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Old 09-02-2010, 08:12 AM   #1
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Salt Mix Question

I'm currently using Instant Ocean salt mix. I've recently added a few corals and was wondering if I should switch to the Instant Ocean Reef Crystals mix? Are there any benefits? Or should I stick with what I have.....I have to order some soon!
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:27 AM   #2
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IMO, you can switch slowly if you need or want to. But if it ain't broke, why attempt a fix? Are you having problems with your current salt? Salt mixes seem to be a matter of preference.

You thinking because of new corals you need to change? I did just fine with Instant Ocean for years.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:36 AM   #3
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austinsdad- No problems with the salt...I was reading about the reef crystals, and it said it has "beneficial elements" for the corals........but I'd rather stick with what I have anyway! It's cheaper too! Thanks
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:12 AM   #4
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I was using IO when I started adding corals I switched to Reef Crystals. I could never get anything balanced, didnt like the way it dissolved and always had calcium deposits because of the high calcium in RC. I tried Seachem Reef Salt was pleased with it. I am using RO/DI so I decided to try Red Sea Coral Pro because it said made for RO/DI probably a selling ploy but I can't see me using any other salt. I love Red Sea Coral Pro! The thing to do is try different salts till you find the one that fits you best.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:50 AM   #5
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Instant Ocean is perfectly fine to use. This is what Randy Holmes-Farley, author of countless reef chemisty articles, has to say about his salt choice.

"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."

My personal choice is regular Red Sea salt. The Red Sea Coral Pro version is a little too high in calcium and too low in alk and messed with my dosing scheme. The alk level in Instant Ocean is a little too high for my liking.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:04 AM   #6
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"Instant Ocean is perfectly fine to use"

Good news as I just ordered 2 boxes cuz it was on sale at pet solutions.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:42 AM   #7
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Come on Larry. I just bought another bucket of Oceanic and you just spoiled it for me. LOL. Good article
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:42 PM   #8
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Hehehe...sorry Mike.

He also says...."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."
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Old 09-05-2010, 04:11 AM   #9
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I'm currently using Instant Ocean salt mix. I've recently added a few corals and was wondering if I should switch to the Instant Ocean Reef Crystals mix? Are there any benefits? Or should I stick with what I have.....I have to order some soon!
I doubt a few corals would make a difference in needing to change saltmix. Even more importantly what type of corals did you add and what size? If you added softies like a toadstool and some zoanthids then there also would be no need to change saltmix since they won't be sucking out the calcium from the water. Even if you add a bunch of hard corals you can still keep using IO, you may just have to supplement more Calcium etc. So for now, my vote would be to just stick with what you have been using.
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Old 09-05-2010, 04:15 AM   #10
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Hehehe...sorry Mike.

He also says...."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."
Larry, does Randy have any pictures/website of his tank that you know about? I know he is a wealth of reefing knowledge, especially on the chemistry side, and extremely smart Harvard grad etc etc etc etc.
I'd like to see his reefing work, I was looking on RC the other day and couldn't really find anything.
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Old 09-05-2010, 04:19 AM   #11
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Instant Ocean is perfectly fine to use. This is what Randy Holmes-Farley, author of countless reef chemisty articles, has to say about his salt choice....
This is in relation to a reef aquarium right? Interesting information, I would like to read the article first hand on what else he has running on his tank. It might be a great choice for him if he has reactors and other things to boost the levels he needs, but it may not be a great choice for someone like me who has no reactors and relies heavily on all my trace elements coming in with PWC's. Again, just shooting in the dark as I have no idea, just a thought.
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Old 09-05-2010, 04:59 AM   #12
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This is in relation to a reef aquarium right? Interesting information, I would like to read the article first hand on what else he has running on his tank. It might be a great choice for him if he has reactors and other things to boost the levels he needs, but it may not be a great choice for someone like me who has no reactors and relies heavily on all my trace elements coming in with PWC's. Again, just shooting in the dark as I have no idea, just a thought.
I'm pretty sure he doses 2-part to keep up with Cal and Alk. At this point for me, no matter what saltmix I use, PWC alone are not enough to keep up with replenishing Cal, Alk, Mg. I do 20-25gal pwc a week on my 180-gallon tank which I estimate has 165gallons of water total.
If I used IO saltmix instead of what I currently use, ESV B-Ionic, I would just have to up my dosing of Cal,Alk,Mg.

