The Reef Tank banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
just a guy with a reef...
Joined
·
354 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ive always used Reef Crystals on my tank, mainly because its cheap and has abundant calcium, but im becoming more and more frustrated at just how HIGH the Calcium and Alkalinity is in this stuff... I tested a freshly opened bag today, and once mixed to 1.026, I found the Calcium to be 490 and the Alk to be 15 DkH! Im using a 2-part dosing scheme that is keeping things very stable, that is until I do a water change!

I try to keep my Alk around 9 and the Calcium around 420-430. Is there a salt out there that would come a bit closer to my tanks levels?

Thanks!
 

·
Kid Reefer
Joined
·
4,174 Posts
Ive always used Reef Crystals on my tank, mainly because its cheap and has abundant calcium, but im becoming more and more frustrated at just how HIGH the Calcium and Alkalinity is in this stuff... I tested a freshly opened bag today, and once mixed to 1.026, I found the Calcium to be 490 and the Alk to be 15 DkH! Im using a 2-part dosing scheme that is keeping things very stable, that is until I do a water change!

I try to keep my Alk around 9 and the Calcium around 420-430. Is there a salt out there that would come a bit closer to my tanks levels?

Thanks!
I think the reason for this is because companies say to mix your salt to 1.021-1.024, so when we mix it to be 1.026 the levels are higher.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,350 Posts
I think the reason for this is because companies say to mix your salt to 1.021-1.024, so when we mix it to be 1.026 the levels are higher.
Correct. We tend to run our tanks at a slightly higher salinity to boost levels. If you are happy with Reef Crystals, you could just switch over to Instant Ocean. Same product minus the boosted levels, or so they say.


Here is an analysis on multiple salt brands from an independent company.
http://www.aquariumwatertesting.com/AWT_Salt_Analysis_0208.pdf
 

·
reefer madness
Joined
·
614 Posts
its funny, josh just recomended me to use reef crystals over the instant ocean(which im currently using) and now i dont know, hey bro lay off tha salts and make up your mind! LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,350 Posts
I'm using Coralife. Check out the pdf from AWT. The numbers are interesting to say the least.
 

·
reefer madness
Joined
·
614 Posts
mabye this is just a brain fart....what if you mix half and half of Instant Ocean and Reef Crystals? wouldent that give you the best of both worlds?(elevated calcium and lower alklinity?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,350 Posts
It could work. You may need to experiment some as the optimum mix may not be 50/50.
 

·
Kid Reefer
Joined
·
4,174 Posts
Thats a cool link!
For me it was a choice between coralife and RC and I just got RC because it was available where I was ordering my stuff from. I need a good calcium test kit because the ATI reef master test kits calcium test kit never changes color... Any reccomendations?
 

·
just a guy with a reef...
Joined
·
354 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Correct. We tend to run our tanks at a slightly higher salinity to boost levels. If you are happy with Reef Crystals, you could just switch over to Instant Ocean. Same product minus the boosted levels, or so they say.


Here is an analysis on multiple salt brands from an independent company.
http://www.aquariumwatertesting.com/AWT_Salt_Analysis_0208.pdf
This really makes no sense to me. I have always heard that 1.024-1.026 is the specific gravity that a reef should be kept at, and have had success running mine at 1.026 for years. How would I do water changes with water mixed to 1.021-1.024 and without dropping salinity?

Do all salts say to mix "lower" than the suggested level for a reef?

Dont get me wrong, I love Reef Crystals, but with all of the (successful) efforts made lately to stabilize Ca and Alk, its just a bit frustrating that the only thing throwing things off is my newly mixed salt water!

Thanks to all for the replys (yours to matt :D). The link to the water test results was very informative.
 

·
Kid Reefer
Joined
·
4,174 Posts
This really makes no sense to me. I have always heard that 1.024-1.026 is the specific gravity that a reef should be kept at, and have had success running mine at 1.026 for years. How would I do water changes with water mixed to 1.021-1.024 and without dropping salinity?

