TM Pro phosphate in mix?

Paul Kinsella

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I have been using Tropic Marin Pro salt for 1.5 years and have been finding low levels of phosphate after mixing with RODI that tests consistently at 0 phosphate. Has anyone else experienced this over the past 6 months or so?

I sent this to TM on their website:
I have been using Tropic Marin Pro salt for 1.5 years and have been finding low levels of phosphate in your product. Because of this, I am considering adding a phosphate and sediment reactors to my mixing station so that this phosphate does not go into my tank during a water change. My questions are as follows:
1. Is your company aware of this potential elevated phosphate in your product?
2. Will adding a GFO reactor to my mixing station alter or affect in any way the composition, readings, trace elements, etc. of your TM Pro salt mix?
 

badams.one

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I have been using Tropic Marin Pro salt for 1.5 years and have been finding low levels of phosphate after mixing with RODI that tests consistently at 0 phosphate. Has anyone else experienced this over the past 6 months or so?

I sent this to TM on their website:
I have been using Tropic Marin Pro salt for 1.5 years and have been finding low levels of phosphate in your product. Because of this, I am considering adding a phosphate and sediment reactors to my mixing station so that this phosphate does not go into my tank during a water change. My questions are as follows:
1. Is your company aware of this potential elevated phosphate in your product?
2. Will adding a GFO reactor to my mixing station alter or affect in any way the composition, readings, trace elements, etc. of your TM Pro salt mix?
How are you mixing your salt? I've been using TM for years and have noticed phosphates in my water, but assume it's leaching from the gunk build up in the pipes of my mixing station or perhaps is making its way through my RODI system. Please post their response if and when they get back to you. Cheers!
 

duffer

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It's been discuss here at R2R...here is the latest topic

 

Mellotang

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How come Tropic Marin never responds to either thread and addresses the issue?

If you advertise zero PO4 and that was the case for years, now suddenly we have multiple reports of PO4, dirty mixing tubs, just slight changes from what many consider the best, cleanest salt it should be addressed.
 

Lou Ekus

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I am very glad that @duffer included my name in this thread. It did not show up in my search feed, so we were unaware of this particular conversation.

First let me say that Tropic Marin has made NO changes in its formula or raw materials in the past few years. Our products are exactly as they have been. In relation to PO4 levels in the clean water change water made with Tropic Marin salts, the following information is important to know:

Tropic Marin has been manufacturing sea salts for the aquarium hobby, with an almost unchanged formula, since 1964. In the early years of marine aquariums, phosphates were added to sea salts to improve their solubility. By choosing suitable raw materials, this could later be avoided. No phosphate has been added to Tropic Marin sea salts for almost 30 years. (this, by the way, is where the old “no phosphate/no nitrate” labeling comes from. Originally it meant “no added phosphates or nitrates”)

Our sea salts contain natural salts as raw materials, which are purified to pharmaceutical quality. This pharmaceutical purity, of the raw materials, is one of the factors that makes the Tropic Marin sea salts unique. However, phosphate has no maximum parameter limit in pharmaceutical grades of raw materials. For this reason, many pharma grade raw materials have some low level of phosphates in them. Even in these very clean raw materials the level of phosphates may vary from batch to batch depending on the place of mining of the raw material.

So, when natural salts are processed to pharmaceutical quality, traces of phosphate can remain. The raw materials we use come mainly from sites of the dried up “primordial sea”. For this reason, the phosphate concentrations in the pharmaceutically pure raw materials are roughly in the range of the phosphates found in the natural ocean. The Tropic Marin sea salts can therefore contain concentrations in the range of 0.01-0.09 mg / litre of phosphate. Our quality control ensures that raw materials with higher proportions are not used.

In the aquarium, the effect of the phosphate content in our sea salts is small. As an example: if freshly prepared salt water contains e.g. 0.05 mg / litre phosphate, a 10% water change would result in only a 0.005 mg / litre increase in the tank’s phosphate level. Since we now know that all reef tanks need an adequate phosphate level, this could, in the long run, if there is no other phosphate supply, even lead to a phosphate deficiency in the aquarium.

On some Tropic Marin packaging there is still the historical statement "Free of phosphates and nitrates". Since this topic has just recently come to light, we see it as our responsibility to immediately change these statements on the remaining labels and on our homepage. We are currently in the process of changing both our electronic and physical labeling.

The most important thing for every Tropic Marin user, is to know: We have not changed anything in the proven composition of our salts!
 

homer1475

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I am very glad that @duffer included my name in this thread. It did not show up in my search feed, so we were unaware of this particular conversation.

