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Aquabiomics - A terrible company

Please read here before posting. Outside comments are not permitted per R2R's feedback forum policy. This is to allow the buyer and seller to have a streamlined conversation and hopefully come to a mutually satisfactory resolution in a negative transaction. If you would like to contribute your own feedback experience with either the buyer or seller, you may do so by creating your own feedback thread. Only the thread starter and vendor will have posting access. Thank you.

Tuna Melt

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As the saying goes, "A company is only as good as its customer service", well its nonexistent with Aquabiomics.

Today is the 3-month anniversary of me sending in my sample, no report, no response, no refund, no customer service, it's absurd. I know Eli received my sample and I know that it was in batch 60 because I got a confirmation email that my sample was received 3 months ago when I sent it in. I've politely reached out via email multiple times (10 to be precise) and I have not received a single response. I've double triple and quadruple checked the Email address and have even called the phone number registered to the LLC per the registration statement three times. Radio silence. My last two emails I didn't even ask for the report, I just asked for a refund which should take all of 5 minutes for him to issue. For a $100 test you should have something to show for it, all I have is a cache of unanswered emails. The company is obviously still operating because they just listed a new batch of live sand on their site and they have been constantly updating the "Reports Expected by" page on their website.

The worst part is, I was fighting an aggressive coral pathogen off a maricultured frag, it was running rampant through my tank and ultimately took out more than a thousand dollars' worth of coral. I was hesitant to treat the tank with any sort of antibiotic without being absolutely sure I had a bacterial pathogen in my tank. When I sent the sample in, the website said the results for batch 60 would be received by mid-October (roughly 2-3 weeks), so I held off on hitting the tank with Cipro or some adjacent antibiotic. Well, I sat and watched my tank die and watch the "Results Expected Date" continually be pushed back until all that was left in my tank were softies and large fleshy LPS.

This also isn't unique to me.



Here is another person with a similar experience when I posted here asking if anyone from Batch 60 had gotten their report. https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/anyone-in-aquabiomics-batch-60.1022351/

mirrors my experiences with them exactly. terrible customer service, horrendously long wait times, and i even had them give me back 2 totally different results when i sent them in the same water sample labeled differently.
overall they are just a giant waste of money.

In this Episode of Rapping with Reef Bum, Keith asks Mike Paletta if he is still doing Aquabiomics test to which Mike responds "No because half the time they come back inconclusive". Jump to 47:45 to see the clip.

reefbum.png

aquabiomics.jpg
 

brandon429

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You can't use aquabiomics to treat, diagnose accurately or have anything to do with managing a coral malady. Did Eli promise you his service could do that or did you sub due to the other people's use
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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What you can use ab for: an amusing dna sample from 1/10000000th of your reef tank surface area, and that reading means absolutely nothing you can use to plan action
 
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Tuna Melt

Tuna Melt

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You can't use aquabiomics to treat, diagnose accurately or have anything to do with managing a coral malady. Did Eli promise you his service could do that or did you sub due to the other people's use
Well he promised me a report. Thats the trade off when I give him $100 bucks. If people choose to use that report and take action based off that report that's their prerogative. But its implicit in his business model that people would take action based on the report. Why else would you get a report?

He is obviously not liable for my coral disease or lost coral while waiting for the report. But it definitely adds to my frustration (rightly or wrongly so), and I wanted to share that context since most folks will be using his service in a time of need.
 

FrugalReefer

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What you can use ab for: an amusing dna sample from 1/10000000th of your reef tank surface area, and that reading means absolutely nothing you can take action for
They should still refund his money having waited this long and having requested it or at the very least, respond to his email. I’d be livid if I were in his position.
 

jda

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There is NO excuse for not delivering - none. I am glad that you posted this since reefing companies can sometimes get away with underdelivering for too long with hobbyists who do not want to share negative experiences.

You would not have likely found anything actionable from their report. Nearly all of what causes coral (and even fish) decline are typical holobiont strains of things that weakened inhabitants cannot fight off. I am not typing this to be mean or anything, but in a hope that you are looking elsewhere for causes and solutions.
 

IntrinsicReef

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There is NO excuse for not delivering - none. I am glad that you posted this since reefing companies can sometimes get away with underdelivering for too long with hobbyists who do not want to share negative experiences.

