The smell.....the smell was literally the only reason I had cause for concern to begin with. The smell was the only reason I created a R2R account and have become a member of this community (you can thank my wife for the ridiculous username). a little recap:Hey, OP here - I want to thank everyone who has come to this thread to raise some of the same, and additional, concerns they have seen with the Turkish made salt. I want to say this thread was not created to bash or discredit TM in anyway.
As a long time reefer and long time users of TM salt (before it ever got popular by BRS, it used to be the odd man out salt back in the day), when I opened a new box of Pro salt the distinctive strong acidic smell (which I have never EVER had experienced before for the 15+ years of using TM salt) hit me I knew something was different. Looking at the box I saw this was one of the new Turkish batches, and the first batch of Turkish salt I had received. After mixing it the physical properties, smell, and sludge were all new and I knew something was not right.
This then led me to searching the issue out online which I found some complaints about the Turkish made salt scattered around the interwebs. That is why I decieded to start this thread, to see if others have also been experiencing issues and for TM to weigh in on the matter. Again, I approached this first that this could of been simply a change in raw chemical that only Turkey is getting based on supply chains, etc. I was looking for TM's confirmation that yes the properties were normal for the Turkish facility, or no they are not and could potentially be a bad batch. I was initially disappointed by TM's initial response of taking a defensive stands that nothing is wrong with the turkish salt, however Lou has been very helpful and genuinely concerned. He sent me a shipping label to send him a sample of the salt, which I have along with a sample of my tried and true German made batch.
I cannot attest to any ill effects to livestock as I did not use the mixed water in my tank, the physically properties being off and enough examples I found of people with negative experiences held me off from its use. I hope with my sample, and with others that have come to this thread, TM can pinpoint the issue.
As far as a consumer prospective goes, I do share the same sentiment that others have mentioned, with no disrespect, that if I'm buying a German made product I expect a German made product. Turkey is not known for great quality standards and Germany is the exact opposite as a pinnacle of those standards. TM is a premium product at a premium price, and as a such I expect it to be made in Germany. Its like you bought a Mercedes, expecting German made, but find out it was assembled in Mexico.
Bought 2 boxes of TMP when it was on sale from BRS back in Nov2021. I have been using Brightwell for the past 2 [successful] years of reefing with some RedSea blue bucket as a backup for supply issues. Had never tried TM products but was very excited. I currently have a 250gal display and my project was to plumb in a 50gal low-boy frag tank to the existing systemy creating a 300gal system, figured it would be like doing a medium sized water change. And of course I do this over New Years weekend when no one is available at customer support anywhere and stores are closed... what could go wrong.
So I open up the first box of TMP salt and instantly smell a lemony/citrusy/whatever you wanna call it, it doesn't smell like salt. It just simply does not smell like nothing, it smells like something other than salt. I figure since I've never used any TM products before, that I shouldn't judge yet, maybe this is just how TM smells. I bring my 0 TDS RODI water up to temp first, then start adding salt a few cupfuls at a time, over the course of 15 minutes or so. The citrusy smell is still VERY detectable as its mixing, but again I wasn't sure if maybe thats just how TMP is. I let pump run for about 90 minutes, come back and the water is still cloudy. Ok, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt, maybe mixing a large-ish water volume takes longer. I let it mix overnight and the next morning the water has a haze to it. Its not crystal clear, but its not alarmingly cloudy either. I see the brown sludge at the bottom of the container that everyone has been complaining about. To be honest, I don't care at all about a little brown, I just wanted really great salt water. The saltwater still has this sweet citrusy smell to it as well. The salinity using a calibrated and clean refractometer is 1.025. The Alk was at 6.5 and all other parameters were slightly lower than advertised/expected. Again, this was after mixing overnight, so I wouldn't expect any reactions are still occurring. No big deal, I just supplement the Alk to 7.5 to match my system as well as up the Ca and Mg a bit. I move the water into the empty 50 gal tank.
