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Old 05-12-2015, 10:16 AM   #1
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Reef tank with normal salt water crystals

Hey guys I'm setting up my 5 gallon reef tank, but I accidentally bought normal instant ocean salt crystals, not the reef crystals. Is this ok? Can I set up the reef by using those salt crystals? Or do I need the reef crystals?


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Old 05-12-2015, 10:56 AM   #2
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Salt is salt, it all just varies with the elements that are in it. Many people successfully keep reefs on regular IO without issues.
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Old 05-12-2015, 01:19 PM   #3
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Would I have to dose with any other minerals? Like calcium or magnesium? I'm really new to this.


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Old 05-12-2015, 02:39 PM   #4
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Right away? I doubt it. But in a small system it depends on how much is in there. Get good test kits for all, calcium, and mag so you can accurately monitor them and when water changes aren't enough to keep up with what is being used up, it'll be time to look into dosing.


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Old 05-13-2015, 12:03 PM   #5
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I have a 30g reef and 55g reef. I use regular Instant Ocean for both and have corals. Reef crystals are nice because they already have a higher level of cal and mag than the regular does, but mine have been just fine with regular. I have a bottle of cal and mag for when my levels get to low, but I don't have to use it much.
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Old 05-13-2015, 01:43 PM   #6
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The only way you will know if you have to dose is if you check the parameters.
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Old 05-13-2015, 02:48 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the help guys, what brands of liquid tests would you recommend? I heard there were some kits that were better then the API test kits. I forget the names.


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Old 05-13-2015, 03:19 PM   #8
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I use both API and salifert
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:53 PM   #9
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Ah, salifert, that's what it was


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Old 05-13-2015, 07:01 PM   #10
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Each setup is going to be different if for no other reason than having different corals using up the elements.
I'm sure that when just starting out with small/medium frags just regular water changes with either would suffice. As the corals grow then you will most likely need to begin using a Reef Crystals or another different salt mix or using additives.
regular testing is the only way to know.


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