not alot of replies to many members' requests for icp test decoding, did we waste our money on icp?

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

Lasse

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My view is no more risky than washing your hands at your sink or swimming in a lake or the ocean or floating in a pool. All water contains trace elements.
True about chemicals - but it is a good thing to wash your hands with soap and water afterwards - it can be some bacteria in the water known for creating zoonosis (mycobacterium as an example)

Sincerely Lasse
 

Rick Mathew

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I have been following along since Thursday…Interesting discussion. As Randy has stated there are many many questions posted related to “My ICP Test Results” with statements like “My(fill in the blank) is high or low according to my ICP test…”What does this mean….What shall I do?” and all kinds of variation to these questions….It all starts with a number reported by an ICP test result!

My question is not about a specific result but the results in general. There are multiple ICP testing vendors. All use the term ICP Test Results to highlight their service, so when we say “my ICP” test results we are using a generic term to refer to a specific result that is… “My Triton ICP Test results…My ICP Analysis ICP Test Results…My ATI ICP Test results” and so on.The reason I say this can be seen in the chart below.


1590260479466.png



This chart represents the same sample sent to 3 different “ICP” testing vendors an 3 different dates. On each date all of the samples were shipped on the same day. Taking the time to evaluate these results one can see that in some of the elements there is relatively good agreement, Calcium for example. However in other cases there is not close agreement at all, P, PO4 , Iodine, Magnesium as examples.

The question I ponder is which one is correct (Accurate)? Based on which one I choose I could take distinctly different actions…

This is not a new problem….Many industries, services and companies are faced with a similar question…In my past life I had responsibility for our Global Corporate Quality System ( 7 plants—National and International) …We had 14 spectrophotometers from which we took measurements and made decisions about the quality of the product. A number of our customers required certified measurement results. What does that mean…Certified? …It did not mean we “certify we did the test correctly”! ….It meant that the results we reported according to a
defined procedure ,regardless of which plant it was produced at, were certified against a defined industry standard as measured on an instrument calibrated and certified against defined Laboratory Standards….In this case that was A2LA (American Association of Laboratory Accreditation ISO 17025 https://www.a2la.org/about ) and the Collaborative Testing Services. https://collaborative-testing.com/program-2.php

The procedure was quite simple…Periodically, (time depending on the test) we would receive samples at each of our 7 locations. We would measure these samples according to the prescribed procedure and then send the results to Collaborative Service. They would then analyze the data and send a report to each lab. The report consisted of a statistical analysis of the performance of the instrument with, among other things, a projected expected error for any given measurement…It also would state if the instrument could be kept in service or need to be removed or repaired…This goes beyond just the calibration of an instrument. It looks at expected error related to a specific measurement…In the ICP world that might look like….Calcium measurement ± 20ppm or PO4 ± .005ppm or Iodine ± .001 as examples

The key elements were:

  • Defined Industry Standard
  • Defined Laboratory Procedure
  • Industry Calibrated & Certified Instrument
Why did the customers require such an elaborate process? Because of the same reason pointed out by the above chart of ICP test results…Different vendors were reporting different results…Which one to trust? This is an extremely important question to get correct in our customers case…Why is answered by these example question:

“Would you like your parachute cord to brake in flight?”
“Would you like the product you sell to prematurely fail creating a bad reputation and significant returns and potential law suits?”

One could argue that the consequences of an incorrect ICP measurement has nowhere near the consequences of these questions and you would be correct…None the less the principle is the same.
In our case the negative consequence could be a bad decision on what to do with our tanks. This could result in stress or loss of livestock or as @Lasse points out a “time to Panic” feeling and the subsequent “chasing a number” problem which can create instability in our systems.

I say all of this not to dis ICP testing. I like @Lasse use ICP testing to look at element I cannot measure as well as check my own analysis. But I want to point out in my opinion a short coming in the ICP testing in general. It might very well be that the vendors are actually doing this validation procedure but I have not seen any reports or evidence of it…This would be very valuable for us to know and would increase our trust in their results IMO. As @Dan_P points out ‘There is little information that what ICP vendor’s measure accurately depicts what is in your water.”

So @ Isabel’s Hobby I understand your puzzlement! As for @david campbell original question…Take the advice of @Randy Holms-Farley and explore the subject…You also might feel the same puzzlement.

