Trace Element Testing

twiatr2001

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
764
Reaction score
696
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Has anyone used oceamu trace element testing, I recently watched Andrew Sandler's Polo reef and was wondering if anyone has had the pleasure of using this water testing system, and is it available to the US, based on their website, it does not look like it?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
67,883
Reaction score
64,305
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Oceamo? Yes, a number of folks use that company and I have respect for the knowledge of the principle person in that company (Christoph) . He often comes on here to assist with questions relating to the methods he uses.
 
OP
OP
T

twiatr2001

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
764
Reaction score
696
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Are their services available for the US market by chance, do you know?
 
OP
OP
T

twiatr2001

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
764
Reaction score
696
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
And yes he seems very knowledgeable about all trace elements, watched the whole video on Polo Reef with him as the guest.
 
OP
OP
T

twiatr2001

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
764
Reaction score
696
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Okay, thank you for the infoe Randy. Wasn't sure if you had to be a customer of the reef moonshiners and buy their products to get the test.
 

Christoph

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 23, 2017
Messages
240
Reaction score
527
Location
Vienna, Austria
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Hello!

You can buy oceamo ICP-MS testkits from reef moonshiner in the US (they are branded Reef Moonshiner ICP-MS). Also the sample return of the samples to our Lab in Austria is handled by reef moonshiner, and works reliable and fast.

You dont need to be a reef moonshiner user, to buy/use the tests.

When you are having further questions, just let me know!
Christoph (the guy from the polo reef video ;-))
 
OP
OP
T

twiatr2001

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
764
Reaction score
696
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Thank you Christoph, I enjoyed your seminar at polo reef, very intuitive information, I think if everyone watched it, they'd have a better understanding of how these elements play a key role in our reef tanks, Thank You again! Do you have any further videos about trace elements that can be watched or read?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
67,883
Reaction score
64,305
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Thank you Christoph, I enjoyed your seminar at polo reef, very intuitive information, I think if everyone watched it, they'd have a better understanding of how these elements play a key role in our reef tanks, Thank You again! Do you have any further videos about trace elements that can be watched or read?

No offense meant to Christoph, but I may have some slightly different views:


 

Christoph

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 23, 2017
Messages
240
Reaction score
527
Location
Vienna, Austria
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Hi Randy,

i think we actually agree in most parts. Below are my 3 bulletpoints, let me know if you disagree :)

1) It is wise to keep elements with known biological roles detectable in the water column (with ICP-MS), sine we cannot evaluate/guarantee uptake from other sources such as particulate food.

2) It is wise to stay away (with a safety gap) from potentially problematic concentrations. There is plenty of literature data. This is where low level detecting capabilities become especially crucial. (See for example https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25849317/, they have found a growth reduction in coral already at 0,2 ppb cobalt)

3) With elements of unknown/uncertain biological role it is a safe approach to target the natural seawater concentration range.


@OP: I fear most other videos are in german language, but i will be guest in another english speaking podcast soon - wpuld be fantastic if you have a listen!

best regards,
Christoph
 
OP
OP
T

twiatr2001

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
764
Reaction score
696
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Both of you have provided excellent information, now I have to find the time and read all of this, thanks again gentlemen!
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
67,883
Reaction score
64,305
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Hi Randy,

i think we actually agree in most parts. Below are my 3 bulletpoints, let me know if you disagree :)

1) It is wise to keep elements with known biological roles detectable in the water column (with ICP-MS), sine we cannot evaluate/guarantee uptake from other sources such as particulate food.

2) It is wise to stay away (with a safety gap) from potentially problematic concentrations. There is plenty of literature data. This is where low level detecting capabilities become especially crucial. (See for example https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25849317/, they have found a growth reduction in coral already at 0,2 ppb cobalt)

3) With elements of unknown/uncertain biological role it is a safe approach to target the natural seawater concentration range.


@OP: I fear most other videos are in german language, but i will be guest in another english speaking podcast soon - wpuld be fantastic if you have a listen!

best regards,
Christoph

With the caveat that we don’t know the chemical forms present and hence do not know what levels are needed or toxic, i don’t disagree with the sentiment of these statements. For example, a strong chelator may greatly reduce the bioavailability and toxicity of many trace metals.

What is the limit of detection of icp-ms for iron? Can it detect natural ocean surface levels as low as 0.000006 ppm?
 

Christoph

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 23, 2017
Messages
240
Reaction score
527
Location
Vienna, Austria
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
With the caveat that we don’t know the chemical forms present and hence do not know what levels are needed or toxic, i don’t disagree with the sentiment of these statements. For example, a strong chelator may greatly reduce the bioavailability and toxicity of many trace metals.

What is the limit of detection of icp-ms for iron? Can it detect natural ocean surface levels as low as 0.000006 ppm?
Hi Randy,

sorry, i missed that!