First let me say that Tropic Marin has made NO changes in its formula or raw materials in the past few years. Our products are exactly as they have been. In relation to PO4 levels in the clean water change water made with Tropic Marin salts, the following information is important to know:

Tropic Marin has been manufacturing sea salts for the aquarium hobby, with an almost unchanged formula, since 1964. In the early years of marine aquariums, phosphates were added to sea salts to improve their solubility. By choosing suitable raw materials, this could later be avoided. No phosphate has been added to Tropic Marin sea salts for almost 30 years. (this, by the way, is where the old “no phosphate/no nitrate” labeling comes from. Originally it meant “no added phosphates or nitrates”)

Our sea salts contain natural salts as raw materials, which are purified to pharmaceutical quality. This pharmaceutical purity, of the raw materials, is one of the factors that makes the Tropic Marin sea salts unique. However, phosphate has no maximum parameter limit in pharmaceutical grades of raw materials. For this reason, many pharma grade raw materials have some low level of phosphates in them. Even in these very clean raw materials the level of phosphates may vary from batch to batch depending on the place of mining of the raw material.

So, when natural salts are processed to pharmaceutical quality, traces of phosphate can remain. The raw materials we use come mainly from sites of the dried up “primordial sea”. For this reason, the phosphate concentrations in the pharmaceutically pure raw materials are roughly in the range of the phosphates found in the natural ocean. The Tropic Marin sea salts can therefore contain concentrations in the range of 0.01-0.09 mg / litre of phosphate. Our quality control ensures that raw materials with higher proportions are not used.

In the aquarium, the effect of the phosphate content in our sea salts is small. As an example: if freshly prepared salt water contains e.g. 0.05 mg / litre phosphate, a 10% water change would result in only a 0.005 mg / litre increase in the tank’s phosphate level. Since we now know that all reef tanks need an adequate phosphate level, this could, in the long run, if there is no other phosphate supply, even lead to a phosphate deficiency in the aquarium.

On some Tropic Marin packaging there is still the historical statement "Free of phosphates and nitrates". Since this topic has just recently come to light, we see it as our responsibility to immediately change these statements on the remaining labels and on our homepage. We are currently in the process of changing both our electronic and physical labeling.

The most important thing for every Tropic Marin user, is to know: We have not changed anything in the proven composition of our salts!
You often don't see this type of transparency in a large company. Nice to see some still step up to the plate.
 

Jmp998

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I received a bucket with increased phosphate a couple of months ago; it consistently mixed to around 0.06 phosphate using RODI with 0 phosphate. Initially I was very concerned. However per Randy Holmes-Farley's calculations, this is really not significant compared to the amount of phosphate added with food etc.

I'm sure his calculations are correct, but I prefer to experiment. I have a 2 gallon, lightly stocked pico jar with no filtration except live rock and a shallow crushed coral sandbed. I did my usual weekly 90% water change using the 'high phosphate' salt mix. When I checked phosphate two days later, it had dropped to near zero (typically this jar runs near zero on phosphate). I noticed no ill effects, and so I used the rest of the bucket on my mixed reef, without any noticeable problems. Incidentally the next bucket I got mixes to around .02-.03 phosphate.

I appreciate the detailed and thoughtful comment from TM. I will continue to use the salt.
 
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Paul Kinsella

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This is what I received from an inquiry to TM on their website:

Dear Mr. XXXXXX,

Thank you very much for your e-mail.

1. We are aware that a low and varying concentration of phosphate may be found in our Pro-Reef salt. Unfortunately we cannot completely exclude it, not even with the high quality raw materials we use. It is introduced with the raw materials.

2. GFO may remove phosphate, I guess that is your intention. We cannot exclude that some trace elements are removed while iron may be added with the use of GFO.

However I recommend to use our Tropic Marin salts untreated since I am very confident that phosphate is the most underrated nutrient in reef aquaria. In organisms phosphate is a main nutrient while its concentration in seawater makes phosphorus to a trace element in seawater. This discrepancy may only be solved by a continuous supply of phosphate.

Kind regards

Hans-Werner Balling



Tropic Marin

Dr. Biener GmbH

Steinaeckerweg 3 - 5

36367 Wartenberg

GERMANY
 
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Paul Kinsella

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.01-.018 is the phosphate readings I have been getting on newly mixed TM Pro salt using a Hanna ULR device. Again, this after getting consistent readings of 0 phosphate from my RODI water...the same water used to mix the TM Pro salt.
 
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Paul Kinsella

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I only replied with a thank you but in hindsight had a couple thoughts:
1. I felt like the email excused the low levels of phosphate in their salt. Personally, part of the reason I do water changes is to decrease any excess levels of nutrients. Why would I want to add any back into my system, especially through a water change?
2. TM claims pharmaceutical grade ingredients. What levels of phosphate would then disqualify TM from having "pharmaceutical grade" on their label?

I do not have plans to change from TM as I still believe they are still at the top of the competition IMO. I do not have the "gunk" buildups with TM. They mix to 7.1 to 7.5 DKH which works perfect for me.
I do get word from the streets that COVID has compromised product supply chains and therefore might be a contributing factor to the phosphate in their salt mix.
Just my thoughts.
 

Reef.

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.01-.018 is the phosphate readings I have been getting on newly mixed TM Pro salt using a Hanna ULR device. Again, this after getting consistent readings of 0 phosphate from my RODI water...the same water used to mix the TM Pro salt.

That is an extremely low level of PO4, most tanks run higher than that, using that water for water changes will likely drop your tank PO4 if anything, not raise it.

