Best Reef Salt

A reef tank is the best habitat you can create for your fishy pets, as it’s the one that most resembles their natural habitat in the ocean. It also looks super pretty at home, there’s just something magical about them that helps you instantly relax!

However, taking care of your reef tank isn’t as easy as simply placing them in water. A very important part of taking care and maintaining your reefs, so that they remain healthy, is adding the necessary reef salt. This feeds the corals some vital compounds they need to grow and stay alive and well.

With so many different types of reef salts on offer in the market, it’s really important to do your research and buy the one most suitable for your reef tank, to ensure it’s effective and works on the corals you have.

Using reef salt can be the difference between a flourishing and healthy-looking reef tank, and an underwater graveyard of dead corals. 

Think of it as feeding your little ocean plants! Because it can be a complicated world of different options, we’ve done some of the work for you and we’ve compiled a list with our top 5 picks for the best reef salts.

All you have to do is pick the one most suited to your tank!

In a hurry?

If you’re choosing to put together a reef tank at home, your fish will be very happy, as it is the type of tank that better resembles the ocean and their natural habitat. However, it does come with some upkeep demands, such as keeping the corals and reefs healthy and nurtured.

If you’re not sure which reef salt is the best, and you’re in a hurry to ensure your reef tank is properly attended to, then we recommend you go for our top pick, as it is the best overall reef salt you can find: the Instant Ocean Sea Salt for Marine Aquariums.

Instant Ocean is the most recommended and reliable brand for sea salts, with carefully formulated products that are used by hobbyists, professional aquariums, and even scientific research facilities!

It is truly the number one for keeping your aquarium healthy. This specific product can create up to 200 gallons of ocean, although you can easily adjust the dosage for smaller quantities.

It’s nitrate and phosphate-free. It also has a carefully formulated formula that includes all the necessary components for a healthy reef tank. Reliable and consistent over its 50 years of experience, it’s a no brainer option that will get you immediate results.

Here are the main features:

  • Highly reliable and recommended brand
  • Can create up to 200 gallons
  • Nitrate and phosphate-free
  • Fast dissolving
  • Carefully formulated - perfect for a healthy aquarium


Instant Ocean is the most trusted and popular brand when it comes to taking care of your ocean aquarium. The different sea salts they offer are all carefully formulated and highly reliable.

Just as their name indicates, they instantly create a little portion of the ocean for your reefs and corals to thrive!

This Sea Salt for Marine Aquariums is the top choice for hobbyists, also used by experts, professional aquariums, and scientific research facilities! 

It contains all the necessary components for a healthy reef tank, and it can create up to 200 gallons of ocean. If you need less, you can adjust the dosage of salt that you’re using, to get your aquarium to the levels desired and/or needed.

It’s free from any Nitrate and phosphate, and it is labeled as a fast-dissolving product. With over 50 years of experience, this product has a reliable high standard of quality and value that is just what your tank needs!


  • Highly reliable and recommended brand
  • Can create up to 200 gallons
  • Nitrate and phosphate-free
  • Fast dissolving
  • Carefully formulated - perfect for a healthy aquarium


  • No downsides


The Instant Ocean Crystals for Reef Aquariums is another top pick, once again from the excellent Instant Ocean brand.

It’s highly reliable, recommended, and of the highest standard of quality. This product is specifically formulated for reef aquariums, containing a higher concentration of essential ocean reef elements.

If the corals in your reef tank are high-maintenance and need that extra care, this product has extra everything to ensure they get what they need.

It includes extra calcium for coralline algae growth, extra vitamins to promote their survival in captivity, and extra trace elements to provide all the vital nutrients they need to thrive.

This product also neutralizes any traces of heavy metals that can be found in tap water, so it’s okay if you can’t use the purest of water to do the mixing! Just like the other Instant Ocean product, it can create up to 200 gallons of ocean for your aquarium!


  • Highly reliable and recommended brand
  • Specially formulated for Reef Aquariums
  • Extra calcium, vitamins, and trace elements
  • Neutralizes traces of heavy metals
  • Can create up to 200 gallons


  • Very slow to dissolve


The Red Sea Coral Pro Salt aquarium salt is a great and effective option if you’re looking to take care of your reef tank and promote accelerated growth at the same time.

It has been carefully formulated by taking into account the way in which corals absorb the trace elements from the surrounding water.

It has an ideal biologically balanced level of foundation elements that not only sustain the corals but promote accelerated and healthy growth.

With calcium, Magnesium, and Carbonates, it’s the ideal choice for getting your tank to flourish quickly.

It’s made from all-natural ingredients that have been harvested from the Red Sea for which the brand is named after. 

Therefore, it’s free of any chemical binders and doesn’t contain any nitrate or phosphate. It also contains low levels of moisture and is very fast dissolving.

It’s a great choice for reef tanks that are heavily populated by corals, as it contains a huge amount of natural nutrients that work very efficiently in creating the ideal habitat.

