How often do you guys run ICP tests?

https://www.triton.de/en/

How often should you use an ICP test?

  • Once a month?

    Votes: 7 6.0%
  • Once every 3 months?

    Votes: 40 34.5%
  • Only when you notice a problem?

    Votes: 39 33.6%
  • I have other thoughts on this... (post in thread)

    Votes: 30 25.9%

  • Total voters
    116

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What's the best practice when it comes to using ICP tests?

Do you run them monthly? Only when a problem occurs?

Do they replace other regular testing? Or do you simply use them in addition to your regular testing?

How does the delay between time test was done to time results are received impact your thoughts on how to use their results?
 
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Lukas75

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It depends on how regular I've been with my water changes. If I've been a slacker then every three months. If I've been on target maybe 6 months or earlier if something looks off.
 

MnFish1

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I have not used one - I was going to say 'only if I had a problem'. But based on some of the threads here (I have xxxxx unexplained on my ICP test) or I sent 2 ICP tests and the results were different, etc). I might never do one unless I had a KNOWN problem - for example if I found a screwdriver rusted in my sump - I might send one - but I would only act on the 'stuff' that's likely to be in the screwdriver i.e. if the uranium were high - I would ignore it.

Maybe someone else knows - are the 'normal ranges' ie the green, yellow, red based on the mean +- x standard deviations - or for example is the 'red' when you're likely to see 'symptoms' or 'problems'? My understanding is that just because something is 'high' doesn't mean its causing a problem. For this reason I would never send one routinely.

PS - I do a 40 gallon water change every 3 weeks or so in my 140 gallon tank/sump. Which also IMHO partially mitigates the need for regular testing.
 

Eagle_Steve

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Did one on a few tanks twice as I was worried about potassium where I have to dose nitrates in a few tanks, it came back high on all of those tanks. Switched to sodium nitrate, did test a month later and it was fine again. Maybe if I run into some crazy issue or have a concern for something I cannot test or cannot get an accurate test on, but 10 tanks up and going, the usual problems here or there due to me being dumb, not leaving things alone like I should, etc. I just do not see the need to be chasing all kinds of numbers. My corals will tell me how they feel, so to speak. I do not do regular water changes, I do test ALK and such, and use DIY 2 part with a few trace elements in them, but never saw the need for these tests. Granted some methods of reefing need them, or at least it is sold with those methods, but the way I do things, I do not feel it benefits me. Water changes here or there when I clean out my sump. 2 part as needed to maintain alk and calcium. A little mag here or there if it needs it.
 
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DivingTheWorld

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I had an acro crash a couple years ago so ran a test on my tank water as well as a fresh batch of wc water. Everything came back clean. I don't plan to do any more unless I'm concerned about a potential issue.
 

Mastiffsrule

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What is an ICP? Did someone leave the U out after the C?

Never have, never will. If everything is ok than really it is wasted money. You could use that money for Paul B. Supermodels.

If something comes back out of wack what then? Here come the emergency posts, dosing kits and water changes out the wazoo. Not that those are bad or shaming anyone in anyway. I am just painting a picture of panic and quick reactions. (PSA...The preceding message was not intended for any person or group. Any reproduction or recordings are strictly forbidden under the not me clause. Learned my lesson last time;))

What was done before those new fangled test? No one ran a tank successfully? In my opinion a reefer should be able to run a tank with the test kits at home, water changes, dosing as wanted, and the big one LOOK AT YOUR TANK. How many of us can look at a tank and know what is going on? How can you enjoy the tank when you look at it thinking oh boy, calcium is low 5 points.

Again just my opinion but compare the time and money spent on testing and retesting and more testing just to get that number in the green, compared to actually leaning about your tank and how to run it as it’s own ecosystem.

I hit my limit on length, so keep peace alive, everyone matters. No bad people just bad decisions to varying degrees.
 

saf1

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Different opinion. I think they are useful from a gee wiz point of view or out of curiosity and one time is probably enough. Beyond that I do not believe they are ready yet. Similar to what we have seen with lighting over the years as MH slowly fades out and LED's become technically more efficient with regards to reef keeping and our knowledge with using them.

In my opinion it comes down to the product price point and the testing standards and methodology between tests. This to me is the deal breaker because I'm a standards guy and I do not see how they recalibrate the unit between tests. Every sample should be treated unique and the machine(s) should be recalibrated after each use. This is expensive which gets back to my product pricing or hobby grade tests vs. cancer research.

There are too many posts asking about the results, good, bad, what to do, high tin, high zinc, why, what caused, etc. In the end I think they are nothing more than a novelty at the moment until processes, proceedures, and work flows get worked out. And I've done two by ATI and have a 3rd coming tomorrow. I like ATI, I think they are professional, and kind. I've exchanged emails and the support is great, honest, and no sales pitch.

Lastly I'm also a data horder so a huge fan of bid data. This is one of thise pieces I think the reefing community could take advantage of as far as numbers go. But...it comes back to the quality of the results. Junky data, well, isn't going to do anything than lead us down a gopher hole and I for one do not want Bill Murry above ground with a rabbit made out of C4 dropping in my hole ruining my day :)
 
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