Do You Have a Favorite Brand of Salt Mix?


I was working on the salt mix comparison (<- link) article the other day and got to wondering what other hobbyists prefer these days for salt mix. I started with the Instant Ocean regular mix many years ago but switched to Coralife a few years back mainly because they had bigger buckets and sometimes free saltwater fish tshirts

I tried Red Sea regular mix too but found that it didn't dissolve for me as well as the Coralife does.

I've been doing a ton of reading on the subject and now may try out the Tropic Marin Pro since it is supposedly designed especially for reefs with calcium reactors. D-D H2Ocean sounds interesting as well.

So, if you have a preference, which brand of mix do you prefer?


Great question. Back when I was living in South Carolina (so, only about 2 years ago LOL), I helped a good friend maintain a 150G reef aquarium with several very exotic and expensive species of inverts. He told me that I ever thought about getting into Saltwater fishkeeping, I should go straight for the Instant Ocean & Reef Crystals Synthetic Sea Salt. He'd been using it for years in that tank. Unfortunately, I've never personally used it, but I will pass on his recommnedation here. I also understand that LiveAquaria uses it for their facility, and according to some of the fishkeepers I've spoken to at the Denver Downtown Aquarium (which rivals the Georgia Aquarium in terms of volume), they too use Instant Ocean in several of their smaller display tanks (the ones that aren't routed to the massive underground filtration facility for the larger tanks).


Yep the IO Reef Crystals was another one I wanted to try too and it's not too expensive either.

In researching the various brands it is interesting in how vague most of them are in their marketing. I was expecting to find precise instructions with an average reading of all the major elements like alk, calc, mg, etc. but didn't see those charts on their corporate websites. Some brands do list them but most of the test results I could find were from what hobbyists were posting on forums.


I've noticed the same thing when it comes to corporate websites. One of the most frustrating things I've encountered is trying to get any meaningful information from Fluval about their 'new' series of LED light fixtures. The Hagen homepage has next to nothing in terms of technical specs. The thumbnail of the packaging has more info!

Same thing applies to a broad range of manufacturers, though (Marineland immediately comes to mind). Hilariously, sometimes store websites have more information on a product than the manufacturer! How does that work?!


I know it is very odd. Check Instant Ocean's website. When you go to their salt mix page it is a store with little to no info on the salt mix itself. IO has to be the biggest mfg for salt one would think. If I owned that company I'd have all sorts of info on the mix making process with videos and interviews with scientist talking about how good the mix is and stuff. Their website just kinda seems like an afterthought.


Ah ha! See, they're part of Spectrum Brands/United Pet Group. Every single one of their websites is like that. Probably why we all needed to email Tetra customer service with all of our questions regarding SafeStart; and even then, I don't completely trust the replies the company sends our way. I can understand 'trade secrets' and not giving away specific mixtures and whatnot, but it just seems incredibly silly that they wouldn't list the particulars in the technical specifications tab.

The only company that seems to list specific concentrations in their products is Seachem, as evidenced by their wonderful ionic concentration chart on the product page of their Reef Salt mix, as linked.


Preface: all my salt mixes are made using RODI water to 1.025/33ppt

I started my tank using Instant Ocean Reef Crystals - Was really happy with the mix. The 3 majors always came up in range, and it mixed fast.

Then I switched to AquaVitro Salinity - Again, very happy with the mix. It is batch certified to mix to exact levels. It seemed to be very high in Ca, and left traces all over my mixing container. I also loved how concentrated it is, using less salt to achieve my desired levels.

I'm currently using Seachem Reef Salt - Quite happy with it so far (only been a month) - it's a little lighter on the 3 majors than Salinity, but still within ranges. Seems to take a little longer to mix 'clear'.

Of the three, IORC was probably the best, especially for the price. Aquavitro was great, except for the residue it left behind. I'm limited by availability of buckets, so have to switch it around a bit.

I'm reading great reports for H2Ocean and DD, but yet to try them.


Reef tanks, I'm so jealous lol.

I have to agree with you two, I work in pharmaceuticals and sometimes I have to go through a act of congress to get information on their own brand of medication from their website or even when I call them.

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