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View Poll Results: What is the best/most preferred salt mix for reef tanks?
Coralife Marine Salt 4 4.82%
IO Reef Crystals 23 27.71%
(regular)IO Sythetic Sea Salt 6 7.23%
Kent Marine Sea Salt 2 2.41%
Ocean Natural Sea Salt 4 4.82%
Red Sea Coral Pro Sea Salt 9 10.84%
Red Sea Sea Salts 0 0%
SeaChem Sea Salts 5 6.02%
Tropic Marin Sea Salts 14 16.87%
Other 16 19.28%
Voters: 83. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-16-2010, 06:35 AM   #11
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Brightwell brand synthetic salt is the best... ive tried a lot of different brands and brightwell is MUCH MUCH better than others
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:01 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for your opinions. I think with the pole, I am going to go with reef Crystals. I've heard people say before that it wouldn't keep the magnesium up high enough compared to the calcium, but I haven't seen anyone show me why they think that(aside from maybe low mag on test results).
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seano Hermano View Post
Looking at different brands of salt & I came upon this link for "top 10 best sea salt mixes"

Top Sea Salt Mixes - Sea Salt mixes which are used in saltwater marine aquariums

Do you agree with this? What are your thoughts? This is for a reef tank BTW.
Nope, I totally disagree. I will never use anything but Crystal Sea Bioassay Laboratory Formula, because it's the only synthetic salt mix that scientists will use in a lab, outside of comparison tests. Why Stan and Deb never even acknowledge it's existence is totally beyond my comprehension.

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Old 08-19-2010, 07:55 PM   #14
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well, who sells it? Link a site to me please? I want to take a look..
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:56 PM   #15
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But then again, just because it's used in a lab doesn't necessarily make it fit for a reef tank, not to say it can't be used.
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:15 PM   #16
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But then again, just because it's used in a lab doesn't necessarily make it fit for a reef tank, not to say it can't be used.
Well, this was enough to convince me.

The Toxicity of Some Freshly Mixed Artificial Sea Water; A Bad Beginning For A Reef Aquarium by Ronald L. Shimek, Ph.D. - Reefkeeping.com

This bioassay study was conducted to prove that no artificial salt mix could compare to natural sea water for supporting delicate marine life. Even the scientist was mistaken.

Animal Survival Rate:

Natural Sea Water.... 37.10%
Crystal Sea Bioassay. 41.50%
Bio-Sea Marinemix.... 35.80%
Instant Ocean......... 4.00%
Coralife.................. 7.40%

If you see a bioassay test that shows another salt mix that's better than natural sea water and Crystal Sea for supporting marine life, show me... I just might switch.
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Old 08-19-2010, 10:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seano Hermano View Post
But then again, just because it's used in a lab doesn't necessarily make it fit for a reef tank, not to say it can't be used.
are you kidding! when professors set out to accomplish their goals they only use what is the most effective. sometimes it means its more effective than what nature has to offer...
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:14 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Golden Rhino View Post
Well, this was enough to convince me.

The Toxicity of Some Freshly Mixed Artificial Sea Water; A Bad Beginning For A Reef Aquarium by Ronald L. Shimek, Ph.D. - Reefkeeping.com

This bioassay study was conducted to prove that no artificial salt mix could compare to natural sea water for supporting delicate marine life. Even the scientist was mistaken.

Animal Survival Rate:

Natural Sea Water.... 37.10%
Crystal Sea Bioassay. 41.50%
Bio-Sea Marinemix.... 35.80%
Instant Ocean......... 4.00%
Coralife.................. 7.40%

If you see a bioassay test that shows another salt mix that's better than natural sea water and Crystal Sea for supporting marine life, show me... I just might switch.
I didn't study it much, but some of it it disturbing. Why does the IO salt with RO/DI water from hobbyist A differ so much from the other IO samples? If the IO salt was the control (between the IO samples), than they should have all tested relatively close. They didn't. Why? Because one sample used RO/DI water. Apparently, the others didn't. We know hobbyist B's sample used well water, but did Ronald Shimek for his sample? This should have been addressed. All of the salts provided, except the Crystal Sea, were purchased anonymously and from different vendors. All should have all been purchased from the same vendor (takes one variable out of the equation). The Crystal Sea was shipped directly from the manufacturer (probably was donated and as such the manufacturer probably knew it was for a test) which introduces a different variable into the mix (all "store bought" except one which the manufacturer probably donated and could have altered since they knew it was being lab tested). If it was purchased, and the manufacturer didn't know who (or what) was going to use it, then that should have been noted. Only 10 test runs for each sample? A standard deviation of around 25-40 percent on some of the salts? Those numbers need to be tightened up before real analysis can be made. Frozen, and then thawed samples from 2 hobbyists, but the others weren't frozen and then thawed? Come on. You have to have much tighter control on the tests. My college physics professor would have handed me my ass if I didn't keep all the controls as close to each other as possible on a lab analysis.

If you want to raise Sea Urchin Embryos, then Crystal Sea is probably a great salt, but these salts should have been tested with actual fish and coral, if you want to relate the study to fish (and coral) in an aquarium. Otherwise, they are just making assumptions. They may be valid assumptions, but they could be wrong. Remember, we used to assume the world was flat. Oops! That was eventually proved wrong.

I'm not telling anyone how much money to spend on what kind of salt (buy whatever you like). I'm also not trying to discredit Ronald Shimek, and frankly I don't think I could, but I really think a more in-depth data analysis needs to be done before such a broad sweeping generalization can be made about salt mixes.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:18 AM   #19
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Quote:
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are you kidding! when professors set out to accomplish their goals they only use what is the most effective. sometimes it means its more effective than what nature has to offer...
Or, maybe it was provided to them for free. Maybe it wasn't, but that is something to think about.

Kind of like the Duracell commercials where they show some group of people (ambulance company for example) who only use Duracell batteries. They fail to mention whether or not the batteries were donated to that group and that's why they use them. Hell, if some one is giving me something for free, you can be damn well sure I'm going to use it.
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Old 08-20-2010, 05:31 AM   #20
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I'm not telling anyone how much money to spend on what kind of salt (buy whatever you like).
+1

FWIW, from the different LFSes that I frequent that carry Crystal Sea, it's the same price or even cheaper than Instant Ocean.

Cheers
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