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ICP Analysis


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Does anyone have experience with ICP-Analysis.com?

I picked up a test kit as a freebie on a large order from an online retailer a while back. I have attempted twice to submit a water sample, but the USPS seems to be failing me...

I sent of a sample and they never received it. I should have paid for tracking...

I emailed and they promptly suggested I send another sample in any container and simply label it with the serial number which they included in the email (saved me some time). So I sent of the sample and paid for tracking...now the shipment that should have arrived last Saturday is stuck in a status from the 14th as "in transit to next destination".

I'm starting to wonder if it is worth a third attempt at sending in a sample... I did ICP testing through another vendor (international) that was a very smooth experience.

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I just did my first test with ICP-Analysis last week.  I used a USPS Priority flat rate envelope which cost $6.70 and they received it 2 days later.  I was surprised ICP didn't send me any email notification that they received it, or when the test results were ready.  I had to keep logging in to their website to check for results, and for a couple days their site was offline with "Internal Server Error".  I eventually got logged back in and found my results:


On their site they allow you to compare each element against samples from Fiji, Hawaii, St. Thomas, and Florida.

It's odd that they say my Silver is low, even though it's listed at 0ppm at all four of the reference locations.

Here's the full report with comparison to Fiji: ICP-Analysis.pdf

Edited by SuncrestReef
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Interesting.  I wonder if Bubbles [mention=16328]Bubbles[/mention] ever got his instrument up and running.  If I'm not mistaken, he did purchase one.  Would be great to have a local option to avoid these kind of issues and time lags.

I almost bought one, but I just don’t have the time to set one up and keep it calibrated. I will let everyone know once I get one.
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@bubbles if you do, I'm definitely interested in a local way to test.

For others watching this it looks like my package is lost in the some void on July 14th between here and Colorado.

I'm going to give it one more shot...and then maybe I'll have to give up on the USPS.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Update (2nd attempt):

I did send in a second sample using my own container. The USPS tracking said it left Portland, but it still appears to be "in transit" since July 14th. So, I waited patiently, but it is still in limbo today. https://tools.usps.com/go/TrackConfirmAction?tLabels=9500100023398192000158

Update (3rd attempt):

 Part of my thinking on being careful with all of the coral and fish in the tank is to do regular ICP tests, so I got up the energy to try again. This time I started with a new test vial (official packaging) and shipped again by USPS. Success. https://tools.usps.com/go/TrackConfirmAction?tLabels=9500100023398227000122

The package arrived in 5 days (included a weekend) and results were available on the website the next day.


The results format is not as slick as Triton ICP test and there is not nearly the information about each element. The ICP-Analysis.com website simply has links to wikipedia which are not too helpful in a reef tank context. An example is the high sulfur level I am seeing.

I had to go google that and think about what it means. In the end I referenced a Randy Holmes post where he says not much is known about the effects of different sulfate to chloride ratios. Okay...

So, then I looked at my results a bit more and pondered until it hit me. On the webpage, but not the printout they show the salinity. My salinity is too high (41.27 vs. 35 expected). I immediately grabbed my digitial salinity meter and checked. The salinity was 1.026...hmmm. I then rummaged around and found that calibration solution I bought and promptly filed away behind the test kits in my cupboard. My calibration was way off...

After re-calibrating I could see that my SG was 1.030. Well, crap. Or... thanks ICP testing for reminding me to be diligent and pay attention! I'm now lowering my SG 1 point per day. I'm not sure what effect this elevated level had or how long it has been going on. I do 10% water changes weekly, so it has probably been creeping up.


ICP testing is another arsenal in our tool bag to stay on top of managing our tanks. I will definitely be testing again, at least as insurance against my own human error.


I knew my calcium had been running high and I was surprised that it wasn't "snowing" in my tank. The high levels of all major elements definitely seem to corroborate the high salinity reading.







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