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Where does your aquarium's saltwater come from?

Christopher Marks

Saltwater Source  

1,191 members have voted

  1. 1. Where does your aquarium's saltwater come from?

    • Dry Powder, mixed at home.
    • Dry Powder, mixed a local fish store.
    • Filtered Seawater, pre-packaged.
    • Filtered Seawater, bulk supply.
    • Other, explain in comments section.

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Christopher Marks

Hobbyists have a lot of options today when it comes to choosing saltwater for their reef aquariums. The most common option has traditionally been mixing saltwater at home using carefully developed dry synthetic blends. For hobbyists fortunate to live near the ocean, or a public aquarium, bulk supply of filtered seawater has long been available. In more recent years, it's become possible to even purchase pre-packaged jugs of filtered seawater in local stores, a real convenience for nano reef keepers in particular. Many local fish stores also offer both pre-mixed saltwater and filtered seawater in bulk, allowing you to purchase just the right amount while reusing your own containers.


Let's take a look at where everyone is sourcing their own nano reef aquarium's saltwater. Have you made a switch from one source to another? Share your experiences, good and bad!

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I used to mix my own. Now I buy pre-mixed SW from my LFS.

1 five gallon jug at a time. I change 10% every 3 weeks. So it lasts.

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I used to buy salt water from the Lfs but they recently closed, so I bought a ro/di system and mix with reef crystals. So far getting better results than from what I got from the Lfs. I think they used fritzs salt or something.

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I get NSW from the LFS I work at which is filtered water from Half Moon Bay, CA. In my experience the salinity on this water is usually high, in the 1.026-1.027 range. The trace element levels are usually low, with Alk at 7-8, Ca at 310-360, and Mg at 1190-1260. This forces me to dose B Ionic into the water change water.

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I started with IO Reef Crystals, then did a WC with some free stuff I got, and now I use Brightwell Neomarine blah blah (name is too long). Mix it with RO/DI water. Mixes up way faster than Reef Crystals, but leaves a residue in the bucket. All I really know is what I can tell from my corals and fish though. They all seem to be happy and growing and I have to dose Alk and Calc which I'm terrible at remembering to do. Though I think the biggest user of calc is the enormous amounts of coralline algae growing everywhere.

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I usually get ro/di and saltwater premixed from my lfs. But I just recently snagged up a 200g box of Reef Crystals for $20 :bling: So plan to mix my own a little more often. I will always have my LFS as an emergency or backup and they use Red Sea Coral Pro salt so thats a plus.

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I get it from the sea.

Northern shores of the Thermaic Gulf on the Aegean Sea (part of the Mediterranean Sea).

At least I know where it comes from. :)

  • Like 3
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I used natural sea water from a few local LFS all from the same 'source' distributor. Switched to another LFS these last few weeks, not sure what it is but its got excellent numbers compared to the inconsistent readings I get from the other guys.


50% water changes once a week, 10% water change mid week.

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