Best Reef Aquarium Salt

reef aquarium saltIf you want to set up and run a successful reef aquarium, you’re going to need some pretty good aquarium salt.

Aquarium salt is manufactured by all sorts of brands and the large amount of choices out there can be pretty overwhelming for new people to the hobby. Luckily, once you understand what you’re looking for it gets fairly simple. Aquarium salt contains all the minerals and nutrients that our fish, coral and invertebrates need to thrive. As you progress through the hobby and keep more difficult animals then more attention needs to be applied to important aquarium parameters.

There are 4 mains types of marine aquarium and their needs and requirements are a bit different:

  • Fish Only Aquarium – Any marine salt will be fine for this type of aquarium as demands and needs from fish can be supplied through food.
  • Soft Coral Reef – Any decent reef salt will be fine, demands from soft coral are low.
  • Mixed Reef – A good salt is required with good parameters. Red Sea Coral Pro is a good choice.
  • SPS Reef – Demands on Calcium, Magnesium and Alkalinity will be high. Dosing will be required and a good salt that is stable from batch to batch is needed.

The truth is there is not a massive amount of difference between different brands of aquarium salts. It’s largely the same chemicals in slightly different ratios packaged up. Many successful reef aquariums have been run with aquarium salts we selected for review today. The trick that all aquarists need to listen to is pick your brand and stick to it. Consistency is key, find a salt that is available to you anytime you need it and fits your budget, all of the reef salts below will meet those standards.

Aquarium Salt

ImageProduct
Visit the Instant Ocean Reef Crystals Reef Salt for Reef Aquariums, 160-Gallon on Amazon. Instant Ocean Reef Crystals Reef Salt for Reef Aquariums, 160-Gallon Check Price
Visit the Red Sea Fish Pharm ARE11220 Coral Pro Marine Salt for Aquarium, 55-Gallon on Amazon. Red Sea Fish Pharm ARE11220 Coral Pro Marine Salt for Aquarium, 55-Gallon Check Price
Visit the Brightwell Aquatics ABANMAR150 Neomarine Marine Salt for Aquarium, 150-Gallon on Amazon. Brightwell Aquatics ABANMAR150 Neomarine Marine Salt for Aquarium, 150-Gallon Check Price
Visit the Red Sea Salt Mix for Aquariums 15 Lb on Amazon. Red Sea Salt Mix for Aquariums 15 Lb Check Price
Visit the Fritz Aquatics 80243 Reef Pro Mix Complete Marine Salt, 200 Gallon on Amazon. Fritz Aquatics 80243 Reef Pro Mix Complete Marine Salt, 200 Gallon Check Price
Visit the Instant Ocean Reef Crystals Reef Salt (200 gal) on Amazon. Instant Ocean Reef Crystals Reef Salt (200 gal) Check Price
Visit the Seachem Vibrant Sea - Highly Concentrated Synthetic Sea Salt 220 Gallons on Amazon. Seachem Vibrant Sea - Highly Concentrated Synthetic Sea Salt 220 Gallons Check Price
Visit the Aquaforest Reef Salt, 25 kg on Amazon. Aquaforest Reef Salt, 25 kg Check Price
Visit the Kent Marine 02113 Reef Salt Mix, 58-Pound Box on Amazon. Kent Marine 02113 Reef Salt Mix, 58-Pound Box Check Price
Product
Instant Ocean Reef Crystals Reef Salt for Reef Aquariums, 160-Gallon Visit the Instant Ocean Reef Crystals Reef Salt for Reef Aquariums, 160-Gallon on Amazon. Check Price
Red Sea Fish Pharm ARE11220 Coral Pro Marine Salt for Aquarium, 55-Gallon Visit the Red Sea Fish Pharm ARE11220 Coral Pro Marine Salt for Aquarium, 55-Gallon on Amazon. Check Price
Brightwell Aquatics ABANMAR150 Neomarine Marine Salt for Aquarium, 150-Gallon Visit the Brightwell Aquatics ABANMAR150 Neomarine Marine Salt for Aquarium, 150-Gallon on Amazon. Check Price
Red Sea Salt Mix for Aquariums 15 Lb Visit the Red Sea Salt Mix for Aquariums 15 Lb on Amazon. Check Price
Fritz Aquatics 80243 Reef Pro Mix Complete Marine Salt, 200 Gallon Visit the Fritz Aquatics 80243 Reef Pro Mix Complete Marine Salt, 200 Gallon on Amazon. Check Price
Instant Ocean Reef Crystals Reef Salt (200 gal) Visit the Instant Ocean Reef Crystals Reef Salt (200 gal) on Amazon. Check Price
Seachem Vibrant Sea - Highly Concentrated Synthetic Sea Salt 220 Gallons Visit the Seachem Vibrant Sea - Highly Concentrated Synthetic Sea Salt 220 Gallons on Amazon. Check Price
Aquaforest Reef Salt, 25 kg Visit the Aquaforest Reef Salt, 25 kg on Amazon. Check Price
Kent Marine 02113 Reef Salt Mix, 58-Pound Box Visit the Kent Marine 02113 Reef Salt Mix, 58-Pound Box on Amazon. Check Price
Visit the Instant Ocean Reef Crystals Reef Salt for Reef Aquariums, 160-Gallon on Amazon.

