Salt comparison

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    Here is the site translated using Google translate. So could be a few errors

    Test salt - a second start


    I present to you the second part of the article Fri. Salt Test (link to the first part), which was quite a challenge for me for many reasons. First of all, because in spite of intensive research science is still not able to give answers to many questions, and manufacturers keep their "know-how" under lock and key. In such a situation it is difficult to explain some of the results obtained. Secondly, I realize that a lot of people on the basis of this text will decide as to the salt used. The tests, however, have selective. Technically speaking, it would be repeated in a few months to check the reproducibility of the composition. Thirdly, the salt test is likely to give a lively discussion on the forums aquarium. I admit that I really count on it because I do not want to insert all the work went unnoticed. However, I am apprehensive when it comes to some conspiracy theories, I have already had the opportunity to read it. Therefore, I would immediately cut off any potential speculation. Both me and the portal not adopted any financial benefits for writing this text. I am not affiliated with any of the salt producers participating in this test, and all the results have been developed in an honest and reliable as possible. When analyzing the results, some concerns were discussed with the head of the laboratory of the Regional Inspectorate for Environmental Protection in Lodz, MA. Eng. Vladimir Andrzejczak. In the interpretation of some of the results, however, could not avoid a certain element of subjectivity, which does not have to agree with the opinions of other users of the salt.

    Test, but what?
    Before we begin to analyze the salt sea, we must first bring up the matter of chemical parameters of water in the aquarium. Often on the forums asked about the best performance. However, the problem lies in the fact that, at least in my opinion there is no such thing as a perfect performance, and at the aquarium said often about the optimum range of parameters.

    Sea water contains in its composition almost all elements. The theory of the origin of seawater was formulated in 1715 by Sir Edmund Halley (of comet), which has accepted that part of the salt and other minerals derived from leaching of the soil by rainwater, which feed the river. Power still river waters of the oceans has increased the concentration of minerals in seawater. Halley's theory was partly correct. But today we know that sodium ions hit the bottom of the oceans during the formation of the oceans, and the source of chloride ions were gases from the bowels of the earth, which were placed in the water from underwater volcanoes and hydrothermal vents.

    So does a good sea salt should reflect the entire periodic table? In any case. First, neither an easy nor cheap. What ions in this case are important? First of all, from the point of view of coral limestone, of fundamental importance to the major macronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, strontium, iodine, potassium, barium ... and their number has stabilized billions of years ago on the same level.

    Here we touch the most important characteristics of seawater, namely the constancy of its composition. In the previous part of this article I explained the principle Dittmar, so I will only reminder that this German scientist studying the composition of seawater. He found that the ratio of the various macronutrients sea is constant and independent of latitude and longitude.

    Compare, but to what?
    In the first reaction I had to compare these salts with each other. However, after long reflection, I thought it was a bad idea. With such a large number of parameters, each salt would not be able to give any reliable opinion. Because how to compare the two salts, if one such. Calcium level is 440mg / L in the second level of magnesium 1600mg / L. Meditating on the stability of the water on the reef I thought it would be safest to compare the parameters studied in relation to salt sea water that or, at any rate is the natural habitat for corals. However, there would be fitting to ask a question that has always been quite controversial. Whether in the home aquarium comes to copy nature? Personally, I think that there is no such possibility or need. Break us such seemingly trivial problems like chemical stability, purity of ingredients, trophic relations and eutrophication. Therefore, in many cases, we use a kind of "prostheses", which can not mimic the mechanisms known from the reef, but quite effectively aspire to similar effects. Such "prosthesis" can be skimmers, refugia, metering pumps and other equipment common in salt water aquariums.

    When it comes to chemistry, I think instead of creating a "wszystkomające" sea salts, it is better to focus on the fundamental ingredients, and the rest entrust prudent supplementation. It seems that the above-mentioned rule Stability composition should be postponed to the sea salt. Therefore, analyzing the composition of salt in terms of macronutrients I will refer it to the Natural Sea Water (NSW).

    And, in principle, this would have ended salt composition analysis. This is not about ignoring micronutrients and trace elements, but for the good of salt are of secondary importance. This is because it is a base chemical macronutrients in the aquarium, and it refers to the majority of tests. And depending on the type of corals, and so usually we use an additional supplementation, which complements the trace elements. And so now the third part, certain producers (maybe all, but that, unfortunately, I was unable to confirm) use natural ingredients. Such natural compounds like. MgCl2 contain trace elements that were trapped during the crystallization. Thus provided are rare trace elements without the addition of salt. Despite intensive research work on the biology of corals, still little is known about their biochemistry. This makes it hard to debate the content of certain ingredients. Therefore, the use of ingredients "contaminated" in the natural trace elements, provides us with their presence without the need to dispense all of the elements in the Periodic Table.

