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View Full Version : which salt is the right choice? (again)



BobinCovington
11-29-2006, 11:32 AM
I purchased some salt mix because it was in the "convenient" 5 gallon pouches to mix, but now I am hearing mixed reviews on this salt. It is high in Calcium and some people have algae issues with it. I am thinking of switching back to Instant Ocean or the Seachem product.

What are the choices I should consider (I have some SPS, LPS, some soft corals and a clam, clown fish, bulb anenome, tang and shrimp) I also have a kalk reactor running on my system.


As always...I appreciate the advice

matts125
11-29-2006, 11:35 AM
i have great luck with IO and will stick with IO.. plus its cheap 32 bucks for a 160 gallon bucket (5 gallons)

Matt

spongebob lover
11-29-2006, 11:43 AM
i agree Instant Ocean is the best dood :) .

LakeEd
11-29-2006, 11:53 AM
Bob,

All of the salts out there seem to have goods and bads about them. I believe the key is just to know how the salt we use tests, and what is required when we use that piticular salt.

I like Instant Ocean. Sure... it tests a little low in Calcium and Mag... but I understand this, and when I do my weekly 37gallon water changes... I know to buffer my make-up water for Calcium & Magnesium. Doing that, brings my tests into the range that I want for my tank.

Like I said though... each salt has goods and bads... just do your best to know how the salt you choose to use works, and if/what you need to do with it from there... then be consistant with it.

Grey Legion
11-29-2006, 12:21 PM
How would one go about testing salt to see if it meets the needs of the tank ??

spongebob lover
11-29-2006, 12:33 PM
How would one go about testing salt to see if it meets the needs of the tank ??

dood what you do is lick your finger (a good 2 seconds), then you put your finger in the bucket (give it a good toss around the salt) and then right after that, you put your finger in your mouth and leave it there for 2 sec .... buala.... if it's salty enough, then you got the right salt, if not, then you might wanna go try a new bran LOL!!!!

ok ok i'm sorry i better just shut up :p

tike
11-29-2006, 12:58 PM
dood what you do is lick your finger (a good 2 seconds), then you put your finger in the bucket (give it a good toss around the salt) and then right after that, you put your finger in your mouth and leave it there for 2 sec .... buala.... if it's salty enough, then you got the right salt, if not, then you might wanna go try a new bran LOL!!!!

ok ok i'm sorry i better just shut up :p

Gabby......the babys hungry!:p :badgrin:

sihaya
11-29-2006, 01:33 PM
How would one go about testing salt to see if it meets the needs of the tank ??

What do you mean? Are you talking about the actual NaCl or the additives that come in the salt mixes? When it comes to the additives, you can test for the most important ones (i.e. calcium, magnesium, etc...)

LakeEd
11-29-2006, 01:44 PM
How would one go about testing salt to see if it meets the needs of the tank ??

Make up water to your desired Specific Gravity (hopefully, already in the habbit of using RO/DI)... Mix and Airate. Test pH, Alk, Calc, Magnesium. Nitrates & Phosphates should be zero... but those could also be tested.

Buffer pH, Alk, Calc & Mag as you wish, for what your desired levels are.

LakeEd
11-29-2006, 01:44 PM
dood what you do is lick your finger (a good 2 seconds), then you put your finger in the bucket (give it a good toss around the salt) and then right after that, you put your finger in your mouth and leave it there for 2 sec .... buala.... if it's salty enough, then you got the right salt, if not, then you might wanna go try a new bran LOL!!!!

ok ok i'm sorry i better just shut up :p

Aren't you supposed to be doing the Hokey-Pokey in there someplace as well, as you shake yourself about??? ;)

spongebob lover
11-29-2006, 04:47 PM
Make up water to your desired Specific Gravity (hopefully, already in the habbit of using RO/DI)... Mix and Airate. Test pH, Alk, Calc, Magnesium. Nitrates & Phosphates should be zero... but those could also be tested.

Buffer pH, Alk, Calc & Mag as you wish, for what your desired levels are.


i agree, that's i think the only way to find out.


Aren't you supposed to be doing the Hokey-Pokey in there someplace as well, as you shake yourself about???


LOL!!! there you go just don't shake it to much or you can break stuff :p

Skimmy
11-29-2006, 05:23 PM
i think it's a well established fact that most reefers use io,
if you want a salt with a little more calcium then do reef crystals instead of io, but definately ditch the oceanic, i've heard of nothing but trouble with it.
or if you got money to burn then get tropic marine reef salt, definately a great salt to use.

sihaya
11-29-2006, 06:23 PM
I don't care what y'all say, I use tropic marin because the box is pretty... and because it's German. lol j/k Though seriously, with as little as we know about the different salt mixes, trade dress and country of origin seems as good a way to pick a salt as any.

Scooterman
11-29-2006, 07:31 PM
I know what we can do, another salt study:D

IO is locally available, cheap & mixes as good as the best I've tried, It has been around commercially for years I don't have complaints.

BobinCovington
11-29-2006, 07:48 PM
I don't want to start any reason for another salt study, but it helps to hear what other successful tanks are running. So what I am taking from this is that the safest choices are ...

1) instant Ocean
2) Instant Ocean with Calcium (Reef Crystals)
3) Tropic Marin Reef Salt (I think it has extra calcium compared to the reg Tropic marin)

53) (i.e. way down the list) Oceanic

Willy
11-29-2006, 08:28 PM
I would agree on the testing of nitrates. I have a trace amount when I mix up my Tropic Marin (0.2ppm) as for cost heres the cost difference between IO and Tropic Marin


160 gallon bucket IO $34.95 = $0.22 a gallon

200 gallon bucket Tropic Marin (regular) $49.95 = $ 0.25 a gallon

200 gallon bucket Tropic Marin Pro $59.95 = $ 0.30 a gallon....when you break it down that way its really not that much of a difference

Ive used Oceanic and it has very high calcium and low alk. Kent is about the same as Oceanic ...used Kent for a while and I now use the Tropic Marin. we'll see how it goes I'm not real pleased with the detectable nitrates in a fresh mix tho..

Forgot to add how Tropic Marin mixes up

Calcium 380
Alk 9.3dkh
PH 8.3

Brenden
11-29-2006, 10:16 PM
Bob I guess you had trouble with oceanic? I use IO and have never had a problem. I go though 2-300 gals a month. I do suppliment CA with new SW though. (use to use oceanic but had PH problems)

sihaya
11-30-2006, 09:29 AM
I know what we can do, another salt study:D

hey there now... thems fightin' words! ;)


Seriously though, I would actually donate my husband's hard earned money to a study that would simply test the chemical compositions of these salts over the course of a year or so. It could answer so many questions!

Dr. Dee
11-30-2006, 10:58 AM
I don't want to start any reason for another salt study, but it helps to hear what other successful tanks are running. So what I am taking from this is that the safest choices are ...

1) instant Ocean
2) Instant Ocean with Calcium (Reef Crystals)
3) Tropic Marin Reef Salt (I think it has extra calcium compared to the reg Tropic marin)

53) (i.e. way down the list) Oceanic

I agree with this, I have used alot of salt before and these are the best that works for me.Oceanic salt has too much calcium the level is over 900,alk18.

sihaya
11-30-2006, 11:25 AM
I don't completely agree with ranking the salts like that. Again because they vary from batch to batch and because we don't even know what makes a salt "safe." If I were to make a list it would be something like:

Probably Safe: IO, IO-RC, Tropic Marin, Crystal Seas, etc.
Probably Not-safe: Morton's, SuperMelt, etc.
Bit of a Gamble: Oceanic

LakeEd
11-30-2006, 11:38 AM
Ahhhh... c'mon Sara!!!

I always use Morton's Salt. Probably more than I should... at least thats what my better-half continues telling me at the dinner table. :D

sihaya
11-30-2006, 01:52 PM
Oh, Morton's is great for eating!!

Funny thing about my better, smarter half... when I told to him I can't use Morton's for the tank he said "well, can we eat the Tropic Marin? Because I don't see why we need two kinds of salt." LOL

oliver
12-01-2006, 12:40 AM
900 and 18 :confused: This is not the norm. oceanic is not a bad salt, at least not in my reef.

Dr. Dee
12-01-2006, 01:07 AM
900 and 18 :confused: This is not the norm. oceanic is not a bad salt, at least not in my reef.

Oliver there are diffrent bacth's of salt,some test good and yeah some are bad,like i can test my I,O and sometimes the calcium is low 350 and alk 5 i keep it at a 9 but if you test your cal,alk you can see for yourself if so cool.

Curtswearing
12-01-2006, 08:15 AM
You could probably use uniodized Morton's in a pinch. (get it? :D )

Sodium Chloride is a HUGE part of NSW.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b294/mantisfreak/chem4-1.gif

DonW
12-01-2006, 10:56 AM
900 and 18 :confused: This is not the norm. oceanic is not a bad salt, at least not in my reef.

More like close to 500 and 8 @ 35ppt / 80F. Mg is usually around 1500. IO will test low in ca and mg but alk is usually fine.
The problem with Oceanic is the way its skewed. Low ca is easy to fix but high ca and mg is not fixable unless you mix it with low ca salt like io.

Don

oliver
12-01-2006, 11:45 AM
More like close to 500 and 8 @ 35ppt / 80F. Mg is usually around 1500. IO will test low in ca and mg but alk is usually fine.
The problem with Oceanic is the way its skewed. Low ca is easy to fix but high ca and mg is not fixable unless you mix it with low ca salt like io.

Don

I wonder what test kits ya'll are using?

DonW
12-01-2006, 11:46 AM
I wonder what test kits ya'll are using?

Salifert and a local lab. Which ones are you using?:)

oliver
12-01-2006, 11:50 AM
Oliver there are diffrent bacth's of salt,some test good and yeah some are bad,like i can test my I,O and sometimes the calcium is low 350 and alk 5 i keep it at a 9 but if you test your cal,alk you can see for yourself if so cool.
Your post about oceanic was incorrect and uncool. Just wanted bob to get accurate info.:D

oliver
12-01-2006, 11:52 AM
Salifert but mg comes in around 1300 and alk is 10. I get 490 ca. Are these bad numbers for sps.

DonW
12-01-2006, 11:59 AM
Salifert but mg comes in around 1300 and alk is 10. I get 490 ca. Are these bad numbers for sps.

High but not that far out of wack. They have either changed their salt or you are getting special treatment. :) Thier are hundreds if not thousands of threads posting numbers like I posted above, thats why they have so many x-customers.:)

Don

Dr. Dee
12-01-2006, 02:47 PM
Your post about oceanic was incorrect and uncool. Just wanted bob to get accurate info.:D

Hey man i just called like it see it in my field of experience,Like i stated there are
different salt mix and that one does not work for me,Sorry if i :mad: got you that way,but here is my field for years.http://www.advancedtanks.com:D

davidabrown66
12-01-2006, 03:51 PM
99) Marine Environment

Brenden
12-01-2006, 08:22 PM
Thier are hundreds if not thousands of threads posting numbers like I posted above, thats why they have so many x-customers.
I agree. I am a ex-customer of oceanic as well. The numbers you posted look very close to what I got. (salifert and seachem test) I now use IO

Dr. Dee
12-01-2006, 09:07 PM
99) Marine Environment

Hey thats some good old school salt,two part with the little bottle.

olsaltybastard
12-02-2006, 05:38 PM
99) Marine Environment




I had a very hard time getting over the idea of using salt with a low measured alkalinity. Whether I used Salifert or Elos test kits, a fresh batch measures about 3dKH. The last time I tried ME, I was adding baked baking soda to the mixture to raise the alkalinity to about 9 and didn't have very good results.

I started using this again, after about 3/4 of a bucket of TMPR (which I didn't like at all.) This time, I didn't add anything; just did my usual weekly water changes. I had some different issues than before. First, my calcium went through the roof; not the fault of the salt but of the reefkeeper. I removed the calcium reactor which was chugging away the whole time. Things began to get under control, but Ca was still over 500. I dumped my container of saturated limewater and just filled it with RO/DI. Only now is my Ca dropping below 500. My tank dKH reads 5 but the corals (all SPS) look great. Now, what to do with $500 of unused Ca reactor equipment and 10 jars of pickling lime!!

On another note, I am an easy going, honest guy. I don't cheat anyone and prefer to be treated the same. I think it's an absolute disgrace that Reef Crystals sells a bucket of salt claiming to make 160 gallons of sea water and the bucket weighs 44.8 lbs (yes, I have the bucket still!) According to my math, it's 3.3 lbs underweight (just over 7% weight.) If the owner of a gas station re-calibrated his pumps to be off by 7%, he would receive a considerable fine for doing this and the local news station would love to put something like that on their 6 o'clock show. Does anyone here get away with paying 7% less on their income taxes? The IRS would be on you like stink on a turd.

Skimmy
12-03-2006, 10:33 AM
watch, they'll blame it on the price of gas...lol