Instant ocean reef crystals are easy-to-use and provide all of the necessary elements required for a healthy coral environment. extra calcium, trace elements and vitamins promote growth and support the health of a variety of corals; including stony corals, coralline algae, anemones and other invertebrates. built-in metal detoxifier goes a step farther to neutralize traces of heavy metals often found in domestic water supplies.

Features

  • FORMULATED SPECIFICALLY FOR REEF AQUARIUMS: Contains essential ocean reef elements in concentrations greater than those found in natural sea water
  • EXTRA CALCIUM: Encourages stony coral and coralline algae growth.
  • EXTRA TRACE ELEMENTS: Provides vital nutrients.
  • EXTRA VITAMINS: Helps promote growth and survival of corals, anemones and other invertebrates in a captive environment.
  • DETOXIFIES METALS: Neutralizes traces of heavy metals found in tap water.

Visit the Red Sea Fish Pharm ARE11220 Coral Pro Marine Salt for Aquarium, 55-Gallon on Amazon.

Specially formulated for the use with reverse osmosis waterRed Sea is please to announce the addition of an innovative new salt formula designed to meet the needs of today`s advanced hobbyist. Coral Pro Salt has been specifically formulated for use with "mineral free" Reverse Osmosis, or soft tap water and contains the elevated levels of calcium and buffer capacity that provide the extended availability of these elements, essential for vibrant coral growth. Utilizing the same natural sea minerals used in Red Sea Salt the new Coral Pro Salt will enable all reverse osmosis users and reef enthusiast a superior product with out the need for immediate supplementation. Chemically balanced formula to support the most delicate Corals and other marine life Reaches a stable, natural pH shortly after mixing Free of Nitrates & Phosphates Produced by a small batch process to ensure homogeneity and consistency of the salt mixtureCorals, calcareous algae and other invertebrates use large amounts...

Features

  • Coral pro salt is the ideal salt mix for reef aquariums, encouraging accelerated, healthy growth and enhanced vitality of all corals
  • All corals build their skeletons by absorbing the major, minor and trace elements that they need from the surrounding water
  • Shown that the ratio between calcium/magnesium/carbonates is paramount for the corals to efficiently takes these elements from the water and grow
  • Provides the basis for accelerated healthy growth of all soft, LPS and SPS corals and is particularly recommended for growing out SPS coral frags
  • Available in 55-gallon pail

Visit the Brightwell Aquatics ABANMAR150 Neomarine Marine Salt for Aquarium, 150-Gallon on Amazon.

Extensively-researched and tested over a multi-year period, with a formulation based on current understanding of Marine Chemistry and Marine Biology as they pertain to the husbandry of all marine aquaria. Precision-formulated to replicate the natural seawater ratios of every major element, as well as all non-conservative minor and trace elements. 134 g per 1 US-gallon (3.785 L) of purified water yields a specific gravity of ~1.025 g/cm3, with a pH of ~8.30 and alkalinity of ~7.5 dKH. Manufactured by Brightwell Aquatics in our production facility (not outsourced) under the strictest standards of quality. Every batch is lot numbered and sampled for quality control. Utilizes a production process that promotes particle size uniformity and a dry blend. For complete information, click the 'Technical' button at the top right.

Features

  • Safe, Effective, provides outstanding results
  • Made in the United States
  • Precision salt blend for reef aquariums

Visit the Red Sea Salt Mix for Aquariums 15 Lb on Amazon.

Red Sea Salt Mix (commonly referred to as Red Sea "blue bucket") is a salt mix that has parameters very close to natural salt water. It's ideal for SPS tanks which dose minerals and elements to keep parameters stable and mixed/soft coral reef tanks which have a low demand.

