I wouldn't use it personally. I get the idea that the water absorption (making it hard) caused precipitation and who knows what is depleted now. I thought I remembered RHF talk about this at some point but I could be mistaken.I posted this in another thread, but thought I should share it here as well. I'm a long time user of Instant Ocean, have been for decades. This past weekend, the 200g box I opened had the bags hard as bricks. I tried to break it, but it just shattered the bag and spilled salt on my driveway...
I decided to try and mix it up anyways, but at 1.0264 (which was super hard to get to with the inability to measure) it had 1275 Mag, 5.04 Alk and 370 Cal. Over the course of a few days, I got everything dosed up to normal levels but the one thing I can't keep level is the Alk. I dose to 7.5 and it slowly precipitates out. I've never had this happen with IO before. Usually it tests out around 10-11, I dose acid and drop it to 7.5 and it holds steady for a month. Now I'm seriously considering dumping the entire 40g I mixed up and start over with a good box of salt. I'm afraid that if I do a WC with this salt that I may have trouble keeping up Alk in my tank as well. Thoughts?
Regarding the bricked salt, I found out a few things. First, Spectrum Brands (IO manufacturer) is going to send me two new boxes. I will say they really stand behind their salt. Thanks to some other members informing me, it sounds like Spectrum changed their bag material around the end of 2019 and that material allows in moisture which bricks the salt. They've "supposedly" since fixed the issue and this is no longer a problem. I can confirm that a box I have from 01/2020 (purchased just a month after the bricked boxes) is fine.
Yeah, what's weird is that it's not just the initial precipitation. I can understand how the hardening depleted everything, but once it's all dissolved and in water, you would think I could dose up and keep them steady. That's what's super weird is that it continues to precipitate...I wouldn't use it personally. I get the idea that the water absorption (making it hard) caused precipitation and who knows what is depleted now. I thought I remembered RHF talk about this at some point but I could be mistaken.