Do all salts say to mix "lower" than the suggested level for a reef?

Dont get me wrong, I love Reef Crystals, but with all of the (successful) efforts made lately to stabilize Ca and Alk, its just a bit frustrating that the only thing throwing things off is my newly mixed salt water!

Thanks to all for the replys (yours to matt :D). The link to the water test results was very informative.
The "best" salinity for our reef tanks is 1.026 but for some reason these companies want us to keep it at 1.021-1024 at a 77 degree fahrenheit temperature.
 

·
CONSTANTLY LEARNING
Joined
·
1,598 Posts
The testing in the above link probably doesn't apply to I.O. products any more as their formulae have been changed to boost calcium and magnesium and that will most likely affect trace elements.
Also, how much does it really matter which salt we use?
I suspect that there are successes with each and every salt that has been on the market for any length of time.
Randy Holmes Farley posted on the sticky "A General Guide to Salt Mixes" on his Reef Chemistry forum a couple of days ago: "IMO, those advantages to I.O. include cost, no organics such as vitamins, and no metal chelators", comparing to the Reef Crystals.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,654 Posts
I just switched to coralife (from RC) a few months ago and have found it to be very consistent in levels. So far I've gone through 3 buckets, all three are different lots, each have tested right around 440 calc, 8 alk.

Th price was the biggest reason I switched after I learned that it's actually pretty good salt. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,350 Posts
This really makes no sense to me. I have always heard that 1.024-1.026 is the specific gravity that a reef should be kept at, and have had success running mine at 1.026 for years. How would I do water changes with water mixed to 1.021-1.024 and without dropping salinity?

Do all salts say to mix "lower" than the suggested level for a reef?

Dont get me wrong, I love Reef Crystals, but with all of the (successful) efforts made lately to stabilize Ca and Alk, its just a bit frustrating that the only thing throwing things off is my newly mixed salt water!

Thanks to all for the replys (yours to matt :D). The link to the water test results was very informative.
The specific gravity of the ocean is not a constant 1.026 worldwide. It varies greatly depending on location and season. The reason you have always been told to run it at 1.025 or 1.026 is for the additional levels.

Dropping the specific gravity would also drop the levels which is exactly what you were asking about in the first place. If the reason for running a higher specific gravity is to get increased levels and you are looking for lower levels. Lowering the specific gravity of the tank may make sense for you.

Success in a reef tank comes from consistent levels. Whether it's 1.024 or 1.026, consistency is more important that the actual value. There is no reason that you cannot be successful with a reef tank at slightly lower than 1.024 however, it will require more additives to bring the other levels up to desired numbers.

Without a properly calibrated refractometer (salinity fluid not RO/DI), it's safe to say your tank could be anywhere in the range of 1.026.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,591 Posts
Honestly I usually buy or get what ever salt is free or cheap of the major brands. Anyway why not use instant ocean if unhappy with reef crystals...

By the time you do a 5 to 15 percent water change it is so diluted down in your tanks it rally does not matter anyway and affects your tank very little. Only real time it makes much a difference is if you are setting up a new tank or doing a major water change.

I do stay way from seachem and coral life salts though.

Dave Polzin
 

·
just a guy with a reef...
Joined
·
354 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks again for all of the valuable responses. I understand that mixing the water to a lower salinity would reduce levels, but when 1.026 gives me 15/490... how low would I really have to go (in terms of salinity) to reach a "normal" level.

I do 20% weekly water changes, so the impact to Ca and Alk becomes noticeable quicker than you would think. I know it wont raise it by much, even at 20%, but with a dialed-in dosing scheme in place, levels will gradually rise to levels above where I want them. In a perfect world, I would use a salt that would allow for a 9/430 mix @ 1.026. This would keep levels stable even through my 20% WC's.

Again, thanks for all of the responses so far.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top