The subject of trace elements has received more attention than Bill and Monica. In regards to trace elements in marine salts, most of the information is at best bogus.

In the early 1970’s hW Marinemix® told the world they had all 62 trace elements in their salt. Tropic Marin®told the world that they had all 70 elements in their salt. Instant Ocean® told the world they had all elements known to be essential. Forty Fathoms® (now Crystal Sea®) printed an “assay” that showed dozens and dozens of elements in their salt.

In Sea Scope™, the Aquarium Systems®, Inc. dealer/consumer handout was a front page article entitled… “Trace Element War”. It appeared that the marine salt with the most trace elements was the winner. Quite simply, this made mundane reading for the average marine hobbyist and made no sense at all to qualified marine technicians. Was this an effort by Aquarium Systems® to cloud simple facts? See Sea Scope or SMOKE SCREEN.

In the 1990’s Reef Crystals® told the world that their salt contained “extra trace elements”. Deep Ocean™ told the world they had “all necessary trace elements”. Then, Red Sea® told the world their salt had “trace elements distributed by a NEW method”. In short order, Coralife© told the world their salt was “rich in trace elements”. Later, Kent® Salt muddied the waters ever more by telling the world his salt had “enhanced trace mineral content”.


The S-15™ Report™ reveals what qualified marine chemists have know for decades. All of the above statements made by various marine salt producers are: half truths, misleading or blatantly false. The reality is that ALL marine salts have the SAME NUMBER of TRACE ELEMENTSALL trace elements. The issue is not existence, but proportionality.

A simple example would be for me to give you a hand full of common salts (sodium chloride). I could look you directly in the eyes and honestly tell you that this common salt contained all elements found in sea water. Or, better yet. I could honestly tell you that the salt you were holding contained all the elements on earth.

Even if common salt was refined to 99.99% pure, the remaining .01% of impurities contain all other elements. When manufacturing marine salts, some producers include these impurities as though they were part of the formula.

Example #1. A simple marine salt could be produced using only major elements/bulk salts. If these major components were mixed in a similar ratio to natural sea water (NSW), it would be suitable for the short term keeping of seafood in restaurant tanks. In the aquarium industry, such a product could be sold as product that was identical to NSW and contained all 70 elements.

The hW Marinemix® claim of having 62 trace elements is a half truth. Most of the elements are found as impurities, except for aluminum, lead and nickel. Al was 17.1 times higher, lead was 1,333 times higher, nickel was 12.8 times higher than NSW. Other “trace elements” were found at higher concentrations vs. NSW. In the same samples, essential calcium, a major ion, was chronically low. See hW Marinemix®.

The Tropic Marin® claim of having all 70 elements in exact proportion to NSW is blatantly false. Most of the elements are found at similar levels to other brands of marine salts — with the exception of 13.2 times more aluminum, 4.8 times more iron, 8 times more zinc, 10 times more manganese and 333 times more lead vs. NSW. The same samples were chronically low in essential calcium, a major ion. See Tropic Marin®.

The Instant Ocean® claim of having all elements known to be essential is misleading. Just like other marine salts, all elements are present. However, the most costly elements are omitted and found only as impurities. Bromide found in NSW at 65 ppm is found as an impurity at 5.4 ppm. Importance of Bromide. Trace impurities are found at concentrations similar to other marine Salts. See Instant Ocean®.

Crystal Sea®/Forty Fathoms© advertising showing an assay listing dozens of elements is a half truth. The elements listed are in the product. However, like other marine salts, they are found as impurities. Except for: 3.6 times more iron, 2 times more phosphate, 33% less bromide, some of the lowest levels of essential calcium and unbelievable variations from batch to batch vs. NSW. See Crystal Sea®.

Reef Crystals® claim of extra trace elements is misleading and blatantly false. It has the same number of trace elements as other marine salts. As with other Aquarium Systems® salts the costly elements are omitted and found only as impurities. Bromide found in NSW at 65 ppm is found at 6.8 to 9.0 ppm in two samples tested. Importance of Bromide. Zinc, selenium, silver, nickel, lead, copper, cobalt, chromium, and cadmium are found at concentrations comparable with other marine salts. However, major elements such as calcium and potassium varied from sample to sample. See Reef Crystals®.

The Deep Ocean™ claim of having all necessary trace elements is misleading. The samples varied dramatically from batch to batch. Both samples were low in strontium and void of bromide. Sample #1 had 255 times more and sample #2 had ten times more manganese than NSW. Sample #2 had nine times more zinc than sample #1. See Deep Ocean™

The RED SEA® claim of having trace elements distributed in a new method concerns experts. Sample #1 had over 133 times more boron than sample #2. Sample #1 had 20% less and sample #2 had 70% more strontium vs. NSW. Sample #1 had 14.6 times more and sample #2 had 1.6 time more copper vs. NSW. The S-15™ Report™ clearly shows this product varies dramatically to the point of defying the mixing procedure employed to produce this item. See Red Sea®.

The Coralife® claim of rich in trace elements is misleading. It contains the same number of trace elements as other marine salts. At the same time, major elements are either very low or vary dramatically from sample to sample. Bromide is found as an impurity. Importance of Bromide. There are other statements on their package that are also false. See Coralife®.

KENT SEA SALT® preliminary investigations indicate that this product is very similar to Reef Crystals®, which is similar to Instant Ocean®. Kent Sea Salt® has the same number of trace elements as other marine salts.


Statements like: contains all elements, 62 elements, 70 elements, rich in elements, and extra elements, or enhanced trace mineral content are misleading. All these elements are present as impurities.

