The behavior of majorions, δ18O, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and trace elements was studied during the initial freezing of low-saline water (3 practical salinity units) in a freezing experiment. Samples were also collected from first-year sea ice from pack ice in the Bothnian Bay, northern Baltic Sea. During initial ice formation, the major-ion ratios in sea ice indicated variable behavior, with some ions showing relative enrichment (sulfate, calcium and magnesium), conservative behavior (sodium) or relative depletion (potassium) compared to sea water at the same salinity. DOC, iron and aluminum showed enrichment in the ice, while zinc was depleted to salinity. Lead was detected in surface snow-ice layers only, implying atmospheric accumulation. First-year sea ice, with a variable growth and thermal history, showed behavior for major ions similar to that observed in new ice. However, for trace elements the picture was much more complicated, most likely due to active secondary processes such as atmospheric supply and biological activity. Ice growth has a potential impact on the chemical budgets and cycling of some elements, especially those which are selectively rejected/retained during sea-ice formation, particularly in the shallow parts of the Bothnian Bay covered with a land-fast ice cover.