Best Reef Salt in 2021 – Expert Reviews with Buying Guide

Having to keep an aquarium for those who have one, the choice of reef salt mix for your aquarium is always a priority. From my point of view, I think this is one of the difficulties that reefers go through. The problem is having to choose the best reef salt in cases where you are not quite sure of the choices you have and what to get. Your choice of reef salt highly depends on the type of fish species you keep so you have to ensure you acquire nothing but only the best reef salt.

Best Reef Salt Comparison Chart

ProductUsed InComponentsAdditional InformationPrice
Brightwell Aquatics NeomarineReef aquariums and marine aquariums.Magnesium, calcium, potassium, and strontiumUSP, ACS Reagent-grade, FCC Food grade, and chemically assayed ingredients.
Instant Ocean Reef Crystals Reef SaltReef aquariumsCalcium, vitaminsGrowth of LPS and SPS and coralline algae
Kent Marine Saltwater Aquarium Salt MixReef aquariums and fish onlyCalcium, strontium, iodine, vitamins, and minerals.Coral growth, skeletal structure growth, and reef vitality
Red Sea Fish Pharm ARE11230 Coral Pro Marine SaltReef aquariumsCalcium, magnesium, carbonates.Growth of soft LPS and SPS corals
Seachem Reef Salt, 600 L / 160 gal.Reef aquaria and fish-only aquariaMagnesium, calcium, and strontiumPromotes calcium and alkalinity stability
Tropic Marin ATM10581 Pro Reef-Bucket for AquariumModern reef aquariaCalcium and magnesiumFast coral growth
Fritz Aquatics 80243 Reef Pro Mix Complete Marine SaltReef or fish only systemsCalcium, magnesium, and potassiumConsists of major, minor and trace elements
Kent Marine Saltwater Aquarium Salt MixFish only and reef aquariumsMagnesium, calciumSkeletal structure development
Fritz Aquatics 80280 Reef Pro Mix Complete Marine SaltFish only systems and reefCalcium, magnesium, and potassiumNitrate, phosphate, and ammonia-free
ATM Aquarium Products Hot Salt Reef Mix Bucket-Calcium and magnesiumIt has less moisture

Your aquarium needs to have high quality water for a conducive living environment for your aquatic species. To achieve this water quality, you use artificial seawater that almost matches the quality of the original seawater. The problem with the artificial seawater that you can get from stores is the nutrients it contains, due to agricultural use of fertilizers this water often contains high levels of nitrates and phosphates. 

The nitrates and phosphates encourage the growth of harmful algae, and these nutrients also have adverse effects on your plants and fish. To get rid of this harmful nutrients, you require to find a way to purify the water. Now, this is where the reef salt comes in, and it aims at making your water of better quality, something close to the natural seawater. 

With the reef salt, you do not have to come up with artificial seawater; it makes your water meet the standards required for your aquarium tank. For all aquarium keepers your main aim is ensuring your fish and corals are alive, why then won’t you opt to get the best quality of water. So from this, it is quite apparent your aquarium does require reef salt to give you the best outcome.

Best Reef Salt Reviews

Selecting the right reef salt is important. However, the market is full of too many products such that it can be tough to pick the right one. The following are recommended best reef salts that you can buy this year.

Brightwell Aquatics neomarine is the way to go if you are looking to have a successful marine aquarium. It consists of all the elements that are required to create quality seawater. Since it’s from a well-established popular brand it’s no doubt that it’s one of the best reef salt on the market. A number of experienced reef hobbyists are recommending it due to its excellent results.

This Reef Salt is a great replica of natural seawater thanks to all the major, minor, and trace elements it has. It features alkalinity of 11dkh, 1380 PPM magnesium and 420 PPM calcium. It is suitable for use in marine and reef aquariums of up to 150 gallons.

What I like

It is a good reef salt which is good for reef and marine aquariums of up to 150 gallons. Also, the fact that it is made ideal for all marine organisms makes it a great choice. I like that it doesn’t contain nitrate, phosphate, ammonia or even other organic substances.

