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View Full Version : LF: Cheap Instant Ocean Salt


GoFish
11-27-2014, 10:18 PM
Looking for the large pails 160g

J+L has them for 39 which isn't bad but I think I got them cheaper last year at a store on Kingsway in Burnaby.

Any sales around?

patman
11-27-2014, 10:22 PM
King Ed's will have them for $29.99 but not sure if there is currently a sale.

GoFish
11-27-2014, 10:26 PM
Is 29.99 their regular price?

patman
11-27-2014, 10:31 PM
That's a sale price I believe. I was there back in October and got that price. They wouldn't tell me over the phone what the price was, but said I should go there.

duncangweller
11-27-2014, 10:38 PM
I have been paying $29.99 for a 160 gallon pail from King Eds for over a year I would say

duncangweller
11-27-2014, 10:39 PM
I get a bucket once every two months I would say

GoFish
11-27-2014, 10:55 PM
Ok good to know, thanks!
I just try and avoid going there unless there's a good reason. I received poor advice from them when starting out on several occasions...

Saving 25% is a good reason :)

TimT
11-27-2014, 11:19 PM
Saving 25% is a good reason

Possibly, but you might wonder why you thought it was worth it if your tank gets nuked because of a bad batch. I threw IO to the curb due to quality issues a while ago(ie 14.4dKH and 1000mg/l Mg at 1.026sg, and I mixed the whole bucket at once). I've used it since the late 70's but no more.

What I find particularly silly is the vast concern with USP grade Alk and Ca when the salts used for these cheap salt mixes are going to be tech grade if that. Now stepping down from the saltbox.

GoFish
11-27-2014, 11:37 PM
Choosing salt brands is a confusing subject for me. I'm switching from H2Ocean back to IO now. Thanks to H2ocean my mixing bin is caked with clay or whatever they add to it, I can't get the crap off. And it had low mag anyway so what's the point in spending a lot if I have to add stuff...
I've had high alk with IO but only in the 10.5 range. I test new buckets and randomly throughout so if something's off I just dose it. Buying anything from king Ed worries me but the buckets are sealed from the factory that makes a tonne of salt without many reports of failures (from what I've read)

I've seen advice from some very high post counts on here that use IO, up until it causes me a problem I'll prob just stick with it. I appreciate the advice though!

What do you use Tim? Honestly if there's something better and consistent I'll consider it. I'm not as cheap as the title of this states, I just figure if I'm gonna have to add stuff then I'll just get cheap reliable salt and go from there

Bblinks
11-28-2014, 12:19 AM
Possibly, but you might wonder why you thought it was worth it if your tank gets nuked because of a bad batch. I threw IO to the curb due to quality issues a while ago(ie 14.4dKH and 1000mg/l Mg at 1.026sg, and I mixed the whole bucket at once). I've used it since the late 70's but no more.

What I find particularly silly is the vast concern with USP grade Alk and Ca when the salts used for these cheap salt mixes are going to be tech grade if that. Now stepping down from the saltbox.

That doesn't make sense, all the reviews and from my personal experience with io has been positive, CA 380 Alk 11-12 and Mag 1200. product variation does happen with it has the least reported with io. I still remember when reefers best had a bad batch of salt that took out a lot of the tanks and they are 100 bucks for a box...

Aquattro
11-28-2014, 12:40 AM
Saving 25% is a good reason :)

Personally I think saving 10 bucks to support a store that you feel gave you bad advice, and otherwise avoid, is not good reason. JMO

TimT
11-28-2014, 12:43 AM
First off, please don't think I was insinuating your cheap as I was not. :)

I agree it is confusing with all the options, anecdotal internet info and marketing hype.

I use the H2Ocean because I like the fact it is an evaporated seawater based salt, but this means it will have some organics in it.

What do you mean by caked with clay? What colour is it? Does vinegar or bleach remove it? I usually clean my mixing tub every 6 months as it builds up a brownish residue. It is a Rubbermaid 300 gallon fiberglass tub. I also mix the salt in a 40 gallon glass aquarium and I do notice an organic build up but it wipes off with a wet cloth.

I think that since you are testing the main parameters you will avoid a lot of potential issues. I would also test for ammonia and if the batch is cloudy after 24 hrs I would not use it. It should also not cause the tank to go cloudy.