    This means that in the opinion of salt is appropriate macronutrient composition is of paramount importance, because they play a fundamental role in ensuring the health of living marine aquarium invertebrates, especially corals LPS SPS limestone.

    Selection salt
    The test was attended by seven salt aquarium:

    Aquaforest Reef Salt (AF)
    Blue Treasure Reef Sea Salt (BT)
    DD H2Ocean (H2O)
    Instant Ocean (IO)
    Reef Crystals (RC)
    Red Sea Coral Pro (RSCP)
    Tropic Marine Pro Reef (TM)
    They were selected on the basis of popularity on the Polish market. Of course selected salts do not cover the entire market. However, the main criterion for limiting the amount of salt were finance and logistics capabilities. To give you a full picture, took part in the test salts, which are considered "poor" for example. Instant Ocean Reef Crystals and those that are considered "rich", eg. Red Sea Coral Pro or H2Ocean. The test could not be held without popular on the Polish market Aquaforest salt that produces strong emotions in the forums. Each salt was purchased in the original, at least dwukilogramowym package.

    range of tests
    Each of the salt concerned was subjected to two-step testing. The first part was based on all the measurements that can be made in home conditions:

    Yield salts at 35ppt
    pH after 45 minutes of stirring
    KH after 45 minutes of stirring
    Their dissolution in 23C
    The second stage involved analysis of test samples of each salt on ICP-OES spectrometer (Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy) .This stage gave us information on the chemical composition of each salt. By using ICP indicated by the following elements:

    Na, Ca, Mg, K, Sr, B, Br, S, Li, Be, Ba, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Al, Si, As, Sb, Sn, cd, Se, Mo, Hg, P (PO4), Pb, and

    It is worth noting that the ICP-OES method is ideal for the determination of the composition of the water as long as we are interested in quantities of elements, rather than molecules. In most cases, this is enough for us, but it will be a problem for the determination of silicates. The results, which are received relating to silicon, and no silicate, which basically means that such a result is completely useless.

    Each sample was prepared in the same way. Prior to the test once I saved nearly 80L of water Rodi. To prepare each salt solution was carefully weighed 10 kg (= 10L) of water at 23C. In order to eliminate any confusion, each solution was prepared and tested individually. After testing on one of the finite solution was prepared again. Each solution was mixed for 45 minutes using a pump Rio 2500, which was rinsed in pure water Rodi after each use. All solutions were mixed in identical buckets

    - Performance of salt at 35ppt
    For measuring salinity refractometer used two. One of them is a typical refractometer lunetowy Deltek's H2Ocean seawater. The second is an electronic refractometer Atago PAL-06S. Both devices were calibrated before pomiarami.Refraktometr Atago

    The amount of salt used to obtain a salinity of 35ppt in 10L water was weighed by an electronic balance with an accuracy of 0.01 g. In practice, however, it turned out that the accuracy of both the refractometer reading is too small to give the results in fractions of a gram, which is why I decided to analyze the results to round values to 1g. The first measurement was performed after filling salinity 390g of the salt, and then, depending on the result of the weighed sub-samples. After obtaining the salinity of 35ppt was recorded weight of salt consumed

    pH after 45 minutes
    After 45 minutes of mixing salt pH measurement was performed with a calibrated pH meter Voltcraft PH-100ATC

    - KH Alkalinity
    After 45 minutes of stirring the salt alkalinity measurement was performed using a photometer Hanna HI755

    - Moisture absorption
    The study was to determine the hygroscopic growth of the salt sample weight. Polycarbonate thin plate scattering salt of the starting sample weight 7g. After 10 minutes, the measurement was performed again sample weight. Weight gain was determined by subtracting the initial score of the final. When weighing the relative air humidity reported = 48% at 22,7C.

      The second part consisted of checking the measuring susceptibility to stick together (scale) of salt. Up to seven identical molds were measured exactly 100g each salt. All molds have been left open for 20 hours, after which an attempt is made to spill any salt.

    - Easy to dissolve
    At the beginning of the measurement was planned dissolution rate. In practice, however, it was difficult to assess whether the salt is completely dissolved, without the pump off and calm water. Since all of the salts dissolved in 5-7 minutes. I decided that I will not devote more space solubility.

