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Old 03-17-2005, 02:39 PM   #1
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Bad batch of TM salt, back to IO for me. Again :(

First up, long time no see! Over the last couple months, I have been super busy because my wife had our first baby! I will be posting on a regular basis again now

I started my tank off with Tropic Marin salt because I was told it was "the best". It went great for the first weeks, but there were a couple times I went to buy salt and could not find it. I switched to IO simply because I can get it anywhere. Since then, I have been flip flopping between the two salts, getting TM when I can find it, and IO other times. I always buy the boxes to make 10g of water since it gives me more excuses to check out the LFS with the wife :p

Recently, i found a new LFS that promised me they would always have TM salt, since that is basically all they carry. I bought a large box of the new TM Pro Reef salt, supposed to be better than the standard TM salt.

So, I get home and mix up a 12g batch of water with the new TM Pro Reef salt and do a water change the next day. I mix my saltwater in a 18g bin Rubbermaid tote btw. After two weeks of weekly water changes, I notice that my tank is having an algae problem which did not make any sense since I was feeding less and did not change anything. I add another powerhead, algae clears up for a few days, then comes back twice as bad. During this time, the bucket I mix salt in seems to have a lot of particulate on the bottom...

After that, I mix up more saltwater because the algae in my tank is getting worse. Another couple water changes, and the particulate stuff on at the bottom of the bucket was looking nasty. I reached in and it was like a film that actually had some thickness and I could get chunks out of it! I hypothesize that something contaminated my closed mixing bucket, which then contaminated the tank and caused the algae, I dump out all the water, cleaned everything that touches the Rubbermaid tote three times, and mix up more salt in a new clean tote.

After not too long, the new mix of saltwater is getting junked up just like that last batch. Meanwhile, my tank is looking horrendous and doing water changes just makes it worse. I am feeding half as much as I used to, have the same fish, have probably done 25 water changes, lights on less, even added more scavenger snails. Then it hits me, the salt might be bad! Everything points to the salt. I have heard of this in the past, but never suspected it would be an issue especially with TM's new (expensive) Pro Reef salt

So, with some hesitation, last night night I bought a 10g box of IO salt. I bet my algae problem starts clearing up for good once I get in some water changes with the IO.
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Old 03-17-2005, 03:52 PM   #2
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my understanding of algae growth is that it can only be accelerated by a couple things. Typically it is either too much light, or too high of a nitrate count. If you suspect your salt is bad, have you mixed up some water with the suspected bad salt, and check for nitrate content?
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Old 03-17-2005, 04:19 PM   #3
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There have been similar thread on reef central about algae problem with Oceanic salt. Some get it some don't. I though Tropic marin was supposed to be the best though. I can get it here but it is expensive.

I guess it could just be a bad batch ...
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Old 03-17-2005, 04:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
my understanding of algae growth is that it can only be accelerated by a couple things. Typically it is either too much light, or too high of a nitrate count. If you suspect your salt is bad, have you mixed up some water with the suspected bad salt, and check for nitrate content?
Nitrates in tank are <10, never got anything out of the ordinary there. Honestly I never tested Nitrates in the saltwater mixing bucket. I am not sure if the issue was nitrate related as the root cause. Even with nitrates, a bucket of mixing salt water should not develop a white colored nasty film on the inside of the bucket. It is very hard to describe, looked like dirty white slime, but it was hard to the touch and I could scrape my fingernail through it. There is a lid to keep light out of the mixing water and the plastic is dark blue so I do not think light was getting into the bucket.

Anyway, I am not going to totally discount TM salt as being bad. I suppose it is possible I got a bad batch, and even possible that distilled water I am using is not so distilled. Wish I had a better explanation for my current issues. I am very curios to see if things clear up with the IO salt, I will keep this thread updated.
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Old 03-17-2005, 04:37 PM   #5
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I hear its not good to switch salts often. It can stress your fish and corals alot. Its best just to pick a make and model and go with it.

I use Oceanic. Its quick disolving and loaded with goodness. I think, if I remember correctly, its the most popular brand with this community.
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Old 03-17-2005, 05:05 PM   #6
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Large water change with different salts can stress fish for sure. I always try to slowly switch from one to the other. Never seen a problem with it since I always used some of the existing mixed saltwater and never do water changes over 15% or so. SG and temp is always matched on the changes as well. For now I am just going to stick to IO since I can get it anywhere and be done with it.

Oceanic is getting roasted on a few forums. A lot of people have been getting bad batches lately. Over at RC, people who defended Oceanic salt for months have some across bad batches themselves and now turned on the company. Oceanic appears to be great salt, but the quality control is horrible
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-Mixed Snails (Nassarius // Cerith // Astrea // Black Turbo // Mexican Turbo)
-8x Blue Leg Hermit Crabs // 1x Banded Serpent Star // 1x Cleaner Shrimp
-1x Royal Gramma // 1x Percula Clownfish
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Old 03-17-2005, 06:00 PM   #7
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Congrats on the new kid
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Old 03-17-2005, 06:04 PM   #8
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Welcome to the new addition!

Why is it that it only takes one or two water changes for things to go awry and 17 to straighten it all back up again?! Ugh! Good luck straightening it all out.

This is the first time I've heard anything but rave reviews on the TM products. Surprising. I'm an IORC user, myself, but thought about switching to TM since it was supposed to be the best. I guess I'll leave well enough alone!
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Old 03-17-2005, 06:24 PM   #9
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I would recommend testing your source water and the freshly made SW for PO4 to see if that is causing the algae. I have no clue about the sediment, but I think a PO4 check is a good place to start. And, IMO, stick w/ one salt in the future. This is the first bad thread about TM I've ever saw.
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