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Best Reef Salt Mix – 2023 Reviews

Salt mixes are an important part of any saltwater tank setup. This is especially true if you are planning to put a reef tank in your home. You only want the best reef salt mix for your aquarium. Sometimes though, it can be hard to find the right salt mix product for your tank.

Many aquarists debate on this subject. Some fish keepers will swear that their brand of mix is the best. Others will disagree and say that their brand is superior. In short, it’s hard for anyone to agree on which is the best mix for a reef tank.

As a result, it can be difficult to figure out which product is right for you. In this post, we hope to dispell any of your confusion. We will give you the information you need to know to make your purchase.

By the end of this guide, you should have a mix that is ideal for your reef tank. To make this process even simpler, we will also introduce you to salt mixes that are well-liked.

These are well-known reef products that are known to produce effective results. These products will fit the needs of your aquarium and fit within your price range.

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7 Best Reef Salt Mix Reviewed

In this next portion, we will introduce you to the best reef salt mix products available to fish owners. Some of these items are made of natural salt and some are made of synthetic salt.

We have tried to put a variety of mixes so you can find a product that works the best with your reef tank. It can be daunting trying to find the best reef salt mix for your corals and aquarium.

But hopefully, with this guide, you can choose a mix that is right for you. There are a ton of great brands and mixes in our list. We will describe each reef mix in detail so you have the information needed to make a good choice.

1. Instant Ocean Sea Salt

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Instant Ocean is the first reef salt mix we will introduce to you in our salt mix guide. This particular brand of salt mix is popular among fish keepers.

The quality of the product is one reason for this, but the price is a major factor. You get great value out of Instant Ocean, for a good cost.

The Instant Ocean Sea Salt has decent amount of calcium in it, around four-hundred ppm. The alkalinity in the Instant Ocean mix is lower as well. You are still welcome to use this reef mix for harder corals, but we recommend using this product for soft corals. This will give you the best results for your reef tank.

If you put more of the mix in this can be used with hard corals. But it won’t be as cost-effective as getting a mix made specifically for hard corals. Still, if you have a fish only tank this product can also work well for you.


  • Made for soft corals and has the right alkalinity for your tank
  • Elements needed for corals are in this mix
  • Good value for what you are paying
  • Well-liked by many reef tank owners and well-reviewed
  • Effective results and can be great for fish-only tanks as well
  • High-Quality Reef Mix


  • Not an ideal product for hard corals
  • This product does not dissolve fast in an aquarium
  • Could be some clouding in the tank at first

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “Instant Ocean Salt – Quick Use Guide”

2. Instant Ocean Reef Crystals

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The next product is another salt mix from Instant Ocean. This item differs significantly from the first mix though. Again, this brand gives you optimal value at a great price, but this product is meant for harder corals.

You will get a great mix of calcium and other nutrients needed to grow your corals’ outer skeleton. There are over four-hundred and ninety ppm of calcium in this reef mix.

There are four sizes of this product and each contains the same amount of elements per cup. The only difference is how much product you get.

The 50-gallon size will make fifty gallons of saltwater for your reef.

The two-hundred-gallon size will make you two-hundred gallons worth of saltwater.

The bulk size could save you more money if have multiple aquariums or very large aquariums.

So keep this in mind if you want the most value out of your reef mix.

On the whole, this is a quality reef product that won’t let you down. It’s one of the best reef salt mix products for aquarium owners.


  • A good product for hard corals
  • The price is great for anyone on a budget
  • Good amount of calcium and other bicarbonates
  • Dissolves faster than the crystal mix
  • If you use tap water this mix neutralizes water
  • Well packaged product that will stay fresh for a long time
  • Good quality materials used for Instant Ocean


  • Not many negative but could have possible residue with this product

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

3. Kent Marine Mix

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Kent Marine Mix is more costly in comparison to Instant Ocean products, but this reef mix is worth your money. It comes in four variations, but we recommend the fifty-gallon jug for the best value.

There is a twenty-five-gallon version that comes in a pouch, and two two-hundred gallon versions that come in either a bucket or a box. These versions are no different and contain all the benefits of the fifty-gallon jug. They are just substantially pricier, but if you need a certain amount of mix those sizes might work for you.

Kent Marine offers buyers top of the line salt mixes. The calcium content is bigger than many other products, and it keeps alkalinity in check easily. Tank owners like that this product dissolves rapidly. It also does not leave behind residue or cloudiness in a reef tank.

The nutrient content in Kent salt is high and will promote the best health and growth for your coral tank. If you want your corals to grow sturdy and strong get the Kent Marine Mix.


  • The salt won’t clump up with Kent products
  • The salt dissolves quickly for your convenience
  • High-grade reef product with great natural ingredients
  • Good for your hard coral growth
  • Doesn’t have any nitrates, it’s also free of phosphates
  • Has a lot of extra nutrients for corals


  • Not ideal for soft corals
  • Could be an expensive purchase for some reef owners

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “Kent Marine Reef Salt Mix – Long Term Review”

4. Fluval Hagen Sea Marine Salt

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The Fluval Sea salt mix is another product made from a well-trusted brand. Fluval salt mix is pricier than Kent Marine mix, and other mixes. But this is a mix you will want to have in your reef tank.