You would not have likely found anything actionable from their report. Nearly all of what causes coral (and even fish) decline are typical holobiont strains of things that weakened inhabitants cannot fight off. I am not typing this to be mean or anything, but in a hope that you are looking elsewhere for causes and solutions.
Well said. I agree completely. I have not seen where a specific microbe has been identified in dying coral that isn't also present in healthy coral.
As far as the business practice, a little communication would go a long way here. If there was a problem with the sample or test, that should be addressed. I have a hunch that this small specialized lab is a victim of it's recent popularity and hiring and scaling might not be feasible or desired. Maybe it will encourage someone else to take the plunge into this nascent aspect of our hobby.
 
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Tuna Melt

Tuna Melt

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Well said. I agree completely. I have not seen where a specific microbe has been identified in dying coral that isn't also present in healthy coral.
As far as the business practice, a little communication would go a long way here. If there was a problem with the sample or test, that should be addressed. I have a hunch that this small specialized lab is a victim of it's recent popularity and hiring and scaling might not be feasible or desired. Maybe it will encourage someone else to take the plunge into this nascent aspect of our hobby.
That's exactly right and I even said as much in one of the emails I sent to them. I understand if my sample was lost or mixed up, stuff happens, just let me know and issue a refund. It's the radio silence that is so frustrating.
 

MnFish1

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The problem with this model - when I used it - is that it as @brandon429 says - does not measure every surface in the aquarium. And As I did - I think about 3 years ago - depending on that surface - the results can differ - However - when I sent the correct locations they exactly met the requirements i.e. repeat samples did not results in different results. I think the issue is - there is really no knowledge on where exactly to look for an issue. Though the instructions are consistent, there is not a reason to suggest in tank a or tank b - that other areas may show pathogens (If this is wrong - hopefully someone will correct).

In other words maybe uronema doesn't hang out in the areas collected... They could be missed.
 

tzabor10

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This topic is exhausting. You can find a billion posts currently. If you have the QT with copper in it already, why are you asking? BTW I am on team no copper.
 

ke1023610

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This topic is exhausting. You can find a billion posts currently. If you have the QT with copper in it already, why are you asking? BTW I am on team no copper.
I didn’t know, I’m new to this hobby I don’t know much I just know people have success with copper powder. Already had it in my tank but I didn’t know until some guy at a shop said copper kills butterfly fish so that’s why I’m here.
 

AquaBiomics

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For the record, I was locked out of this thread until today by some technical glitch and didn't have permission to respond here until now.

Taylor,

Its disappointing that you felt the need to start a flame thread in public. As you know we handle customer service only through email, and of course have resolved this already via email, but the thread remains.

For the benefit of other readers who weren't privy to all our emails, here is an accurate record of what happened with your sample.
  • We processed your sample in Batch 60.
  • We sent email notifications when we started processing the batch, and again a couple weeks later when your results were available.
  • You asked at one point about your results, and I discovered you had created two different accounts with two different email addresses. I emailed you about this.
  • It seems like you have not been getting some of our notifications because of this error with two different email addresses.
  • More recently you emailed a whole bunch of times in a row (this is not useful) and still couldnt access your results. We investigated this, fixed the issue, and emailed you again.

After a few years in business I've learned some lessons. One of them is: you're never going to convert an angry customer who posts long rants on the internet, into a satisfied customer. I have apologized repeatedly for the technical glitches you encountered while trying to access your data. I've made sure you have access to it. It seems to me the transaction is completed and we've done our part.




Now you've felt free to be frank here, so I assume you'll appreciate a frank reply. Let me address head-on this issue of "I didnt get a reply to my email!"

These are not text messages or snapchat or something. These are business correspondences. Send your email and wait a few days. This applies in business as in the rest of life, and I'm tired of pretending it doesn't. And then if you don't have a reply, feel free to send a reminder. But this outrage at not getting every email answered right away is unwarranted.

We are a tiny micro-business, taking on an enormous challenge: producing research-grade DNA data from highly variable samples from hobbyist aquariums. We do DNA testing, and we do it well. As much as I wish we did, we do not have resources for the immediate customer support that some clients would demand.

You would probably be happier at one of the other aquarium DNA testing companies that focuses more on customer support, and I wish you the best in your future endeavors.
 

AquaBiomics

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I also need to add: there are some outside users who made inaccurate comments in this thread, but I'm not going to address them here because its not the appropriate place for it. I have an AMA thread if you want to bring up other issues. Or of course start another thread, as you prefer.
 
Please read here before posting. Outside comments are not permitted per R2R's feedback forum policy. This is to allow the buyer and seller to have a streamlined conversation and hopefully come to a mutually satisfactory resolution in a negative transaction. If you would like to contribute your own feedback experience with either the buyer or seller, you may do so by creating your own feedback thread. Only the thread starter and vendor will have posting access. Thank you.
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