    - Clarity
    After stirring at the bottom of the bucket with saline was inserted contrasting black and white pattern. Subjective assessment of clarity were made on the basis of the turbidity of the template. All salt solutions were evaluated in the same place and at the same light

    - Analysis of the components
    From each salt solution 15ml sample has been collected. After describing the instructions, all samples were sent to the laboratory analysis of Triton-Lab in Dusseldorf. To check the reproducibility of the results, with a salt solution were prepared two samples.

    interpretation of results

    Yield salts at 35ppt

    Salts performance primarily affected by the nature of the ingredients used. As I said in the first part of the article, some of my different one sequence salts hydration, hydration or molecule. Hydration is the fact that during the crystallization of the salt in the crystal lattice of water molecules are trapped. The more water molecules, the kind of "the concentration of salt in the salt" is lower. For instance, magnesium chloride hexahydrate MgCl2 x 6H2O contains up to six water molecules, which together weigh more than the same molecule MgCl2. In practice, this translates into productivity salt. For jednomolowe concentration of MgCl2 solution we need to pour about 95 g of anhydrous MgCl 2 and up to about 203G hexahydrate. 108g more to obtain the same concentration. This is the main reason why different salts have different performance. The second reason is the molar mass of the compounds used, which are different for different salts. If you want to get jednomolowe Mg 2+ ion concentration must weigh about 95 grams of anhydrous MgCl 2, and using magnesium sulfate, we must weigh more than 120g MgSO4.

    ***table pic***

    Figure 1 shows the amount of salt in grams required to obtain a salinity of 35ppt in 10L water.

    Only two salts obtained result below 400g. It is worth mentioning that the salts and Instant Ocean Reef Crystals are produced by the same manufacturer. A similar situation is with salts and Red Sea H2Ocean Coral Pro (RSCP) - rumor has it that produced in the same factory. Both salts are natural and whose base is created through the desalination of seawater. These are the most efficient salt in our test.

    Analyzing the table above should make allowance price in your store. Perhaps the salt, which is more efficient weight is not efficient price. To calculate this, simply do the following calculation for substitution 10L:

    If przemnożymy is the result of the above graph we get the price of one substitution 10L

    The pH after 45 minutes stirring.
    One of the most important parameters affecting include the rate of calcification is the pH of the water in the aquarium. The ideal pH fluctuates around 8,2-8,4. However, I know from experience that any result above 8 will be very decent. Only the values below 7.7 can be distressing

    ***table pic***

    Figure 2 shows the pH of the solution salinity 35ppt after 45 minutes of stirring

    PH level is affected by many factors such. Ventilating the room, the presence of refuge, przerybienie tank, the economy Ca2 +, HCO3-, lighting and much more. In a mature aquarium pH of the salt used for substitution, there is no significant effect on the pH of the water in the aquarium. Momentary minimum pH jump is possible, of course, but the chemical processes in the aquarium quickly determine the appropriate pH, regardless of the pH of the brine. Besides, by replacing up to 10% of the water potential pH jump will be 10 times smaller, and replacing the 5% - 20 times smaller than would appear from the same differences in pH in the aquarium and fresh brine.

    KH after 45 minutes of stirring
    Alkalinity (KH), is one of the most important parameters of the water in the aquarium. Keeping KH at the appropriate level has an effect on a series of processes from the control pH fluctuations, the filtration efficiency of probiotic until calcification coral lime efficiency. Parameter alone is quite complicated and often misunderstood. Definitions that "alkalinity is the acid neutralizing capacity," many aquarists not say absolutely nothing. This can be explained in a way that reduces fluctuations of pH alkalinity of the solution with the buffer system <=> H2CO3 HCO3- + H +. But let's leave this definition, because the same parameter deserves a separate article. Fortunately for us aquarists, alkalinity (KH) translates easily to the amount of bicarbonate ions in the water. It is they who are the source of carbonates during calcification calcium carbonate CaCO3. And for the purposes of this Article, this information is enough for us.


    Figure 3 - Alkalinity solution of a salinity of 35ppt salt after 45 minutes of mixing.

    KH on the appropriate level in the aquarium raises some controversy. On the one hand, KH sea water is 7, on the other, leading salts Aquarium hold significantly elevated levels of KH. Chart 3 clearly shows this distinction. Sole Aquaforest Blue Tropic Marine Treasure maintain KH similar to seawater (NSW), and there can not have reservations. While the remaining four salts have much higher levels of KH, and if RSCP almost twice higher than in NSW. What is the meaning of this action? It turns out that there is scientific evidence to justify such action. However, in order to explain them here, I need to refer to the process of calcification.