Since there are a total of 70 elements in NSW, how could anyone add extra or enhance this number? As demonstrated in the S-15™ Report™, the answer is simple. These are not truthful or honest, or accurate statements. If a marine salt contained extra trace elements, it would win a Nobel Prize. If it had enhanced or richer amounts, it might be considered to be contaminated. Contaminants can be detrimental to all living things.


The concentration of most trace impurities is similar from brand to brand of marine salt. In some instances these impurities are similar to amounts found in NSW. Impurities usually do not stay in solution. Trace impurities can easily be removed from the closed system by: simple biological filtration, skimming, chemical filtration and lost through the normal metabolic process of the captive animals on display.


With the understanding that most trace impurities could be depleted, removed or exhausted before most captive marine organisms can use them, we must search for a suitable remedy to this ongoing situation.

One simple remedy is to use Marine Envrionment® dual phase formula™. This product that was created to control this undesirable situation.

Another approach is to employ supplements or additives. However, it is essential to understand that a good marine salt that is in balance to NSW MUST be used. A good marine salt should not demonstrate excesses, deficiencies, contaminants or variations from batch to batch.

The S-15™ Report™ reveals that the majority of marine salts failed to meet this basic and simple, but totally necessary requirement.

Nothing — lights, filters, foods, ozone, skimmers, supplements, controllers, etc. — can remedy bad water. How to Judge a Good Marine Salt.


Marine Environment® dual phase formula™ is a two part, limited production, high purity superior marine salt. It compensates for impurities being rendered useless. Part #1 Marine Environment® consistently contains major elements with moderately elevated amounts of calcium. Minor elements with consistently enhanced amounts of strontium, lithium, molybdenum and manganese.

Marine Environment® also contains the 62 trace elements found in other salts, at concentrations similar to NSW. However, this product does not rely on these impurities to stay in solution long enough to be of benefit to captive marine pets.

Part #2 Marine Environment® with the “little bottle, that makes the big difference”™ makes important differences in the working ability of this product vs. all others.

The “little bottle”™ contains bromide as a carrier for essential trace elements. These trace elements are scientifically bound to stay in solution until they are metabolized by the captive organisms on display. These bound trace elements cannot be removed by simple aeration, filtration or skimming.

The “little bottle”™ also contains various water conditioners and stress and shock reducers. The “little bottle”™ with these Marine Envrionment® Supplements™ contains additives or supplements that are usually purchased separately. See Marine Environment®.


Nothing — lights, filters, foods, ozone, skimmers, supplements, controllers, etc. — can remedy bad water. How to Judge a Good Marine Salt.


The key to selecting various additives is to first employ a true sea water formula™. BIO-SEA® is that formula.

BIO-SEA® Marinemix was the only marine salt tested in the S-15™ Report™ where major elements were consistently comparable with those found in natural sea water (NSW). BIO-SEA® includes select minor elements that address the natural interaction with essential calcium, iodide, the development of beneficial algae and the metabolic stimulation of captive marine fish and reef organisms in the closed system. BIO-SEA® mixed to the proper pH and was without: nitrites, nitrates, phosphates, silicates. Nor did it contain excessive amounts of heavy metals. See BIO-SEA®.


Currently there is a great choice of additives from a record number of producers. The number of brands seemed to explode starting in the early to mid 1990’s. This was the time the home “reef” aquarium came of age. At the same time, bio-balls, new marine salts and costly lighting also made their appearance. Now that the reef scene has settled down, we can look back and realize that the majority of items introduced at that time were of questionable value. Still, there are a great number of brands of liquid additives.

One very simple reason there are so many additives available is the fact that they are extremely easy and profitable to produce. Bottles, labels, water (hopefully clean) a scale (hopefully digital), formulas (hopefully researched) and a clean room (not the bathroom or kitchen) are the basics. It would be better if these basics were offered by marine technicians that were actively engaged in the manufacture of quality marine salts and/or contributed to the industry by pioneering the breeding of marine fish and corals.

BEWARE. “Kitchen chemists” and “garage fabricators” are with us. They usually produce brands that are offered with paper labels and/or without any content advisory. These are items that should be avoided.

It is always best to deal with reputable manufacturers. Such as ones that produce their own marine salts and have a track record of excellence. Just because someone offers a marine salt does not mean they have the technical ability and/or resources to produce their own products. Once a line of liquidadditives becomes marginally popular, enough profit has been generated to place colorful advertisements in leading hobby magazines.

Colorful advertisements usually offer the illusion of: science, research, testing, quality, etc. As evidenced by S-15™ Report™, the majority of these such advertisements for marine salts is totally false. There is no reason to believe a “kitchen chemist” or “garage fabricator” can possibly offer products that have benefited from the proper research, development and exhaustive testing.

After selecting a true sea water formula™
use only quality additives.

The REEF SYSTEM™ was created, researched, developed and extensively tested by Aqua Craft®, Inc. One of the worlds oldest and most respected marine salt manufacturing companies.

From damsels to delicate exotic soft coral displays, each REEF SYSTEM™ item produces the desired results in all marine fish only to full blown reefs.

The REEF SYSTEM™ replaces what captive marine organisms consume during their normal metabolic intake of trace elements, minerals and organics. The REEF SYSTEM™ includes minor and trace supplements. It also encompasses water conditioners, stress and shock preventatives, algae stimulants (one with iron and another with organic compounds) as well as coral reef and marine fish vitamins.


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