new salt mix is weird...


Reef enthusiast
So, I ran out of my favorite old salt-- which was running low on alk pretty consistently anyway-- and I'm on an epic journey to find *the* perfectly balanced salt mix. I'm mostly looking at the balance of mag/ca/alk. Today, I made up some instant ocean reef crystals because my mom had a bucket of it sitting around. Here are the results of my tests:

Salinity: 1.026
Alk: 13 dKH
Ca: 580 ppm
Mg: 1250-1300

so, as you can tell, alk and ca (especially ca) are pretty darn high, while Mg is on the low side of the scale. My options are either to not use this salt at all, to add epsom salt to increase Mg as well as/or decrease the salinity to 1.025 and see if that decrease Alk/Ca to a more acceptable range

also, is it bad to have Ca so high? I've never seen it above 520 or so...
I use Oceanic brand and my calcium runs high also (520-560). I do like this salt mix better than Instant Ocean. It seems to dissolve much quicker and I never have salt crystals at the bottom of the mix container.
Are you doing a partial water change? If so, I wouldn't worry about it. Even if you are doing 10% of your sytem's volume, the new parameters being off a bit won't change much overall -- only 10% of your system will have calcium at 580, the other 90% will be much lower. I don't feel like doing the math to see what that averages out to. :lol:. It's not bad to have high calcium -- it doesn't hurt anything. It can just make things cloudy and precipitate out.