    Figure 4. Transport and deposition of calcium carbonate on the tissue matrix coral calcium (modified Furla et al, Journal of Exp. Biol. 2000).

    In Figure 4 we see a cross-section of coral tissue and skeleton. Coelenteron otherwise Gastrovascular cavity. That it is transported Ca2 + and HCO3- ions into the calcium matrix backbone, or calcification points. The problem is that the transport of these ions is opposite to the gradient of concentration. The concentration of Ca2 + and HCO3- calicoblastycznym liquid is higher than in seawater, because coral actively transports these ions. To such transport occurred, coral consumes large amounts of energy in the form of ATP. To realize this, imagine a fish flowing upstream and downstream. Fish swimming against the stream needs more energy to overcome the resistance of water than swimming with the current. In case of calcification in "shock" is the high concentration of ions in the liquid calicoblastycznym. Coral must provide the energy for this process. Why do I say this? Now, research on the process of calcification have provided interesting information. It turns out that the higher the concentration of Ca2 + and HCO3- in coelenteronie, the coral requires less energy to transport the ions to the matrix limestone. Let's see the following figures:


    Figure 5. Transport building block in the direction opposite to the gradient of concentration of (A) and in accordance with the concentration gradient (B). Coral effort can be likened to going uphill (A) and glide from the top (B)

    KH elevated in some salts are according to the latest studies are designed to facilitate the transport corals, and thus accelerate the growth of corals.

    Important note here. To coral well bore high levels of Ca2 + and KH must have an abundance of food in the form of phosphates and NO3- or amino acids and strong light. Otherwise it will happen, which is something I read on the forums, or bleaching tipów SPSów.

    It follows from this that the high levels of salts of calcium and bicarbonate is not very suitable for staining SPS corals. Well, unless you really know exactly how many amino acids dispensed. How do we give too much, corals begin to brown, as too little risk effect "of burned tipów". It seems that these salts should be a good test in young basins, where we have detectable levels of NO3- and PO43 + and small sprout corals, which we want to grow quickly.

    On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that the salt of the Red Sea Coral Pro is part of the overall system developed by supplementing the Red Sea - Reef Care Program. It involves dispensing a variety of different components according to specific tables. Assuming you use the program, which takes into account all the supplements then use RSCP salt with high performance makes sense. Following this line of reasoning, using the same salt RSCP by inexperienced aquarists carries the risk of abnormal parameters. It is worth mentioning that the powerful "copyright" programs for such tanks. ZeoVit whether the abovementioned Reef Care Program, they are quite expensive to conduct and require high conscientiousness.

    If my "what if" is correct, then salts of natural levels of Ca2 + and KH would probably universal use in demanding and mature systems where we care about more than their coral coloration increases.

    For inexperienced aquarists, negative side of the use of elevated levels of salt KH is necessary to adjust the supplementation. While in the case Balling method is relatively simple, whereas the application of a calcium reactor such correction is difficult. On the other hand, I know the one in Warsaw tank run by an experienced aquarist who is constantly used RSCP salt and calcium reactor without any problems, either with parameters or with the colors of the corals.

    Hygroscopicity is the ability of some substances to absorb moisture. In this case, it depends on the absorption of water vapor and binding in the crystal lattice of the salt. Many chemicals have greater or lesser binding capacity of moisture, but one of the more hygroscopic salts used to make the aquarium calcium chloride CaCl2. This salt is known as anhydrous (CaCl 2), as the monohydrate (CaCl2 · H2O) dihydrate (CaCl2 · 2H2O) and as hexahydrate (CaCl2 · 6H2O). The less the stronger hydrated salt is hygroscopic. Calcium chloride can absorb moisture so intensively that the crystalline form can change into a solution. It is worth noting that the intensity of hygroscopicity also depends on humidity. Salt kept and regularly opened in damp rooms will be more vulnerable to this effect. On the occasion of hydration of calcium chloride, of course, change its molar mass. Variety weighs about 111g anhydrous / mol, and the variety hexahydrate weighs 219g / mol, which is irrelevant in assessing the performance of salt.


    Stock 6 - Crystals of CaCl2 so intensely absorb water from the air that turn into solution.

    Hygroscopic salt effect disadvantage is of course sea salt and worse, we can not completely eliminate it. If it is a small amount, does not affect the quality and stability of parameters of salt, but in the long run can lead to adverse chemical reactions, eg. Precipitation of carbonates.