It's good logic that if you have to add stuff you might as well go with the cheap reliable salt, but there could be other deficiencies. In my search to replace IO I tried a new Reef Grade Salt from Thailand that was being introduced to the North American market. A friend recommended it so I tried it. I had a 10" tort rtn the next morning and all the acros looked horrible. This was after a 20% water change. Turns out they forgot to put potassium in the batch. I did over 600 gallons of water change in 24hrs before the system stabilized enough to put the acros back in. I learned my lesson from that experience and now stick with a high quality salt and test it before use.

Bblinks
11-28-2014, 12:47 AM
First off, please don't think I was insinuating your cheap as I was not. :)

I agree it is confusing with all the options, anecdotal internet info and marketing hype.

I use the H2Ocean because I like the fact it is an evaporated seawater based salt, but this means it will have some organics in it.

What do you mean by caked with clay? What colour is it? Does vinegar or bleach remove it? I usually clean my mixing tub every 6 months as it builds up a brownish residue. It is a Rubbermaid 300 gallon fiberglass tub. I also mix the salt in a 40 gallon glass aquarium and I do notice an organic build up but it wipes off with a wet cloth.

I think that since you are testing the main parameters you will avoid a lot of potential issues. I would also test for ammonia and if the batch is cloudy after 24 hrs I would not use it. It should also not cause the tank to go cloudy.

It's good logic that if you have to add stuff you might as well go with the cheap reliable salt, but there could be other deficiencies. In my search to replace IO I tried a new Reef Grade Salt from Thailand that was being introduced to the North American market. A friend recommended it so I tried it. I had a 10" tort rtn the next morning and all the acros looked horrible. This was after a 20% water change. Turns out they forgot to put potassium in the batch. I did over 600 gallons of water change in 24hrs before the system stabilized enough to put the acros back in. I learned my lesson from that experience and now stick with a high quality salt and test it before use.

I think the key to success still boils down to testing every batch to make certain you know what you are putting into your tank regardless if its a $29 bucket of IO or $100 box of reefer's best.

denny_C
11-28-2014, 12:48 AM
fwiw


i dont know of a single salt that is consistent, problem free or perfect;)

trust me there's not lol

buyer beware that you need to test to be sure what your adding:)

TimT
11-28-2014, 01:05 AM
Hi Rich,

That doesn't make sense, all the reviews and from my personal experience with io has been positive, CA 380 Alk 11-12 and Mag 1200.

When I started my first tank in the late 70's I used IO. When I started Seacare in 1999 I used IO. I have had a lot of positive experience using 1000's of gallons of IO. My decision to change was not lightly made. 3 years ago I started to notice instability in the parameters. I discussed this with them and think I got a customer service person that was either not knowledgeable or not paying attention. The parameter instability happened several times so I decided to switch. I like to keep things as consistent as possible so even if they have corrected the issue I won't know.

Cheers,
Tim

TimT
11-28-2014, 01:21 AM
I think the key to success still boils down to testing every batch to make certain you know what you are putting into your tank regardless if its a $29 bucket of IO or $100 box of reefer's best.

I agree 100%. We need to know what we're putting into our tanks and if it doesn't look right we need to be prepared to turf it. That's why I mentioned that Foz Down is LaCL based... so people know and can trust it.


i dont know of a single salt that is consistent, problem free or perfect

I think it also extends to every business. Everyone has good and bad days and businesses are run by people. :)

GoFish
11-28-2014, 01:21 AM
I didn't think you were insulting me Tim, all good. Just saying if it was truly worth the extra money for proper levels and rock solid consistency then I'm down. I'll post a pic of the clay in my mixing bin when I get home. It's tan in colour, and quite hard like baked clay. Vinegar or bleach may remove it, but haven't tried, then again another reason why it makes me think I'm spending the extra money for what? Cleaning my mixing bin once in a while like every few batches is easy with IO. It's only a 10 gallon rolling garbage bin luckily
Brad is really making me think twice about going to king Ed for salt, I dont like the idea of spending any money at a place I don't trust, was just thinking about saving which I'm a big fan of, 3 buckets at a time saves $30
However, compared to driving to Petsmart (3mins away) who will price match JL will also save some time. JL and King Ed are both about 25 mins away x2 plus shopping and paying = over an hour. I was literally walking out the door to drive to King Ed when I read Brads post and have taken a detour to Starbucks, hmmm and mmmm. Again the dilemmas in choosing salt, whatta topic.