Of course the organic surrounding (chelators) has a large effect on bioavailability. I would thus never recommend dosing EDTA/DTPA (and other strong chelator) containing products - transchelation to other ions is certainly a possibility, with potentially and unintended significant impact on bioavailability of certain trace metals. Regarding "natural chelators" that are present in our reef systems i would not expect too much variability from tank to tank, but this is for sure a interesting topic to explore.

Regarding our LOD of Iron, we are typically in the 50 ng/l range, so ~0,00005 ppm.
fe.png


Best regards,
Christoph
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
67,883
Reaction score
64,305
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Hi Randy,

sorry, i missed that!

Of course the organic surrounding (chelators) has a large effect on bioavailability. I would thus never recommend dosing EDTA/DTPA (and other strong chelator) containing products - transchelation to other ions is certainly a possibility, with potentially and unintended significant impact on bioavailability of certain trace metals. Regarding "natural chelators" that are present in our reef systems i would not expect too much variability from tank to tank, but this is for sure a interesting topic to explore.

Regarding our LOD of Iron, we are typically in the 50 ng/l range, so ~0,00005 ppm.
fe.png


Best regards,
Christoph

Thanks, Christoph. :)

FWIW, some of the additives sold to reefers are chelated:


Kent Marine Super Chelated Iron Supplement with Manganese provides bio-available iron to all reef inhabitants. Although present in salt mixes, iron is rapidly used up in the system, and removed through precipitation. Super Chelated Iron Supplement supplies needed iron, manganese, potassium and minor trace minerals for proper growth and health of caulerpa, coralline, and other calcareous marine algae, and those invertebrates which have symbiotic algae living in their tissues.

It contains a chelated form of iron which will stay available in the system for long periods of time, supplying algae in a timed release fashion, as needed. It contains no fertilizers which can spur unwanted hair algae or other undesirable growths. Kent Marine Super Chelated Iron Supplement is a proven performer in the difficult marine environment!
 

Pod_01

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 10, 2022
Messages
882
Reaction score
851
Location
Waterloo
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
With the caveat that we don’t know the chemical forms present and hence do not know what levels are needed or toxic
Randy this statement I seen a bit, some reefers use it to argue that dosing trace elements might not do anything etc…

So does this argument/ statement also apply to the reef salts we use?
All salts claim to have trace elements, but are these of know chemicals form or need?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
67,883
Reaction score
64,305
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Randy this statement I seen a bit, some reefers use it to argue that dosing trace elements might not do anything etc…

So does this argument/ statement also apply to the reef salts we use?
All salts claim to have trace elements, but are these of know chemicals form or need?

Salt makers know the forms they put into a salt mix, and we are forced to trust them that the forms are reasonable, but once dissolved in the water the forms will change, both by redox reactions (say, converting ferrous (Fe+++) iron into ferric (Fe++) iron) and also be binding to organics (99% of the copper in the ocean is bound to organics which alter its bioavailability).

Worse yet, as Christoph notes above, if you add a trace element with a strong chelator (say, Kent iron), it might actually swap its metal so dosing strongly bound iron may become strongly bound copper after they mix together.
 
OP
OP
T

twiatr2001

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
764
Reaction score
696
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Wow guys, this is all very interesting information, most of which I knew nothing of. I would love to learn more about all these methods and which additives to be using. It seems that this type of information isn't readily available. For instance, if dosing iron, and depending on which type you are using, it can the bind with others and turn into copper, that's fascinating, Im assuming this change can severely harm your reef tank and reef chemistry.
 

DenverSaltyFarm

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Messages
616
Reaction score
2,055
Location
Denver
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Im no scientist but I can report what my tank did on moonshiners. When I started the program I noticed lots of different algae growth on my rockwork. Some of my sps turned very dark and growth was less. What trace elements were doing that I could not tell you since we dose so many things each day and before I stopped my ICP-MS was near perfect. I was on the program for 6 months and have been off the program for 3 months now. Since stopping shine my Coraline algae exploded with growth. All my sps woke up and started growing faster and a lot better colors. I feel like less is more and stability is king vs constantly chasing those numbers.

now I only do water changes and dose Kalk and my 200 gallon is very happy..

BTW the Oceamo MS test from moonshiners Is awesome! I feel like its the best test out there, but moonshiners charges an arm and a leg to ship any product they have and that is a major downside to them.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
67,883
Reaction score
64,305
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
For instance, if dosing iron, and depending on which type you are using, it can the bind with others and turn into copper, that's fascinating, Im assuming this change can severely harm your reef tank and reef chemistry.

That isn't exactly what I meant. What you wrote is the mythical process of alchemy.

What I meant was that the organic material that is binding the iron (the chelator) may come off the iron and attach itself to other metals instead, such as copper.