It comes in a bucket with enough to create up to 175 gallons of ocean. 


  • Promotes accelerated growth
  • Biologically balanced levels of foundation elements
  • All-natural, free of any chemical binders
  • Nitrate and phosphate-free
  • Fast dissolving


  • Not as suitable for low stock tanks


The Brightwell Aquatics NeoMarine for Reef Aquarium is an extremely versatile product that can be used for all marine and reef aquariums, with a great blend of salt that works effectively for all.

The reason it can do that is that it accurately replicates the natural seawater ratios of all major, minor, and trace elements.

This product is manufactured in the USA and is regulated under strict standard requirements, ensuring its high-quality and efficiency. It contains USP, ACS Reagent-grade, and FCC Food grade ingredients that are excellent at maintaining your corals healthy.

It doesn’t contain ammonia, nitrate, or phosphate. It is available to purchase in differently sized buckets, with the largest containing enough product to create 300 gallons of ocean for your tank.

It’s especially ideal if you’re struggling with PH levels in your tank, as this product has a great blend of nutrients that can tackle and fix the issue.

It’s also ideal if you run a low nutrient system in your tank, and it’s fast-dissolving!


  • Extremely versatile - ideal for all marine and reef aquariums
  • Contains USP, ACS Reagent-grade, and FCC Food grade ingredients
  • Meets high standards of quality
  • Can create up to 300 gallons


  • There are many reports of bad smell


One of the features that makes the Kent Marine Saltwater Aquarium Salt Mix unique, and a favorite amongst customers, is its superior dissolvability.

It’s one of the fastest-dissolving reef salts, and it doesn’t leave any cloudiness in your aquarium. It helps your corals grow healthy and at a fast speed, thanks to the Cora-Vite technology it has in its formula.

It has also been enhanced with extra calcium, strontium, iodine, vitamins, and minerals. This blend provides the corals with everything they need and creates the ideal ocean environment for your tank.

This product is also great because it’s been designed to not affect the alkalinity or PH of your aquarium water, so there’s no risk of it unsettling your carefully adjusted setup!

It’s suitable for hard corals and fish only tanks, working efficiently to keep the environment healthy and optimal for growth.

Overall, it is of great quality and highly recommended by all the satisfied customers.  


  • Superior dissolvability
  • Cora-Vite technology
  • Well balanced blend of nutrients
  • Promotes fast growth


  • Inconsistent results

Best Reef Salt Buying Guide

When it comes to taking care of your reef tank, it’s very important to ensure that it resembles the natural ocean habitat as much as possible.

For your reef and corals to grow and stay healthy, you’ll need to use the most suitable sea salt, so that they’re receiving the blend of nutrients that they need to thrive.

The problem is, that there are many options available in the market and all the competing brands claim to be the best!

There are a few different factors to consider when buying your reef salts, and a lot of it has to do with the kind of living things you have in your tank, and the type of result you’re hoping to achieve with the salts.

To help you understand all the basics, and to tell you about the features you should keep an eye out for, we’ve compiled this small buyer’s guide. We hope it helps!

Calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium:

Calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium are the big three when it comes to high-quality care of your reef tank. High standard sea salts should have high components of all three, blended into a formula of high nutrients for your corals to grow healthily. Here are the explanations for all three:

-Calcium: This is used by corals and any invertebrate creatures, absorbed as they build their stony skeletons and vital for their growth.

-Alkalinity: natural seawater has a higher PH than the pure water used at home, so your reef tank needs some added bicarbonate to balance out and allow the corals to thrive in a suitable environment.

This is absolutely essential because if the PH of the water is wrong, it can kill corals and poison your fish! Sea salt is carefully manufactured and chemically engineered to add the right amount of extra bicarbonate to balance out the overall level of alkalinity so that it’s safe and apt for use in your tank. 

-Magnesium: This is a trace mineral that is found in natural seawater, and it is an extremely important component of your reef salts. It interacts with the added bicarbonate to stop it from precipitating as calcium carbonate.

Without it, the alkalinity level of the salt would dangerously differ from the manufactured amount, so it keeps everything steady and apt for the safety of your reef tank.

Type of tank and aquarium:

When buying salt for your reef tank you need to take into account how demanding and high-maintenance your corals are, as they might have different needs.

If you have hard corals, for example, you will need higher levels of nutrients and minerals to help steady and healthy growth. There might also be different needs for different levels of alkalinity.

Always check the product description of each reef salt, so you’re aware of which type of aquarium environment it suits best!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you mix different reef salt?

You might be able to mix different brands and types of reef salts if you’re careful and know what you’re doing, so you can achieve a more personalized result.

However, it is not recommended to mix different reef salts unless you’re experienced and knowledgeable.

Different brands have different formulas, and the different balances of nutrients and levels of alkalinity might crash or negate each other, creating an unhealthy environment for your corals.