ICP Companies Using Different Parameters

Clownfishy

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After using Triton ICP testing for years, I switched to Fauna Marin Lab ICP testing. One thing I noticed was that different companies use different parameters indicating if your water is good or bad. For example, Triton allows an acceptable range of 0 - 5 for Zinc whereas Fauna Marin Lab consider 0 to be unacceptable and has a range of 3 - 8. Copper is another good example where Triton suggest 0 is good but Aqua Marin Lab suggest dosing to raise it to between 2 - 6. This is true of a number of other parameters so how are we to know who is correct and if our measurements are a concern?

Many thanks
 
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Clownfishy

Clownfishy

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I'm starting to wonder about the merits of lab testing.
I have to say, it has saved me a few times by finding sources of Tin and other elements slightly off but when you get different companies saying one measurement of an element level is good yet another one saying that same measurement is bad, it could be leading us to adjust these elements when we should leave alone.
 

Dan_P

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After using Triton ICP testing for years, I switched to Fauna Marin Lab ICP testing. One thing I noticed was that different companies use different parameters indicating if your water is good or bad. For example, Triton allows an acceptable range of 0 - 5 for Zinc whereas Fauna Marin Lab consider 0 to be unacceptable and has a range of 3 - 8. Copper is another good example where Triton suggest 0 is good but Aqua Marin Lab suggest dosing to raise it to between 2 - 6. This is true of a number of other parameters so how are we to know who is correct and if our measurements are a concern?

Many thanks
You might be assuming that the test rests are accurate and precise enough to determine whether they are within those ranges. Everyone forgets when they worry about their results that no ICP vendor tells us about the quality of their results. The test results could be created by a random number generator and we wouldn’t know. They aren’t, but the point is not to take any vendor’s word as truth. Do your own research on ranges and be skeptical about the test result accuracy.
 

TheBiochemist

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ICP indeed is a great tool but the data interpretation is complicated. First, what is 0 in the data can be either a real 0 or more likely is under a LoQ/LoD of the machine. Im quite sure there is some Cu in NSW but when analyzing this using common ICP-MS setup you will likely not detect it. In general, I wouldnt worry about the treshold values differing among the companies as Im quite sure that anything between 0 and any of the highest treshold will work and could not damage your tank. Simply, use the ICP-MS as a tool that helps you to search for high concentrations of possibly toxic contaminants (heavy metals) or very low amounts of vital macroelements that could be supplemented. The rest is IMO only a playing with numbers and possible inherent errors occurring during sample prep and analysis itself.
 
AS

Randy Holmes-Farley

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After using Triton ICP testing for years, I switched to Fauna Marin Lab ICP testing. One thing I noticed was that different companies use different parameters indicating if your water is good or bad. For example, Triton allows an acceptable range of 0 - 5 for Zinc whereas Fauna Marin Lab consider 0 to be unacceptable and has a range of 3 - 8. Copper is another good example where Triton suggest 0 is good but Aqua Marin Lab suggest dosing to raise it to between 2 - 6. This is true of a number of other parameters so how are we to know who is correct and if our measurements are a concern?

Many thanks

Accuracy questions aside, there's very little decent information on what trace element levels are optimal, or when they actually deviate enough from natural levels (which themselves vary by location and depth in the ocean) to be a true problem.

The mistake would be assuming any of these suggested values must be followed exactly, or that there even is a "perfect" value to shoot for, IMO.
 
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Clownfishy

Clownfishy

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Accuracy questions aside, there's very little decent information on what trace element levels are optimal, or when they actually deviate enough from natural levels (which themselves vary by location and depth in the ocean) to be a true problem.

The mistake would be assuming any of these suggested values must be followed exactly, or that there even is a "perfect" value to shoot for, IMO.
This statement is where I am now and not sure if ICP is as necessary as I have in the past and will now look at them to confirm if there is anything that is way out of whack -

"The mistake would be assuming any of these suggested values must be followed exactly, or that there even is a "perfect" value to shoot for, IMO."
 

Rick Mathew

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The fact is you get a single value from every element measured. You have no idea what the level of uncertainty in the measurement is...is it ± 10%...20%...or 100% or more....A measurement value without a level if uncertainty is just a number with little value (Lewin)...and Like Dan_P stated it could be a random number, not by design but by not knowing the test procedures real variability...just my observation

You can read about the correct way to report measurements here:

https://www.sigmamagic.com/blogs/measurement-uncertainty/
 

Spare time

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Accuracy questions aside, there's very little decent information on what trace element levels are optimal, or when they actually deviate enough from natural levels (which themselves vary by location and depth in the ocean) to be a true problem.

The mistake would be assuming any of these suggested values must be followed exactly, or that there even is a "perfect" value to shoot for, IMO.


I sorta laugh when a company can say what every trace element does within a coral or that "dosing this will make the coral purple!"
 

Rick Mathew

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This statement is where I am now and not sure if ICP is as necessary as I have in the past and will now look at them to confirm if there is anything that is way out of whack -

"The mistake would be assuming any of these suggested values must be followed exactly, or that there even is a "perfect" value to shoot for, IMO."
You are correct...It might be even a worse mistake making adjustments to your system based on measurements that are wrong...just saying.
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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I sorta laugh when a company can say what every trace element does within a coral or that "dosing this will make the coral purple!"

Yes, the specific color claims by supplement and testing companies are quite out of control.
 
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Clownfishy

Clownfishy

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Many thanks for eveyones responses, I think I will leave everything as is and try an stick to using a single ICP company in the hope there is consistency in their testing and statements!
 

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