Aquattro
11-28-2014, 01:26 AM
I'm just a fan of supporting the guy that helps me when I need it. I spend more for salt at my LFS than I could get it elsewhere, but all the times he rescued me gets my business. Nothing against KE, just the concept of supporting a place you're unhappy with. Most don't think that way, and now I'm out of a LFS to go to.

Reef Pilot
11-28-2014, 01:41 AM
Well, if I wanted, could probably find fault with every LFS that I have visited. People and staff are not perfect, and you have to give them some slack. I do stop into King Ed's when I am in that part of town, and is where I buy my IO salt at $30 a pail. Never had a problem with IO salt and use it all the time.

While my IO salt parameters are not always consistent they don't vary enough to affect my tank with the amount of water I change. I just check my parameters frequently and adjust my dosing as required. I actually like the higher alk, as it supplements my dosing.

gregzz4
11-28-2014, 02:00 AM
Been buying my IO from KE's pretty much from day 1. It's not a sale price but rather a continuing one

FWIW, my current bucket of IO is giving me 12.10, 470 and 1305, but only after a lot of rolling

denny_C
11-28-2014, 02:17 AM
I think it also extends to every business. Everyone has good and bad days and businesses are run by people. :)

absolutely buddy, at the end of the day were all humans making human things:)

GoFish
11-28-2014, 04:08 AM
Personally I think saving 10 bucks to support a store that you feel gave you bad advice, and otherwise avoid, is not good reason. JMO

Went to JL and spent the extra $10, felt alright about it. Honestly if i was buying 2 or 3 buckets i would've gone to KE

And heres why i switched back from H2Ocean, it used to be worse but I've been slowly chipping away at it
http://i.imgur.com/lFRB3Ll.jpg

TimT
11-28-2014, 04:36 AM
That looks like a calcium buildup. Save yourself the effort and use some vinegar or diluted muriatic acid.

Do you fill the bucket and circulate it then add salt mix? Are you using RO water?

GoFish
11-28-2014, 04:54 AM
I pour the dry salt in first then add either one or two 5 gallon jugs of RODI. Koralia powerhead and heater for at least 12 hours and up to 5 days before I'll throw it out
Could be calcium, I'll muraitic acid bath it tonight

duncangweller
11-28-2014, 05:06 AM
Fill the bucket first with water and then add the salt to the water and you won't get that build up.

mikellini
11-28-2014, 05:43 AM
I pour the dry salt in first then add either one or two 5 gallon jugs of RODI. Koralia powerhead and heater for at least 12 hours and up to 5 days before I'll throw it out
Could be calcium, I'll muraitic acid bath it tonight

ALWAYS add salt to water, not the other way around. Adding water to salt means that it becomes highly concentrated almost instantly while pouring the water in, which causes precipitation of elements.

GoFish
11-28-2014, 06:14 AM
Weird, not sure how 12 hours plus of mixing and heating wouldn't remedy that.
But will do from now on, thanks!

SeaHorse_Fanatic
11-28-2014, 06:14 AM
Have to agree with those posting that you always should add salt to water & not the other way around. At least that's been my experience.

The Guy
11-28-2014, 06:42 AM
Been using IO since I started in reefing 3 years ago, I can't really say I've had any issues with inconsistency of levels. Maybe slight differences but nothing major. I keep hearing people say they roll the barrels, I can't see how that could help unless the barrel is not full to the top, otherwise I think it's a waste of time and effort with a full new barrel.
When mixing for a water change I always add the salt to the RO water as well. I check the mixture for temp, salinity, ca & alk before adding to my system. I tune up the mg level manually every water change, and my ca & alk are pump dosed. :neutral:

mikellini
11-28-2014, 07:50 AM
Weird, not sure how 12 hours plus of mixing and heating wouldn't remedy that.
But will do from now on, thanks!

