Best Reef Salt – Review & Guide

If you are a reef tank owner, you know the importance of finding a good reef salt that fits your wants and needs – and you’ve probably sworn by your favorite. Reef salt is so crucial because it balances the chemicals and compounds in your tank and makes a healthier tank environment.

However, with so many different reef salts out there, it can seem overwhelming and difficult to find the right one that you’re going to stick with. Therefore, I have created a top ten list of the best reef salts on the market today.

Reef Salt Reviews

Brightwell Aquatics ABANMAR150 Neomarine Marine Salt for Aquarium

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0044TG606/

This reef salt is very accurately curated in the production process. The chemicals are carefully balanced so that the salt has the exact chemical compounds in any quantity you buy. This salt has been researched and tested for years, so you know you will be getting the best quality of salt with this product.

It is made with completely safe chemicals, so your plants, water, and aquatic life will not be harmed in any way by this salt. It also will not ruin the cleanliness of the water. Your aquatic life won’t even notice that the salt was added to the water.

They are sure to not use any unnatural chemicals as some other salts do, so it is not made from man-made particles.

Pros:

  • Made from natural ingredients
  • Completely safe for aquatic life
  • Heavy research behind the formula

Cons:

  • Sometimes can have a bad odor
  • When it first enters the water, it can create a weird boiling effect

Instant Ocean Sea Salt for Marine Aquariums

https://www.amazon.com/Instant-Ocean-Aquariums-Nitrate-Phosphate-Free/dp/B003SNKMVI/

This is the best salt if you have a lot of aquatic life in your tank. It won’t harm your fish in any way, and they probably won’t even notice that the salt is there. It is a dissolvable reef salt so it will not disturb any critters.

It is branded as the most used reef salt in the world. Their quality control standards are incredibly accurate so you are sure to get the same formula for each batch you buy. It is research-tested to have all of the necessary trace elements to balance the chemicals in the tank.

One thing to note about this salt is that when you mix it with water, you have to stir vigorously in order to get the salt to dissolve. However, once the salt is dissolved, it works amazingly. Sometimes the ratios can be confusing depending on what type of tank you have.

Pros:

  • A lot of people stand by this salt as their favorite
  • Accurate quality control standards
  • Will not harm any of your aquatic life

Cons:

  • Takes a while to dissolve
  • Ratios can be confusing

Instant Ocean Reef Crystals Reef Salt

https://www.amazon.com/Instant-Ocean-Crystals-Formulation-Aquariums/dp/B0002DJU0G/

This formula is curated specifically for reef aquariums. This is because it contains elements specific to ocean reef waters instead of natural sea waters. It does come with anti-caking agents in the formula. This is bad because over time it could create a brown substance on the plants and corals.

It contains extra calcium which stimulates algae growth on coral and coralline. The extra trace elements provide essential nutrients so your plants are taken care of and the water is balanced appropriately. The extra vitamins that are added help keep the corals alive and strong, and they also help the environment as a whole. Additionally, this salt helps to remove any harmful metals typically found in tap water.

One thing to note about this reef salt is that you will most likely need to change the water often because it has a high alkaline level. This means more maintenance on your end.

Pros:

  • Comes with essential nutrients and vitamins to keep everything healthy
  • Removes any metal traces from tap water
  • Stimulates algae growth on corals

Cons:

  • High alkaline level means more water changes
  • Has anti-caking agents

Red Sea Fish Pharm ARE11230 Coral Pro Marine Salt for Aquarium

https://www.amazon.com/Red-Sea-ARE11230-Aquarium-175-Gallon/dp/B000YJ2XCU/

This coral pro salt is ideal for reef aquariums because it helps stimulate the growth of healthy algae. It also enhances the vitality of any corals. Another thing that helps the coral survive is the major and minor trace elements. They help to balance the surrounding water so that the corals can be healthy.

It is chemically tested to have a proper balance between calcium, magnesium, and carbonates. This is another thing that is going to help the corals grow properly because the water is going to be balanced appropriately.

One thing to note about this salt is that there have been traces of metal found in the formula which has been found to sometimes negatively affect the balance of the water. Also, sometimes it can be harmful to small and delicate aquatic life. I would say that this salt is much more suited for planted reef aquariums with corals.

Pros:

  • Promotes healthy algae growth on corals
  • Proper balance of chemicals
  • Enhances the vitality of the corals

Cons:

  • Can harm delicate aquatic life
  • Some traces of metal have been found

Tropic Marin ATM10581 Pro Reef-Bucket for Aquarium

https://www.amazon.com/Tropic-Marin-ATM10581-Reef-Bucket-200-Gallon/dp/B007R5MI0G/

This reef salt is formulated with pharmaceutical sea salt and different ingredients. This has no man-made ingredients and is all-natural, so you won’t need to worry about any harmful chemicals harming your water, plants, or aquatic life.