This is a professional grade salt mix that is perfect for all kinds of tanks. This mix will help recreate the conditions of the ocean, so your coral will thrive in its tank. Three versions are available.

You can get the three-pound mix is you have a small tank. We don’t recommend this size for reef tanks though.

Corals require large volume tanks and plenty of saltwater. The fifteen-pound mix or the fifty-pound mix will better suit corals. The fifteen-pound mix makes up to fifty gallons of saltwater.

The fifty-pound mix is a heavier duty product. This is a bulk purchase that will give you one-hundred and sixty-five gallons of saltwater. Choose the mix size that best fits your reef tank.

Fluval Sea has everything your reef tank needs to flourish and to grow healthily. Like other high-quality mixes, this product will dissolve fast without leaving a trace.

The calcium content is high and nutrients are rich in the Fluval. This is one of the best reef salt mix products you can get for your aquarium.


  • Can work for fish-only tanks that are smaller
  • Works for hard coral tanks and creates good growth conditions
  • Dissolves easily and almost as soon as it goes in the water
  • Different options that give you a bang for your buck
  • If you use the right dosage this can go in soft coral tanks too
  • Very high-quality reef salt mixture for tanks


  • The Fluval mix is slightly expensive

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “FLUVAL SEA salt for marine aquariums”

5. Red Sea Fish Pharm ARE11220 Coral Pro Marine Salt

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Red Sea reef mix is a natural reef mix that provides great value for a reasonable price. This mix is specially designed to match the conditions of the ocean. As you can guess, the Red Sea mix gathers its salt from the Red Sea.

So only natural ingredients are placed in this reef mix. You won’t find anything synthetic in this. While we usually recommend synthetic mixes, if you are looking for a natural mix this is the one to get. This product is healthy for the environment and your tank inhabitants.

Red Sea mix is at the high end of mix products. So sometimes, it can be hard to find in stores. You might want to consider ordering it online, as you can get it for a great price on the web.

Overall, if you purchase this salt mix, your tank will experience great benefits. Red Sea is packed with nutrients and all the key elements your reef needs. You really can’t go wrong with this natural reef mix. Considering this,

Red Sea is one of the best reef salt mix products if you are looking for organic mixes.


  • Great price for this all-natural product
  • Good for your coral growth and health
  • High-quality reef product with great ingredients
  • Makes up to fifty-five gallons of saltwater
  • Salt in this reef mix taken directly from the ocean
  • Dissolves fairly fast


  • Can be expensive in some stores
  • Sometimes hard to find this product

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “How to Mix Saltwater with Coral Pro Salt Review- Red Sea Refractometer”

6. Brightwall Aquatics ABANMAR150 Neomarine Marine Salt

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Brightwall is a compromise between hard and soft coral tanks. You can use this product on either type of reef tank with effective results. This is another product that can be on the pricy side.

But again we recommend spending the money for the sake of quality. You want your coral to have the highest-quality tank water. Brightwall succeeds in this endeavor.

This is an American brand that has put tons of research behind its synthetic salt mix. Like Red Sea, Brightwall has perfected its mix and mimics the conditions and elemental ratios of the ocean perfectly. You won’t be disappointed when you use this reef mix.

You’ll get plenty of nutrients for your corals, and create the most ideal environment for your reef tank.

This is a reliable top-tier mix that can be named one of the best reef salt mix products. So If you have money to spare, definitely purchase from Brightwall.


  • Great and perfectly balanced product
  • Can be used on soft and hard coral tanks
  • Does a good job at mimicking conditions of the ocean
  • Very high-quality product that uses the best ingredients
  • This mix gives you great results for your reef fast
  • Promotes growth in your reef tank and fixes Ph
  • Brightwall dissolves at a fast rate


  • This can be on the expensive side of reef mixes
  • The smell of this product is not good

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

7. Tropic Marin ATM10581 Pro Reef Salt Mix

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The last reef mix on our list is the Tropic Marin mix. Many have said this is the best reef mix for any reef tank period. With the level of quality and precision in this product, it is easy to see why.

The ingredients used for Tropic Marin are the most professional in this guide by far. In fact, professional aquarists all over the world use this product to treat their tanks.

The price for this reef mix is steep. But if you are serious about keeping a reef tank this is the best product to get. You will only see amazing results with this perfectly formulated reef mix.

Tropic Marin is not sold in most pet stores, but it can be bought online. This is a worldwide brand that is highly acclaimed among the fish keeping community. You have to buy this mix in bulk, but it is definitely worth having in large amounts, especially if you have multiple tanks. if you like to change your water often, this is also the product for you.

Tropic Marin keeps water at a steady condition during changes and in general. It has tons of extra trace elements, all found in seawater. So your reef tank will be fully stocked with everything it needs to survive and thrive.