I don't understand how 12 hours of mixing and heating would do anything; unless the pH drops significantly, anything that has precipitated is probably staying that way (and ending up on the sides of your mixing container)

GoFish
11-28-2014, 07:58 AM
I don't understand how 12 hours of mixing and heating would do anything; unless the pH drops significantly, anything that has precipitated is probably staying that way (and ending up on the sides of your mixing container)

Acid bath tonight, rinse tomorrow problem solved. Instant ocean has never done this to me.

mikellini
11-28-2014, 08:33 AM
Probably because of the low calcium, less likely to precipitate.

--lmao--
11-28-2014, 05:44 PM
whats your guys take on instant ocean reef crystals compared to the regular instant ocean. is it alot better? i use regular IO and i manually dose. would reef crystals reduce my doseing?

TimT
11-28-2014, 05:46 PM
Probably because of the low calcium, less likely to precipitate.

I would concur but adding the water to the salt is going to cause residues to form, especially if the parameters are near the upper ends of their ranges and you use cold water to mix.


What I find interesting is that two different people posted test results from testing their buckets of IO. I assume Rich and Greg most likely bought at JL or KE?

CA 380 Alk 11-12 and Mag 1200
How long ago did you get these #'s Rich and did you roll ;) ?

FWIW, my current bucket of IO is giving me 12.10, 470 and 1305, but only after a lot of rolling

TimT
11-28-2014, 06:00 PM
whats your guys take on instant ocean reef crystals compared to the regular instant ocean. is it alot better? i use regular IO and i manually dose. would reef crystals reduce my doseing?

If I remember correctly RC just has elevated levels of Ca and Alk. If you switch to RC your going to have to figure out a new dosing regime and your Alk and Ca will fluctuate. To my way of thinking it is better to keep doing what your doing as stability is best for reef aquariums.

Something else to consider is what Gregzz4 got from his last test.

FWIW, my current bucket of IO is giving me 12.10, 470 and 1305, but only after a lot of rolling

I don't think switching is needed because his #'s are what I think I remember RC used to be.

Ideally you should be testing your parameters and then using an online calculator to figure out how much to add to get the proper levels.

--lmao--
11-28-2014, 06:03 PM
Okay thank you for the quick reply :)

AquaAddict
11-29-2014, 04:24 AM
I have been using H20 salt for a few years and my 20 gal garbage can also has a coating but it's not very thick. I never thought it was a problem. I use to rinse briefly with fresh water but I don't even bother doing that any more.

If this is some kind of organic sludge, what stays in the water mix and ends up in the aquarium?

I always have an algae problem and have to use Io nitrate reducer and also dose with Brightwell Reef Bio Fuel to keep it under control. Yes bio lode is low: 5 small fish, 1 medium in 100 gallons, 20 gal sump because nothing bigger will fit under a corner tank.

AquaAddict

gregzz4
11-29-2014, 04:38 AM
I assume Rich and Greg most likely bought at JL or KE ?
Yup Tim, I've been buying mine @ KE's
You missed it 'cause I edited ...

I'm all for supporting my LFS and do so regularly, so I have no problems buying it cheaper elsewhere

Myka
11-29-2014, 02:25 PM
Like Tim, I've been using H2Ocean for several years now in my reef tanks for the same reason - it's derived from natural seasalt. I add Mg and K to H2Ocean and my testing has been very consistent with it. I used IO (and IO Reef Crystals) almost exclusively from 1993 to 2009 and I thought I was happy with it until I switched to H2Ocean. When I used IO I added Ca, Mg, and K. In my opinion, for the average reef aquarium IO is a perfectly fine salt to use. If your tank is PACKED with SPS corals (in particular), I think IO is sub-par. Having said that, I've seen AWESOME SPS tanks using almost every brand of salt out there. I don't think salt choice is the be all end all as long as you stick with one of the more major brands. In the end, I think it's more about parameters. If you want to keep alkalinity at 7-8 dKH, IO or IORC is a really poor choice because they have high alkalinity. If you want 9-10 dKH, then H2Ocean is not the best option.

Personally I think saving 10 bucks to support a store that you feel gave you bad advice, and otherwise avoid, is not good reason. JMO

I agree with this 100%. In my opinion, this is really the most significant part of this whole thread.

AdamsB
11-29-2014, 04:00 PM
I started with regular IO, then moved to Kent marine salt from Dr foster and smith from the states as I added more corals. Now I'm onto reef crystal because I can get them locally if I need to.

