Switching Salts

Discussion in 'Other Reef Talk' started by Nav, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    I've already done this once and thinking to switch again. I started my build with Kent Salt (cos it was cheap for cycling) and switched to RSCP (using for over 6-7 months now).

    I really have no big complains other thank Alk spikes for large water changes. I've had to do some 35% PWCs and had a hard time keeping levels in check! I was planning to bring my tank params up to RSCP's levels but wanted to get the right salt mix before I did that.

    Do all of you keep your tank levels same as your salt mix levels? if no, won't levels mess up?

    I've read too many posts on good salts and every salt has mixed reviews! RSCP is expensive compared to IO-RC which I hear most reefers have success with. If you're a RC user, pls share your opinion.

    Now if I were to switch to RC, here's my big concern. RSCP can't be mixed for more than 4 hrs, every other salt suggests 12-24hr mix before adding to tank. If I have to gradually mix both salts in different ratios to not shock my system, how would I handle the mixing times issue?
  2. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    I use aquavitro. Their values seem to be close to natural and basically where I try to keep my tank about. Alk is like mid 8-9, ca 450 ish and mg 1350ish last time I checked which is what they claim it would be.
    Nav likes this.
  3. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    I like red sea coral pro more than reef crystals, i won a big bucket of rscp salt from a raffle, now mike has it :)

    Its a good salt i like it but i would switch back to reef crystals for the price. I remember alk, calc, and mag being at okay levels. Fits my budget.
    Nav likes this.
  4. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    I've had good luck with Reef Crystals for several years now across our different tanks. The 90 gallon hear is the third tank we've run with Reef Crystals.

    I keep my tank close to the levels within the salt: Alk 9-10, Calc: 400-420.

    I usually add extra Magnesium and Calc to the water I mix with Reef Crystals to maintain what's used up. I'm currently also dosing Alk and Calc once a week or so to keep the levels up.
  5. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    I use ESV. The levels are just about what I like and maintain so no bump/dip during WC.

    I think RSCP is high because they don't expect their users to be 'dosers' and WC is the only way to keep Alk up. You could lessen the effect by doing smaller, more frequent, changes.

    On Reef Central there seems to be many successful IO users. It doesn't seem to be fancy but it works. If I go back to a single mix, I'd give IO a try.
  6. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    1) Stick with something good, reasonable cost, and easy to buy.
    2) Stick with a constant WC% and constant dosing amount.
    Beyond that, most salt mixes are very good, so really does not matter much.

    I use standard (non RC) Instant Ocean.
    I add a small bit of magnesium every time, since it is a bit low on that.
    Plus when added first, it pretty much eliminates precipitate.
  7. 650-IS350

    650-IS350 Supporting Member

    Of all the salts I've tried, I've mixed all for at the least 24hrs or else my damn deltec would go crazy.

    I've tried IO, KENT, D&D Ocean, Tropic Marine, Tropic Marine Pro, Red Sea Coral, Red Sea Coral Pro, Reef Crystals, now using Microbe lift that I got from Robert a couple months ago.

    I haven't tried that salts that have bioactif as I can't justify the price nor ESV ( as seem too much work to make salt ).

    It just seem to me that when I used TMPC, D&D my corals looked happier. RSCP just left too much gunk in the bottom of my bucket for my liking.
  8. jonmos75

    jonmos75 Supporting Member

    I used to use Coralife Salt Mix for years and had no issues except it was getting harder to fine so I switch to Red Sea Coral Pro and like it until I decided to go with a ULNS tank and the Alk, Mg, Ca ect. were to high for what I was trying to accomplish so I switched again to Red Sea Salt Mix and haven't looked back and what it mixes is what I am shooting for so I don't need to do any adjusting before adding to the tank.
  9. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    I've stuck to using IO-RC the entire time I've had saltwater tanks and I haven't had an issue. It seems to mix at a pretty reasonable dKh and Ca ppm, so it doesn't create big spikes with water changes. In between water changes, I dose B-Ionic 2-part for Alk and Ca. I try to mix 24 hours in advance, but a lot of times I end up being lazy and just mixing for like an hour before a water change and that's never seemed to cause a problem. I do however usually get some precipitate on my mixing bucket from the IO-RC, but who knows if that's an issue. I honestly have stuck with it because it works fine and its cheap and so easy to get. I order the 200 gallon box for like $55 on Drs Foster and Smith with free shipping.
  10. jonmos75

    jonmos75 Supporting Member

    I too order from them and I have had the container break in shipping (Dam UPS truck driver)....lol, and no questions asked they sent me out a new 5gal buck at no charge and didn't want the old broken bucket (Salt was still good) so I got two 175g of salt mix for the price of one....;)
  11. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Webmaster

    I really like D+D H2Oceans salt, but it's one of the more expensive options.
  12. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Oh I hate D+D! I'm stuck with it and I feel like my magnesium and alk are always low, even at 1.026 ppt.
  13. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Webmaster

    The mag in D+D mixes at 1340 and the alk is 9.3 at 1.025. Neither of those are low.
  14. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    Thanks for the inputs everyone. Thoughts on how to make the switch? (as I pointed earlier, RSCP's max is 4hrs and IO-RC is 12-24hrs).

    Here are my options I guess?
    1. RSCP:IO-RC (each week) 75%-25% > 50-50 > 25%-75% > 100% RC. Each PWC, use these ratios, just mix for 4 hrs and change water
    2. Go straight only with RC PWCs, mix 12-24hrs... mid week 5% PWC > end of same week 10% PWC > and keep up with weekly 10%s then on
  15. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Why do you need to mix both if you're going to switch? I'm pretty sure you can just start doing water changes with the new salt as long as they're not huge. I mean if you're doing like 20% or less water changes, I think you can just start doing them with the new salt and mix for as long as you'd like. I used all natural sea water from Erin in my new build (to save me having to make 40 gallons of water) and now I'm just going to start up my regular water changes with IO-RC. As long as you don't cause too much of an Alk shift all at once, it should be fine.
    Coral reefer and jonmos75 like this.
  16. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    Thx Felicia. I came across a few forum posts of people mixing salts so make the change gradually (to avoid shock, or a crash). But it makes sense to just do small PWCs with the new salt when I'm completely done with RSCP.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  17. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    I'd argue you only need to match your water change water to your tank water in salinity, alk, calc, and magnesium. It shouldn't matter what brand of salt you use.
    jonmos75 likes this.
  18. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I think that is serious overkill. Just switch when you run out.

    BTW: On key thing if you are worried is to match PH.
    That can be off quite a bit if it is freshly mixed due to CO2 issues, so aeration may be needed.
    Nav likes this.
  19. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

  20. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    I just came across a few articles showing RC to have 13 dkh? If thats the case, wont I have even worse Alk spikes than RSCP?


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