Salt Mix Analysis

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Yeah! No kidding! Though, I shouldn't be surprised. I figured as much all along (as most hobbyists have). But just how extremely different is still a bit surprising to actually see laid out in actual figures.

Btw, someone on another forum pointed out that the sample sizes they use (7g in 200ml) are pretty small. I do think that's a valid concern. Though, it's probably hard to say exactly how much this threatens the accuracy of the results... this I don't know.
 

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Yeah! No kidding! Though, I shouldn't be surprised. I figured as much all along (as most hobbyists have). But just how extremely different is still a bit surprising to actually see laid out in actual figures.

Btw, someone on another forum pointed out that the sample sizes they use (7g in 200ml) are pretty small. I do think that's a valid concern. Though, it's probably hard to say exactly how much this threatens the accuracy of the results... this I don't know.
I would like to see an exhaustive test with, several complete buckets of all available salt used (pedantic, sorry) but perhaps the 7g sample is actually better, rather than an over all test, the sample might just be a more exact test?
 
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I would like to see an exhaustive test with, several complete buckets of all available salt used...
Me too... and I'd like to see it done repeatedly with different batches of the same brand over several months. That would be "ideal." I'm just excited about this "study" because it's at least something more than we had before and it's pretty interesting (imo- even if we still have reason to ask for more).
 

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Me too... and I'd like to see it done repeatedly with different batches of the same brand over several months. That would be "ideal." I'm just excited about this "study" because it's at least something more than we had before and it's pretty interesting (imo- even if we still have reason to ask for more).

But, i wonder if an "average" performance would blur the results slightly, if in actual fact when i add my salted water one time i get 250ppm for calc and next time 450?
Id the result for each mix was shown, then i think we would see just how good each salt actually is
 
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Sorry for not being clear... I don't mean an "average" of several batches of the same brands. I mean... take actual separate measurements of the same brand at different times (or "batches") to see if the salt mixes are consistent even within the same brand (month to month, week to week, or however often the batches ship out). I think maybe you're suggesting the same thing actually...
 

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Sorry for not being clear... I don't mean an "average" of several batches of the same brands. I mean... take actual separate measurements of the same brand at different times (or "batches") to see if the salt mixes are consistent even within the same brand (month to month, week to week, or however often the batches ship out). I think maybe you're suggesting the same thing actually...
Sounds like it, i have heard that the salt can settle in transit and that it needs a good "roll around the garden" (actual quote):lol: to mix it up more, not tried it myself, perhaps we could do it on this forum, we nominate our brand of choice, and test for Cal, mag, nitrates, phosphates etc and post them
 
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"Roll around in the garden"... lol That's a new one... but sounds like a good idea. I think mine probably gets rolled around enough when I actually do literally roll it up to my apartment building, then up to the 4th floor. ;)

But the lack of mixing we can deal with ourselves easily enough. To be honest, it's the potential inconsistencies between batches that "worry" me more.
 

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"Roll around in the garden"... lol That's a new one... but sounds like a good idea. I think mine probably gets rolled around enough when I actually do literally roll it up to my apartment building, then up to the 4th floor. ;)

But the lack of mixing we can deal with ourselves easily enough. To be honest, it's the potential inconsistencies between batches that "worry" me more.

I think if you searched any forum for "Salt" you would find many instances of reefers complaining about just that, but i don't think it will ever improve
 

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Interesting read Sara - thanks. I use NSW (haven't yet used synthetic sea salt).... I think that even NSW might differ in readings, if one would have to test samples over a year period, for example. As the sea is constanly changing, as seasons come and go, and as meteorological influences sea life...
For example, here in the Cape Town region we have a yearly, or every 2nd year occurrance called the "red tide", where a certain algae blooms so prolifically, that the algae actually colors the sea "red" or "brownish red". At the time, the amount of algae is SO much, that it uses up a LOT of nutrients out of the water, as well as depletes the water of oxygen. This then leads to a HUGE amount of fish/inverts and other life, dying off.....

Theoretically any such type of occurrance, could be cause by, or could be the cause of chemical inbalances in the NSW....

Personally I have attributed this specific occurrance to when the sea have not "cleansed itself" by "protein skimming" - for a long while (when you see "white water" in the wave-line close to shore, and soon afterwards there's "skimmate foam" everywhere on the beaches). This is usually preceded by a few days where a specific wind churns up the water and the sea becomes "dirty looking" (I can only presume that this is detritus and muck that is being lifted off the sand bed into the water column).
 
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Perhaps... but NSW in the Indo-Pacific (where the vast majority of our corals are from) doesn't change all that significantly that often. Even if it does change some over time, it's not nearly as dramatic a change as some salt mix brands have been known to change even from month to month.
 
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good read - i use tropic marine sea salt and from those results it is not that bad -just the PO4 and NO3 concerns me but not that bad. I am new to this hobby so i do not know anything but after seeing the article i feel that i did make an ok choice in salt. going to test my mix this weekend for Ca and KH - i think it is low - if i am correct, then i will adjust at waterchange.

From now on, every box/bucket i buy, i will do the full range of tests so i know what variences there are.

thanks for the info - also in your guys opinion is tropic marine a good salt or should i use something else?
 

jacquesb

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Perhaps... but NSW in the Indo-Pacific (where the vast majority of our corals are from) doesn't change all that significantly that often. Even if it does change some over time, it's not nearly as dramatic a change as some salt mix brands have been known to change even from month to month.
That's quite true Sara - I wonder how synthetic salt is actually manufactured? Human measurements done by hand? Or via automated system which measures the different chemical compounds by weight to add it all to the "synthetic salt mixture"?? Do you know perhaps?
 
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thanks for the info - also in your guys opinion is tropic marine a good salt or should i use something else?
I do think Tropic Marin is a good salt... I'm surprised by the nutrient readings. But as mentioned, it was a very small sample size. There *could* be a contamination issue (but I don't know... just a guess). As wee-man has mentioned, it might also be a mixing thing. Do you roll or bounce your salt around before you use it? ;)

Jac- I don't know, but I am curious too. This is the company's home website:
Aquarium Water Testing
 
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Heee.... or if you know an elephant who plays hacky sac! LOL
 

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Very interesting read, thanks for the link Sara.

I was rather surprised at the Instant Ocean vs Reef Crystals, they do advertise Reef Crystals as having much more in it compared to Instant Ocean, yet the graphs show this to be a rather minimal difference, with Instant Ocean actually having more than the Reef Crystals on a couple of the graphs, in particular the Alkalinity, Magnesium and Calcium caught my eye.
 
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got home last night and took the salt out on the grass for a game of soccer as suggested :lol: and then made up 25lts for water change on saturday - going to test Ca and KH levels of it tonight - will report on monday on my Tropic Marine salt.
 

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