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Salt Mix Analysis


Headless_donkey

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Interesting .... when I first started reading the paper, I thought I would come away with a clear "winner" of a salt I should be using (I for the record have been using Reef Crystals for 2 years). But by the end of it, I really didn't know what to think.

All the different salt mixes had their pluses and minuses. I guess if one were to be real serious about it, they would try to match up the approriate salt with the live stock they are keeping. But then again, you could always supplement for what a particular salt brand is missing. The only thing that would really drive me away from a brand would be excessive nitrate and phosphate content.

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That's how I read it. Some are higher in calcium, so if you have lots of lps and/or sps, that mix is probably best for you. I switched from Instant Ocean to Red Sea, and now I have really high magnesium levels, average calcium, and low alkalinity. Dosing B-Ionic everyday gets the magnesium too high, so now I'm just dosing straight calcium and alkalinity. I dose B-Ionic 2-3 times a week to keep the mag. from getting too low.

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I had the exact same feelings. I took most notice of the salts that added negative things to the water. Some had much more ammonia and phosphates then the rest. I figured that you could make up the things the slat might be missing(mag, cal, alk) with supplements, but dealing with phosphates sucks.

Tailoring salt chose to livestock is interesting. However, all aquatic animals benefit from balanced water chemistry and they all suffer if there is a deficiency in certain elements.

That being said I have 2.5 buckets of regular tropic marin and will probably keep using it.

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Tailoring salt chose to livestock is interesting. However, all aquatic animals benefit from balanced water chemistry and they all suffer if there is a deficiency in certain elements.

Very true. I guess I was more thinking about the calcium content most of all... say if you were keeping a softies only tank, then calcium would not be of that big of importance when picking the brands (unless you are also trying to keep a healthy coraline going).

For me, with a 24g tank, the salt was not that big of deal. As my 5 gallon weekly (well, almost weekly :) ) water changes replenish a lot of elements compared to water changes done on a much larger tank.

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I think that's the whole point. There really isn't one that is head and shoulders above the rest. That's one of the things they didn't do is draw a conclusion, they just said, "here's the data, so pick a salt that best suits your needs." I'm sure there are those that will draw their own conclusions and swear up and down that x salt is the best based on the data presented.

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I think one thing to be looked at is the consistency of the salts. Some had huge swings between the 2 different buckets. That to me would be the most important thing. Also don't get caught off by some of the graphs. Some of those numbers were such small amounts that a slight difference looks huge on the graph. I have just switched from Tropic Marin to Red Sea Coral Pro. So far I am very happy with the Red Sea.

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I agree - no one salt is consistent from bucket to bucket.

We've witnessed swings in the various salts we've used. (we test, but since we don't have fancy HACH meters we don't really post

results as nothing we have is traceable to standards, etc.)

I like that online testing site - I might get some water tested from them as a "reference" to

also see how well our cheaper test kits stand up.

I know some test kits out there are way off on Calcium readings compared to others.

So this is a bit of a "black art".

We watch the corals - they seem to "talk" (really slowly) - but they do! eh?

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I wonder how hard it would be to make your own salt. I was talking to the people at Seaworld on my trip there last month and they said they make their own seawater on site. I was looking around for their salt bucket, but it turns out they make it themselves. :wave:

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My guess is it would be quite expensive on a small scale, in getting the purity you need in smaller quantities. Granted, you could probably physically put together the mix, but it would likely be way more expensive than anything you could find in the stores

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That was my guess as well, but I know a lot of the additives and supplements used in our hobby turn out to be readily available for some other industry for much less cost.

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