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View Full Version : Salt selection in western Canada is terrible


Potatohead
08-01-2017, 03:44 AM
So, I guess I am a bit of a salt nerd and like to try different things. I find the selection out west here really sucks.

Basically, unless you want Instant Ocean or Reef Crystals you need to do some digging. One store carries Red Sea, but I'm not battling traffic for 45 minutes each way for salt. Amazon sometimes has Red Sea. D&D, Aquaforest, Kent and Salinity at certain stores, and that's really about it. Seachem Reef is discontinued and NLA.

So if you want to try Tropic Marin, ESV Brightwell, Fauna Marin, Fritz or a bunch of other brands there is no option other than US or eastern Canada and crazy shipping rates in the latter case. I like supporting local/Canadian stores. I run my tank at NSW and I'm sick of having to deal with muriatic acid all the time, that stuff is harsh. I have used AF in the past and wasn't all that happy, maybe they got their stuff together now.

I am using Balling Light and the FM stuff rocks, but I can't try the salt without an insane price tag. Am I alone in this?

Reef-Geek
08-01-2017, 05:42 AM
So, I guess I am a bit of a salt nerd and like to try different things. I find the selection out west here really sucks.

Basically, unless you want Instant Ocean or Reef Crystals you need to do some digging. One store carries Red Sea, but I'm not battling traffic for 45 minutes each way for salt. Amazon sometimes has Red Sea. D&D, Aquaforest, Kent and Salinity at certain stores, and that's really about it. Seachem Reef is discontinued and NLA.

So if you want to try Tropic Marin, ESV Brightwell, Fauna Marin, Fritz or a bunch of other brands there is no option other than US or eastern Canada and crazy shipping rates in the latter case. I like supporting local/Canadian stores. I run my tank at NSW and I'm sick of having to deal with muriatic acid all the time, that stuff is harsh. I have used AF in the past and wasn't all that happy, maybe they got their stuff together now.

I am using Balling Light and the FM stuff rocks, but I can't try the salt without an insane price tag. Am I alone in this?

not just for salt selections, pretty much true for everything else too, I mean everything else...

Dearth
08-01-2017, 05:46 AM
You should be happy you at least get choices

Up here we had until recently only one choice which is IO but now We have three choices two of which are IO General use and Reef salt and the third is carried at another pet store in town

If we want something different we have to online order it or do an overnight trip to grab some salt.

Not to mention you probably can get it a cheaper price than us northerners

rsisvixen
08-01-2017, 07:46 AM
I would imagine if its a brand that the store gets in regularly, like brightwell additives you could always check to see if they would special order the salt. As they already have contact with a supplier should be easy enough to add to the next order.
Or if you could get a group together that wants to buy a certain brand a pet store would most likely be able to get it in, just needs to be worth the freight costs I guess.

Drs Foster and Smith now ship to canada too, think its flat rate 19.99 plus 22% international charges on what it cost.

Potatohead
08-01-2017, 03:26 PM
I would imagine if its a brand that the store gets in regularly, like brightwell additives you could always check to see if they would special order the salt. As they already have contact with a supplier should be easy enough to add to the next order.
Or if you could get a group together that wants to buy a certain brand a pet store would most likely be able to get it in, just needs to be worth the freight costs I guess.

Drs Foster and Smith now ship to canada too, think its flat rate 19.99 plus 22% international charges on what it cost.

I've asked, they said they need to bring in a full pallet and didn't want to commit to that much.

My work goes to Blaine two or three times a month to pick things up, at the end of the day it's not a big deal and I can get whatever but I would rather buy from a Canadian source.

rsisvixen
08-01-2017, 06:44 PM
Could always start a group buy, ask a store how much you need to order for them to bring it in and then see if you can get a group of people in.

Just like some people do with the coral group buys, a salt group buy.

Potatohead
08-01-2017, 06:55 PM
I don't know how much a pallet is, but I would assume about 30 boxes/buckets? One supplier out east sells FM by the pallet, and it's 27 units.

If anyone wants in with either Fauna Marin, Brightwell or Red Sea (I don't know if it has to be all the same type for RS), I am down for 3-4 units. Still a long way to thirty though. Price would have to make sense too for everyone.

albert_dao
08-01-2017, 07:30 PM
They're all the same. Used one, you've used them all.

