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Old 03-01-2010, 11:10 PM   #1
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Question Another Salt Question...

So I have a 28G JBJ Nano Cube on its way here and one of the last things I need to decide on is what salt to use. I have read many times that there is not really a best salt to get, but I am wondering about what type of salt would be most beneficial to my tank type. I am going to have a 28G FOWLR setup with a protein skimmer. I plan on keeping a few fish and some invertebrates as a clean up crew. So my question is, for the type of tank Iím going for would Instant Ocean be a good choice or should I go with a more reef type mix like Kent Sea Salt? Thanks a bunch for your time and help.
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:20 PM   #2
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I know there are different types of instant ocean salt. There is just like normal and then there is reef crystals. If you are going to use instant ocean and going reef then use the reef crystals. Other than that I do not believe the salts really differ other than if you are going reef or FOWLR
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:16 AM   #3
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I think you said it yourself, etcool... "there is not really a best salt to get"... regardless of tank type.

My advice is always to find a salt that is easy for you to get, and doesn't cause you any problems. That will be YOUR "best" salt! There are some salts out there that are high in calcium, but low in other things. There are other salts out there that are lower in calcium, but more balanced in other things. There's a free "report" on this site, that gives some basic numbers for different salts:

Aquarium Water Testing

While there may be some questionable results in it, I think it does give you an idea of the relative parameters between salts.

For a FOWLR, I wouldn't have any issues recommending Instant Ocean - plenty of folks use it with no issues. I use the Instant Ocean "Reef Crystals", and have from day one. No issues from me.
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:43 AM   #4
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Ok sweet, thanks for the help!
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:06 PM   #5
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They all have their pro`s and cons. Their IMO is no ultimate salt mix. I use Oceanic because I like the higher calcium readings but suffer with the lower alk readings.
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:25 PM   #6
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Well I was more asking if I should go for a reef salt mix or just a normal sea salt mix for the tank Iím going for.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:39 PM   #7
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To me they are all the same. Pick one and see how it goes. You can do a search on the site on marine salt mix. You can see who uses what and why.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:01 AM   #8
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Well I was more asking if I should go for a reef salt mix or just a normal sea salt mix for the tank I’m going for.
You want a fowlr tank so there is no reason at all for you to spend the extra money buying the "reef" saltmix. Stick with the Instant Ocean, it is inexpensive and proven. I think you will be happy with that. The difference between the two is that the Reef Salt has added Calcium, Magnesium and trace elements for coral. You will not need those for a fowlr tank. If you end up buying corals down the road you can then consider switching to a reef saltmix, like Reef Crystals instead of Instant Ocean. Hope this helps
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:07 AM   #9
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They all have their pro`s and cons. Their IMO is no ultimate salt mix. I use Oceanic because I like the higher calcium readings but suffer with the lower alk readings.
What does the alk test at with Oceanic? I like Coralife becaues the Calcium is high and the alk is still around 9dkh.... Plus it is cheap at $40 per bucket with a free T-shirt. I prefer to be at 9 becaues it gives me room for error on both sides, incase something happens.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:45 AM   #10
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Oceanic should run about 580 calcium, 8.5 dKH alk and 1650 mag.
Coralife is 560 ca, 9 dKH alk and 1380 mag. Not alot of diff between them except for mag and Coralife used to be loaded with lithium...which is why Randy Holmes-Farley doesn't recommend it.

Synthetic Salt Mixes - Reef Central Online Community

I've used Instant Ocean, Reef Crystals, Red Sea and Red Sea Coral Pro over the last 20 yrs. I now stick to regular Red Sea because it has parameters closest to what I keep my tank at. 400 calcium, 8 dKH alk and 1300 mag.
IO's alk(11 dKH) is too high for my liking.
RC's alk(13 dKH) and calcium(490) is too high for my liking.
RS Coral Pro's calcium(490) is too high for my liking.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:55 AM   #11
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I tired several salt brands, starting with IO. Oceanic had low pH and Alk in my tests over 3 buckets. I have settled on Coral Pro. pH is 8.2 alk is high and Ca is mid 400's. For me it works. Kent was the worst and I eneded up sending them samples from two buckets. They agreed there was a problem and sent me small sizes of their Turbo Calc and Buffer.
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:49 PM   #12
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Oceanic should run about 580 calcium, 8.5 dKH alk and 1650 mag.
Coralife is 560 ca, 9 dKH alk and 1380 mag. Not alot of diff between them except for mag and Coralife used to be loaded with lithium...which is why Randy Holmes-Farley doesn't recommend it.