The quality control of this salt is well-tested and accurate so when you change the water, you won’t need to worry about anything messing with the water’s pH levels. Every batch is proven to have the exact same pH levels so your water isn’t being harmed by changing the chemicals all the time.

Due to it being all-natural ingredients, this salt is very clean and won’t leave any residue in the water or on the interior sides of the tank. This is going to prevent your tank from looking unclean.

Pros:

  • Won’t leave any residue
  • Made from natural ingredients
  • Carefully tested for quality control

Cons:

  • Not readily available all the time
  • Can take a while to dissolve

Fritz Aquatics 80243 Reef Pro Mix Complete Marine Salt

https://www.amazon.com/Fritz-Aquatics-80243-Complete-Marine/dp/B01K4YY8HM/

This is a very versatile salt because it works for both reef and fish-only aquariums. It contains all of the necessary major and minor trace elements which will balance the chemicals in the water in the tank. It is nitrate, phosphate, and ammonia-free which will help from any bad chemicals harming your water.

It reaches a stable pH level very quickly after mixing and applying it to the water. You won’t have to wait for it to start working which is great because you’ll get results right away instead of waiting to see if it works for your tank.

It is very readily available and convenient to buy either online or in stores unlike a lot of other salts that you can only buy online. It is made in small batches so the quality control has not had the best history.

Pros:

  • Will start working right away
  • Works for both reef and fish-only aquariums
  • Readily available

Cons:

  • Bad quality control history
  • Weird odor

Omega Sea Premium Reef Salt

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DRE55D8/

This reef salt is curated specifically to contain all necessary ingredients to perfectly balance your tank. It contains all major and minor trace elements while leaving out unwanted chemicals such as nitrate and phosphate. Compared to other salts, this salt contains higher levels of calcium and magnesium.

It comes with a buffering system that can stabilize natural water environments. This means it will be safe for aquatic life as well as your reefs. It can support many organisms in the tank such as reefs, invertebrates, and fish.

It is made with very little water in the production process. This means it will dissolve much better when you mix it in the water.

Pros:

  • No unwanted chemicals added
  • Made with little water so it dissolves faster
  • Comes with a buffering system

Cons:

  • Bad odor
  • Can potentially be harmful to super delicate aquatic life

Seachem Vibrant Sea – Highly Concentrated Synthetic Sea Salt

https://www.amazon.com/Seachem-Laboratories-Vibrant-Aquarium-Treatment/dp/B07113D26B/

This salt is made from synthetic ingredients meaning it has a highly concentrated blend of all of the necessary ingredients to ensure your water is perfectly balanced. This is going to make a much better environment for your water, plants, and aquatic life.

The formula contains all of the major and minor trace elements that are typically found in natural seawater which is going to give the best environment for your tank. Additionally, this salt is unique because it also curates potassium into its blend which is an extra added advantage.

The quality control can be irregular because of the type of salt they use which is anhydrous salt. However, this salt is a high-quality salt that is going to enhance your water in the long run. It can take a while to dissolve when mixed together.

Pros:

  • Made from synthetic ingredients
  • High concentrated blend
  • Adds potassium to the blend

Cons:

  • Takes a while to dissolve
  • Irregular quality control

Fritz Aquatics 80280 Reef Pro Mix Complete Marine Salt

https://www.amazon.com/Fritz-Aquatics-80280-Complete-Marine/dp/B01K4Z9RMC/

This is a very versatile reef salt blend being it can be used for both reef and fish-only applications. Like most of the other salts, it has been proven to contain all necessary major and minor trace elements that are typically found in natural seawater. This is going to accurately balance the water in your tank and create a healthier environment.

It has enhanced buffer levels which are going to ensure a healthy balance in the water. It will most likely reach the proper pH levels shortly after mixing. This is great because you won’t have to wait long before reaching great results.

It is free from any unwanted chemicals such as ammonia, nitrate, and phosphate which would harm the water and tank environment. One thing to note about the quality control is that it can be irregular with this salt.

Pros:

  • Quick results only shortly after mixing
  • Free of any unwanted chemicals
  • Can be used in reef and fish-only tanks

Cons:

  • Irregular quality control
  • Made with a lot of water so it dissolves slowly

Live Aquaria Professional Reef Salt

https://www.amazon.com/Live-Aquaria-Professional-Reef-Salt/dp/B07XTKLRFK/

This reef salt is made from synthetic ingredients that are going to prevent any harm happening to the water and environment of the tank. It is ideal for all saltwater aquariums, but probably not for fish-only aquariums because of the high amount of chemicals in it. However, high chemical levels promote the healthy growth of plants and corals.

It is formulated with the highest quality raw materials so as to not harm the water and balance it effectively. Also, it is made in small batches to ensure consistency meaning it has great quality control standards. Each batch is tested carefully to make sure the chemical levels are consistent.

