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Salt has too much alk and ca

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  • Salt has too much alk and ca

    Anyone have a recommendation on a salt mix that doesnt have too much alk or ca. im trying to keep my levels stable but anytime i do a water change my alk raises too much. my current salt mix is kent, which have a tested level of 12dkh of alk and 558 of calcium, which is way too high.

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  • #2
    Mix it with a 1 to 1 ratio with instant ocean . That's what I do with oceanic salt. One has high levels one has low . Mixes up just right for my needs.


    • #3
      What does instant ocean have as fair as levels from your experience? The only reason I use kent is it doesn't seem to make a slime coat on my brutes


      • #4
        I don't know about the rules here for hotlinking to RC or R2R, so I am copying and pasting from my R2R post on "best salt mixes" dated 29 Oct 15:

        "Preface - anything I say here is a reflection of my opinion based on personal experience or that of local people whose results I can quantify. Many other things such as water quality from the source, housekeeping, etc., can affect your results. Your mileage may vary. Tax, tag, and title not included. Some assembly required. Professional driver on closed course - do not try this at home...

        Hello, Dr. Holmes-Farley,

        I use the HW Reefer salt. When I say "hotter", the mix comes in at higher levels of ca/mg/alk than, say, RC or Kent, which I consider as softie and FOWLR salt.

        @ other posters: Regarding stability issues, the TM Pro was horrible for me. That was the one I couldn't remember the name of. One can see my angry post over at the "reefing centrally" forum from about 5-7 years ago. I stopped using RSCP because of algae blooms, and I was picking up more than trace amounts of NO3 and PO4 in it - I would call those levels unacceptable for such a hyped product.

        Regarding the price of the HW Reefer salt, I pick up salt on sale and free shipping. So it ends up rather less than one would think. I don't think I've ever paid over $55 a box.

        Actually, to put a very succinct point on all of this, salt is not salt is not salt. Regardless of directions we all try to point out to others, we all have our preferences and everyone will go their own way. "Two roads diverge in a yellow wood..."

        I like the HW Reefer. A very good friend of mine uses RC and grows fabulous corals at $50-150 a frag. Another one swears by Kent and has great luck.

        Here's how I see it based on the reefers and FOWLR's I know personally (no offense at anyone here intended):
        1. IO or RC - Stability, cheap, easy to get. It's OK stuff. It's clean, and you can have good results with it.
        2. Kent - solid, good price, fairly stable, if you're dosing and have lot's of SPS, it works great.
        3. HW products - in my case REEFER, stable, great starting parameters for SPS and LPS, meets expectations, can be pricey but is a solid product - IMHO, this is what RSCP should be trying to emulate.
        4. TM, TM Pro and RSCP - expensive, unstable, does not meet expectations, and is not clean regarding NO3 and PO4 (my personal experience and opinion only), lots of precipitate. I realize that a lot of people use these, and I say that if you have good luck with it, I fully support your choice. They were not good choices for me. The RSCP is a beastly item simply because it is harvested from near-shore waters and is not a synthetic. The TM Pro was just awful, swinging from 6-11+ DkH and low ca/mg. Unstable like you wouldn't believe.
        5. Seachem and Salinity - only used once or twice in a salt crisis, no issues, can't provide an opinion.
        6. The salt you mix yourself from liquids - can't remember the name, one of our club members used it and loved it. Had great results, but I imagine that if you don't follow instructions well, this is not the salt for you.
        7. Brightwell - I used for 1 year. Absolutely no better than RC in my opinion, was a finer grind, this one is way too much money for what it is - "meh". Buy the RC and save up for that new frag or fish with the savings!
        Personally, I think this is why there are Fords, GMs, and Toyotas - odd man out, I own two Subarus... Everyone has a choice and through experience, we all will use what we think best. Over the course of our hobby experiences, we will refine our choices to what we think is the Holy Grail of whatever we are using.

        Anecdote: I was using RSCP and my corals sucked the hind titty. Pale color, poor polyp extension, algae blooms, and so forth. Could not shake PO4 and NO3, and tried everything known to us. Could not locate the source. One day I ran out of RSCP and grabbed a bucket of Seachem from my LFS. Corals changed in two weeks - not fragtastic, just better appearance and life. Algae started to die. Nothing else changed. I already use kalkwasser as ATO water and am constantly running a Geo 612 Ca reactor. I generally run my tank at 450+ ca, 1300 mg, DkH at 11, and sp gr at 1.026 on a calibrated spectrometer. Temp is set at 80F +/- .2 deg, and I run a 10 hr total light period under an ATI 36 X 8 bulb Sunpower fixture. Water TDS is zero.

        I had a little RSCP in the bucket, and tested the batch by making one gallon, aerated/mixed for 2 hours. If you mix it for more than two hours, Red Sea will be happy to personally tell you that if you mix more than two hours, the salt has been overmixed and basically all of the "extra" ca, alk, and mg will precipitate out. There is even a 2 hr warning on the bucket. Anyway, I tested the batch, and then made one more and tested it as well.

        TDS - 450-550. Zero prior to the salt addition to the water.
        Alk - 7.85 DkH
        Ca - 390
        Mg - 1260
        NO3 - in excess of 20ppm
        PO4 - 6ppm

        So, for a salt that is supposed to be "super hot" parameter-wise, nope, not here. And, feeding my algae to boot. I was pretty torqued off. Waste of money, damaged livestock. As Turbo B, the rapper from the '90's group Snap! said, "Don't believe the hype is a sequel..."

        I saw the ad for the "new product" salt at BRS, and did some research on some boards in Germany and the UK. Lots of people using it, swearing by it, not at it as my case was with RSCP.

        Bought three boxes, and continued my regular water change schedule and housekeeping habits. Changed nothing for a year.

        Immediately, my livestock perked up, and my SPS's started not only to improve, but to grow - A LOT. FAST. Algae - gone. Super clean mixing, and I can mix it for 5 minutes or five days and the parameters remain rock solid, batch after batch."

        Last edited by kattz; 11-01-2016, 01:38 PM. Reason: Typo