A lot more could be said about this but I have rambled on enough
I cover this subject in the article found here

https://www.reef2reef.com/ams/part-4-getting-it-right-colorimetric-instrumental-testing-methods-digital.748/

rick


1590247677864.png
 
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Isabel’s Hobby

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I would definitely stop dosing nopox with a zero phosphate reading. It can’t work anyways unless you have some degree of both nitrates and phosphates in your system. It’s also why we have a ton of carbon dosing threads where reefers dose tons of nopox/vinegar/vodka and have really high nitrates but zero phosphates. This is exactly how that scenario begins and can be prevented by adding a tiny bit of phosphates back into the system before adding your nopox dose. At 5ppm nitrates, I don’t think you have to add nopox at all.
That was my thought as well but I was listening to the LFS because i figured they know more then I do and they’re tanks look stunning. The first 3 years i did not dose anything only water changes and it worked well until I wanted some sps and they never ever lived but died slowly within 2 weeks or so.
I really appreciate all your time here....I am determined to figure this out not giving up. So again.....THANK YOU to all of you what are answering me.
 

Rick Mathew

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I m on city water but I get my water from LFS pre mixed so not adding any house water at all. Even the RO I get from LFS
I add magnesium calcium nopo and alk daily in small amounts. My tank after I got the iodine down is doing actually much better. Polyps are open everything looks great not growing much Great colors not decaying I guess that’s a plus
You might try sending a sample of the water you get from your LFS to be tested...Just in case it is the source of the problem

Also you might want to send a sample to a second ICP vendor to have a look at the results and compare them to your current results...just a thought

rick
 

Isabel’s Hobby

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BTW .....I do love my LFS I am not trying to blame anything on them......just wanted to say that . They are always super nice And trying to help as well. It is me what needs to understand all of this. And the more I learn the less I know lol But it makes sense and I am listening . NOPOx is off for now.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

Isabel’s Hobby

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You might try sending a sample of the water you get from your LFS to be tested...Just in case it is the source of the problem

Also you might want to send a sample to a second ICP vendor to have a look at the results and compare them to your current results...just a thought

rick
We already talked about that as well....thank you :)
 

Rick Mathew

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______

77-78 F
The tank is 225 G

These results are from 3 days ago the store did it.

CDDF635D-D193-4E00-8B6D-BF413960BF0F.jpeg CA62FBED-7175-40CF-A3EE-278E82DDFB98.jpeg
Forgive me if you have already answered this question...Do you do any of your own testing at home?
 

Isabel’s Hobby

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With all you have invested in your system have you considered doing some of your own testing...the basic stuff...Ca, Alk, Mg, PO4, Nitrate ?
I have for sure just figured that the store is more accurate then I am. I even have test kits here. Are you telling me that it might make a difference and it would be better doing it on my own ?
 
https://www.omegasea.net/

Lasse

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I have been following along since Thursday…Interesting discussion. As Randy has stated there are many many questions posted related to “My ICP Test Results” with statements like “My(fill in the blank) is high or low according to my ICP test…”What does this mean….What shall I do?” and all kinds of variation to these questions….It all starts with a number reported by an ICP test result!

My question is not about a specific result but the results in general. There are multiple ICP testing vendors. All use the term ICP Test Results to highlight their service, so when we say “my ICP” test results we are using a generic term to refer to a specific result that is… “My Triton ICP Test results…My ICP Analysis ICP Test Results…My ATI ICP Test results” and so on.The reason I say this can be seen in the chart below.

1590247677864.png


This chart represents the same sample sent to 3 different “ICP” testing vendors an 3 different dates. On each date all of the samples were shipped on the same day. Taking the time to evaluate these results one can see that in some of the elements there is relatively good agreement, Calcium for example. However in other cases there is not close agreement at all, P, PO4 , Iodine, Magnesium as examples.

The question I ponder is which one is correct (Accurate)? Based on which one I choose I could take distinctly different actions…

This is not a new problem….Many industries, services and companies are faced with a similar question…In my past life I had responsibility for our Global Corporate Quality System ( 7 plants—National and International) …We had 14 spectrophotometers from which we took measurements and made decisions about the quality of the product. A number of our customers required certified measurement results. What does that mean…Certified? …It did not mean we “certify we did the test correctly”! ….It meant that the results we reported according to a
defined procedure ,regardless of which plant it was produced at, were certified against a defined industry standard as measured on an instrument calibrated and certified against defined Laboratory Standards….In this case that was A2LA (American Association of Laboratory Accreditation ISO 17025 https://www.a2la.org/about ) and the Collaborative Testing Services. https://collaborative-testing.com/program-2.php