What I don’t like

If you are very sensitive to smell you find that they smell this result is not pleasant. Another turn off for me was that it gets more expensive per gallon.

What’s more impressive is that it contains FCC food grade, USP as well as ACS reagent grade ingredients. You will also be glad to know that it is a product made in the USA.

  • The salt mix dissolves faster and very easily.
  • Bright we'll aquatics nectarine is perfect if you run on a lower nutrients system.
  • This reef salt also consists of all the major, minor, and trace elements.
  • Ideal for the fish, reef, and marine organisms.
  • It is easy to use.
  • It doesn't have a pleasant smell.

Another great option is the instant ocean reef crystal reef salt. It is quite easy to use and with it, all of your reef organisms will get all of the necessary elements they need. It is specially made for reef aquariums to provide a healthier coral environment. It also allows the growth of various corals such as coralline algae, stony corals, anemones as well as other invertebrates.

Furthermore, the extra calcium, as well as extra vitamins this reef salt contains, will guarantee more coral growth. The built-in metal detoxifier is especially for neutralization of any traces of heavy metals. These are normally found in our normal tap water.

What I like

If you have an aquarium of 200 gallons, this reef salt is a great choice. I like that it consists of all the needed elements that promote the growth and survival of corals and other organisms. Also, you won’t to get clamps when you store it in a container and it can dissolve easily in water. More importantly, is that it comes at an affordable price.

What I don’t like

What I didn’t like is that I had to reseal it each time I used it which is ok but also time-consuming. It is also not a good choice in case you have demanding corals.

This product is also inexpensive compared to the previous product I have reviewed. You can get to dissolve it in a Reef Aquarium of up to 200 gallons.

  • It is inexpensive per gallon
  • It is also a great choice for reef aquariums.
  • Instant ocean crystals also have got all the required elements for a healthy reef environment
  • It can also neutralize heavy metal in tap water.
  • You will have to reseal it after each use to avoid formation of clumps
  • Also, this salt reef dissolves at a slow pace which is a great turn off and wastes a lot of time.

Wouldn’t you love to have all the necessary marine elements found in the ocean? Well, with the Kent marine saltwater aquarium salt mix you will have that and more. Not only will you get all the minerals but also get a salt mix which will dissolve faster without leaving a cloud. This reef salt is also affordable regardless of your aquarium size.

If you need your hard corals to grow faster than you will definitely need this salt mix. It uses Cora-vita technology which offers your corals unmatched marine environment like no other.

What I like

The most impressive thing is how fast it can dissolve without any cloud being formed in the water. I also liked the fact that this salt doesn’t affect pH or the alkalinity of the water in the aquarium. It can be used in 200-gallon aquariums and all that is at an affordable price.

What I don’t like

Although it contains all the necessary elements it tends to have low amounts of magnesium as well as calcium once it’s mixed in the water. It also forms clumps when stored for longer.

It is also enhanced with 550 PPM of calcium, 1450PPM of magnesium as well as alkalinity of 10dkh. It also comes in a box which can serve up to 200-gallon aquariums.

  • This reef salt dissolves very quickly compared to other reef salts.
  • It also promotes faster growth of hard corals
  • It is affordable per gallon which is a great advantage if you have a smaller aquarium
  • Kent marine salt mix is also suitable for 200-gallon tanks
  • It has got inconsistent results in nutrient balance because the calcium and magnesium are less when dissolved in water
  • Forms clumps when stored for long which can be hard to dissolve later

The Red Sea Fish Farm coral pro marine salt is another ideal choice if you want to give your marine life and a healthier environment. You will also get all the minor, major, and trace elements that you marine life needs. You don’t have to constantly replace the nutrients in your aquarium in case it is heavily stocked. The salt mix has all that you will need for it.

What I like

I didn’t have to replace nutrients constantly in a heavily stocked aquarium. It also has all the major elements needed to give a healthy marine environment. I also liked the fact that it can dissolve very quickly.

What I don’t like

If you have a small aquarium you won’t be needing the extra nutrients meaning this salt mix won’t be ideal for you. Also, it is very expensive which means those on a budget can’t afford it.

