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Salt Mixes


Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Nov 20, 2002
Dallas Texas
I seem to be having unusual problems with salt water this year. I had some mixed up, looked fine, but the last three gallons in the bucket suddenly turned cloudy. There was a small pump in the tank. Can't think of any reason - perhaps something precipitated out of the solution.

Anyway, someone gave a reference to an earlier and more recent article on salt mixes with actual measurements. I can't seem to find hte thread. The articles may have been on RC. Does anyone know where I can find this reference?


No one is happy with any of the salt studies so far. They all seem to be lacking and they get out of date quickly. There is a new study that is supposed to bear preliminary results in September.
Out of curiosity, how is the Tropic Marin brand? The Europeans seem to be ahead of the curve on almost everything else. The description of the product reads like it's the new Centrum vitamin for tanks.
The description of just about every salt makes them all seem like they are perfect. Thats the reason so many people are interested in salt studies.
Tropic Marin gets decent anecdotal reviews. The biggest thing about salt seems to be consistency, and people sometimes have issues when switching brands. If you have to switch, do several water changes mixing the salts in increasing amounts of the new salt.
I thought about changing, but didn't want to risk it. I think the most important thing about salt is getting one you will be able to get in the future. :smile:
I used Kent Marine. I've used that for a long time because it's available locally and because it has a relatively low copper content.

I got a bad batch some months ago that had a very low pH. Since one of the local LFSs uses it too, I was able to confirm that they sometimes got a bad batch, too. I wonder whether this happens with most salt mixes.

Obviously they all leave something to be desired. I guess there are some new ones coming on the market, too.

Chris and others interested in the salt studies, follow the link on cuttlegirl's thread below to Dan's post, which has links to the studies.

The main reason I use Instant Ocean is because they are huge and almost never make bad batches. The salt is very consistent. I is low in Ca and Mg, but I compensate.
I am not a fan of new salts. Let someone else use it for a couple of years! :smile:
i work at the lfs that nancy mentioned above, and we use kent for our premaid salt water. we have noticed the following:
Some buckets have very low ph's
Some contain excess amounts of po4
some have actualy been found to contain nitrates in small amounts.

all seem to have realativly high ca and mg levels,
they also seem to work very well

we also carry hawian tropic as our salt water mix from time to time, and i personaly like it much better.

Btw nancy it was nice to meet you today
No wonder I've been having trouble! Thanks, Will, and it was nice to meet you in person, too.

Now I wonder whether it's just Kent Sea Salt, or all of them are not nearly as consistent as the manufacturers suggest. But as Will notes, even with the problems, the salt seems to work well.

However, I think I may slowly change to Tropic Marin or Instant Ocean.

From what I can tell, IO seems to be the most consistent salt around. A lot of the big aquariums use it. All the others, including TM, seem to have reports of inconsistency.
Who's doing the salt study coming out in September?

If you see it when it comes out, maybe you could post about it and where to find it.

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