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Crystal Sea Salt Mix?


dasstheboss

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I currently use Crystal Sea salt mix for my reef tank since I got it very cheap for $15 for 160 G box. Which was a steal so I bought 4 boxes and its all sitting there now. Problem is, I had my water tested at my lfs and he said its very low in calcium "lower than 360ppm." Well, after doing more research I found that this is common because Crystal Sea salt lacks trace elements and Calcium since its meant for FOWLR systems.

 

So, what do I do now? I have my tank full of this salt, and its cycled and I have a leather in there growing great and doing fine.. but its just a leather, they grow under any condition basically. I was thinking of just adding some CaCl2 with it as well to increase the calcium and baking soda iodine, etc to it since those are very cheap to and will I be able to use the salt for my reef then?

 

I just dont want to buy Reef Crystals and have to spend $150 more on salt since Im low on budget.

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HecticDialectics

$150?

 

You can buy a bucket of salt for like $50. Sell your other salt to pay for it, imo. Trying to dose everything is just asking for headaches.

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I looked in the study done for the various salt types and imo, Crystal Sea is much better than it seems, especially for the price.

 

http://www.reefsanctuary.com/forums/genera...ysis-study.html

 

Everything was in good ranges except for alkalinity and calcium, which adding a small reactor will fix for my system - a 54G Reef display and 40G Refugium. I don't think selling off the salt is worth the hassle or getting a new bucket. I meant 150 since I would need multiple buckets to do water changes and bring the calcium back in correct values - I would be better off buying a reactor instead

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I've never seen anyone use a reactor on such a small tank but I guess if you've got the funds then go for it. Personally though id just dose....a little under 360 ppm isn't all that low..just dose steadily until its back up and wait before you get any stonies.

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HecticDialectics

Well if you can get the Ca to test consistently and it's just a Ca/Alk problem, you can just buy some two-part, and you'll know exactly how much to add to the Crystal Sea water before doing a water change.

 

Wouldn't be all that hard I reckon

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I actually thought my tank is too big to dose? From what I heard, anything above 90G give or take uses a reactor and anything below that its fine to dose. I can dose a lot cheaper but I have heard if you buffer, I will use sodium bicarbonate so it will accumulate Na ions, and I don't know how that will affect the chemistry. The only way I can think of removing the ions is by water change which again will add more Na since I will need to buffer again :(

 

Overall, I am going to try and mod a Phosban 550 reactor into a Ca reactor and see how it works. Just getting everything together now.

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LoL they make C-Balance in 1gallon jugs for pete's sake ! Dosing is meant for larger tanks as it is cheaper than large water changes on par lol.

 

Just get sell your salt on CL for $20 a box and get two buckets of a good reef salt. It will sell fast at that price !

 

Red Sea Coral Pro Salt is very good at a decent price. Good numbers around the board.

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Im just going to buy calcium chloride from BRS, and use costco baking soda to keep up my alkalinity and calcium. Any problems with this? I dont think there is anything else I need to dose since Iodine, Strontium etc and trace metals are all in range according to the salt analysis. I dont want to buy C-balance because its expensive, when I can get the same things for much cheaper.

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Im just going to buy calcium chloride from BRS, and use costco baking soda to keep up my alkalinity and calcium. Any problems with this? I dont think there is anything else I need to dose since Iodine, Strontium etc and trace metals are all in range according to the salt analysis. I dont want to buy C-balance because its expensive, when I can get the same things for much cheaper.

 

Well since all that mumbo jumbo can be overlooked by just getting some quality salt.

 

Kepp in my your not going to really need to do much dosing at all right now since your still in the cycle stage. There is nothing in the tank to use the calcium except coraline growth which is minimal right now in your situation.

 

We can only suggest, in the end you need to decide.

 

Im not trying to be a jerk in any way but it seems that you are trying to save money, which we all want to do, but reefing is not one of those hobbies to cut corners on. Especially in your salt choice, think of your salt as the cocaine that keeps your corals going, you want to slip them some 90% baking soda cut street crap from Reggie on the corner or give them the real good Wall Street CEO Blow ?

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HecticDialectics
Im just going to buy calcium chloride from BRS, and use costco baking soda to keep up my alkalinity and calcium. Any problems with this? I dont think there is anything else I need to dose since Iodine, Strontium etc and trace metals are all in range according to the salt analysis. I dont want to buy C-balance because its expensive, when I can get the same things for much cheaper.

 

no... thats the exact same thing as two-part lol

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LPS-crazy, i think you're missing my point. i dnt think there is a single salt out there that's the best, every salt would need some type of calcium supplement according to the salt analysis paper and so my crystal sea isn't much worse than reef crystals or red sea etc. So, the only thing i need is calcium and alkalinity. And no you weren't a jerk, i appreciate your input i just want this to be a educated discussion. I'm not new to the hobby, I have had many years of experience and I currently manage all the reef tanks at Rutgers so I know a thing or two about marine biology. Not to undermine any of your knowledge, and I know we come from different backgrounds of reefology, but I believe the difference in prices of salt is directly dependent on its calcium content and brand name. All my conclusions are based off the salt analysis though and so if there are other peer reviewed papers on salt analysis I would like to compare these results to those also.

