I need a new salt mix...

DesktopReefer

New member
I've been testing my water for the last few weeks and using Instant Ocean. For whatever reason my ALK has risen to 15Dkh :hmm5: After talking to my LFS they recommended I use Reef Crystals for greater stability but after reading online it's actual Dkh is 13 I'm more than confused. I was under the assumption that Dkh should be between 9-11...What in the world is going on with salt mixes then? No seem to offer a recommended Calc/Alk/Mag levels. You can get one spot on but not the others :headwally:
 

bertoni

Premium Member
The usual recommended range for the dKH is 7-11. Are you adding any pH buffers or the like to the system? They all add alkalinity, despite any advertising claims to the contrary. Tap water also is a common hidden source of alkalinity.

Reef Crystals won't keep the parameters any more stable than IO.
 

DesktopReefer

New member
I use RODI and Salt mix. No buffers, I'm seriously confused how it got to 15. Is it just a bad batch of IO? Will Reef crystals levels be ok for a tank?
 

Buzz1329

New member
Seems like every week someone's finding that the alk/calc/mag levels of buckets of salt mixes don't match the levels the manufacturer advertises. Maybe this has always been an issue but we're more aware of it now that more people are testing individual batches of salt?
 

bertoni

Premium Member
Well, I don't know what's up, but I'd get a second opinion on the dKH kit. It's possible that the salt mix is off, or the product needs to be mixed again.
 

jon99

New member
Mix the salt really well (pour into several smaller buckets and then add them back into the original little by little). Different components in the salt have a tendency to settle out during storage, transportation, etc. leading to to much or not enough of one component near the top vs. the bottom of the bucket. I've experienced similar problems to yours and this solved it for me. I now buy only bagged salt (IO 200gal box with 4 bags). It's much easier to mix in a small bag than a large bucket, not to mention it stays fresh longer and moisture doesn't clump it together. I'm not going to lie tho, I do miss the free 5gal bucket when the salt runs out :)
 

spinsonic

New member
I've been using Red Sea Pro for past 5 months and ran into the same issue once. DKH jumped from 9 to 13 a day after 30% water change. From what i've read, we're suppose to stir the salt bucket to ensure the mix is consistent.
 

swcc

New member
on a properly calibrated sea water refractometer you need to measure your salinity. I only use instant ocean and it always is 410 to 420 cal and 10.1 to 10.7 dKh alk with my salifert test kits at 1.026 sal.. Oh it is also possible your test kit or procedures are off too.
 

DesktopReefer

New member
My Salinity is 1.025 so I know the values should be a little off. I also went ahead and got the water tested at the LFS and confirmed the 15Dkh. I do re-portion my salt in air tight Ziploc bags, so will shaking those before use be of benefit?

I'm pretty sure I'll make the switch over to Red Sea Coral Pro soon just because the alk is said to be lower which gives greater room for error. Not sure how I feel sticking with 13 alk
 

Boa1277

Member
Most of the time I needed the slight boost in alk from a water change especially before I was dosing or purchased my calcium reactor. Maybe this is what they are trying to accomplish. I have to agree that you must have received a very hot batch to get that kind of jump in alk. Red Sea Pro is what I use and so far so good.
 

swcc

New member
Oh if your salt is really off that much.... Instant Ocean will send you out a new batch of salt. Have you tested other parameters likecal and mg?
 

cakemanPA

New member
This one of the reasons I switched to B-ionic Salt. Salt and mag are in crystal form. All of the "hard to dissolve" components are shipped in liquid form. I have had no variation in my parameters when I actually tested it to make sure it was consistent.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

tmz

ReefKeeping Mag staff
Premium Member
I don't know what's going on either.
Sometimes the dry mix may loose homogeneity in the bucket, per some reports .

Mixing it up well dry is usually a cure if that's the problem.

Testing freshly mixed salt water after it ages a few hours is probably the best course.

Small more frequent water changesare also prudent ,imo.

FWIW, I've used Coral Life , made by the same folks who make IO and Reef Crystals for about 8 years and never had a "bad batch" yet .

Overall ,aside from fromula variations in Allk, Calcium an magnesium they are all pretty much the same with an edge going to the higher volume sales products for price , a base of experience with them and overall quality,imo.

The sticky at the top of this forum can give you a breakout for alk ,calc and magnesium for many brands.
 

DesktopReefer

New member
I test Salinity with a refractometer and Alk/Calc/Mag with Red Sea tests. I have had the LFS back up their accuracy with Salifert and digital tests.
 

bertoni

Premium Member
Well, I would test some freshly-mixed saltwater, I guess, and work from there.

How was the refractometer calibrated?
 

swcc

New member
Well, I would test some freshly-mixed saltwater, I guess, and work from there.

How was the refractometer calibrated?

I agree... mix up a batch of fresh salt water and test it.. If it does test super high alk get with Instant ocean about the problem... I have been using this stuff for years and never had a bad batch myself either(not that it couldn't happen).. Oh, I buy it in the 200gal box which is 4 bags of 50 gal... I also always store it in my home where it is not subject to high changes in humidity or temp.

BTW what do you mean by "alk has risen to 15 dKH" ? Your not topping off your tank with salt water are you? Your using rodi for both topoff and mixing water correct?
 

DesktopReefer

New member
By risen I mean that when tested with the new kits it was 15dKH, My ATO and my base water is RODI.

I use a refractometer w/ calibration fluid for all salinity readings.

I will mix up a batch when I get back in town after the weekend and report back
 
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