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Old 07/25/2019, 12:39 PM   #1
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Another newbie question. When I was in the hobby almost 20 years ago there was basically one brand of salt. A quick perusal of my local box store and I noticed multiple brands and mixes of salt, some specific to reefs. Is there a significant difference in the products or is it not enough to justify cost differences.

Sadly Amazon has them for around $20 less shipped, than my local store.

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Old 07/25/2019, 12:58 PM   #2
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There is a difference and everyone has their own personal view & reason for a particular brand many times due to long exp. with several brands, that being said the skinny is regular sea salt is for fish only tanks & reef sea salt has more mineral additives such as Magnesium, Calcium, trace minerals etc.... By using Reef salt you probably don't have to be concerned with dosing and testing so much until your tank gets over grown. Its still important to do water chemistry tests regularly say once a week especially if its a Reef tank just to be sure everything stays stable tho till your certain your salt IS giving you what you need. Fish only eh..........just do water changes weekly & be sure salinity is stable. Even lighting is of little concern on fish only, so depends on what your planning. You can always upgrade from fish only to a Reef tank just by changing a few items like the salt & lighting.

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Old 07/25/2019, 01:49 PM   #3
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Thanks. I’m getting this tank from someone who practically gave it to me because he had to ick outbreaks, so it’s not even going to have fish for awhile. I’ll stick to the regular salt until I’m ready to put corals at a later date. Thanks!

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Old 07/26/2019, 01:24 AM   #4
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I'm using Fritz. Used it for years and I have no complaints.

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Old 07/26/2019, 04:31 AM   #5
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Regular IO (Instant Ocean) works just fine and is usually the cheapest.. Its used by many commercial aquatic facilities around the world..

There is little to no proof....not a significant difference,etc... justifying any cost increase beyond that..

And yes Amazon will often have the best price on it.

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Old 07/26/2019, 07:41 AM   #6
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Yup, I use the purple box of Instant Ocean. Does just fine.

My LFS uses that Fritz and swears by it, but it is more expensive.

SC Aquariums - 150 Gallon 5'x2'x2'; Trigger Elite 36 Sump; Mars Aqua Lights
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Old 07/26/2019, 07:44 AM   #7
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Get what you paid for

The difference is in the mix and quantity of major and minor elements making up your salt.
You can buy the cheapest or most expensive, they all work fine, depends on what you keep
Outside of fish.

You can increase elements by buying a salt which pre-mixes to your desired levels or add those elements it doesn’t matter, but with corals, maintaining the appropriate levels is

So I can take an OI salt and create the same water as Red Sea Pro, but must increase ALK which adds to the cost.

Some cheaper salts leave a beige scum after mixing, personally I am not much for the extra cleaning of the mixing vats.

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Old 07/26/2019, 08:14 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Uncle99 View Post
Get what you paid for
Partially true to what I'd bet is a small extent...
There is quite a bit of fanboy/brand markup as well as higher pricing dictated by lower volume/recouping development costs,etc... associated with salt mixes..

IOs lower cost is more because they make a crap ton of it due to sales volume and the fact its been around forever more than anything else..

There are certainly salt mixes that you would pay more for and wouldn't receive a "better/higher quality,etc..." product..

Many of the "reef" salt parameter levels are way higher than most would attempt to maintain without extensive higher nutrient level management..

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Old 08/08/2019, 02:17 AM   #9
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I use Aquaforest Reef salt which is at the higher end of the price point however I do find it extremely consistent. I also like the fact they run an ICP test on every batch and let you check the results of your batch.

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Old 08/08/2019, 07:23 AM   #10
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Tropic Marin pro reef. I wait till Petco has its 30 off savings and then I order. Cost me 76 dollars delivered.

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Old 08/08/2019, 10:05 AM   #11
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IORC. Some salts might be higher or lower when it comes down to elements, but if your dosing then they're all pretty much the same. Kind of like shoes...

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Old 08/18/2019, 09:31 AM   #12
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IO/IORC for me, although I have used pretty much every brand out there over the years. If it's FO, it does not matter at all. If it's a stony coral reef tank, you will almost certainly be dosing anyway so I just don't see how it makes much difference. I buy on sale. I currently have 8 or 9 cases of RC in the basement that should last me a couple years.

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