This salt promotes faster healthy growth of LPS and SPS as well as soft corals. It is also an ideal mix if you are looking to outgrow those SPS coral frags. It comes available for aquariums of up to 175 gallons. The salt also doesn’t contain heavy metals or even organic binders. This makes it stand out among the best reef salt ideal for hard corals as well as invertebrates.

  • This red sea fish pharm reef salt dissolves very easily and quickly
  • It also has extra nutrients which are suitable larger tanks
  • This reef salt is perfect for heavily stocked aquariums
  • It also promotes faster healthy coral growth if you have some hard corals
  • It is expensive especially for larger tanks
  • Mostly ideal for larger aquariums because of the many nutrients that won’t be necessary for a smaller aquarium

Are you looking for a reef salt that promotes color, growth and healthy corals? The seachem reef salt is the one you need. A number of users praise this reef salt for promoting vibrant color once the salt mix is introduced in the aquarium.

It comes with well-balanced elements of strontium, calcium and magnesium. With such your reef life will have a healthier environment. Also, the reef salt is ideal for aquariums of 160 gallons.

What I like

It promotes very bright coral color giving you a nice view. It also dissolves well and it has all the traces of the elements needed for a healthy environment. It has a well-balanced chemical blend of the salts your aquarium will need to get the natural seawater your reef life will need.

What I don’t like

It has high levels of boron which tends to make it hard to read the alkalinity of the water. Therefore, you will always have to keep a close lookout for the pH in the aquarium when using the salt mix.

  • It dissolves well once placed in water
  • It also contains all the necessary elements needed for a healthy aquarium
  • It also promotes healthy Coral life
  • Seachem reef salt is also ideal for smaller to 160-gallon aquariums
  • It will promote very bright corals which will be a good view
  • It is specially made for fish and reef aquariums
  • It is expensive per gallon
  • It also has very high levels of boron
  • You will have to constantly monitor the alkalinity

If you have a marine aquarium, then you need the best sea salt. This product is your best bet. Its strongest point is that it is a pharmaceutical-grade product that meets all the requirements of modern reef aquariums. Your fish need the right environment for them to survive. That’s why factors like the pH and mineral composition of your aquarium matter a lot.

What I like

Tropic Marin ATM10581 Pro is a 100 percent biodegradable salt. This makes it quite environmental-friendly. Besides, it has no fillers, toxins, or any other synthetic additives. It is the best choice, even if you are setting up your aquarium for the first time. You can also use it on your old aquarium to create an equilibrium condition conducive to your fish. This product leaves no residue when used, and its mixing process is very efficient.

What I don’t like

The product tends to attain equilibrium at a lower pH, so you may need to use a calcium reactor if you want to increase the alkalinity of your aquarium. This means you’ll have to incur an extra cost to raise alkalinity.

  • The product works well with a variety of coral, such as SPS, LPS, and soft coral
  • It is well buffered, meaning its pH doesn't change much when you mix it
  • It dissolves very fast
  • It leaves no residue and has no smell
  • Its price has been increasing steadily in the recent past

This product is great for all aquariums. Marine scientists and researchers formulate it. The product is manufactured using high-quality raw materials to ensure it contains the minor and major elements found in the natural marine environment and the right quantities. This means it will not only sustain your fish but will also ensure other organisms in your aquarium are also sustained to make it as natural as possible.

What I like

The product has a uniform particle size, which minimizes stratification. It has no contaminants, meaning it can find application in research institutions, zoos, aquariums, and even in adventure parks. RPM is ammonia, phosphate, and nitrate-free, meaning it is safe for your livestock and does not have any repelling odor. A coral needs to grow its skeleton continuously. This can only be possible if it absorbs all the minor, major, and trace elements from its environment. That’s the environment that RPM Provides.

What I don’t like

The main drawback of this salt is that when it gets moist, especially in a humid environment, it may be difficult to measure accurately. It is therefore advisable that you use it immediately after opening it. If you have to keep it after opening, you will have to keep it in a dry condition.