The procedure was quite simple…Periodically, (time depending on the test) we would receive samples at each of our 7 locations. We would measure these samples according to the prescribed procedure and then send the results to Collaborative Service. They would then analyze the data and send a report to each lab. The report consisted of a statistical analysis of the performance of the instrument with, among other things, a projected expected error for any given measurement…It also would state if the instrument could be kept in service or need to be removed or repaired…This goes beyond just the calibration of an instrument. It looks at expected error related to a specific measurement…In the ICP world that might look like….Calcium measurement ± 20ppm or PO4 ± .005ppm or Iodine ± .001 as examples

The key elements were:

  • Defined Industry Standard
  • Defined Laboratory Procedure
  • Industry Calibrated & Certified Instrument
Why did the customers require such an elaborate process? Because of the same reason pointed out by the above chart of ICP test results…Different vendors were reporting different results…Which one to trust? This is an extremely important question to get correct in our customers case…Why is answered by these example question:

“Would you like your parachute cord to brake in flight?”
“Would you like the product you sell to prematurely fail creating a bad reputation and significant returns and potential law suits?”

One could argue that the consequences of an incorrect ICP measurement has nowhere near the consequences of these questions and you would be correct…None the less the principle is the same.
In our case the negative consequence could be a bad decision on what to do with our tanks. This could result in stress or loss of livestock or as @Lasse points out a “time to Panic” feeling and the subsequent “chasing a number” problem which can create instability in our systems.

I say all of this not to dis ICP testing. I like @Lasse use ICP testing to look at element I cannot measure as well as check my own analysis. But I want to point out in my opinion a short coming in the ICP testing in general. It might very well be that the vendors are actually doing this validation procedure but I have not seen any reports or evidence of it…This would be very valuable for us to know and would increase our trust in their results IMO. As @Dan_P points out ‘There is little information that what ICP vendor’s measure accurately depicts what is in your water.”

So @ Isabel’s Hobby I understand your puzzlement! As for @david campbell original question…Take the advice of @Randy Holms-Farley and explore the subject…You also might feel the same puzzlement.

A lot more could be said about this but I have rambled on enough
I cover this subject in the article found here

https://www.reef2reef.com/ams/part-4-getting-it-right-colorimetric-instrumental-testing-methods-digital.748/

rick
This is the reason why I do not change which lab I send my tests to. I have done around 25 tests the last 4 years. it is a huge database on my aquarium. If I get a readings that is not expected - I can let my lab analyse the second sample from the same sampling event. I do not trust every single figure - if I can´t compare with other observations - I do nothing but wait to the next test. For most the same vendor do the same procedures and to compare between Vendors will show funny figures (IMO) And remember a test is around $ 35 - 40

However - in your chart - there is a fault in PO4 values for ICP 3 7/22 and 5/7 - 3,06*0,03 is not 0,92 it is 0,092

I have for sure just figured that the store is more accurate then I am. I even have test kits here. Are you telling me that it might make a difference and it would be better doing it on my own ?
I´m rather used of doing analyses but I always - when I learn a new analyse method - know that my first 25 analyses will show a precision similar to a shotgun :D After that - i develop my skills to be more like a sniper. Yes - train yourself - you will learn. Do you get an unaspected reading - redo and di it in the right way:p

Sincerely Lasse
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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I have been following along since Thursday…Interesting discussion. As Randy has stated there are many many questions posted related to “My ICP Test Results” with statements like “My(fill in the blank) is high or low according to my ICP test…”What does this mean….What shall I do?” and all kinds of variation to these questions….It all starts with a number reported by an ICP test result!

My question is not about a specific result but the results in general. There are multiple ICP testing vendors. All use the term ICP Test Results to highlight their service, so when we say “my ICP” test results we are using a generic term to refer to a specific result that is… “My Triton ICP Test results…My ICP Analysis ICP Test Results…My ATI ICP Test results” and so on.The reason I say this can be seen in the chart below.

1590247677864.png


This chart represents the same sample sent to 3 different “ICP” testing vendors an 3 different dates. On each date all of the samples were shipped on the same day. Taking the time to evaluate these results one can see that in some of the elements there is relatively good agreement, Calcium for example. However in other cases there is not close agreement at all, P, PO4 , Iodine, Magnesium as examples.

