Updated: Feb 16, 2021
This question gets asked a lot in a majority of Reef forums - What Salt Should I use?
Several factors come into play with it comes to which brand of salt to use, and each recommendation will vary.
Salt is one of the major elements when it comes to reef keeping and especially if you will be keeping Corals in your tank(s). There is a plethora of salt brands out there to choose from and choosing the best salt for you can come in many different forms. Are you going to keep a Ultra Low Nutrient System - Standard (DKH +/- 7-8, or are you going to keep your tank on the higher end of spectrum(DKH +/- 10-12)?
I mention Alkalinity (DKH) as it is one of the major building blocks when it comes to reefing if you will be keeping corals, especially Hard Stoney Corals (LPS/SPS). Each manufacture recommends to mix their Salt to 1.025 (Salinity at 35ppm) which is and optimal level for Reef tanks, while Fish only tanks can get away with 1.020. Also, each salt will want you to mix to a specific temp as well.
Look for a salt that will mix to or close to where you currently keep, or will be keeping your Alk at. A majority of brands have 2 different types of salt. If you keep you tank at the standard range, then you wont want to use a salt that will mix to 12 DKH, and vice-a-versa.
One example is Instant Ocean, and Reef Crystals as they are from the same MFG, but mix at 2 totally different ranges when mixed to 1.025.
Below are just a few brands that are widely used by hobbyist and what they mix up to.
Two Little Fishies AccuraSea®1
Salinity: 35 ppt (1.0264 sg)| Ca: 420 mg/l| Mg: 1300 mg/l| Alkalinity 8 dKH.
Tropic Marin Pro-Reef
Salinity: 35 ppt (1.025 sg)| Ca: 430-450 ppm, Mg: 1300-1350 ppm, Alk: 7-8 dKH
Tropic Marin Bio-ACTIF
Salinity: 35 ppt (1.025 sg)| Ca: 430-450 ppm, Mg: 1300-1350 ppm, Alk: 8-9 dKH, plus carbon dosing compounds
Brightwell Aquatics NeoMarine Salt Mix
Salinity: 35 ppt (1.025 sg)| Ca: 413 mg/l| Mg: 1290 mg/l|Alkalinity 7.5 dKH.
Fritz RPM – Reef Pro Mix
Salinity: 35 ppt (1.025 sg)| Ca: 413 mg/l| Mg: 1290 mg/l| Alkalinity 7.5 dKH.: 8.0-9.0 dKH
Topic Marin Syn-Biotic
Salinity: 35 ppt (1.0264 sg)| Ca: 430-450 ppm, Mg: 1300-1350 ppm, Alk: 8-9 dKH, plus carbon dosing compounds, pro-biotic
Red Sea Salt - Blue Bucket
Salinity: 35 ppt (1.0264 sg)| Ca: 430 ppm| Mg: 1290 ppm| Alkalinity: 8.0 dKH
Tropic Marin Classic
Salinity: 35 ppt (1.0264 sg)| Ca: 370-390 ppm, Mg: 1250-1300 ppm, Alk: 9-10 dKH
Red Sea Coral Pro Salt - Black Bucket
Salinity: 35 ppt (1.0264 sg)| Ca: 465 ppm| Mg: 1390 ppm| Alkalinity: 12.0 dKH
Fritz Reef Pro High Alk
Salinity 35 ppt | Ca 400-450 ppm| Mg 1300-1400 ppm| Alkalinity 10 – 11.5dkh