  • This is a professionally design salt mix that can be used for reef or systems that contain only fish
  • It contains all the essential trace, minor, and major elements
  • Its buffer levels are enhanced - it will reach a stable pH just after mixing
  • It has enhanced potassium, magnesium and calcium levels
  • May contain traces of heavy metals
  • Difficult to measure when it gets moist
  • Its solution may give higher than normal levels of specific gravity

This product is very popular for one main reason: it dissolves without clouding the water. That aside, it also contains all the essential elements that improve the growth of healthy coral. Some of these elements include strontium, magnesium, and calcium. The elements are balanced such that it makes your livestock feel like they are in their natural marine environment.

What I like

Kent Marine Saltwater Aquarium Salt Mix has a perfect balance of trace, minor, and major elements, and is free from phosphates and nitrates. If you love your hard corals and you want faster growth, this product is for you because it utilizes Cora-Vite technology. Since it dissolves quickly, you’ll have to wait for long before adding your fish. However, you may need to aerate your water well to get the right oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.

What I don’t like

The product is excellent in nearly all aspects save for the fact that, once mixed, it may contain low levels of magnesium and calcium. In rare cases, it has also been found to be high on calcium. With these inconsistent results, you need to know the specific need of your aquarium before buying it.

  • It's a mixture that's well-balanced
  • The product dissolves fairly quickly
  • It is affordable
  • Suitable for hard corals and fish only tanks
  • Results in a high rate of growth for corals
  • Phosphate and nitrate-free
  • It may harden before use
  • The nutrient composition gives inconsistent results
  • There are some shipping issues not yet resolved

Whether you have reefs or fish, you’ll find this product quite ideal. High-quality raw materials are used in its manufacture, and you’ll find that it is free of nitrates, phosphates, and ammonia. Leading marine researchers and scientists designed the product. As such, you can rest assured that you are using a product with the right quantities of the major and minor elements for your aquarium.

What I like

This product exhibit perfect buffering capacity and pH. This is because the traces elements in it are in a perfect ratio. Because it is pure, it is not only used by individuals but also by research institutions. 

It also finds use in adventure parks, public aquariums, and zoos. This product has additional magnesium, potassium, and calcium to boost the levels of these elements in your tank. Additionally, it has some basic elements needed in marine salts to ensure the good health and growth of marine animals.

What I don’t like

Apart from the essential elements necessary for coral and marine animal’s growth, this salt also contains some traces of heavy metals. So, in case you are in the market for a heavy-metal-free salt, you may have to look elsewhere.

  • Professionally mixed salt for fish only or reef systems
  • Contains all essential traces, major, and minor elements
  • Reaches equilibrium pH level shortly after mixing because of enhanced buffer levels
  • Phosphate, ammonia, and nitrate-free
  • Affordable
  • Contains traces of heavy metals

If you are in the market for a faster-mixing marine salt, then this product is for you. You’ll not have to waste time waiting for it to dissolve so you can add your marine life into the tank. It takes about only six minutes to mix thoroughly, and after that, you can add your livestock because it reaches the right pH value sooner. However, you’ll give the solution time to cool down.

What I like

This is an anhydrous salt, meaning it dry (no moisture), thus no contaminants. For this reason, you can be sure that it will not have any adverse effect on the health of your marine life. The product itself is also pure so you can be sure that your marine life will be safe

What I don’t like

One negative issue about this salt is that it is low on the alkalinity side of the pH scale. This means, if your tank needs to be more alkaline, you can find a way of bolstering it or choose another salt. If that’s not your concern, then it will serve you well because it has sufficient levels of calcium and magnesium. Another concern with this salt is that the temperature will rise when it is added to water. So, you need to let it cool down before adding your animals.

  • Mixes very fast
  • No residues meaning, no dirty tubs
  • High-quality and pure and mixture
  • Produces more mix
  • Increase of temperature when added to water
  • Low alkalinity level

How to Choose the Best Reef Salt

One of the biggest challenges that many people face is picking the right reef salt. You need to be keen when getting reef salt because the type that you will get highly depends on the organisms that you have in your tank. There are different brands of and each contains different chemical composition. So, try to be careful when picking to end up with the right one.

