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What I did was try to mix 1 gallon of each brand of salt at 35ppm SG using RO/DI water. With the Red Sea Mix, I added a level 1/2 scoop of salt to 1 gal water and had to add maybe a half more cup of water to bring SG down to 35ppm. With the Instant Ocean mix, I added the same amount (level 1/2 cup) but had to add about 3 more cups of water to bring the SG down to 35ppm. The Instant Ocean mix definitely has a higher salinity content than the Red Sea salt when measured equally. Anyways, did everything dead on and cleaned and dried all equipment after each salt mix and water tests. I also used Salifert test kits for all the parameters.

------------------Red Sea-------- IO------
Calcium(ppm) ------400-----------420
Alk(kh/meq) -----7.4/2.63------10.9/3.89
PH -----------------8.5-----------8.2
Magnesium(ppm) ---1065 ---------1080

Overall, Instant Ocean looks like the brand I will stick with. If I run into any other brands I can get my hands on along the way, I'll post tests on them as well. I'm definitely going to be labeled a nerd now!!! Whatever, nice to know what I'm putting in my tank. The Red Sea leaves a nasty residue behind when mixed and have to strain through floss in sump to be safe. It also takes forever to disolve. The IO on the other hand left zero residue in bucket, not even a speck, and disolved almost immediately when it hit the water. I also did the tests as dead on and accurate as possible.
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I think you will find though that keeping your level of salinity at .026 your magnesium and calcium levels for IO are substantially lower than we need to keep them. I use reef crystals and i didnt test for calcium but i tested for magnesium last week in freshly mixed water and got around 980. It was a quick test and only one of them however but i was trying to figure ouot why my mag levels were so low in my tank.
 

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I agree with Bill. With all the testing that I did with IO salt, I think you'll find that the calcium level will never be over 280.
 
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