    Let's look at the sketch below. CaCl2 crystals absorb moisture from the air by increasing its hydration. To a point of CaCl2 crystals retain their consistency, but after a while increasing the number of molecules of the water, ionic strength begin to "pull" isolated ions of calcium chloride crystal lattice. The crystalline structure begins to fall and will move the free ions in the aqueous solution of Ca2 + and Cl-. When the solution "touch" will NaHCO3 crystal dissociation reaction between hydrogen and Ca2 + cations and CO32- anions resulting in the precipitation of calcium carbonate in solid form because of the very low solubility. This process reduces the salt parameters

    Figure 7 - The highly hygroscopic calcium chloride CaCl2 can cause the reaction with sodium bicarbonate NaHCO3 (skipping the presence of protons in order to simplify the drawing)

    In the above-described phenomenon is related to the possibility of petrifaction salt. If the salt are operating in conditions of variable humidity and temperature of the salt bound moisture may "posklejać" crystal causing the solidification of the salt in a free-flowing solid. As long as we get a clear solution, it should not be a problem with the parameters. However, a clear haze may be a signal to verify the parameters of brine, in particular in the range KH, Ca and Mg.

    Hygroscopicity is a natural feature of salt. Some manufacturers add to it antyzbrylaczem, which are intended to protect the salt against the effects of moisture as described above. In industry, a plurality of types of antyzbrylaczy depending on the needs. The salt used potassium ferrocyanide, but I found Ron Shimka statement that sodium or potassium ferrocyanide is not used in the aquarium. Another popular antyzbrylaczem are aluminosilicates - completely insoluble in water with a strong ability to bind moisture. Since manufacturers do not willingly share such information, I got no information about specific antyzbrylaczach used in sea salts.


    Figure 8 - Change in weight siedmiogramowych salt samples after 10 minutes and a relative humidity of 48% (temp 22,7C) (more = less)

    Chart supports a thesis that each salt will be engulfed in moisture from the air. The best in this regard fell salt Tropic Marine, whose weight increased by only 0.05 g, which is a 0.71 percent increase. In the same study Aquaforest salt increased its weight of 0.12 g which represents 1.71% of the weight gain.

    The first test was designed to demonstrate the sensitivity of the salt on the short-term access to the air. This occurs most frequently during weekly water changes. While the second test was to demonstrate sensitivity to salt on long-term exposure to air. Such situations occur, as a result of inaccurate close or damage to the packaging.


    Stock 8a - 100g measured off each salt and allowed to stand for 20 hours

    After 20 hours all samples were again weighed, and weight gain shown in Figure 8d. After weighing, all samples were gently as possible removed from the molds.


    Photo 8b - shows samples of salt right out of the molds

    It is clear that the salts of AF, IO and RC due to absorbed moisture retained the shape molds, which were the last 20 hours. Other salts retain some flowability. However, this part of the salt that was in contact with air is now covered with the deeper layers of the salt to which the air is not occurred. At closer inspection, it turned out that:

    AF salt, although maintaining the shape initial mold easily falls apart until the solidified disc salt. Eventually the puck into powder to small lumps.

    Sole BT, H2O and RSCP, which retained the greatest flowability, also produced glued rings, however, very easily they crumbled in his fingers without leaving lumps.

    Sole RC and IO killed completely in this test completely succumbing skamienieniu. What was needed was a relatively large force to crush the solidified salt. However, it was impossible to get a normal flowability.

    Salt TM generally fared best in this assay. Initially, the album solidified falling apart in my fingers.

    Here is a sample of what they looked like after gentle removal of loose layers of salt


    Photo 8c - The test sample after removal of loose salt layers.

    In contrast to the previous test for moisture absorption, in which samples were scattered on a plastic base, this time have been left in small tins for a long time, and the access of air to the sample was only from the top.


    Chart 8d - stugramowych sample weight change after 20 hours of salt. (more = less)

      AF salt, which in a short test "saw" the moisture quickly, this time fell in the middle of the pack. It follows that the AF becomes damp quickly, but zawilgotniona the upper layer isolates the lower layers of salt. For a variety of salt TM, which in rapid test showed the lowest level zawilgotnienia in assay dwudziestogodzinnym consumed the greatest amount of water.


    The plate with samples salts also left for 20 hours. The photo shows the appearance of the samples after this time.


    Stock 8e - the appearance of the samples after 20 hours of salt hygroscopicity confirms salt. All samples showed the effect of "glass transition". However, the most "vitrified" sample AF salts, IO, RC.