The question I ponder is which one is correct (Accurate)? Based on which one I choose I could take distinctly different actions…

This is not a new problem….Many industries, services and companies are faced with a similar question…In my past life I had responsibility for our Global Corporate Quality System ( 7 plants—National and International) …We had 14 spectrophotometers from which we took measurements and made decisions about the quality of the product. A number of our customers required certified measurement results. What does that mean…Certified? …It did not mean we “certify we did the test correctly”! ….It meant that the results we reported according to a
defined procedure ,regardless of which plant it was produced at, were certified against a defined industry standard as measured on an instrument calibrated and certified against defined Laboratory Standards….In this case that was A2LA (American Association of Laboratory Accreditation ISO 17025 https://www.a2la.org/about ) and the Collaborative Testing Services. https://collaborative-testing.com/program-2.php

The procedure was quite simple…Periodically, (time depending on the test) we would receive samples at each of our 7 locations. We would measure these samples according to the prescribed procedure and then send the results to Collaborative Service. They would then analyze the data and send a report to each lab. The report consisted of a statistical analysis of the performance of the instrument with, among other things, a projected expected error for any given measurement…It also would state if the instrument could be kept in service or need to be removed or repaired…This goes beyond just the calibration of an instrument. It looks at expected error related to a specific measurement…In the ICP world that might look like….Calcium measurement ± 20ppm or PO4 ± .005ppm or Iodine ± .001 as examples

The key elements were:

  • Defined Industry Standard
  • Defined Laboratory Procedure
  • Industry Calibrated & Certified Instrument
Why did the customers require such an elaborate process? Because of the same reason pointed out by the above chart of ICP test results…Different vendors were reporting different results…Which one to trust? This is an extremely important question to get correct in our customers case…Why is answered by these example question:

“Would you like your parachute cord to brake in flight?”
“Would you like the product you sell to prematurely fail creating a bad reputation and significant returns and potential law suits?”

One could argue that the consequences of an incorrect ICP measurement has nowhere near the consequences of these questions and you would be correct…None the less the principle is the same.
In our case the negative consequence could be a bad decision on what to do with our tanks. This could result in stress or loss of livestock or as @Lasse points out a “time to Panic” feeling and the subsequent “chasing a number” problem which can create instability in our systems.

I say all of this not to dis ICP testing. I like @Lasse use ICP testing to look at element I cannot measure as well as check my own analysis. But I want to point out in my opinion a short coming in the ICP testing in general. It might very well be that the vendors are actually doing this validation procedure but I have not seen any reports or evidence of it…This would be very valuable for us to know and would increase our trust in their results IMO. As @Dan_P points out ‘There is little information that what ICP vendor’s measure accurately depicts what is in your water.”

So @ Isabel’s Hobby I understand your puzzlement! As for @david campbell original question…Take the advice of @Randy Holms-Farley and explore the subject…You also might feel the same puzzlement.

A lot more could be said about this but I have rambled on enough
I cover this subject in the article found here

https://www.reef2reef.com/ams/part-4-getting-it-right-colorimetric-instrumental-testing-methods-digital.748/

rick
It is very interesting and disturbing that an easy to quantify ion like magnesium would vary so much.

Folks really need to realize that this is closer to rocket science than plug and play.

I tried very hard to get calcium to be quantified properly by ICP using an $80,000 machine a number of years ago. It was super frustrating. This was my conclusion at the time:

"For initial testing I chose to use as the "standard" a sample of artificial seawater that was mixed to an approximate salinity of S=35. I mixed a 44-gallon batch using Instant Ocean artificial salt mix and reverse osmosis/deionized (RO/DI) water to a conductivity of 52.7 mS/cm, and allowed it to settle for three weeks. I then proceeded to measure its calcium concentration by ICP-AES (inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy, an $80,000 analytical instrument. I was somewhat disappointed with my inability to use this sophisticated technique to get a precise answer. Despite taking five different samples and analyzing them at eight different emission wavelengths using two different calibration methods (five standard additions of known calcium concentrations to each sample, as well as comparison to a fixed 1000 ppm commercial calcium standard), I was unable to get consistent values. Some of the samples were acidified or filtered through submicron filter membranes to determine if solid materials were impacting the result (they were not). Overall, I took more than 200 measurements, each involving three replicate observations of the emission intensity. Nevertheless, the result was not very satisfying, with a substantial variation occurring between the different values. The average of every measurement taken was 336 ppm. With the uncertainty involved, however, I'd conclude that the true value was probably 340 ± 40 ppm. I also measured the same sample once with a Salifert brand test kit and got 330 ppm calcium. "
 

esther

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Personally I stick with Triton for my ICP tests. Have done 3 in the span of 4 months. I have followed all of their recommendations. I think that's one of the reasons why we've been so successful with our tank even though it's only been running for 4 months. We have amazing growth on all of our corals (SPS & LPS), have had no fish casualties and no crazy algae blooms.