Sooooo yes you are right Jimbo. If you are able to rely only on PWC at this point, then having a saltmix with higher Cal,Alk,Mg would be beneficial, IMO.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Larry, does Randy have any pictures/website of his tank that you know about? I know he is a wealth of reefing knowledge, especially on the chemistry side, and extremely smart Harvard grad etc etc etc etc.
I'd like to see his reefing work, I was looking on RC the other day and couldn't really find anything.
Randy posted a FTS a few months ago, but I can't find it. Here are a few older pics.
Who is Randy and what is the Reef Chemistry Forum? - Reef Central Online Community

Quote:
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This is in relation to a reef aquarium right? Interesting information, I would like to read the article first hand on what else he has running on his tank. It might be a great choice for him if he has reactors and other things to boost the levels he needs, but it may not be a great choice for someone like me who has no reactors and relies heavily on all my trace elements coming in with PWC's. Again, just shooting in the dark as I have no idea, just a thought.
If you have the need to dose, you will have the need no matter what salt you use. For example, if you use IO it has a ca level of around 400. If you keep your tank at 420 calcium and do a 20% water change, your level will only drop to 416. It will have virtually no affect on your dosing schedule. If you use Oceanic with it's 580 calcium and do a 20% water change, your ca will go to 452 which should not make a big difference in dosing either. This is 1 of the possible issues using a high calcium salt. You lose the stability of keeping the parameters as level as possible.

Randy doses kalk daily.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:04 PM   #14
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If you don't plan on dosing then having a higher Calcium level will maintain a higher level for longer... but I suggest that you dose, as water parameters in the Ocean don't change much. Either that or you do smaller water changes more often. I heard of someone that had a "constant" water change. He had a salinity in his added water of about 1.024 and his tank stayed at about 1.025/1.026 depending on evaporation rates. His water just constantly dribbled in and his water constantly dribbled out. The flow worked out to about a 20% water change per week. He filled his new water once every two weeks.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:58 PM   #15
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i use a different salt each time. my theory is, what one salt lacks, another makes up.
i use reef crystals, seachem reef salt, oceanic, tropic marin pro reef, red sea coral pro, brightwell...basically, whatever i feel like buying at the time. i kept a sps dominated 200 gallon reef happy and growing for a couple years with just water changes with this method.
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:42 AM   #16
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Wow. You are probably the first I have ever heard live by this standard in the SPS world. 99% of people preach stability and consistency for the best results. How would you rate your growth and color using your roulette method?
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:20 AM   #17
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Wow. You are probably the first I have ever heard live by this standard in the SPS world. 99% of people preach stability and consistency for the best results. How would you rate your growth and color using your roulette method?

I've heard people doing the same things- There are a few reefers that in an SPS dominated Tank they have cut ties with a Calcium reactor and stop dosing everything that is needed and started doing regular water changes each week- I think that if you regulate your standards on dosing and figure out your water changes your basically putting back what you lost. Alk,MAG, CAL.... I also feel if this is in the salt mix already then why will we need to dose everyday? I believe some folks do it to get rapid growth- which you can accomplish the same with just regular weekly water changes.

I've since broken down my system and I am left with a few pieces of LR and all my corals I was two part dosing for about 6 months saw great growth. Now since I stop dosing and doing weekly water changes as normal I have seen the same growth almost as I was with dosing. I don't know if this works with every system but it did in mine.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:28 AM   #18
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I have seen Mr X's tank on Renegade Reefer and I must say that It was beautiful and well Kept, Some really nice frags
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:39 AM   #19
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I have seen Mr X's tank on Renegade Reefer and I must say that It was beautiful and well Kept, Some really nice frags
Really interesting. Not knocking on what you do if its working. Just curious because its something pretty far away from the normal SPS dominant mentality. Do you do any phasing in of the new salt each bucket or just jump right in?
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:19 PM   #20
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When I switched around from salt to salt I never phased it in, I just went right to the next bucket. I used primarily RC but would bounce occasionally.
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