    Below pictures of a small sample of each salt. It is clear that the investigated salts are not homogeneous. The difference in grain size can have a significant impact on the stratification of salt. During transport, transfer or vibratory finer grain hardwood floor sink to the bottom and larger are at the top. This may explain why some parameters may differ salt at the beginning and at the end of the same package. It should be remembered that, during normal use of the salt form breaks and abrades hydrochloric dust that settles on the bottom.

    It is difficult to say, but I think in terms of homogeneity TM salt fared the worst, and the best IO and RC. Photos may not give, but my subjective evaluation also shows that recently spent a lot of time on these salts.

    Photo 9 - Photos of 'macro' salts tested. Image in the lower right corner shows the effect of salt moisture. All seven of the salt to stick to the base after its reversal "upside down"


    Water clarity is responsible for its clarity. It is affected all kinds of suspended particles which scatter water. From the viewpoint of the aquarist, the lack of clarity of meaning is merely cosmetic, and unless it is due to the precipitation of carbonates are the most frequently disappears after a few minutes after water changes. To minimize any haze, always dosypywać salt in portions to the mixing water. Always after filling salt water turbidity occurs immediately, but at this stage they are precipitating microscopic bubbles. Just wait a few minutes, however, and the gas blows out.


    Stock 10 - shows the comparison of the pattern lying at the bottom of each salt solution. The template is black and white. The deeper the black the more clear water.

    Chemical analysis
    Create a good and balanced sea salt is not an easy task. Maintaining a constant humidity, milling the ingredients, mixing, repeatability and cleanliness control components are some of the challenges. Let's see how the composition of macronutrients in different salts:

    ***table pic***

    Figure 11 - The concentration of Ca2 + (mg / L) tested a salinity of 35ppt salts. In fact, only AF and IO May calcium levels similar to that of seawater. Other salts of these levels are elevated.

    ***table pic***

    Chart 12 alkalinity (dKH) in the investigated salts. Only Aquaforest salt levels consistently held close to NSW. KH salt Blue Treasure also similar to NSW. Sole Reef Crestals, H2Ocean and Red Sea Coral Pro clearly pay homage to research showing accelerated growth of corals at elevated levels of calcium Ca2 + and bicarbonate (KH). It is striking that in the case of indecision IO salt. With nearly natural calcium level, considering the high KH.

    ***table pic***

    Figure 13 - The magnesium level 2+ (mg / L) in the examined salts. Most of the salt keeps magnesium levels do not deviate too much from NSW. RSCP salt keeps consistently high level components kalcyfikujących. The surprise is the level of magnesium in salt Blue Treasure. It seems that this is a deliberate tactic of the manufacturer, because the signals of such a high magnesium came a long time ago. However, I can not explain this tactic. While this level is not something very dangerous, it can react browning corals on the concentration of magnesium.

    ***table pic***

    Figure 14 - The level of Na + (mg / L) in the examined salts. Sodium and chloride ions are the main regulator of salinity. In our study, however, we do not have results chloride concentration, which hinders accurate interpretation of results. Most of the salt keeps the level of NSW. An exception is the salt of Blue Treasure, wherein the level of Na + is lower than the natural almost 600 mg / L. And ion mass, however, all agree. Magnesium and sodium atoms have a similar molecular weight. Dwudodatnich excess of magnesium ions (about 700m / L) is almost exactly two times smaller than the underflow (about 350mg / L) one positive sodium ions. If the manufacturer is equalized would be quite tolerably

    ***table pic***

    Figure 15 - The level of potassium ions (mg / L) in the examined salts. AF traditionally excels at natural levels of K +. IO, RC, this time also keep the level of NSW. Salt BT and TM have great K + depletion. H2Ocean while 50mg / L K + more than in NSW.

    ***table pic***

    Figure 16 - The level of bromide ions (mg / L) in the examined salts. Bromine is one of the elements that we know that they are present in the tissues of corals, but still can not accurately describe their functions. It is understood that bromate with iodide and potassium affect staining beads. Most of the salt keeps roughly the level of NSW. Only TM and BT have understated the value of bromate. The salt BT is it 18 times less than in NSW. A little surprised, because I do not know the exact biological function of the use of bromides by corals, it would be good to keep as natural level.

