I've been using the Live Aquaria for the past 5 months in my new system due to the parameters matching what I like to run. It has been very consistent. I have bought it whenever it goes on sale (about $40 for the 205 gallon box). Previously used Reef Crystals.
Used to use IO until I checked the alk after mixing a 5 gal it was 14! So I switched over to HW reefer salt from BRS. Had no idea how dirty IO was until I mixed up HW salt. Mixes crystal clear and it has amino acids in it for the corals
I use red sea black bucket because it's what I started with but will switch when I run out (probably for IO). Recent brs investigates video showed what my mixing station confirms, it precipitates out like crazy and creates a mess. It turns out that by the time I use it, it no longer has elevated dkh/calc (which does explain why I don't get alk spike when I do water change; I always wondered...)
I used to use Reef Crystals, but have switched over to plain old tried and true Instant Ocean recently after speaking with some of the more seasoned vets around here and on R2R. I was tired of the elevated calcium and low alk whenever I did a water change. IO seems a lot more stable for my liking.
Live Aquaria salt has treated me very well, mixing is quick and it is good to go in short time. No residue in my auto water change tank either. Fish and coral are happy so I'll continue using it until I see an issue. Price is also best around 99% of the time
I switched from aquaforest (which my corals liked but seemed dirty) to hw kuz brs said to. And I’ve had trouble gettin out ta LTR lately. I switch around the same time I started AWC and there has been a marked improvement.
I was using Tropic Marin for a long time. A buddy was using Reek crystals the whole time as well. I didnt notice any crazy difference in our tanks. So i decided to safe myself lots of money and switch over to RC. I dont notice great swings in my alk when doing wtr changs like others but thats more likely due to the fact that I dont do testing as often as maybe I should. LOL
I have tried all the major salt brands.
Now my preferred choice are
1. Coralife salt, cheaper and interestingly match the Red sea blue bucket in analysis
2. Good old IO, but take more time to mix properly
Now comes to the worst salt I have ever used: the one that comes with a questionable certificate, highly inconsistent, cakes up easily, ridicules customer service, comes in purple package.
To each their own! I've been running reef crystals for the last 2 year and am just in the process of moving to instant ocean now that I've figured out auto-dosing of 2 part. I usually let the salt mix overnight with a pump and heater - have never had an issue with it not mixing clearly.
Figure with a dosing strategy and 10% WC there is now much real difference in the salt mix you use.
I would love to get to a calcium reactor at some point but between the expense and not wanting a canister of pressurized gas in my living room I will keep dosing 2 part for now.