It mixes excellently since it is made with very little water. Because it is made this way, it leaves little to no residue and it dissolves very quickly.

Pros:

  • Excellent quality control standards
  • Dissolves quickly
  • Little residue

Cons:

  • Not optimal for fish-only tanks
  • Bad odor

What Is Reef Salt

Reef salt is an essential factor in keeping your saltwater or reef tank a healthy environment. Reef salt is made up of essential trace elements such as chloride, sodium, magnesium, and calcium. These elements are going to help resemble a natural reef environment in your tank. These elements also form the salinity in your aquarium.

Reef salts are also designed to help promote the growth of the corals in your tank. It has combined traces of essential elements and vitamins that are crucial in helping your corals remain healthy.

Different reef salts are tailored towards different types of reef tanks. For example, corals work best in tanks that have a higher salinity level. Reef salts specified for corals will have a high concentration of calcium and carbonate.

Some reef salts even are curated to help enhance the colors of your corals and aquatic life. This is great for people wanting a vibrant look in their tank.

How to Use Reef Salt

It is important to maintain the salinity in your tank. During water changes, the salinity of the

water could change easily, so it is crucial that you keep all the measurements that you use consistent. To best match a natural reef environment, the salinity level in the ocean is 35 PPT (parts per thousand).

Reef salt dissolves quickly, so the solution only takes a few minutes to make before you apply it to your tank. As far as mixing goes, it is important to follow the instructions for the specific salt you are using as it varies from product to product. You should always mix the salt before putting it in the tank to avoid mistakes. As a general rule, you should use 35g for a liter of water. This will mimic the most natural environment in your reef tank.

It is important to measure the salinity of your water every time you add more reef salt to your tank. This can be done with a hydrometer or refractometer. Doing this will ensure that your tank is at a proper salinity level and you won’t be harming any plants or fish in the tank.

How To Choose the Best Reef Salt for Your Tank

If you are on the hunt for a good reef salt, it is important that you educate yourself on the different variations of reef salts out there. Understanding these factors is going to ensure you choose the best reef salt that matches your wants and needs.

Every aquarium owner who has a reef tank swears by the reef salt they use. Different reef salts match different preferences and priorities. Therefore, it is important to do research and understand the differences between reef salts before choosing one that one person likes for their tank. Every tank has different needs, so you want to make sure you choose the right salt that matches those needs.

The most important elements to have in a reef salt are calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium. These are essential to maintaining the correct salinity levels in the tank. Generally speaking, the higher the amount of these elements, the better the reef salt.

Another factor in choosing a reef salt is to determine what is best for what is living in your tank. If you have corals in your tank, it is crucial that you choose a reef salt with high levels of calcium specifically. This helps to protect their skeletons and keep them strong. If you have a lot of fish in your tank and softer corals, it may not be necessary to choose a reef salt with extremely high amounts of trace elements.

Some reef salts can alter the color of the tank or make it appear cloudy. I would steer clear of these reef salts as it makes your tank look less appealing. It could also require more maintenance and cleaning on your end.

Another thing to consider is the size of the package you go with. Some come in bulk while others come in smaller packages. It can be a hassle to have to constantly replace your reef salt. If this sounds like you, buying a reef salt that comes in large amounts is a good option.

Buying the proper reef salt that meets your expectations is relative to your specific tank and your preferences as a tank owner. There is not one reef salt that works better than all the others. It all depends on your tank specifically.

FAQ’s for Reef Salt

Does my aquarium need reef salt?

Reef salt should always be added to tanks that have reefs and/or animals found in reefs. This is going to provide the most natural environment for your aquatic life and corals to flourish in.

How much reef salt does my tank need?

This will vary from product to product. As a general rule of thumb, for every liter of water you have in your tank, you will need to put 35g of salt. This ensures a proper salinity level that best matches a natural reef environment.

Can I use tap water to fix the reef salt?

No. Tap water can be extremely dangerous to mix with reef salt. This is due to the chemicals and traces of metal in tap water tampering with the elements of the reef salt. This could end up hurting the salinity of the water, and harming your plants and aquatic life.

What products can I buy to enhance the functionality of my reef salt?

There are a lot of products that can help you in using your reef salt effectively. One simple tool you can buy is a stirring tool. This is going to help you ensure your reef salt is mixed properly. A hydrometer can be bought to accurately measure the salinity of your tank. A thermometer can be bought to accurately measure the temperature of your tank. Both of these tools will ensure that your tank is a healthy environment for your plants and aquatic life.

With all of the different salts and with everyone’s different opinions, it can be overwhelming to find the best reef salt that is going to support your needs. There are so many different types of reef salts, so it is very important to go through their descriptions, look at reviews, and make sure they align with your priorities.

Hopefully this list helped you differentiate the different types of reef salts on the market right now–And maybe you even found a new reef salt that you can buy for yourself.

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