    ***table pic***

    Figure 17 - Level borates (mg / L) in the investigated salts. As you can see, the iron rule is to keep the salt AF NSW parameters. Other salts with the exception of the RC the BR and the like. The importance of borates is not entirely clear, but studies have shown that play an important role at the calcification process

    ***table pic***

    Figure 18 - The level of strontium ions (mg / L) in the investigated salts - The first surprise is almost double excess natural saline AF. Studies show the importance Sr 2+ during the process of calcification. However, there are a lot of sources confirming the relatively high toxicity even at low strontium exceedances. Sole BT and RSCP clearly elevated levels of Sr 2+, but still a lot lower than AF. Other salts keep the level of NSW

    ***table pic***

    Figure 19 - the level of sulfur in the studied salts. As I mentioned above, ICP-OES method gives results for atoms and molecules do not. The surface seawater essentially all of the sulfur present in the form of an ion SO42-, and only in the anaerobic zone appearing in the form of sulfide (H2S). For the purposes of this article, I assume that the only source of sulfur in the given results are sulfates. All salts except the AF showed a sulfur levels similar to NSW. AF salt this time has a more than fourfold relative to sea water shortage. Conducted research on the species Acropora tenuis showed the important role of sulphate (kraft transponders) cells with biochemical processes. High concentration of organic sulfur were also found in the centers of coral limestone kalcyfikacyjnych. It seems, however, that the system aquarium there is no demand for natural levels of sulfur in particular, that come from different parts of the signals disadvantaged sulphate accumulation in mature reservoirs. AF manufacturer might have deliberately understated keeps sulfates.

    ***elements pic***

    Table 20 - The graph shows the metal content in sea salts. By analyzing these results must take into account a few things. First of all values were converted to micrograms. They are the size of which no home test does not detect. Secondly, note the fact that all red marked exceeded, both the minimum eg. Zinc (Zn) salt in the TM and the multiple eg. Zinc (Zn) salt Rc. Thirdly, in many aquariums dominated by SPSy stained portions of the above values is even in terms of NSW not exceeded due to their content in the salt used, but the supplementation of trace elements. This is eg. In the case of copper (Cu). Many coral bleaching preparations contain copper at levels above the NSW. Fourth result of silicon (Si) is indicated based on silicon harmless and not on silicates, which may cause trouble. This is due to the specific nature of ICP-OES analysis of what I wrote above.

    Looking at these results do not have to pay attention to the enormous exceeded zinc (Zn) and manganese (Mn) salt RC (manganese, moreover, is not detectable only in the salt AF). Even taking into account that Mn 2+ is one of the less toxic heavy metals, may think that the manufacturers allow for such transgressions. Manganese is involved in photosynthesis and in the processes of oxidation-reduction, a part of some enzymes. Regarding the aluminum (Al) is possible that its presence is associated with the use antyzbrylaczy, as written on the occasion of hygroscopicity. Worst salt producers coped with bar (Ba). This element is important in embryonic development of many marine animals such. Echinoderms. Perhaps the factor responsible for the fact that many marine animals can not breed and breed in aquariums are unnaturally high concentrations of some elements. It seems legitimate to assume that many crossings is not so much of an overdose as the use of low-quality products. I can not imagine that a manufacturer Reef Crystals salt deliberately dispense elements such as cobalt (Co), manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn) knowingly allowing for such transgressions. On the other hand, we do not know whether these exceedances are at levels dangerous to life in the aquarium. In any event, the ingredients used should be of lower purity affect the price of salt

    ***table pic***

    Figure 21 - PO43- measured levels (mg / L) in the investigated salts

    The only salts, phosphates which have been detected is Instant Ocean and Red Sea Coral Pro. However, they are less than an amount of NSW. Apart from the fact that the popular Hanna HI713 photometer would not be able to detect such quantities, phosphates have a significant impact on many biochemical processes such as transport of energy, or the construction of cell organelles. Fortunately, the aquarium is not possible to go down to the level of PO43- to absolute zero. Data on the levels of phosphates in NSW repeated for "Aquarium Corals" Eric Bornemann. He gives in his work three phosphate levels: Minimum: 0,00ppm, maximum: 0,54ppm and 0,13ppm mean value, which I used in the chart.

    All those who jumped the whole article to get the information that salt is the best I have to disappoint. From the very beginning it was not my goal selecting the winner, but only show features popular salt. It's up to you to determine whether the characteristics you are responsible or not. However, in order not to leave you without a collective summary tables below according to me the most important features of each salt.