Before I open the valves and introduce this new water into my system irreversibly, I decide to google this strange smell and if there's a reason the water isn't crystal clear. I was relieved to finally stumble upon @poidog 's original post about the same smell I was experiencing. Then I see Lou providing some feedback and ultimately assuring everyone that TM is 100% safe and addressing some concerns. I finally open the valves and introduce the new TMP saltwater into my sump, where it mixes with the existing water and goes through my filtration etc.
After a few hours, I notice my acro, leptastrea, chalice, and cyphastrea all have white filaments exposed. Not like a feeding response, but similar to getting a coral dip/cleaning. I do not have very large SPS colonies, aside from a massive rock of cyphastrea, so this reaction didn't worry me too much. The next day (now Sunday Jan 2nd) my LPS never open, and are sucked tight to their skeletons. Acans look like a spiked ball and my trachy/welso is a near perfect round puck. My elegance is a hollow ice cream cone, goniopora is a tight ball, hammer and torch are just trunks. My SPS (with the exception of montipora, I don't know why) are all showing patchy exposed skeleton. My soft corals are normal.
First thing I check is Alk of my system is at 7 (overall drop of 0.5 overnight) so I do a small supplement of brightwell buffer. I decide the most effective thing I can do is a water change, but I only have enough backup RedSea to make 15gal. Monday I call the number Lou posted on this forum and he answers the call. He and I discuss my system setup, water production technique, and the responses I've seen in my corals. We keep in touch throughout the week. I experience severe pH and Alk swings the entire week, to the point that I had to run my skimmer air intake line outdoors as I found my pH to be in the upper 6's. My Alk dropped to 5.4 (tested several times) at one point and I burned through buffer tryin to slowly increase and stabilize. I know this Alk/pH instability is harmful to my system and is to blame for the subsequent die-off I experienced. However none of this instability was present before I introduced the new saltwater into my system. Ive had 2 years of smooth sailing with my chunk of the reef.
I sent Lou 8 cups of my salt (some of y'all got free shipping labels but I had to pay out of pocket) which he received this past weekend. With regards to the smell, he said he did not smell a difference between my sample and the German salt, but that his wife did agree that it "had a stronger salt smell". He sent a picture comparing two buckets of saltwater, one of my sample and one of a control, and both were crystal clear. I have asked for EXACT techniques he used to mix such as if the bucket was covered, how long it mixed for, what he used to mix (wave pump, return pump, manual, etc), if the water was aerated while mixing, water temp, yada yada so that I could make a small batch and replicate his process. So far I have not received a response but I'm sure he's busy. No comment on the saltwater smell yet either. To be VERY clear, I DO NOT CARE what country/factory makes my batch. I don't even really care about residue.
As of today I've lost a large rock of cyphastrea, lost most of my acro (I didn't have much to begin with, but still sucks) I've had polyp bailout of my hammer, my Goni's are still closed and losing flesh, my pride and joy trachy/welso was lost to brown jelly. I dipped what I could in polyp lab reef primer to stop RTN, so far so good. No fish/invert loss. I've spent money on a Hannah salinity meter to appease the trolls on here saying my refractometer is trash (got the same readings) and have burned through an entire bucket of Brightwell salt doing water changes. These massive water changes also require me to burn through my food more in order to keep nutrients above zero. I drove to WWC in Orlando just to buy the brightwell salt and EVEN THEY could smell something different with the TMP sample I brought...
Lou has been very receptive to my feedback and has provided responses with 24hrs. Im a pretty understanding person and was going to keep quiet but after seeing Hans-Werners responses I'm back to being pretty upset. Im upset that I do not know what I may have introduced into my system, upset at my die-off, upset at how much effort I've had to put into the system just to keep things stable, upset at how much extra I've had to spend when I thought I was getting the top tier product, and ultimately upset that my technique/husbandry is called into question when others don't smell what I smell and their water mixes clear....Im not a noob, this isn't my first rodeo, and I'm not making rookie mistakes.
I will attach pictures of my coral's responses/losses over the past 2 weeks, as well as my mixing bin comparing TMP to control. I have introduced NO new corals, NO few fish, NO new rocks/structures since July 2021. My supplement/water change regimen hasn't changed in over a year. lighting and flow has been untouched since May 2021. I run no fancy equipment, just a skimmer, pH probe, carbon reactor.