Synthetic Salt Mixes - Reef Central Online Community

I've used Instant Ocean, Reef Crystals, Red Sea and Red Sea Coral Pro over the last 20 yrs. I now stick to regular Red Sea because it has parameters closest to what I keep my tank at. 400 calcium, 8 dKH alk and 1300 mag.
IO's alk(11 dKH) is too high for my liking.
RC's alk(13 dKH) and calcium(490) is too high for my liking.
RS Coral Pro's calcium(490) is too high for my liking.
I wasn't aware of there being lithium in the Coralife. I'm not even exactly sure what lithium is, I will have to look into that. I don't think it is harmful to coral because I know the March 2009 totm on RC uses Coralife and that is probably the best looking tank I have ever seen. But is it harmful to humans? Doesn't Randy Holmes use Instant Ocean?
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:57 PM   #13
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium This says that traces of lithium is found in ocean water. I wonder how much over natural seawater the Coralife tests at? Did Randy say anything about that? If you recall where you found Randy talking about that I would like to read into it. Thanks.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:02 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ryshark View Post
You want a fowlr tank so there is no reason at all for you to spend the extra money buying the "reef" saltmix. Stick with the Instant Ocean, it is inexpensive and proven. I think you will be happy with that. The difference between the two is that the Reef Salt has added Calcium, Magnesium and trace elements for coral. You will not need those for a fowlr tank. If you end up buying corals down the road you can then consider switching to a reef saltmix, like Reef Crystals instead of Instant Ocean. Hope this helps
Ahh thats a good idea, so it is possible to switch to a reef salt mix if I ever wanted to keep corals. Sweet thanks, that helped a lot!
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:19 AM   #15
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Ahh thats a good idea, so it is possible to switch to a reef salt mix if I ever wanted to keep corals. Sweet thanks, that helped a lot!
You are welcome. There is absolutely nothing wrong with switching saltmix if you decide to turn your tank into a reef tank. All you do is simply use a different saltmix for you next scheduled partail water change. I thought I only wanted a fowlr when I first started too, now I can't imagine not having a reef.
fyi, some people use non "reef" saltmix for reefs, however, they typically have to dose more supplements like alk, cal and mg, when they get more coral using up those things from the water column.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:10 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ryshark View Post
I wasn't aware of there being lithium in the Coralife. I'm not even exactly sure what lithium is, I will have to look into that. I don't think it is harmful to coral because I know the March 2009 totm on RC uses Coralife and that is probably the best looking tank I have ever seen. But is it harmful to humans? Doesn't Randy Holmes use Instant Ocean?
Yes, Randy uses Instant Ocean and always has. He says this about IO.
"IMO, those advantages to IO include cost, no organics such as vitamins, and no metal chelators."
and
"Here's my rational for using Instant Ocean:

I do not think there is a "best" salt mix. Nearly all of them will work fine as long as you know their pros and cons.

I don't want excessive borate, which leaves out Seachem.

I don't want vitamins or anything else organic in my mix (because I doubt their utility, they degrade with time to who knows what, bacteria may thrive on them as I store new salt water for a substantial period, they are totally undescribed with respect to amounts or identity, they are not naturally present in natural seawater at appreciable levels, and because I've occasionally had them mess with my skimmer), so that tosses out some like Reef Crystals, hW Marinemix Plus BioElements, Kent, Coralife, and Nutri-SeaWater.

I don't want excessive calcium (long term use of limewater as I use drives up calcium, so I do not want it starting high), so that tosses out a bunch, such as Kent, Seachem, Coralife and Oceanic.

There are certain companies that I will not support due to their misleading claims and/or product lines. That tosses out a few which I won't detail here since it is my personal thought as opposed to a specific issue with their salt mix.

I won't use certain lines of natural seawater due to excessive metals in it.

That only leaves a few to choose from, such as Instant Ocean and Tropic Marin Pro. The remaining ones might all be fine for me, but IO is lower in cost, especially if you get it when it goes on sale (which it frequently does). It also has a very long track record of success in many aquaria with relatively few concerning issues of bad batches."

A General Guide to Salt Mixes - Page 37 - Reef Central Online Community
Randy's comment on Coralife salt.....
"It used to be a poor choice, with greatly excessive lithium. It may be better now in that respect, but it points out that there is a lot more to salt than the big 3. I personally do not prefer the high calcium it has. I also do not like that it has vitamins added to it. "
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