #1
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Type of Salt??

Is there any consensus on a recommended type of salt to use or not use? I have an old bucket, probably 6+ years old, of Instant Ocean salt that is almost empty and I will need to purchase some new salt in the next week or so. I need it for a 90 gallon reef set up. One thing I noticed with this particular salt was that the Calcium level was only 300 ppm. I have been adding calcium to it to bring it up to around 420 ppm. I read that this was because the typical water supply has about 100 ppm of calcium in it. It was a pain for me, however, since I use RO water.

Thanks in advance for any advice anyone may have.

awillemd1
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Old 09-25-2003, 03:57 PM   #2
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In typical polls, Instant Ocean is by far the most commonly used salt. I'm sure that in part, this is due to it's availability & cost.

We've used it for about 14 years without a problem.
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Old 09-25-2003, 03:59 PM   #3
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The consensus is that IO is probably the best salt mix to use. Although I have heard some good things about Reef Cystals as well.

FYI, my calcium level when I mix up a fresh batch of IO is around 350. I wonder if yours is a little lower because of the age of the salt.
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Old 09-25-2003, 04:47 PM   #4
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Thank you both for the feedback. I was hoping there would be some sort of consensus. However, aren't there different types of IO salts? I haven't looked at it lately, but I thought I saw a type that was supposed to be specially formulated, i.e. more expensive, for reef aquariums. Does anyone have any knowledge of this?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 09-25-2003, 04:52 PM   #5
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Reef Crystals is made by the same company that produces Instant Ocean (Aquarium Systems).

Reef Crystals is marketed as having extra levels of calcium, vitamins, and trace elements.

I'd rather test for, and (if necessary) add the calcium & trace elements on my own, not via my salt. JMO.
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Old 09-25-2003, 05:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Reef Crystals is marketed as having extra levels of calcium, vitamins, and trace elements.
Reads algae fuel!!


BTW, I am an IO dissenter, I do not like the fact that IO comes to me out of balance, cause not only is the CA low...the ALK is high. This has been my experience over the last year with IO as well as some others. I am currently using Tropic marin, I am happy with this salt so far, the ionic balance is not perfect, but much closer than when I was using IO.
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Old 09-25-2003, 05:43 PM   #7
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I have always used IO. I buy it because I can get it cheaper than any of the others. I would not be averse to trying another brand though. My cal/alk levels on a recent batch of IO water were 400ppm and 5.0 meq/l. Whether those readings would be consistent from batch to batch, I can't say.
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Old 09-25-2003, 05:54 PM   #8
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400ppm and 5.0 meq/l. Whether those readings would be consistent from batch to batch, I can't say.
Just want to point out that that is seriously out of balance. At 400ppm CA the ALK should be 2.0 meq/L for a perfect ionic balance.
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Old 09-25-2003, 06:01 PM   #9
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Well, I am undecided so far as to which salt I really like...

I started my tank with Coralife salt, and it was ok, but hard to dissolve and that discouraged me...

I then chose IO because it was recommended by this forum actually.. Then I noticed just as Reefrunner69, that the levels were off when mixed..so,

I switched to Tropic Marin, and I really did not like that salt... It constantly remained cloudy when mixed, however, the levels of CA, PH, and ALK were good...

Last purchase, I did not have much cash on me, and my LFS had Coralife on sale for $10 for a 50Gal bag, and I thought well, the sticker on it said "Improved Faster Dissolving" on it, so I grabbed a bag. Hmmm, well, they did a good job of improving... I mixed 5 gal worth and it was dissolved as soon as it hit the water... The levels were all good and it was crystal clear.... So far I am pleased with it...

I am now happy with the Coralife even if it has the dark cloud lurking over it...
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Old 09-25-2003, 06:10 PM   #10
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Not trying to push any salt brand here, but thought you might like to know, one of the problems with coralife is the use of borate rather than carbonate for the alk, also check the MG, I was told one time that the "faster" dissolving salts are typically lacking in MG (not sure if that is true or not) and my TM has mixed crystal clear within about 30 min each time I've mixed it.
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