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HecticDialectics

It'll take something like 6 ounces of calcium two part using Randy's calcium recipe to raise the calcium level from 275ppm to 450ppm in 10 gallons of water. Just make sure you buy plenty :P

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No it takes about 500g of it to increase it from 250 to 500 ppm in a 90G tank, I looked it up on the BRS calculator. And the baking soda is not a problem either. My only problem I can think of is adding all those sodium ions from the baking soda.

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HecticDialectics
No it takes about 500g of it to increase it from 250 to 500 ppm in a 90G tank, I looked it up on the BRS calculator. And the baking soda is not a problem either. My only problem I can think of is adding all those sodium ions from the baking soda.

 

Weird... I can't get anything close to 500g using the BRS calculator... or using the traditional reef calculator everyone use. What exactly are you entering?

 

Also if you don't know the difference between two-part and pure calcium chloride you're going to be in trouble.

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The only difference between salts is not just calcium content.

 

What you are paying for is a consistantcy of the trace elements. Higher Alk, higher magnesium along with calcium out of the bucket that are promised.

 

With lesser salts your getting variables from batch to batch. This is happens a lot with lets say a brand like instant ocean. One bucket can have good numbers the next can be really crappy.

 

So yes I guess you pay a premium for consistancy, It appears that you have your mind made up before you even created this thread so I dont see what we are doing here...

 

Bother dosing or buy a quaity salt....simple as that. Again try what you want, but dosing gets old fast.

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HecticDialectics
The only difference between salts is not just calcium content.

 

What you are paying for is a consistantcy of the trace elements. Higher Alk, higher magnesium along with calcium out of the bucket that are promised.

 

With lesser salts your getting variables from batch to batch. This is happens a lot with lets say a brand like instant ocean. One bucket can have good numbers the next can be really crappy.

 

So yes I guess you pay a premium for consistancy, It appears that you have your mind made up before you even created this thread so I dont see what we are doing here...

 

Where are you getting this info from? lol

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LPS- crazy, the scientific data says otherwise, please read the paper, which follows all scientific protocols before making up your mind that im wrong. If you read it, you will find that even the high quality salts have similar properties to the crystal sea and instant ocean.

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HecticDialectics

to be fair though dasstheboss, beside the fact that you don't seem to know much about dosing, there's a pretty significant difference between 275ppm (Crystal Sea) and 425ppm (Red Sea Coral Pro) for example.

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Where are you getting this info from? lol

 

Personal experience, I to went the cheap route, I was able to get boxes of instant ocean from a liquidator buddy of mine for $15 a box. I had the idea that dosing would be a quick fix like the OP but after mixing and testing in the mixing container I noticed that from bag to bag of the salt seemed to have swings in PH, ALK, MAG and Calcium. Even from bag to bag in the 200gal boxes. I just got tired of the guess work and adjusting my dosing. I switched to the salt I advised the OP on Red Sea Coral Pro and havnt looked back since. I still check my mixed salt water periodically, basically top of the bucket, mid bucket and bottom of the bucket just to make sure I dont have any seperation and get a odd numbers. Always even numbers accross the board thru the 5 gal bucket.

 

This could just be a IO thing, but I have a feeling that if a company does not state that their mix will have xxx amount of a certain trace that there are going to be inconsistancies with the mix from batch to batch.

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LPS- crazy, i believe that would be more of a concern for a smaller system. If you do only a small amount of water changes every week, then you should be fine, minor swings in alkalinity and calcium shouldnt matter because you cannot overdose on either, if you add too much it will just precipitate out. The same goes to magnesium. For pH i think the range should be about 8.0 to 8.2, if youre within that it should be fine. Also, what type of inconsistencies are we talking? Can it just be the difference between the tests?

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I have a 40BR, 55 and soon a 75.

 

57gal is not a "BIG" system. It certainly isnt a nano, but well within range. When your talking stocked with liverock and sand your still only looking at about 30g of water.

 

40BR is a LPS holding tank which the bottom is totally covered with LPS. 55g is my clam and SPS frag tank.

Typically I can go a week between 10g water changes on each tank before I have to start dosing a two part. If I dont have time to do my weekly change, I just do a quick set of tests and dose accordingly.

 

I will typically need to dose 2 times after the first week is over to keep number good till i change the water the next sunday. Sometimes 3 in the 55g.

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Crystal Sea salt lacks trace elements and Calcium since its meant for FOWLR systems.

 

you should sell it to someone running FOWLR and get something that has what you need for a reef tank. you can use IO and supplement it with 2-part from BRS.

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i can do the same with the crystal sea - dose with two part from BRS. From the salt analysis, crystal sea and IO have the same properties other than calcium and alkalinity.

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