Kessil

Making my own salt water?

Rostato

Supporting Member
I have used Fritz, instant ocean, reef crystals, salinity, red sea blue, and tropic marine pro.

I would only recommend red sea blue or tropic marine pro. Tropic marine being my ultimate pick. It took me over a decade of Reefing to find a salt that just works the way it should.
 

ofzakaria

Supporting Member
It was a mildly amusing story in reference to a post above about bringing home 30-40 gallons of water at a time seeming like a lot. No more, no less.
While this particular store didn't do a great job in their store, the individual referenced above kept his 210 as an SPS tank that was the envy of everyone in the local reefing community who had the privilege of seeing it. If he was still living I'd ask him for a picture. Who are we to say he was doing things wrong?

I'm aware that people with larger tanks who do water changes and know how to balance a budget typically choose to make their own water and salt. I do this, and the OP seems to as well. I'm not trying to dissuade them.

If you want something directly on topic:
You may find that a lot of the price differences between salts balance back out when you discover that they tend to rate their volume mixed at different salinities, so take that into account.
I happen to use Red Sea Coral Pro because at the time I was running a higher alk tank and servicing lower alk tanks that used water changes as their replenishment method. I also like to keep my Mg higher than most salt mixes come in at. Once I did the math on cost per volume corrected to the same salinity it wasn't really any different in price than using Reef Crystals. At the time I picked a salt (years ago) Fritz had recently shipped a bad batch of salt to the LFS which caused a pile of problems. Knowing that Red Sea would provide a per batch lab report, I decided that was a better risk. I know several people who use Fritz and have never had an issue, so I don't mean to single them out.

My short form advice on salt is: Pick the alk you want, normalize price to a constant salinity, and either stop there because it really doesn't matter much past that, or go with your personal preference and recognize that it's a bit like religious preference at that point.
Not sure why the sensitivity. To each their opinion so do not take it bad.
 
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jccaclimber

Supporting Member
I have used Fritz, instant ocean, reef crystals, salinity, red sea blue, and tropic marine pro.

I would only recommend red sea blue or tropic marine pro. Tropic marine being my ultimate pick. It took me over a decade of Reefing to find a salt that just works the way it should.
What sort of issues did you have with other salts that led to this decision? Always good to know what to watch out for.
 

max_nano

Supporting Member
I’ve used RS black bucket, IO Reef crystals, and TM Pro. TM pro mixes the best and it’s an alk close to what I maintain. From my experience I’d suggest looking at TM salts but like others have said it depends on the alk you want to keep.

Also don’t feel like you would need a trident to dose. If you start adding sps slowly you can do weekly tests and set up your dosing schedule then check to see that they are keeping it stable or adjust if not. Does an automatic tester make it easier, yeah, but it isn’t necessary. If you do go that route I and a few others here have gone with the Khg which has a better value in my opinion than the trident. But that can be when the sps bug starts. I lasted about a year...
 

Rostato

Supporting Member
What sort of issues did you have with other salts that led to this decision? Always good to know what to watch out for.

Fritz was disgusting I made exactly one batch and donated the rest at one of the club meetings.

Instant ocean was inconsistent and dirty. I always had to test each batch and bring certain elements up to snuff. This led me to think that all the untestable trace elements we're also out of whack.

Reef crystals had the same issues as instant ocean with the major issue of insanely high alk. Also not only dirty but my bin would get a build up of carbonite like crazy.

Salinity was also dirty, had high elements and built up carbonite like the reef crystals had.

Red sea was pretty close to what I wanted. But the magnesium was consistently low, and it wouldn't always mix in a cohesive manor. What I mean is that all the major elements would be a bit different every time. It was no where near as dirty as the others, but it did gum up my bin with brown sludge faster than TMP does. It also took a bit to mix up.

TMP hits all elements consistently and mixes super fast. Like in minutes, not hours. The brown sludge still happens but my min cleanings have been cut in half since the switch.
 

Meshmez

Supporting Member
Reef crystals had the same issues as instant ocean with the major issue of insanely high alk. Also not only dirty but my bin would get a build up of carbonite like crazy.

Salinity was also dirty, had high elements and built up carbonite like the reef crystals had.
Pretty sure you were not getting a buildup of Carbonite.. :p
 

Srt4eric

BOD
Staff member
This would also be for my new set up with absolutely nothing in it yet so I dont really have a target level to match with.
 

svreef

BOD
Staff member
If that’s the case, you can choose any of the mentioned salts. Just don’t buy a large amount right from the start in case you want to switch to something else. One other advantage of Instant Ocean is that it’s readily available at the big pet stores, so you can pick it up anytime.
 

JVU

BOD
Staff member
Reef crystals had the same issues as instant ocean with the major issue of insanely high alk. Also not only dirty but my bin would get a build up of carbonite like crazy.
Chris after a big RC water change:
1600028765863.png
 

Vincerama2

Supporting Member
For consistency, I buy Instant Ocean (not Reef Crystals) and I Subscribe to the box every 3 months using Chewy.com. Drs Foster&Smith used to be the place to get it when they'd have sales, but that ship has sailed. Check Chewy.com, or Amazon.com subscription.

If you ever go into the back rooms at Steinhart's Aquarium, they use Instant Ocean by the ton. Seriously.
V
 

RandyC

Supporting Member
For consistency, I buy Instant Ocean (not Reef Crystals) and I Subscribe to the box every 3 months using Chewy.com. Drs Foster&Smith used to be the place to get it when they'd have sales, but that ship has sailed. Check Chewy.com, or Amazon.com subscription.

If you ever go into the back rooms at Steinhart's Aquarium, they use Instant Ocean by the ton. Seriously.
V

they do not use IO anymore. They actually buy plain Sodium Chloride from Morton’s and make their own now according to the last behind the scenes tour.
 

Vincerama2

Supporting Member
Back in his college days he played football for an SEC team, he could handle it. The alternative wasn't great either. He was in a small 1 bedroom apartment with his wife, and I still knew him after he left that job. The alternative was storing brute trash cans somewhere, pulling them into the kitchen, spending 2 days filling the trash cans, buying salt, and still having to move it all (pumps, etc.).

With the jugs he could put them on a cart, back to the truck, another cart to get them inside, do the water change, and then put all the jugs back in the truck. No clogging up the kitchen for 2 days.
Whoa, a 1 bedroom apartment with a 210 gallon tank! That's commitment!

V
 

borker

Supporting Member
I have used Reef Crystals for years. Never even considered a different salt.

I read this thread:

And basically most of the parameters don't vary a ton, although notably Alk is high in Reef Crystals, but if you're not change 50% of your water, that's not a huge deal. It did spike my 90 when I did a 50% change though!

Maybe I should try TM Pro - since everyone here seems to love it.

Has anyone noticed differences in growth when switching salt?
 

phatduckk

Supporting Member
I use tropic Marin pro because it mixes fast and doesn’t leave gunk in my mixing bin. The alk is low (around 7) so I just add some after the mixing is done.
 

Srt4eric

BOD
Staff member
So I am in the process of mixing up my first batch of salt. The instructions says do not mix for more than 4 hours. Why not? What happens after 4 hours, 1 minute and 23 seconds? Can I pause the mixing after an hour if I want to go to bed and start mixing again in the morning?
 

jccaclimber

Supporting Member
Many higher alk salt mixes aren’t actually stable as mixed. Alk (and of course some calcium) starts precipitating out very quickly. The solution to this is to mix it and use it right away. The only practical downside of letting it sit is some film in your bucket and lower than advertised alkalinity.
 
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