Moving forward, I plan on doing another test after I finish this round of their recommendations. Our tank parameters are about 99% matched to ocean water and I couldn't be happier. Would my tank be this way without the ICP tests and all of the elements I've added? Maybe, but I doubt it. I'll continue doing what I'm doing because it's working. :)
 

Rick.45cal

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BTW .....I do love my LFS I am not trying to blame anything on them......just wanted to say that . They are always super nice And trying to help as well. It is me what needs to understand all of this. And the more I learn the less I know lol But it makes sense and I am listening . NOPOx is off for now.
Since you have undetectable phosphates I’d remove the GFO too ;)
 

Rick Mathew

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It is very interesting and disturbing that an easy to quantify ion like magnesium would vary so much.

Folks really need to realize that this is closer to rocket science than plug and play.

I tried very hard to get calcium to be quantified properly by ICP using an $80,000 machine a number of years ago. It was super frustrating. This was my conclusion at the time:

"For initial testing I chose to use as the "standard" a sample of artificial seawater that was mixed to an approximate salinity of S=35. I mixed a 44-gallon batch using Instant Ocean artificial salt mix and reverse osmosis/deionized (RO/DI) water to a conductivity of 52.7 mS/cm, and allowed it to settle for three weeks. I then proceeded to measure its calcium concentration by ICP-AES (inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy, an $80,000 analytical instrument. I was somewhat disappointed with my inability to use this sophisticated technique to get a precise answer. Despite taking five different samples and analyzing them at eight different emission wavelengths using two different calibration methods (five standard additions of known calcium concentrations to each sample, as well as comparison to a fixed 1000 ppm commercial calcium standard), I was unable to get consistent values. Some of the samples were acidified or filtered through submicron filter membranes to determine if solid materials were impacting the result (they were not). Overall, I took more than 200 measurements, each involving three replicate observations of the emission intensity. Nevertheless, the result was not very satisfying, with a substantial variation occurring between the different values. The average of every measurement taken was 336 ppm. With the uncertainty involved, however, I'd conclude that the true value was probably 340 ± 40 ppm. I also measured the same sample once with a Salifert brand test kit and got 330 ppm calcium. "
I share your the same concern

rick
 

Rick Mathew

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I have for sure just figured that the store is more accurate then I am. I even have test kits here. Are you telling me that it might make a difference and it would be better doing it on my own ?
I know noting about your LFS and there testing capabilities so I can not comment on the accuracy or precision of there results. They would most likely be using the same types of test kits that you would be using. So your assumption they are more accurate than your results could only be can't be evaluated without you having results to compare it to.

What I can say is from my personal experience. The LFS don't have the investment in my tank...I do. So their motivation to get it right is not the same as mine...As Lasse said it is a learning process and takes some time and investment but that being said learning to do your own testing IMO is a better strategy than to depend on others to provide direction of what to do with your system. It also provides to you a way to monitor your tank more frequently as needed...Also making a decision to make modifications to your tank chemistry from a single measurement for your LFS can be problematic...
You may want to ask them how many measurement do they make to get their reported value.

I can say that is is possible to get sufficiently accurate results doing your own testing to do a good job of managing your reef without depending on outside testing ...just my 2 cents

rick
 

Rick Mathew

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This is the reason why I do not change which lab I send my tests to. I have done around 25 tests the last 4 years. it is a huge database on my aquarium. If I get a readings that is not expected - I can let my lab analyse the second sample from the same sampling event. I do not trust every single figure - if I can´t compare with other observations - I do nothing but wait to the next test. For most the same vendor do the same procedures and to compare between Vendors will show funny figures (IMO) And remember a test is around $ 35 - 40

However - in your chart - there is a fault in PO4 values for ICP 3 7/22 and 5/7 - 3,06*0,03 is not 0,92 it is 0,092


I´m rather used of doing analyses but I always - when I learn a new analyse method - know that my first 25 analyses will show a precision similar to a shotgun :D After that - i develop my skills to be more like a sniper. Yes - train yourself - you will learn. Do you get an unaspected reading - redo and di it in the right way:p

Sincerely Lasse
Good catch on the chart error...Thanks

rick
 

Rick Mathew

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I´m among the few that really read the links and charts :p

incerely Lasse
I have noticed....I think I got is corrected in this post and my article...Thanks Again

rick
 
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