Batch to batch Red Sea have been very consistent for me over the years and this is a salt you will always be able to buy. It's extremely popular in the hobby and most local fish stores are happy to stock this salt mix due to these qualities. It's a very good salt to use for most marine aquarium systems.

Features

  • The sea salt mix is excellent for mature reef and low nutrient systems
  • The three main foundation elements will effect the water chemistry to the good
  • The sea salt mix will balance levels of foundation elements

Visit the Fritz Aquatics 80243 Reef Pro Mix Complete Marine Salt, 200 Gallon on Amazon.

Features

  • Complete Professional Marine Salt Mix for Reef or Fish Only Systems
  • Contains All Essential Major, Minor & Trace Elements
  • Enhanced Buffer Levels; Reaches a Stable pH Shortly After Mixing
  • Enhanced Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium Levels
  • Nitrate, Phosphate & Ammonia Free

Visit the Instant Ocean Reef Crystals Reef Salt (200 gal) on Amazon.

Features

  • FORMULATED SPECIFICALLY FOR REEF AQUARIUMS: Contains essential ocean reef elements in concentrations greater than those found in natural sea water
  • EXTRA CALCIUM: Encourages stony coral and coralline algae growth.
  • EXTRA TRACE ELEMENTS: Provides vital nutrients.
  • EXTRA VITAMINS: Helps promote growth and survival of corals, anemones and other invertebrates in a captive environment.
  • DETOXIFIES METALS: Neutralizes traces of heavy metals found in tap water.

Visit the Seachem Vibrant Sea - Highly Concentrated Synthetic Sea Salt 220 Gallons on Amazon.

Features

  • SEA SALT: Seachem’s Vibrant Sea is a highly concentrated blend of synthetic sea salts formulated for marine and reef aquariums.
  • FORMULA: Vibrant Sea contains all essential major, minor, and trace components found in natural seawaters, plus the added advantage of enhanced potassium levels.
  • GREAT FOR: Vibrant Sea is ideal for the reef environment and will provide accurate seawater concentrations of magnesium, calcium, and strontium with proper alkalinity and pH for closed reef aquarium systems.
  • USE: Vibrant Sea is an anhydrous salt, which allows for unparalleled uniformity from batch to batch as well as the ability to produce more saltwater from less salt. In addition, it is highly soluble and can be mixed and used in the same day.
  • CARE: When using Vibrant Sea, mix with dechlorinated tap or purified water, then stir the product well until thoroughly, but not excessively, dissolved. For reef aquariums, 1.020 - 1.025 at 24°C (75°F) is recommended. Never mix Vibrant Sea in an aquarium containing animals.

Visit the Aquaforest Reef Salt, 25 kg on Amazon.

Features

  • Designed for aquariums with more demanding SPS and LPS corals
  • It does not contain any probiotic bacteria or growth media
  • Makes roughly 200 Gallons of Saltwater at 1,024 S.G
  • Phosphate and nitrate free

Visit the Kent Marine 02113 Reef Salt Mix, 58-Pound Box on Amazon.

Features

  • Cora-Vite technology
  • Superior dissolvability
  • For fish only and reef aquariums
  • Enhanced with calcium, strontium, iodine, vitamins and minerals
  • Not for human consumption

Conclusion

The best aquarium salt will depend on your budget and what is available to you, but you will honestly not go wrong with any choice above.

Any reed aquarist who has been in the hobby for a while will tell you that many years ago, salt has some problems:

  • It was hard to dissolve
  • Minerals deposited out
  • It clumped together
  • Parameters varied from batch to batch

Over the last 5-10 years, these issues have been largely fixed. Modern salt is easy and simple to use, you don’t really have to worry about it anymore. This is why I’m not going to recommend a single aquarium salt and declare it the best, they are largely all much the same and with a few exceptions all stay around the same parameters as natural sea water.

What aquarium salt do I use?

I run two systems, a fish only aquarium that uses Instant Ocean and a mixed reef that uses Red Sea Coral Pro. I have used many salts over the years but I have picked these as my local fish store stocks them all the time.

How much aquarium salt per gallon do I need?

For marine aquariums salt levels between 33pt and 35pt are required and 1pt = 1 gram of salt in 1 litre of water.

To convert this to US gallons, you need 133 grams of salt per 1 US gallon (3.8 liters).

Author Image - Max Tucker
Max Tucker

Max is a 31 year old blogger from Worcester, UK. He has a masters in Computer Science and is currently running a marketing agency based in London. In his spare time he likes to review technology and out doors equipment. Read more about him.

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