What salt brands do you recommend?

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Gtinnel

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The brown stuff occurs quickly and both in cold and warm water. It’s just something you learn to accept if you use IO or Reef Crystals.
Does it do it with regular IO also? For some reason I was thinking it was only with Reef Crystals.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Does it do it with regular IO also? For some reason I was thinking it was only with Reef Crystals.

I used regular IO for 20 years.

I got precipitation of calcium carbonate like other high alk mixes, but not ever the brown crud/film that folks report of Reef Crystals (I suspect it is due to the vitamins, but do not know for sure).

This was the precipitated calcium carbonate that accumulated for years:

What is that Precipitate in My Reef Aquarium? by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com


Figure 1. The residue on the bottom of the plastic trash can that I use to mix Instant Ocean. I rarely clean it out. The solid is most likely calcium carbonate.
1636389315363.png
 

Greybeard

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I've run the gamut... Back in the early 80's, Instant Ocean wasn't just the best choice... it was the ONLY choice. So... that's what I started with, and I have to say, I was never disappointed in that choice.

Fast forward a few decades... I've tried Reef Crystals, Red Sea, Fritz, HW Marine Mix, and Tropic Marin. Reef Crystals and Red Sea salts didn't mix up cleanly enough for me. Too much brown gunk in the barrel. Fritz was terribly inconsistent from box to box. HW Marine and Tropic Marin were both excellent... but a bit pricey, and at times during the craziness over the last year or so, simply unavailable.

So... back to IO I went, and honestly, I'm staying here. It's available... just about anywhere. Regularly goes on sale for quite a bit less than other acceptable brands, mixes up clean enough not to bother me, and close enough to my ideal parameters that I don't need to adjust it before use.

I'd note that many of the large public aquariums also use regular old IO, and with excellent results.
 

Gtinnel

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I used regular IO for 20 years.

I got precipitation of calcium carbonate like other high alk mixes, but not ever the brown crud/film that folks report of Reef Crystals (I suspect it is due to the vitamins, but do not know for sure).

This was the precipitated calcium carbonate that accumulated for years:

What is that Precipitate in My Reef Aquarium? by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com


Figure 1. The residue on the bottom of the plastic trash can that I use to mix Instant Ocean. I rarely clean it out. The solid is most likely calcium carbonate.
1636389315363.png
So switching would cause me to switch from one residue to another?
 
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Jason Arego

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Cheapest possible, IO. Kalkwasser and a 50g wc every three months keep everything where I need it. It's a 250g btw. Depending if I got a deal on others I'll often mix them.
 

TastesLikeChicken

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Tropic Marin and another brand have pharmaceutical grade salt. So if you want “top of the line” those are the ones. But you will pay a higher price.

The gunk at the bottom of the barrel is unsightly but I don’t think it’s harmful, but I don’t have any scientific evidence either. Also I believe it happens with both IO and Reef Crystals but lately I’ve been using whatever salt is on sale that I can’t keep track of what is doing what.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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So switching would cause me to switch from one residue to another?

All high alk mixes have a tendency to precipitate calcium carbonate. It is caused by the high alk. That said, it's not really a problem, IMO. You can stop it by lowering the alk, if you want.
 

Gtinnel

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All high alk mixes have a tendency to precipitate calcium carbonate. It is caused by the high alk. That said, it's not really a problem, IMO. You can stop it by lowering the alk, if you want.
I'd just deal with the precipitate before messing with lowering the alkalinity. I thought the regular IO didn't have elevated alk.
Honestly the brown residue of Reef Crystals isn't that bad, and I wouldn't care at all other than it partially clogging the end of my AWC line.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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I'd just deal with the precipitate before messing with lowering the alkalinity. I thought the regular IO didn't have elevated alk.
Honestly the brown residue of Reef Crystals isn't that bad, and I wouldn't care at all other than it partially clogging the end of my AWC line.

Regular IO is not very different than Reef Crystals, but doesn't have the vitamins. It may have lower magnesium and calcium than Reef Crystals, but still has more than NSW at 35 ppt (I think).
 

Gtinnel

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Regular IO is not very different than Reef Crystals, but doesn't have the vitamins. It may have lower magnesium and calcium than Reef Crystals, but still has more than NSW at 35 ppt (I think).
Ah ok. Thanks.
In the end I'll probably just stick with whats been working for me, which is the Reef Crystals.
 

Jason Arego

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Depends whatever is cheapest which is IO most of the time. If it was something else at a point in time they would eventually be mixed into another large batch of water with IO. No discrimination ;)

No difference to me, years past I ran the higher price salts until I one day decided to try IO and would use limewater the rest of the way. It's been 5 years since that day.
 

Jason Arego

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Instant ocean. I'm at the point years later that I finally realized through time and testing that IO is perfectly fine.

What do people expect a salt 3 times the cost is gonna do? Grow corals faster? Jordans don't make you jump higher, Asics don't make you run longer and they have fancy stuff in them.. So why would a more expensive salt grow faster? There are too many other variables that dictate how fast or well something grows in our tanks.
 
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workhz

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IO, just because that’s what I’m used to and it’s always available.

Has anyone ever put together a comparison table between the salts? That way if you want high alk or low this or high that you pick what you want?
 

Big Smelly fish

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I’m back to IO and reef crystals. Nothing wrong with it . Easy to fine just about everywhere. I used IO in 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and reef crystal when it became available, always been decent salt. The brown stain on the mixing tub was no big deal. Doesn’t hurt a thing . I remember when they put a tee shirt in every bucket. That’s all I wore going out on my maintenance calls. We made hundreds gallons every week.
 

vetteguy53081

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Everyone has a preffered salt for a certain purpose while some simply use a certain salt because of price.
In No order I prefer:

Tropic Marin
Seachem Salinity
Red Sea Pro
Kent
Reef crystals
Aquaforest
 

Reef.

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What do people expect a salt 3 times the cost is gonna do? Grow corals faster? Jordans don't make you jump higher, Asics don't make you run longer and they have fancy stuff in them.. So why would a more expensive salt grow faster? There are too many other variables that dictate how fast or well something grows in our tanks.
whilst I generally agree most of the top brands of salt will not differ that much from each other, I think you are over egging the pudding when you say running shoes don’t can help you run for longer, of course a good pair of running shoe will do exactly that.
 
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