I’m no good at maths but time you add it to the tank you will be reducing the impact of it by at least 3x so 0.003 added to tank.
(Someone please correct my maths lol)
 

Reef.

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I only replied with a thank you but in hindsight had a couple thoughts:
1. I felt like the email excused the low levels of phosphate in their salt. Personally, part of the reason I do water changes is to decrease any excess levels of nutrients. Why would I want to add any back into my system, especially through a water change?
2. TM claims pharmaceutical grade ingredients. What levels of phosphate would then disqualify TM from having "pharmaceutical grade" on their label?

I do not have plans to change from TM as I still believe they are still at the top of the competition IMO. I do not have the "gunk" buildups with TM. They mix to 7.1 to 7.5 DKH which works perfect for me.
I do get word from the streets that COVID has compromised product supply chains and therefore might be a contributing factor to the phosphate in their salt mix.
Just my thoughts.

I didn’t read it that way, they were basically saying PO4 is needed in the tank.
Not sure if you saw the reply from Tropin Marin on here, they basically said their salt has been the same for many years, PO4 has always been part of the salt as some of the ingredients is collected from old salt beds, the label you see on some was meant to indicate that no PO4 was added not that the salt didn’t contain any, he said he was going to make sure all labels would now be corrected.
 
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Paul Kinsella

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That is an extremely low level of PO4, most tanks run higher than that, using that water for water changes will likely drop your tank PO4 if anything, not raise it.

I’m no good at maths but time you add it to the tank you will be reducing the impact of it by at least 3x so 0.003 added to tank.
(Someone please correct my maths lol)
I understand.
Ultimately, I was using TM Pro for a long period with no issues and recently have been seeing detectable phosphate. This is all.
Whether trace amounts of phosphate in TM Pro salt mix are tolerable or not for reefers is another discussion and was not my overall basis for posting. I just like a salt mix to be phosphate free and wanted to see if others experienced the same thing.
 

Reef.

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I understand.
Ultimately, I was using TM Pro for a long period with no issues and recently have been seeing detectable phosphate. This is all.
Whether trace amounts of phosphate in TM Pro salt mix are tolerable or not for reefers is another discussion and was not my overall basis for posting. I just like a salt mix to be phosphate free and wanted to see if others experienced the same thing.

I understand I had the issue issue. We try and reduce PO4 so seems crazy to add it, even in small amounts.

I don’t think any salt is PO4 free?
 

Lou Ekus

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I understand.
Ultimately, I was using TM Pro for a long period with no issues and recently have been seeing detectable phosphate. This is all.
Whether trace amounts of phosphate in TM Pro salt mix are tolerable or not for reefers is another discussion and was not my overall basis for posting. I just like a salt mix to be phosphate free and wanted to see if others experienced the same thing.
@Paul Kinsella I just wanted to make sure that you had seen my reply of information above. I think I addressed most of your concerns in that email. Here it is again:
First let me say that Tropic Marin has made NO changes in its formula or raw materials in the past few years. Our products are exactly as they have been. In relation to PO4 levels in the clean water change water made with Tropic Marin salts, the following information is important to know:

Tropic Marin has been manufacturing sea salts for the aquarium hobby, with an almost unchanged formula, since 1964. In the early years of marine aquariums, phosphates were added to sea salts to improve their solubility. By choosing suitable raw materials, this could later be avoided. No phosphate has been added to Tropic Marin sea salts for almost 30 years. (this, by the way, is where the old “no phosphate/no nitrate” labeling comes from. Originally it meant “no added phosphates or nitrates”)

Our sea salts contain natural salts as raw materials, which are purified to pharmaceutical quality. This pharmaceutical purity, of the raw materials, is one of the factors that makes the Tropic Marin sea salts unique. However, phosphate has no maximum parameter limit in pharmaceutical grades of raw materials. For this reason, many pharma grade raw materials have some low level of phosphates in them. Even in these very clean raw materials the level of phosphates may vary from batch to batch depending on the place of mining of the raw material.

So, when natural salts are processed to pharmaceutical quality, traces of phosphate can remain. The raw materials we use come mainly from sites of the dried up “primordial sea”. For this reason, the phosphate concentrations in the pharmaceutically pure raw materials are roughly in the range of the phosphates found in the natural ocean. The Tropic Marin sea salts can therefore contain concentrations in the range of 0.01-0.09 mg / litre of phosphate. Our quality control ensures that raw materials with higher proportions are not used.

In the aquarium, the effect of the phosphate content in our sea salts is small. As an example: if freshly prepared salt water contains e.g. 0.05 mg / litre phosphate, a 10% water change would result in only a 0.005 mg / litre increase in the tank’s phosphate level. Since we now know that all reef tanks need an adequate phosphate level, this could, in the long run, if there is no other phosphate supply, even lead to a phosphate deficiency in the aquarium.

On some Tropic Marin packaging there is still the historical statement "Free of phosphates and nitrates". Since this topic has just recently come to light, we see it as our responsibility to immediately change these statements on the remaining labels and on our homepage. We are currently in the process of changing both our electronic and physical labeling.

The most important thing for every Tropic Marin user, is to know: We have not changed anything in the proven composition of our salts!
 

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