Potatohead
08-03-2017, 05:50 AM
So, Fauna Marin got back to me and has offered a group buy. We would need to hit ten boxes, price is $128.25 per 20kg box and free shipping. Also because it's from out of province it should only have GST but I would have to verify that. I imagine it would have to ship to one location together and distribute from there. I can receive it if necessary. Overall savings is about 18% from standard shipped price.

I would be willing to grab 3-4 boxes so if anyone else is interested just let me know.

Cujo#31
08-08-2017, 11:23 PM
The only real difference (feel free to correct me here anyone) is in the guaranteed analysis of elements in any given salt mix. As Albert says, used one, used them all.
"Higher grade" salts claim they can be used as soon as 2 hours after mixing (although I have never pushed that envelope) while many salts recommend a 24 hour stand time.
As long as you stick to the bare bones basics of any reef tank husbandry practice which is to test and match perams you should not have any issues.
Other mixes are just more convenient in allowing us to not be so concerned about dosing to top up as much in certain elements after we do a WC.
I used IO for quite a while and really only found that the salinity tended to vary a bit from batch to batch and I learned thru trial and error to leave enough room in my mix barrel to fine tune the water before I completed a change.

DKoKoMan
08-11-2017, 07:51 AM
I am in need of a new salt close to NSW parameters as AF isn't working for me. The LFS's don't appear to have the variety like they used to.

albert_dao
08-11-2017, 02:38 PM
I am in need of a new salt close to NSW parameters as AF isn't working for me.

Close NSW is MOST reef salts on the market IME.

You weren't using that ridiculous probiotic salt product, were you?

Potatohead
08-11-2017, 03:26 PM
Close NSW is MOST reef salts on the market IME.


Not really. Even the ones that advertise as such are still typically 440/8.5/1400 or around there at 1.026. I want something like 420/7.5/1300 which is basically Tropic Marin Pro, maybe Red Sea blue (alk is higher) and maybe Brightwell? I haven't been able to try any so I don't know for sure. Fauna Marin is close too but also slightly higher alk. Aquaforest is also higher parameters than NSW IME.

At the end of the day it probably doesn't matter and doing a 10% water change isn't really changing tank parameters that much, but it would still be nice to have the option of something different.

DKoKoMan
08-11-2017, 04:41 PM
Close NSW is MOST reef salts on the market IME.

You weren't using that ridiculous probiotic salt product, were you?

Lol no I wasn't, just the Reef Salt. That being said I have had nothing but diatom / cyano blooms since changing. I will most likely go back to Reef Crystals.

DKoKoMan
08-11-2017, 04:43 PM
Not really. Even the ones that advertise as such are still typically 440/8.5/1400 or around there at 1.026. I want something like 420/7.5/1300 which is basically Tropic Marin Pro, maybe Red Sea blue (alk is higher) and maybe Brightwell? I haven't been able to try any so I don't know for sure. Fauna Marin is close too but also slightly higher alk. Aquaforest is also higher parameters than NSW IME.

At the end of the day it probably doesn't matter and doing a 10% water change isn't really changing tank parameters that much, but it would still be nice to have the option of something different.

I do a 20% WC biweekly, should I be concerned that the parameters will spike in to GE higher range through the salt?

CHEAPREEF
08-11-2017, 05:05 PM
I do a 20% WC biweekly, should I be concerned that the parameters will spike in to GE higher range through the salt?

Really depends on where you maintain your Alk and what the Alk is on the salt your mixing.

spedly
08-11-2017, 06:07 PM
I can't even get Reef Crystals here in Regina. My choices are Instant Ocean or Fluval Sea salt and their both quite expensive here. Its a little cheaper and more convenient to order online and pay the extra shipping.

albert_dao
08-11-2017, 07:06 PM
Not really. Even the ones that advertise as such are still typically 440/8.5/1400 or around there at 1.026. I want something like 420/7.5/1300 which is basically Tropic Marin Pro, maybe Red Sea blue (alk is higher) and maybe Brightwell? I haven't been able to try any so I don't know for sure. Fauna Marin is close too but also slightly higher alk. Aquaforest is also higher parameters than NSW IME.

At the end of the day it probably doesn't matter and doing a 10% water change isn't really changing tank parameters that much, but it would still be nice to have the option of something different.


I've found that there is soooo much wiggle room in parameters that being 100% dead on NSW is irrelevant.