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Salt Mixes

Contents:

  1. [M] SUMMARY: SALTS
    by pfohl-at-nucmar.physics.fsu.edu (JEFF PFOHL) (3 Nov 1994)

[M] SUMMARY: SALTS

by pfohl-at-nucmar.physics.fsu.edu (JEFF PFOHL)
Date: 3 Nov 1994
Newsgroup: alt.aquaria,rec.aquaria

--
Since this thread has worn itself out I thought I'd post a summary of
the responses that I've received since I'm the one who started this
thread. The first couple of entries were already in the archive.

---begin---
~From: krogers-at-javelin.sim.es.com (K. Rogers)
~Date: Mon, 4 May 1992 22:13:36 GMT
~Newsgroups: rec.aquaria
~Subject: Re: Which salt mix is best?

>>I was wondering if anyone had any opinion as to which salt mix is best?
>> - Instant Ocean
>> - New Reef Crystals
>>CoraLife
>>Hawaiian Marine 
>
>Best for what, and in what category?  Instant Ocean is arguably the "best",
>because it's cheapest.  And it's fine for keeping a fish-only tank like
>mine.  Personally, I use Tropic Marin, because it's cheapest around here
>(it can be bought in bulk quantities more readily than can the other
>brands).

According to Bidwell and Spotte all commercial brands are pretty much
a toss up.  For one, they use mostly to exclusively technician grade
chemicals to keep the stuff affordable.  The purity of these grades
allow for large variations in trace elements.  They consider these
salts to be useful for routine maintenance of adult fish and inverts
only and recommend you make your own salt from one of the couple
hundred recipes they supply if you need controlable and standard
mixtures.  I don't remember the name of the book but the authors are
noted above and it was published only a couple years ago.

As for me, I use IO, which I can get locally for $13 a 50 gallon bag,
and supply what trace elements I've found important or have reason to
believe are important (like real scientists doing Big Science papers,
not full page ads in aquarium rags.)  As near as I can tell my tank is
as well off as any reported on the Net in terms of animal health and
spawning reports.

BTW, the really expesnive german (and Thiel's of course) salts really
are better formulations because they use ACS reagent grade or better
chemicals.  Not many of us can afford $100 / 50 gallon mix, though...
-- 
Keith Rogers
Evans & Sutherland Computer Corp.
krogers-at-javelin.sim.es.com

~From: shom0004-at-student.tc.umn.edu ()
~Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1993 21:07:52 GMT
~Newsgroups: rec.aquaria
~Subject: [M] "Red Sea" brand salt SUCKS!


I recently tried a new brand of salt mixture, "Red Sea" and I have
to say, it was AWFUL.  There was a LOT of strange residue left over
after I mixed it up, and SOMETHING in there dissolved with a wildly
exothermic reaction that I've never noticed while stirring in 
Instant Ocean or Corallife.  (By exothermic, I mean that
a handful of the mixture, held in water got scalding (painfully)
hot.  )  
	Since I didn't have any other salt around, and I needed to
do a water change, I ended up using it (after filtering it
through a MAgnum with a micron filter and diatomaceous earth),
but I don't think my fish are exactly thrilled with it, and the
pH seems lower than it ought to be.  

Don't let anyone sell you this stuff.

				Nirah

From FSSMITH-at-MARS.LERC.NASA.GOV Tue Oct 11 16:34:19 1994
~Date: Tue, 11 Oct 1994 16:26:20 -0400 (EDT)
~From: FSSMITH-at-MARS.LERC.NASA.GOV
To: pfohl-at-nucmar.physics.fsu.edu
~Subject: RE: [Q][M] BEST SALT TO USE FOR REEF

I have tested reef crystals, instant ocean, red sea, and hawaiin marine salts
for phosphate and nitrate.  They all had nitrate but in low concentrations when
mixed to 1.0235 s.g.  The source water had no detectable nitrates or phosphates.

None of the salts had any detectable level of phosphates.

It would be difficult and perhaps misleading to try to label one brand of
salt as better than another.  The results most people base their opinins on
are either to subjective or useless.  It might be better to compose a chart
of the pros and cons (only measurable ones) of each salt and any repeatable
tests performed.

i.e. reef crystals --dissolves easily no residue po4 <.02 No3=.04ppm*
red sea --slow to dissolve, leaves sandy residue, po4<.02ppm nO3<.02ppm*
* when mixed to s.g. 1.0235 at 78deg F

I am not sure of the NO3 levels so dont use them.

Greg



~From: phenders-at-kn.pacbell.com (Phil Henderson)
~Newsgroups: rec.aquaria,alt.aquaria,sci.aquaria
~Subject: Re: [Q][M] BEST SALT TO USE FOR REEF
~Date: 12 Oct 1994 16:57:38 GMT

In article <37ca6f$rj2-at-mailer.fsu.edu>, pfohl-at-nucmar.physics.fsu.edu (JEFF
PFOHL) wrote:

> 
> --
> Now for my opinions:
> AVOID Forty Fathoms salt. It contains phosphates and caused a serious
> hair algae outbreak in my tank.
> 
> I personally use IO Reef Crystals. I have not noticed any problems
> with this salt what-so-ever. It dissolves quickly and the Ca level is
> 450 ppm which IMO is nice (Red Sea test kit on 2 separate bags
> purchased several months apart) . I pay about $21 for a 50 gal bag from
> MOPS delivered. I have never checked to see what the regular IO salt Ca
> concentration is. Perhaps someone who has a bag will test for us.
> 
> I have no experience with any other brands.
> 
> 				JEFF PFOHL


I also use Reef Crystals in my tank and have seen no problems. I did have a
problem with it when I used it to grow algae to feed to rotifers. The
calcium content was too high and the algae wouldn't stay in the water
column.

I have also used Tropic Marin. The calcium content was a little low, about
375 ppm. It was great for growing the algae I wanted though :)

-- 
Phil Henderson
Brea, Ca
phenders-at-kn.pacbell.com


~From: trepanie-at-iedv6.acd.com ( Dave Trepanier )
~Subject: Re: [Q][M] BEST SALT TO USE FOR REEF
Organization: Applied Computing Devices, Inc., Terre Haute IN
~Date: Wed, 12 Oct 1994 18:04:38 GMT


I prefer Coralife salt because it disolves quickly, it is 
consistent (does not vary from bag to bag), and it does not
contain a de-chlorinator (many brands contain a de-chlorinator
which is unnecessary if you use RO water) Ca = 448 ppm

Dave

~From: pfohl-at-nucmar.physics.fsu.edu (JEFF PFOHL)
~Newsgroups: rec.aquaria,alt.aquaria,sci.aquaria
~Subject: Re: [Q][M] BEST SALT TO USE FOR REEF
~Date: 13 Oct 1994 01:40:38 GMT
Organization: Florida State University

--
A quick price summary for those of you who are interested. All are
from MOPS (the company I deal with most often):

Brand		Size (gal)	Cost (US$)	Cost for 50 gal

CoralLife       50		$17.89		$17.89
		150             $42.89		$14.30
		300		$82.89		$13.82

Tropic Marin    50		$20.49		$20.49
		150		$54.99		$18.33

Instant Ocean   50		$14.79		$14.79

Instant Ocean 
Reef Crystals	50		$17.79		$17.79


The prices in other catalogs will be lower at first glance but you
must remember that those other places generally charge you for
shipping by weight whereas MOPS charges only a handling charge.
Perhaps there are a few places that charge less once delievered but
this will depend on your geographical location. (ie these may not be
the lowest prices you can possibly get but they will be darn close I
believe and for my area of the country they are great prices)


				JEFF PFOHL
				E-MAIL: PFOHL-at-NUCMAR.PHYSICS.FSU.EDU
				PHONE : (904) 644-1598  work
					(904) 224-0707  home
					(904) 644-9848  fax


"Two wrongs do not make a right, but three rights make a left"   


~From: jselling-at-tc1009.pto.ford.com (Joseph S. Sellinger)
~Newsgroups: alt.aquaria
~Subject: Re: [Q][M] BEST SALT TO USE FOR REEF
~Date: 14 Oct 1994 17:38:20 GMT

|> How does Coralife compare with the others in terms of its contents
|> of Ca++, etc.? For example, I have heard some say the IO is deficient
|> in Ca++, iodine, etc.  I'm thinking of switching to Coralife because
|> I use RO and don't need a salt that already contains de-chlorinator.

I think IO is lower in Ca++ then Coralife. This is good to know.

After trashing my Alkalinity dosing with CaOH2 (Calicum Hydroxide) I needed
a way to lower CA++. Very easy, just do water changes using low calcium 
salt/water. I did a couple of %5 water changes and went from 490 ppm 
to 460 and then 1 %10-%15 change and went from 450 to 405.
I was buffering so much I was unable to see if the Alk was also lacking.
I will use IO from now on. If I need more calicum I just add CaOH2 
as needed. I will also buffer with Marine Buffer from Seachem and baking 
soda. I really had a problem with hair algae when using ETDA in any 
form of addition. Never Again. I was dumping it in in my calcium and
strontium/mol and in the buffer (Reef Builder). Not any more.

How much natural ETDA occurs? ZERO?
I think it is a source of phosphate of something nasty like that. 

Anybody know of a good source of Strontium w/o ETDA? Kent sell something?

I have found strontium cloride (or is it hydroxide) at a good local
reef store for $30 for 250ml. 

-- 
############################################################################
Joseph S. Sellinger             |   Internet:  jselling-at-tc1009.pto.ford.com
Ford Motor Company, T&C         |   PROFS/OV:  jselling
36200 Plymouth Road, Box 26     |   Phone:     
Livonia Mich 48150              |   Fax:       
All of the ideas here are mine. Don't look to Ford to be responsible.
############################################################################


~From: dbs-at-hprnd.rose.hp.com (Dave Sheehy)
~Newsgroups: alt.aquaria
~Subject: Re: [Q][M] BEST SALT TO USE FOR REEF
~Date: 14 Oct 1994 20:58:41 GMT


Brian (malloy-at-cs.clemson.edu) wrote:
: For example, I have heard some say the IO is deficient
: in Ca++, iodine, etc.  

I've tested the calcium content of freshly mixed IO and it is in the 400 ppm
range (SG=1.024). I don't remember the exact number but it's at least 400 ppm. 
That is in the normal range of natural seawater.

: I'm thinking of switching to Coralife because
: I use RO and don't need a salt that already contains de-chlorinator.

Dave Sheehy

~From: sack0015-at-gold.tc.umn.edu (Glenn A. Sacks)
~Subject: Re: [Q][M] BEST SALT TO USE FOR REEF
Message-ID: <sack0015.372.0120F1D0-at-gold.tc.umn.edu>
~Date: Mon, 17 Oct 1994 10:21:57 GMT
~Lines: 41
In article <phenders-131094010819-at-mac.bohs.brea.k12.ca.us> phenders-at-kn.pacbell.com (Phil Henderson) writes:
>From: phenders-at-kn.pacbell.com (Phil Henderson)
>Subject: Re: [Q][M] BEST SALT TO USE FOR REEF
>Date: 12 Oct 1994 16:57:38 GMT

>In article <37ca6f$rj2-at-mailer.fsu.edu>, pfohl-at-nucmar.physics.fsu.edu (JEFF
>PFOHL) wrote:

>> 
>> --
>> Now for my opinions:
>> AVOID Forty Fathoms salt. It contains phosphates and caused a serious
>> hair algae outbreak in my tank.
>> 
>> I personally use IO Reef Crystals. I have not noticed any problems
>> with this salt what-so-ever. It dissolves quickly and the Ca level is
>> 450 ppm which IMO is nice (Red Sea test kit on 2 separate bags
>> purchased several months apart) . I pay about $21 for a 50 gal bag from
>> MOPS delivered. I have never checked to see what the regular IO salt Ca
>> concentration is. Perhaps someone who has a bag will test for us.
>> 
>> I have no experience with any other brands.
>> 
>>                               JEFF PFOHL


>I also use Reef Crystals in my tank and have seen no problems. I did have a
>problem with it when I used it to grow algae to feed to rotifers. The
>calcium content was too high and the algae wouldn't stay in the water
>column.

>I have also used Tropic Marin. The calcium content was a little low, about
>375 ppm. It was great for growing the algae I wanted though :)

I use IO-RC too, and have not had any problems. I used to use regular Instant 
Ocean (without any problems), but switch to RC when I went to a full reef 
setup, and wanted the extra calcium. Both IO salts dissolve very quickly and 
are definately nitrate and posphate free. I have tested them when mixed in 
RO/DI filtered water - using Seachem test kits. 

Glenn



~From: johnb-at-sun.com (John Baez)
~Newsgroups: rec.aquaria
~Subject: Re: [Q][M] BEST SALT TO USE FOR REEF
~Date: 17 Oct 1994 22:08:19 GMT
Organization: Martin Marietta Information Systems
~Reply-To: johnb-at-sun.com



I've used various salts over the years without any problems. These are Instant Ocean, Reef Crystals, and more recently Coralife. I like the way the Coralife mixes and I get a good price for it so I'm sticking to that for now.

I'd say the salt is good if it is phosphate free, of consistent quality and well priced. The trace elements in the salt should not be important unless you rely on water changes to replenish your environment. This dependency is not good because you will loose the trace elements over time.

Thus the most important things are the three mentioned above. Trace elements should be added separately and lime water should be used to maintain calcium/alkalinity. I have years (and years) to back me up here.


John



---end---

				JEFF PFOHL
				E-MAIL: PFOHL-at-NUCMAR.PHYSICS.FSU.EDU
				PHONE : (904) 644-1598  work
					(904) 224-0707  home
					(904) 644-9848  fax


"Two wrongs do not make a right, but three rights make a left"   

See my .plan for a thought of the day.






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