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Old 04-01-2010, 04:26 PM   #11
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So what is best for keeping calcium, magnesium, and alkalinity stable without having to dose chemcals?

I bet a better way to think about it is to consider what is in the tank. How would one consider the calcium demand of a reef tank? I am guessing just about any salt is fine for a fish only tank. But what about a tank that has a fair bit of stony corals?

What do you pros use? I see your tanks! Nice tanks! What salt are YOU guys using? I can get RCs on ebay for $60 for 200g and FREE shipping! Is that a good deal? Seachem on ebay also for $60 for 160g and FREE shipping.

Matt
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:43 PM   #12
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I use Oceanic. Good calcium and mag but I think the alk is a little low. Been using it for awhile and with good results.
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:21 PM   #13
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Reef Crystals is fine if you like somewhat high alk (13dKH). I personally like to keep my alk closer to natural seawater (7dKH) so I use either Red Sea Coral Pro(7dKH) or regular Red Sea(8dKH).

Check That Fish Place for salt. They have a special $6.99 shipping deal now. A 200g mix of regular Red Sea or Reef Crystals is $49.99 + shipping.
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:38 PM   #14
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Reef Crystals is fine if you like somewhat high alk (13dKH). I personally like to keep my alk closer to natural seawater (7dKH) so I use either Red Sea Coral Pro(7dKH) or regular Red Sea(8dKH).

Check That Fish Place for salt. They have a special $6.99 shipping deal now. A 200g mix of regular Red Sea or Reef Crystals is $49.99 + shipping.
Yikes! I didnt know RCs is 13dKH! Seems awfully high? I have been using them for a little while and never noticed. (Must admit I wasnt testing for dKH until I noticed my calcium dosing went too high).

Is 13dKH going to hurt anything? I see the RCs are supposed to maintain 450ppm calcium and 1350 or so ppm magnesium. I have just a handful of stony corals. Should I stick with the RCs and stop dosing altogether? ( Once I realized I had messed up witht the calcium dosing, I found my dKH at 7 and my calcium at 550ppm!) I stopped the calcium and added a dKH buffer and am at 8-9dKH and about 550ppm calcium still.

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Old 04-01-2010, 07:14 PM   #15
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I wouldn't be overly concerned about that high alkalinity in the RC. Either the recently reformulated RC (with higher cal/alk) is quite inconsistent with values between batches, or they've quietly "reformulated" their numbers back down again.

My first bucket of "new" RC tested high Ca and high alk - as reported -, but my 2nd bucket of the "new" RC that I just opened a month ago tested just like the old formula did. Go figure. And yeah... I'm aware of the "you have to mix the whole bucket for good test results" argument. But the thing is, I've been mixing my RC the same way from day one, and testing the same way from day one. And all along - except for that first "new" bucket of RC - the numbers have been consistent. So I'm back to bumping up my calcium right from the beginning. Oh well... we'll see what the 3rd bucket of RC holds for me!
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:42 PM   #16
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I wouldn't be overly concerned about that high alkalinity in the RC. Either the recently reformulated RC (with higher cal/alk) is quite inconsistent with values between batches, or they've quietly "reformulated" their numbers back down again.

My first bucket of "new" RC tested high Ca and high alk - as reported -, but my 2nd bucket of the "new" RC that I just opened a month ago tested just like the old formula did. Go figure. And yeah... I'm aware of the "you have to mix the whole bucket for good test results" argument. But the thing is, I've been mixing my RC the same way from day one, and testing the same way from day one. And all along - except for that first "new" bucket of RC - the numbers have been consistent. So I'm back to bumping up my calcium right from the beginning. Oh well... we'll see what the 3rd bucket of RC holds for me!
I use Coralife, every batch I have purchased has been consistent. I get
9dkh
1350magnesium
550calcium
Another benefit of Coralife is that the 150-gallon bucket or box comes with 3-50gallon bags in it, so you dont' have to be as concerned about what Kurt was talking about with mixing the bucket. I just take the bag and flip it up side down a few times. And the icing on the cake is that you can find it for $36-$40.
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:45 AM   #17
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Actually... I think the "mixing the whole bucket" thing the salt manufacturers give you as reasons for inconsistency is hogwash. For the 3+ years worth of RC I've used, I've never had inconsistent test results within a 160g bucket of salt - and that's mixing it up in 5-10 gallon batches. It seems like if it was true, I would've noticed it. I think the inconsistencies that people report are just that - inconsistencies in manufacturing. Just my opinion, obviously.

Before the formulation change last year with RC, I always tested Ca at 380 and alk at 8 dKh. It was always consistent each bucket. My first bucket of the reformulated RC tested Ca at 420 and the alk at about 11-12 dKh. This second bucket of the reformulated RC tests like the old stuff... Ca 380 and alk at 8-9 dKh.

Don't get me wrong... I'm still happy with RC and don't plan on switching. I was just saying that those 13 dKh levels of the "new" RC might have been a short lived thing... at least for me!

With that said, I've always maintained that the "best" salt is the one you can find easily, and works best in your tank, with your conditions. There is no "best" salt, or we'd all be using it!
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Old 04-02-2010, 04:42 AM   #18
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Actually... I think the "mixing the whole bucket" thing the salt manufacturers give you as reasons for inconsistency is hogwash. For the 3+ years worth of RC I've used, I've never had inconsistent test results within a 160g bucket of salt - and that's mixing it up in 5-10 gallon batches. It seems like if it was true, I would've noticed it. I think the inconsistencies that people report are just that - inconsistencies in manufacturing. Just my opinion, obviously.

Before the formulation change last year with RC, I always tested Ca at 380 and alk at 8 dKh. It was always consistent each bucket. My first bucket of the reformulated RC tested Ca at 420 and the alk at about 11-12 dKh. This second bucket of the reformulated RC tests like the old stuff... Ca 380 and alk at 8-9 dKh.

Don't get me wrong... I'm still happy with RC and don't plan on switching. I was just saying that those 13 dKh levels of the "new" RC might have been a short lived thing... at least for me!

With that said, I've always maintained that the "best" salt is the one you can find easily, and works best in your tank, with your conditions. There is no "best" salt, or we'd all be using it!
So you find that RC calcium is only 380ppm? They claim 450ppm I think. My main concern is dosing. I dont want to be dosing since I easily messed up and now have 560ppm calcium in my tank...

Isnt the minimum calcium for a reef tank supposed to be 400ppm?
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:24 AM   #19
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I haven't used RC in probably 15 yrs so I can't personally comment on what parameters you might get. I base my #'s off the RC Salt test. I have used 3 of the salts in the test, Instant Ocean (new formula), Red Sea and Red Sea Coral Pro. My results matched those of the RC test almost exactly.
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Isnt the minimum calcium for a reef tank supposed to be 400ppm?
This should help.
Reef Aquarium Water Parameters by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com

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Originally Posted by ryshark View Post
I use Coralife, every batch I have purchased has been consistent. I get
9dkh
1350magnesium
550calcium
That's almost an exact match to the RC test.
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:20 AM   #20
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With that said, I've always maintained that the "best" salt is the one you can find easily, and works best in your tank, with your conditions. There is no "best" salt, or we'd all be using it!
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