Different reef salts have varying elements. I would recommend you to get reef salts that have a high percentage n calcium, magnesium and alkalinity. Since bicarbonate is also present in seat water, it is important to consider that because it give a great balance and ensures that the high spikes in alkalinity or acidity doesn’t affect the fish.

It is also important to consider the price of the reef salt. Always set your budget and look for a product that you can afford. This is important especially if you will be buying it often.

How Do I Mix Saltwater For My Aquarium?

Mixing saltwater for your aquarium is quite natural, though not as easy as adding table salt to the water, but it is something you can handle. To perfectly mix your aquarium saltwater here are the steps you are expected to follow.

Step one: Get a sea salt mix

Find a synthetic saltwater mix that is dry and make sure you use a high quality sea salt mix. For large aquariums, get a bigger container and for smaller aquariums get a small container. The containers come in sizes of twenty-two or ten kilograms or forty-eight pounds.

Step Two: Choose your source of water

The water for your aquarium is one of the most critical considerations in this process. For fish only aquarium tanks, you are allowed to use tap water, but it should be good quality water. The water should be free of harmful nutrients and other toxic organic compounds. For reef aquariums, you strictly cannot use tap water.

Step Three: Assemble other necessary additional supplies

Although water and the sea salt mixture are the crucial requirements, you need some extra supplies. In this case, a storage bin, a submersible aquarium heater, a floating thermometer, a pump, a hydrometer, and a stirring tool.

Step Four: Measure the temperature

Before adding the sea salt mix, ensure the temperature in your aquarium is the same as that of the salt in the mixing container.

Step Five: Place the heater and the powerhead in the container

Place the heater at the bottom of the mixing container to help dissolve the salt quickly. The heater temperature should be the same as the one in the aquarium. 72- 80 Fahrenheit for fish-only tanks and 75-78 Fahrenheit for reef tanks. The powerhead should create some air current movement at the surface to allow gas exchange.

Step Six: Pour in the salt mixture

You can now add the sea salt mixture according to directions on the package. Slowly add the mixture to your water as you stir gradually. Pour in the mix in three batches ensure that on adding in each batch, the mixture completely dissolves before pouring in the next batch.

Step Seven: Measure the gravity

It will help you know whether you put in too little or too much sea salt mixture. If the needed gravity is not acquired, add water slowly till you get your desired gravity.

Step eight: Give the mixture time

Let your saltwater to at least sit overnight in the mixing container before putting it in your aquarium. It helps in ensuring complete dissolving of the salt.

Step nine: Check the gravity and temperature once more

Before adding the mixture to the aquarium, you have to ensure it meets the specified standards.

Step ten: Pour your saltwater mix into your aquarium

You can now add the mixture into the tank as long as all saltwater conditions are standard. Pour the water in slowly and keep checking the temperature. You can then put your fish back in the aquarium and let them enjoy their environment.

How much reef salt do you need?

Depending on the size of your aquarium tank, it will be the defining factor of the amount of reef salt required. For large aquariums, you need more reef salt, but the smaller the aquarium, the less the amount of reef salt required. You should also check out the instructions given by the manufacturer on the reef salt package for better guidelines on the amount required.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best reef salt to get?

The choice of reef salt you prefer depends on your specifications. To get an idea of what you would like, check out the internet reviews on reef salt. Also, look out for people’s comments to see whether there are complaints about the reef salt you would like to choose.

How do I choose a reef salt mix?

It depends on the type of aquarium and the aquatic species you have. Some reef salts work in specific aquariums only, and some can thrive in any aquarium. Also, check whether it is for your fish or coral. The components also differ in different species.


When it comes to reef salt, choosing I am hoping this review will give you the necessary guidelines. Although different reviews come with different instructions, I highly advise that you go through the manufacturer’s instructions. You can now be sure of how, when, and where to use your reef salt after reading this article.

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