The Facts About Reef Crystals®

Reef Crystals® Enriched Blend
manufactured by Aquarium Systems, Inc.
(What the manufacturer claims)
(printing on the 50 US gallon/189 Liter size bag)

Specially formulated for use in sophisticated reef and marine aquariums. — Deficiencies of one or more important elements can seriously affect the health of many organisms (1) . Reef Crystals® is enriched with: Extra Calcium (2) … Extra trace elements (3) … Extra vitamins (4) … No enriched sea water formulations have ever been available to hobbyists (5) . As an added benefit, you will find that Reef Crystals® is the fastest dissolving product available (6) … We guarantee that every package of Reef Crystals® synthetic sea salt contains every essential element (7) and extra measure of calcium (2) , vitamins (4) and important trace elements (3) . Reef Crystals® is the first enriched sea water formulation available to all hobbyists (5) . Every batch is carefully analyzed to guarantee composition, consistency and uniformity (8) … Although the solution of Reef Crystals® can be used immediately, we suggest aerating the water to reach oxygen/carbon dioxide equilibrium (9) . Net. weight 14 lbs. (10) Aquarium Systems, Inc. Manufacturers of Instant Ocean® Mentor, Ohio USA and Sarreborg, France.

The attractive package mislabels its contents. False claims, high pH, inconsistencies from batch to batch, and similar composition to Instant Ocean® make this a product of questionable enriched value.


1. Sample #1 was 86% deficient and sample #2 was 89.5% deficient in bromide. Importance of Bromide.

2.  Calcium. Sample #1 was 5% lower and sample #2 was 20% higher vs. NSW.

3.  Reef Crystals® contains the same number of trace elements as all other marine salts.

4. No vitamins were detected in the S-15™ Report™.

5. Reef Crystals® is not the first enhanced marine salt. This honor goes to Marine Environment® dual phase formula™. 

6.  Fastest Dissolving product is incorrect. Depending on the temperature and quality of fresh water utilized, and the moisture content (age and storage condition) of the basic marine salt product, most marine salts dissolve at about the same rate.

7. Guarantee that every package of Reef Crystals® contains every essential element is misleading, as they are not in proportions similar to NSW. The Guarantee that every package has an “extra measure” of calcium is false.

8.  …Composition, consistency and uniformity. Both samples varied above and below the amounts of strontium vs. NSW. Both samples were lower in magnesium vs. NSW. Both samplesvaried above and below amounts of potassium vs. NSW. Both samples varied above and below the amounts of silicate vs. NSW. High amounts of silicates can foment the undesirable growth of brown or diatom algae.

9.  pH. Both samples mixed to a high pH. Ammonia and pH are related. The higher the pH the more toxic ammonia in the same water. pH was tested one hour after mixing with clean fresh water using Beckman instruments. Both samples mixed to a dangerously high pH.

10. A net weight of 14 lbs. will yield a working solution of 46.7 US gallons at a SG of 1.023. Reef Crystals® is underweight to produce 50 US gallons at aquarium needs.

11. There is very little difference between Reef Crystals® and it’s sister product Instant Ocean®. Check The Facts About Instant Ocean. Reef Crystals® scored 26 out of 100 in the S-15™ Report™.