I discuss the chelation process here:

Organic Compounds in the Reef Aquarium by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com

from it:

Dissolved organic material may bind to and modulate the solubility, bioavailability, and toxicity of many metals, such as iron and copper. Whether this is good or bad depends entirely on the metal, its concentration, the particular organism involved, and the nature and concentration of the organic matter.

Metals take a variety of different forms in seawater, and these different forms have very different properties. Copper, for example, exists in a multitude of forms.16 In natural seawater it has recently become clear that copper is almost completely bound by organic materials.17 Many of these organics are called chelators. A chelating agent is one that can grab onto the copper from two or more directions at once.

In natural seawater these organics take many forms. Humic and fulvic acids, for example, are two of the most important types of materials that bind copper and other metals in seawater.17-19 They are also known to greatly reduce the toxicity of metals, because in many cases it is the free copper that is the most toxic.17 These classes of organic materials comprise what remains when proteins, carbohydrates, and many other naturally occurring organic materials are biodegraded to a state where further degradation is very slow. Humic and fulvic acids (the distinction between the two being only that humic acids are more hydrophobic than fulvic acids) have a wide range of structures and physical properties. They typically are high molecular weight organic acids, with sizes ranging from 500 to 10,000 daltons (grams/mole). They can also be parts of larger assemblies of organic materials that would be called colloidal (very small particulates) rather than truly "dissolved." They can, of course, be part of particulate organic matter as well if they accumulate into a particle of sufficient size. The humic and fulvic acids are comprised of amino acids, sugars, amino sugars, fatty acids, and other organic functional groups. Different localities and depths in the ocean contain different amounts and specific types of these organic materials. As mentioned above, typical values for the total dissolved organic carbon are on the order of 1 ppm carbon for tropical surface seawater.19 Humic substances typically account for about 10-20 % of that total, and fulvic substances can account for more than 50% in some cases.19

Since trace metals are present in seawater at far below 1 ppm, there may be plenty of organic material to bind most or all of these metals in aquaria. Within these organic materials will be sites where several carboxylic acid, phenolate, thiolate, amino, or other metal-binding groups come together. These sites are where a metal ion will be most strongly bound. Structurally, it is hard to show a "typical" humic acid binding to copper, but the structure in Figure 1 shows one possibility.

1713958900014.png

Figure 1. A schematic of a copper ion (Cu++; shown in red) being chelated by
a naturally occurring humic acid (shown in green).

In this figure, the central positively-charged copper ion (Cu++) is chelated by the larger humic acid shown in green. It is bound ionically by two negatively charged carboxylic acid groups and complexed by one neutral amino group. Together these three groups may hold the copper ion many orders of magnitude more strongly than could any individual binding group.

The very extensive book, "Biogeochemistry of Marine Dissolved Organic Matter,"19 states:

"The collective findings establish that a significant component of bioactive, or nutrient, metals (Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd) occur in the colloidal phase along with numerous other trace metals."

What does this mean for aquarists? Simply that we do not know much of anything about whether the trace elements in our aquaria are adequately or excessively bioavailable, regardless of concentration. In fact, reef aquaria might even have situations where there is enough of some metal (say, copper) to kill one organism that can readily absorb the organics that it is bound to, and actually have copper depletion in another organism that is unable to take advantage of that form.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
67,883
Reaction score
64,305
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Im no scientist but I can report what my tank did on moonshiners. When I started the program I noticed lots of different algae growth on my rockwork. Some of my sps turned very dark and growth was less. What trace elements were doing that I could not tell you since we dose so many things each day and before I stopped my ICP-MS was near perfect. I was on the program for 6 months and have been off the program for 3 months now. Since stopping shine my Coraline algae exploded with growth. All my sps woke up and started growing faster and a lot better colors. I feel like less is more and stability is king vs constantly chasing those numbers.

now I only do water changes and dose Kalk and my 200 gallon is very happy..

BTW the Oceamo MS test from moonshiners Is awesome! I feel like its the best test out there, but moonshiners charges an arm and a leg to ship any product they have and that is a major downside to them.

Thanks for the info.

Your experience seems a bit different than what many others report, and I do not know why,. My typically stated concern with moonshiners is that they suggest dosing some compounds that I do not think are useful (rubidium and barium), but they also set target levels for all the things they dose, and even if you attain those levels perfectly, you are relying on their determination of what is a good target level independent of the chemical forms of the metals that may be present.
 

Making aqua concoctions: Have you ever tried the Reef Moonshiner Method?

  • I currently use the moonshiner method.

    Votes: 52 20.4%
  • I don’t currently use the moonshiner method, but I have in the past.

    Votes: 5 2.0%
  • I have not used the moonshiner method.

    Votes: 186 72.9%
  • Other.

    Votes: 12 4.7%
Back
Top