Brightwell Aquatics new NeoMarine salt is sparking debate among aquarists. Not over the quality or animal response, but over the companies description of the salt mix. Brightwell’s NeoMarine literature states that tested numbers are spot on to natural sea water parameters (NSW). This of course has been said before, but what has most up […]
Brightwell Aquatics new NeoMarine salt is sparking debate among aquarists. Not over the quality or animal response, but over the companies description of the salt mix. Brightwell’s NeoMarine literature states that tested numbers are spot on to natural sea water parameters (NSW). This of course has been said before, but what has most up in arms is the precision in which the self-reported numbers of NeoMarine match NSW. The most interesting being Strontium, to which it states a measurement of 7.625 ppm, an number identical to NSW–to the thousandth. Brightwell claims that NeoMarine “is so close in composition to natural seawater that marine organisms cannot tell the difference.” Is it possible? Many say it’s not. Others are anxious to try a salt without inflated parameters.
The rear label of NeoMarine Salt. Photo by GBD reader Matt.
A consistent, quick mixing salt that hits near NSW is a welcome addition to the hobby. While we cannot yet confirm the measurements that Brightwell claims, nor will we be able to with such precision, we hope the salt will deliver on the NSW parameters–although we’ll give them a decimal point or two. We do not expect a salt mix to be within .oo1ppm let alone 10ppm. Early users of NeoMarine have reported to GBD that they are liking the new salt and the initial calcium and alkalinity values. Quick and clean mixing has also been mentioned by a few.
While major elements are suggested to be spot on to NSW, minor trace elements are largely absent. Here’s what Brightwell has to say:
First, all major elements are present in NeoMarine, however only minor and trace elements known to undergo biological and/or chemical interactions (e.g. depletion) in natural seawater are included. What this means is that there is a specific change (decrease) in the concentration profile of the element measured in the surface waters where life is concentrated; such elements are believed to interact with marine life and/or with other substances present in the water, and these elements are considered to exhibit “non-conservative” behavior.
Elements that do not exhibit these characteristics do not apparently interact with marine life or these other substances (at least as far as current analytical methods can discern); they are not likely necessary for the continued health or existence of marine organisms. It follows that these elements are not required for success with a marine aquarium; in fact, if added they would gradually accumulate with time. Because of this, they may be omitted from the salt mix and the savings in raw materials and production procedures passed on to the aquarist.
Like many Brightwell products, NeoMarine will have its lovers and haters. We do plan on testing the salt at some point. The same goes for Seachem’s Salinity salt that is under their Aquavitro line. What we do know now is Brightwell certainly knew it was stoking the fire. Lines like “For what it’s worth, the final formulation provides all major, minor, and trace elements at concentrations within 0.000001% (with the exception of chloride) of their respective average natural seawater concentrations“… are not including by accident or without thought.
Many thanks to Matt for the rear label photo.