FAQ #36 Can saltwater from the ocean be used in a reef tank?
Today we're answering Kyle Archers's question “I live right by the ocean is their any reason not to just use the natural sea water for a reef tank?"
The simple answer is yes, you can use water right out of the ocean for a saltwater aquarium. It is actually fairly common for large public aquariums and research facilities to use water directly from the ocean.
There are a few reason why reefers do not use ocean water since it can be difficult to locate a clean source, since beaches, harbors, and bays usually have a fair amount of pollution from cars, boats, farms, industrial waste and other sources that may not be desirable for a reef tank. Most of the time the cleanest water will be found far offshore and would require a fair amount of time and planning to collect the water ultimately making it easier just to purchase the dry salt and mixing it yourself. One of the best ways to know if the ocean water in your area can be used, just check out the marine life and if there is an abundance of fish and coral, then the water is probably safe to use. You can always take a sample to test at home or have sent out to a larger test facility if you are still unsure.
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