    Salt- Reef Aquaforest Polish salt production, which vigorously market gains. You can see that the manufacturer has set itself the goal of obtaining a brine that will (with a few exceptions, eg. Sulfate, strontium, barium, iodine, iron), possibly an exact copy of natural seawater. It is also a salt, which I think performs best in terms of quality and purity of the substrates used. Salt AF seems to be a universal salt SPSowych tanks with different stages of advancement, especially for those hobbyists who seek to obtain the best color of your corals. This, however, will require additional supplementation. Unfortunately, the quality of the components results in the high hygroscopicity and risk petrifaction salt. According to my eye, salt clarity AF showed the smallest of all the salts tested

    Blue Treasure Reef Sea Salt - salt, which has recently become popular on the Polish market. Salt falls quite well in terms of purity substrates with only three (but big) exceeded micronutrients. A little less falls in terms of macro-imbalances presenting quite chaotic in their concentrations: KH comparable to the kind of NSW, but increased calcium and magnesium giant. On the other hand, with respect to the NSW almost does not contain bromine. As regards the resistance to hygroscopicity and petrification, salt BT results are very good. Whoever shall keep the salt tank, but must take into account the high magnesium. Adaptation supplementation can be a challenge for less experienced aquarists.

    H2Ocean - salt Solutions branded by DD but rumor has it that comes from the same factory as the Red Sea Coral Pro. It is a salt in which a plurality of components originated from the desalination of sea water. Producers of the salt probably excel in aquariums SPSowe. So in any case would result from increased kalcyfikacyjnych substrates. High KH, Ca and Mg are, according to scientific studies support the growth of coral limestone. This salt, which I have not written before, very dusty during pouring. This may have an impact on the corrosion of metal parts. In spite of a large hygroscopic salt H2O retains long resistance to flow and petrification. H2O salt seems to be quite versatile, with an indication of the tanks SPSowe young and less mature and overgrown.

    Instant Ocean - salt with tradition, the French production. Over the years considered as poor, good salt to start an aquarium. Tests of this salt from 2008 (301 Moved) actually is confirmed. Current tests show how this salt has changed, despite the fact that on the forums all the time is considered to be poor. Most of macronutrients in addition to high KH does not differ significantly from the levels of NSW, which is its advantage. IO salt, however, has a lot of exceedances in the range of trace elements. Despite the seemingly low hygroscopicity tests, salt IO fared very poorly in terms of the ability to petrifaction. Also obtained the worst performance. Due to the considerable pollution micronutrient salt is more suitable for systems that require very resistant soft corals. Suggest the possibility of increased macro-culture Montipora and Acropora simple. However, getting pastel colors SPS corals can be a challenge.

    Reef Crystals - second test salt French manufacturer. So far, it was considered a richer variety IO salt. I think I made my biggest disappointment. Poor performance, the highest exceedance in microelements and petrification after 20 hours - it's probably the biggest drawbacks. This salt, as the only gained Ca level above 500 mg / L and the second result, when it comes to the level of bicarbonate. Perhaps the manufacturer has any excuse for such parameters, but I do them anyway not found. This is probably the only salt with the test, which discourage the results. High macronutrients suggest SPSowych used in tanks, but poor performance, risk petrifaction (and thus the impact on the parameters) and numerous trace elements exceeding the usefulness of this salt put into question. I sincerely hope that I went felerne packaging and in fact Reef Crystals salt falls much better

    Red Sea Coral Pro - salt produced naturally derived largely from the desalination of sea water. Obtained the best performance in our test. The company has developed its own Red Sea aquarium for a program of SPSowego called Reef Care Program. This explains the high content of certain macronutrients. You can see that RS has a firm idea of the aquarium, but success may require the use of the entire program of supplementation, which for some is not cheap. Treating RSCP salt in isolation from Reef Care Program this salt condition may become difficult to master for beginners. It is interesting that even in 2008, contains a lot of salt RSCP lower levels of macronutrients (301 Moved. As far as trace elements, it has numerous exceeded RSCP eg. 290-ciokrotne exceeding Mn 2+ in compared to NSW. In spite of a large capacity to absorb moisture, long lasting flowability. salt definitely designed for systems SPSowych. It would require the use of the entire program rather supplementation of Red Sea.

    Tropic Marine Pro Reef - German salt with high reputation and history dating back to the sixties of the last century. TM salt, like AF keeps the macro similar to NSW, but you will notice a disparity between the Ca and KH. You can see a small deficiency of potassium and bromine. The manufacturer touts its salt, as a product of pharmaceutical purity, as shown in the table with microelements. A salt of good performance and clarity. Probably best to pass the test for resistance to petrified despite the most hygroscopic. Salt TM seems to be a good, versatile for aquarists with different experience and requirements. Achieving pastel colors however, will require a separate supplement.


    I must admit that the development of the article Fri. Salt test was very difficult. The bigger congratulations to those who have gone through both parts of the text. Test salts differ in many respects, causing each of them will apply. However, remember that this is not the salt, and the aquarist is responsible for the final result, which is the result of patience and understanding your own tank.

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