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Advice? Salt Mix?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Easy E, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. Easy E Novice Reefkeeper GIRS Member

    42
    Shellsburg, IA
    Ratings:
    +18 / 0 / -0
    I just got my new RO/DI up and running, so I will be mixing with pure water for the first time. I'm looking for opinions on a marine salt that will provide the correct balance of elements to support beginner corals without dosing. My present lighting is probably not sufficient for stonies, so something that is good for zoas, mushrooms, and softies should work. I'm currently using Coralife. Also if anyone has extra laying around I would be in the market.
     
  2. Barrett GIRS Member

    193
    Urbandale, IA
    Ratings:
    +86 / 0 / -0
    I really like HW Reffer salt
     
  3. Firehouse Aquatics New User

    3
    Ferguson
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    We reccomend you try ATM's HOT SALT .
     
  4. Actuary Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    667
    Adel, IA
    Ratings:
    +134 / 1 / -0
    There are largely two different camps in terms of salt - ones that aim for natural saltwater parameters or ones that have elevated elements. The later option is intended for people who try to maintain parameters via water changes rather than dosing. I would recommend you avoid these especially on a new tank. Some common examples of each include:
    Natural saltwater - Instant ocean sea salt, Red Sea Salt
    Elevated - Instant Ocean Reef Crystals, Red Sea Coral Pro

    I have tried lots of salts and really prefer red sea salt (non-pro). They seem to do be the most consistent at hitting NSW levels without charging premium prices. I've paid these premium prices before and didn't see any difference when switching to Red Sea. FWIW there are plenty of great reefs out there using instant ocean (it's cheap).
     
  5. Easy E Novice Reefkeeper GIRS Member

    42
    Shellsburg, IA
    Ratings:
    +18 / 0 / -0
    Thank You,. This is very good advice. I was leaning towards IO because I'm all about cheap. My tank is not new, It's actually over 10 years old. The only thing that's new would be the corals. I've been using well water up until now, which tests at about 200 TDS, so some large and frequent water changes are probably in order. That;s another good reason to opt for cheap, at least for now.

    I'm thinking about using Reef Crystals instead of regular IO for several reasons. The main one being that it has a metal detoxifier. I know my well water has a lot of rust rust in it. If we don't use the rust-reducing water softener pellets, the tubs and toilets get stained up pretty quick, and I'll bet the softener doesn't get all of it, even when fully charged. I bought a few cheap frags that aren't doing well and rust is my #1 suspect as the culprit. Snails don't do well in my tank either, which would support this theory. With the RO/DI that will be less of a problem going forward, but I've been using rusty well water fo so long, I'm afraid there's probably a residual build-up that could take quite a while to get rid of with water changes only. Another reason is that RC's have extra trace elements. I think I may be suffering from old-tank syndrome where the trace elements become depleted over the years due to infrequent water changes. With fish-only and very good biological filtration, I really didn't see a need to change the water very often until I decided to try corals. Also, RC's don't cost much more than regular IO, only about $8 more for 200 gal worth.

    The only thing that worries me is that the Ca/Alk/Mg levels in RC's seem very high, almost excessive with very little coral to use them up. I wonder if this could be detrimental to just a few frags. Maybe it would be better to go with regular IO and use something else to detoxify the rust. What are your thoughts on this?
     
  6. Actuary Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    667
    Adel, IA
    Ratings:
    +134 / 1 / -0
    I would go with that idea. I can't remember the exact name but there's something along the lines of "PolyPad" which absorbs a variety of toxins. It even changes colors based on the type of the contaminant.
     
  7. Easy E Novice Reefkeeper GIRS Member

    42
    Shellsburg, IA
    Ratings:
    +18 / 0 / -0
    Yeah, I had kind of talked myself into that one, but thanks for the confirmation. The pad you're thinking of is called a Poly-Filter made by Poly-Bio-Marine. Pretty cool that it changes colors according to the pollutant. That could potentially be a big help in determining the cause of water quality issues. I/m now anxious to put these to use and see what they tell me.
     
  8. Eric Experienced Reefkeeper

    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Ratings:
    +19 / 0 / -0
    And - it's more about maintenance and good practices than salt. There are remarkable tanks running on very cheap salt and terrible tanks running on expensive salt.