With everything the Tropic Marin has to offer, is it the best reef salt mix on our list!


  • Highest quality you can get for reef mixes
  • Can be used on all types of reef tanks
  • Tropic Marin will ensure your reefs grow optimally
  • Lots of extra nutrients and elements
  • Mimics the ocean perfectly with its ingredients
  • Keeps your tank conditions stable even during a water change


  • It has a big price tag so only buy this if you are a serious
  • Can be difficult to find this mix in stores

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “Tropic Marin – Salts and mixing tips (EN)”

Getting a Mix That Matches Your Tank

You need to do some research before you go out and buy a salt mix for your tank. Each saltwater aquarium has different needs. This is the case of both reef and non-reef tanks. Certain fish require a certain salinity.

And when you have a reef tank, your coral reef will require very specific conditions as well. Everything depends on your coral reef! There are all kinds of coral that will need all kinds of mix.

Depending on your coral, they will demand different water conditions and different trace elements. The level of each element will coincide with the species of the coral. Generally, though, salt mix will need to contain three key elements.

Reef tanks require calcium, the right alkalinity, and a proper dosage of magnesium. High-quality salt mixes for reef tanks will hold a high concentration of these elements, and with good reason. Without these components, your fish and your coral will die.

Most people assume that ocean water only has salt in it. This is an incorrect assumption, as ocean water is made up of more than just salt. Calcium and magnesium are present along with the salt. In addition, bicarbonate is also found in saltwater.

Bicarbonate helps reduce the acidity of the ocean. It acts as a buffer and keeps ocean water at a certain habitable alkalinity.

The Components

Getting into more detail, each of these ingredients, in salt mixes, helps your reef tank in their own way. Calcium promotes the health of your coral. It keeps corals strong and keeps their structures intact in tank water. Most experts recommend four-hundred ppm measurement for your tank. But makes sure this is the right for your coral.

You will need less magnesium in your salt mix than the other elements. It exists in a small amount in the ocean and in your salt mix, but it plays a big role. You only need 1250 parts per million to 1400 ppm of this substance. Magnesium helps keep alkalinity stay at a reasonable level in your tank. More importantly, it keeps the salt from escaping from the water.

The last component of salt mixes to consider is alkalinity.

Your mix will have bicarbonate in it to keep this measure at an optimal level. Your saltwater tank should have a Ph of around seven. And the amount of bicarbonate to maintain the alkalinity should be around eight-eleven dKH. If either of these measurements are too low or high your coral could dissolve in the water.

So keep this in mind. Your mix will have everything measured out correctly, but it’s good to know the contents of your reef mix.

Which is Better, Synthetic vs Natural Mixes

Salt mixes provide a variety of products for your reef tank, but there are two main types. You can choose between synthetic salt and natural salt. We have put both kinds on this list as both of these mixes have their benefits.

Natural salt is pulled directly from the ocean and can be rich in nutrients and elements.

However, we recommend going with synthetic salt if you want the best quality. Top-tier synthetic salt mixes can cost a lot but they give you the best concentration of elements you need.

For a reef tank, this is important. Certain natural salt can work great for your tank as well, but you need to choose the right product. Our guide will help you make this decision.

What Should be in Your Best Reef Salt Mix

As we talked about in the previous section, each aquarium will need different mixes. And of course, this depends on what resides in your tank. Fish only tanks are easier to manage as many salt mixes will fit your fish.

But when you are buying salt mixes for a reef tank there is more to consider. Corals tend to fall into two categories, soft corals and hard corals. Each of these corals will require distinct mixtures for the best benefits.

Hard corals need more trace elements and vitamins in their mix. The three major elements should be in these mixes, but other nutrients can be added in for better skeleton growth.

Plenty of bicarbonate should reside in your mix. This way there is a higher alkalinity in your reef tank for optimal growth. Hard corals have a difficult time surviving in low alkalinity so don’t forget this.

Soft corals, on the other hand, can live with lower levels of these elements. They still need calcium and bicarbonates, but they aren’t as dependent on them. These corals don’t grow as much exoskeleton so this is less of a problem for them. In addition, alkalinity should be substantially lower in soft coral tanks. An elevated alkalinity in a soft coral tank could result in coral death.

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With the variety of products out there, a good reef salt mix can be hard to find for your tank. You need a product that matches your fish and your coral optimally. In this guide, we hope to have helped you find the best reef salt mix for your tank.

There are many great reef mixes out there, but not every product is right for your aquarium. Some salt mixes can be better than others. It all depends on what your reef aquarium needs to thrive.

We gave you the best information to get the mix you needed. We also introduced you to many reef salt mixes that could work for you. Hopefully, now you can buy the right mix for your reef tank!

Aaron Boyd
Aaron Boyd

Hello, I’m Aaron Boyd, the proud owner and author behind Aqua Movement. I hope my article was able to answer your questions. If you want to learn more about me, click the home icon above.

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