How long do you guys store mixed salt water for water changes? I use a 50 gallon barrel and I'll mix it all and do about 15 gallon changes every 2 weeks. So the water is potentially in the barrel for 6 to 8 weeks. I run a powerhead and heater in there too.

Madreefer
11-29-2014, 04:31 PM
I've used IO for 15 years with zero problems. I tried a pail of Seachem once and my tank went for a crap for that time period.
I'll also add that i'm a very lazy reefer. I've never rolled my buckets and quite often when i'm making up my salt water I only mix the water for 2 mins max.:redface:
I have a mixed reef with mainly SPS.
Here in PG a pail of IO is $69 and at one time I paid $119. I have pics to prove

GoFish
11-29-2014, 05:21 PM
Here in PG a pail of IO is $69 and at one time I paid $119. I have pics to prove
Holy crap, $10 bucks is nothin then eh?! :wink:

Just had a read through THIS (http://www.theaquariumsolution.com/mixing-h2ocean-reef-salt). Mixing salt can get quite technical apparently

SeaHorse_Fanatic
11-29-2014, 09:30 PM
I usually mix overnight but in a pinch, I'll mix for 2-3 hours till its all clear and the right temp.

Madreefer
11-30-2014, 01:17 AM
I usually mix overnight but in a pinch, I'll mix for 2-3 hours till its all clear and the right temp.

Well Anthony this is not directed at you.

People in this hobby really do worry way too much and also fiddle around too much as well. I'm no expert but 15yrs and not one tank crash. I had problems when I fiddled. Sorry fellow reefers but rolling buckets and mixing SW for a week is laughable to me. I find this hobby consumes up far too much time that well.....you just can't get back. I'd rather spend my time sitting watching my inmates in my tank than working on it.:biggrin:
Wish me luck but no excessive mixing or constantly mucking around in my tank nor my clients tank. I bought all the Hanna checkers a year ago cuz I hadn't had any test kits in years. Well the checkers are still in the package. People quit worrying, it's a pretty easy hobby.
Ok sorry BACK ON TOPIC

Aquattro
11-30-2014, 01:35 AM
Agreed. My most recent batch of salt mixed for 20 minutes. Rolling salt is silly. It moves in a laminar motion within the bucket, it hardly mixes at all. But ya, stop making things difficult everyone!! :)

SeaHorse_Fanatic
11-30-2014, 03:46 AM
To be honest, I have only rolled my bucket of salt once, and that was mainly because it had been sitting in my car port for several months and I was worried it was getting crusty on top. I was also reading a couple of threads about rolling buckets so I thought I'd do it just in case.

What I try to do is set up the barrels in front of my tanks in my living room late at night so its not in everyone's way during the day. Then in the morning, after my morning coffee, I siphon water out and pump new sw in from the barrels. I usually do 2 or 3 barrels at a time and try to get all my tanks done at the same time. Then I can put away the water change barrels and reclaim my living room until the next big water change.

I use IO and the only time I switched, I used Kent salt just when they had the major problem with the salt chemistry and I ended up with 2 buckets of salt I had to exchange for a new batch. No problems with IO. (knock on wood)

Myka
11-30-2014, 05:11 AM
I'm no expert but 15yrs and not one tank crash.[...] People quit worrying, it's a pretty easy hobby.

:lol: After 15 years I'm sure it IS easy, but don't try to fool us that your tank was awesome 15 years ago! ;) Mine sure wasn't, but then again I was still in highschool and was still winging it because I was the only person I knew that had a saltwater aquarium! :D

Madreefer
11-30-2014, 11:36 AM
:lol: After 15 years I'm sure it IS easy, but don't try to fool us that your tank was awesome 15 years ago! ;) Mine sure wasn't, but then again I was still in highschool and was still winging it because I was the only person I knew that had a saltwater aquarium! :D

Haha no no Mindy I'm not trying to fool anyone. Of course my tank was just like any other newbie tank. There wasn't a lot of info to be had back than. I wasn't in to SPS back than, all softies and not much you can do with the ol top of the line Seaclone skimmers and cannister filters :lol:
Was just barking about my experiences. Oh and thanks for the reality check on my age :lol: