Switching Salts - A "How To"

Spartanwarrior

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I got fed up with the residue on Reef Crystals so I decided to switch to Aqua Forest Salt (not the probiotic) and was wondering how to switch without screwing with the tank.

My nitrates are high (about 25ppm) but all my other data is good. Mostly worried about the alk changing too rapidly.

I dose alk and cal as well, so I can adjust accordingly. 65 G system, btw.

Should I do a few 5-10 gal water changes with the new salt over a week or so, eventually phasing in the new salt completely...or do I mix the salts together and do 5-10 gal changes that way, eventually using less and less RC?

and of course test the water weekly to make sure things are getting screwy.

Thanks for any input, experts.
 

Odysi

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I did this a few months back and switched from RC to Red Sea coral Pro. Here is what i did don't know if it is "What is supposed to be done" but it worked for me. What i did was mix the salts starting off 75% RC 25% RSCP and just kept increasing the amount of RSCP until it was 100% only the new salt. No ill affects to any of the corals.
 

mrdobie

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When i switched from rc to toropial marinor i mixed 50% old and 50% new salt and did 6 week!y water changes . We aclimate fish,coral and everything else wet. So why not the salt mix. I was told i could just change but could not do it. Bad things happen fast and good things happen slow ?? .
 

reefiness

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I honestly don't see any reason for "acclimating" your tank to a new salt. Each time you do a water change, you are adding freshly mixed salt which is more than likely pretty far off from your tanks normal parameters, as a good amount of the elements from the freshly mixed salt will be depleted (especially if you're not dosing) by the time your next water change comes around.

If you are particularly worried about an alk swing from the new salt, fear not especially in your case. RC from my understanding has the highest alk level when mixed of any other commercially available synthetic sea salt. The mixed alk level is in the ballpark of 13 dkh (http://www.thatpetplace.com/salt-mix-guide), and the mixed pH is around 9.28 (http://www.rudyv.be/Aquarium/sels.pdf).

Assuming you run your tank at a pH between 8.0-8.3, and an alk of 7-9 dkh, the fresh mixed RC is causing a pretty decent parameter swing each time you do a water change, which I'm sure your tank is able to handle if you are using RC.

I would assume the new salt you are changing to has lower mixed levels of alk and pH thus if you were to switch from 100% water changes with RC to 100% water changes with salt "X", you will actually be causing less significant swings in parameters during water changes.

But this is just my $0.02.

And with that being said, I still choose to use RC because its working, and its relatively cheap :thrash:
 

bonomo53

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I just switched from Purple IO to aquaforest. I just did my weekly 10% water change with the new salt. No acclimating at all and i didn't have any issues. Unless you are doing large water changes i wouldn't worry about it.
 

mrdobie

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We all have our own way of doing things and history. Personally in the beginning (10 + years ago ) i had issues with salt mix so i am still a little gun shy. We spend all this time and money. That being said if you make a mistake it all on you. So if you are a litte nervous do it slowly.
 

Lee

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I switched from ESV to Red Sea Pro a while back. I just stopped using ESV for regular water changes and didn't have any problems. I have heard that you should NOT mix salts. Each salt brand has there own formula of balanced trace elements. If you mix salts, you run the risk of the trace elements that we don't/can't test for being completely out of wack.
 

reefiness

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If you mix salts, you run the risk of the trace elements that we don't/can't test for being completely out of wack.

Not sure I would believe that. Yes all salts are different, but if you mixed salts the amount of trace elements would be the average of the 2 salts based on the % of each used. If they are not throwing trace elements out of wack individually, I find it hard to believe they would when combined.
 

Spartanwarrior

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Thanks reefiness. always good advice from you. I enjoy the price of RC as well, but this aquaforest stuff isn't too badly priced from BulkReef, and I've really enjoyed the lack of grime build up on my mixing pump and buckets. I made one mixed batch of about 15% and noticed no ill effects. decided the next batch to just go all AF based on your sound advice. thanks.
 

Reeds

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I'm setting up a new tank reef 30 gallons. I don't want to switch salts at any point... What's stores carry that brand? If I can't get it is reef crystals better then instant ocean? I can also get the water from the boxes. Caribsea
 

Spartanwarrior

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Got the aquaforest from Bulk Reef Supply. Cheapest option is always usually RC. I've definitely liked how Aquaforest dissolves and the parameters are more what I am looking for. And not for that much more $
 

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