    -Eric
     
  9. Waterrat41 Addicted Reefer GIRS Member

    213
    Des moines
    Ratings:
    +117 / 0 / -0
    Using a good RODI will remove everything from your water so no undesirable elements should be getting introduced into your tank now, but also no elements period will come from your water, it all has to come from what you add. IO is intended for fish only use. If you have corals and go with that brand you should use reef crystals. I use RCs and 2 part dosing in a 90 packed with SPS with no problem. There are many different options and methods, and there are many of them that will result in success, achieving perfection is another story(and probably not possible). Exploring and experimenting can be part of the addiction, er, I mean, hobby, as well as socializing and seeing how others are doing things and what they have achieved.(why GIRS is Great!)
    ...and always remember, nothing good ever happens fast with reefing. Don't try to change anything too quick unless you have a crisis underway.
    Keep an eye on your RODI, on well water it can be hard to tell how long filters will last, there will be a learning curve there. I'm lucky, here on city water I can see what others here have experienced. Some wells can be vastly different from others.
    Good luck, let us know what you do and how it comes out:)
     
  10. Easy E Novice Reefkeeper GIRS Member

    42
    Shellsburg, IA
    Ratings:
    +18 / 0 / -0
    I'm sure there are no longer undesireables going in. I think it's a matter of getting the undesireables that are already in there out. I've been using rusty (and who knows what else) well water for a long time, so I'm afraid there could be a buid-up of undesireables leeched into the rocks and sand. I've ordered some Poly-Filters which change color depending on the pollutant. We'll see what that tells me.
     
  11. jeffmr4 GIRS Member

    179
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Ratings:
    +29 / 0 / -0
    Fritz RPM Pro gets my vote.
     
  12. jeremy Acro Addict GIRS Member

    Davenport, IA
    Ratings:
    +822 / 4 / -0
    Reef Crystals or Salinty
     
  13. geodehunter GIRS Member

    44
    Hamilton, Il
    Ratings:
    +10 / 0 / -0
    Red Sea blue bucket for me.
     
  14. Sponge Expert Reefkeeper GIRS Member Sponsor

    Marshalltown, IA
    Ratings:
    +184 / 1 / -0
    Good info Actuary!
    Easy E, have you considered a water softener for your house? I did that years ago and it helped with our water, for everything. Was cheapest way for us to go. We still used an RO/DI but didnt run through all the stages so fast

    Also, Triton sells a water test and Detox which will test your water and detoxify bad elements...we sell TRITON products to be transparent . Depending on the route you go to improve your tank for corals, I would suggest the cheapest salt. Also, have a good skimmer, flow and lighting as you progress with corals. If you have a sandbed, and your nutrients are high, I'd suggest going barebottom for awhile..
    Until your nutrients decline and the other bad stuff get taken care of
    Bound po4,etc in the rock can be gotten rid of, depending on y po ur approach. If you do a good water test, you will know exactly what you are dealing with...and what will help the tank reach the conditions the corals and fish will flourish in.
     
  15. Easy E Novice Reefkeeper GIRS Member

    42
    Shellsburg, IA
    Ratings:
    +18 / 0 / -0
    Thanks Sponge. Nice to get some more good advice. I thought this thread had been forgotten. I have a good water softener and skimmer. I've been running polyfilters for about a month and the color change indicates that if I do have a problem with my water the most likely cause is excess organics. However, I have never had a thorough scientific water test, so the Triton method intrigues me. More info on that would be greatly appreciated. I'm on a limited budget, so I've tried to muck my way through with the cheaper test kits, like API, which might get you in the ballpark but are clearly lacking in precise accuracy. If Triton results can be trusted and would enlighten me to any serious and correctable issues, I would be willing to pay a little extra for that. I just can't afford to spend hundreds of dollars on kits that are complicated, prone to mistakes, and expire before they're even used up.

    That said, I'm almost certain that my main problem is insufficient lighting, so I'm now in the market for an upgrade. But again, I don't have the money to replace expensive bulbs regularly, so I'm leaning towards LED's. I've heard that black boxes are good enough for zoas, mushrooms, and softies, and at this point I would be happy just to see them open up. So far, I would call my first attempt at raising some frags an epic fail. But the only way to lose is to quit. Right?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  16. Sponge Expert Reefkeeper GIRS Member Sponsor

    Marshalltown, IA
    Ratings:
    +184 / 1 / -0
    Right!
     
  17. Big D Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    844
    Center Point
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    Salinty....good stuff.
     
  18. mattman319 SoManyTanks Board of Directors Leadership Team GIRS Member Sponsor

    209
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Ratings:
    +93 / 0 / -0
    Lots of good info in this thread. I used Reef Crystals for years but have recently switched up to AquaForest Reef Salt and am very pleased with it.
     
  19. mrelaz

    102
    Waterloo, IA
    Ratings:
    +14 / 0 / -0
    I second a water softener. Spend way less on ro/di filters and resin plus the water tastes a lot better!


    Sent from my iPhone via App
     
  20. Easy E Novice Reefkeeper GIRS Member

    42
    Shellsburg, IA
    Ratings:
    +18 / 0 / -0
    I've always had a water softener. You can't live without one with rusty, limey well water. I just got a significant upgrade on my lighting, and I'm picking up a much larger tank this weekend, so the stuffs about to get real.
     

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