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  1. #1
    Senior Member carrhd's Avatar
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    Water Testing Redux

    Gentle aquarium folks.

    Some time ago we were discussing water testing and someone mentioned a guy in Toronto who offered a mail in laboratory analysis of aquarium water. He had stopped offering the service and I ended up buying a bunch of test kits and doing my own testing.

    Something interesting and wonderful has happened. The gentleman who was offering the lab behind the now defunct service has contacted me about resurrecting the service. The idea would be very similar to the old one with at least one distinct difference.

    The idea would work like this: You would visit the website, choose your service, the pay for the service. Once your payment was received we would mail out a test kit including a sealed sample bottle which was pre-stabilized to ensure the best results, a syringe for taking the sample and injecting it into the sample bottle, and a return mail envelope. You would mail off the sample and your results would be emailed to you in a few days.

    This sort of service really appeals to me. It's more expensive than doing the testing yourself but the results would be extremely accurate. It is the kind of thing that you could do to supplement your home testing or for the really high end aquarium it could be a monthly subscription service.

    Is it something that appeals to AC folks?

    Hank.
    220G mixed reef main, 30 G (3 x 10) brood/grow-out, 25 G secondary, 6 G frag with shared sump

    Return Pump: Iwaki MD55RLT
    Water Movement: Tunze Turbelle Stream 6060, 4 x MaxiJet 1200
    Lighting: 60" Outer Orbit dual 250 W 10k HQI and quad 48" T5HO Actinic
    Skimmer: Precision Marine Bullet-2 with Iwaki MD55RLT, WC610 waste collector, and gate valve

    Experience: Fresh since 1976 - Marine since 1987

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hank.carr

  2. #2
    liv
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    Former Moderator liv's Avatar
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    thats pretty cool stuff.. and yes I would be interested.. but all depends on how much the cost ends up being.

    moving.. so temporarily out of SW :b8:
    planning next tank, possibly 60x30x20 on 2x plasma.
    updated: 2011/05/30

  3. #3
    Senior Member carrhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv View Post
    thats pretty cool stuff.. and yes I would be interested.. but all depends on how much the cost ends up being.
    Yup...that's what I was thinking too. The old website is down but his pricing was something in the order of less than $50 for the basic reef tests, somewhere between $50 and $100 for a more complete set of tests, and around $100 for a complete trace elements report. Or...maybe it was $150 for the trace report. Obviously you wouldn't want to do the top of the line test every month at that rate.

    The guy who owns the lab is working on what is involved in producing a stable sample collection package and then we'll talk about pricing. He has a big frensh water tank with ciclinds in it so he's aquarium friendly.

    Here's the question from a different angle. What do you think is reasonable to charge for the basics, a more complete set, and a full trace elements report.

    I can imagine using the low end service a few times a year around water changes and when anything goes a little weird. I would think that folks who are keeping large SPS reefs would like to use the service to have accurate results to support their colonies. I keep softies and fish so I can grow then in ditch water and table salt.

    Hank.
    220G mixed reef main, 30 G (3 x 10) brood/grow-out, 25 G secondary, 6 G frag with shared sump

    Return Pump: Iwaki MD55RLT
    Water Movement: Tunze Turbelle Stream 6060, 4 x MaxiJet 1200
    Lighting: 60" Outer Orbit dual 250 W 10k HQI and quad 48" T5HO Actinic
    Skimmer: Precision Marine Bullet-2 with Iwaki MD55RLT, WC610 waste collector, and gate valve

    Experience: Fresh since 1976 - Marine since 1987

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hank.carr

  4. #4
    liv
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    lol... on the ditch water and table salt he he

    as for pricing.. I didn't think it would have been that pricy.

    I figured something like:
    - 15-20$ for basic tests, ( test kits are ~15-20$ each.. but last a year )
    - 35-40$ for complete spectrographs.

    Unless its stores with thousand of dollars in coral colonies, I dont personally think i'd ever spend that kind of cash. i'd get my own spectrometer.. there was one on sale for 1k on that gov site.. he he

    moving.. so temporarily out of SW :b8:
    planning next tank, possibly 60x30x20 on 2x plasma.
    updated: 2011/05/30

  5. #5
    Moderator ShipWreck's Avatar
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    I saw a couple reports and yes they were nice and detailed. Problem is that most of the trace elements are not within control and are a function of the salt/supplements more then anything, and then acceptable ranges are also not know.

    The previous prices were what I considered too high and would rather invest in some high end test kits.

    The problem is when my tank goes "wonkey" I want to test my paramenters right then with immediate results, so back to the test kits. Waiting 2-5 days for a kit, then waiting another 2-5 days for the results could delay up to 10 days before I have a result. My tank could be ditch water in that time, then once you have a test and I make some change to correct it I need another test to verify if it is fixed.

    In my opinion buying a set of high quality tests would be a better investment as they last a year, can do many tests, and will yield results immediately.
    Rob
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    Upgrade in the works! Keep looking for an update.


  6. #6
    Moderator ShipWreck's Avatar
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    Before taking this on I would also ask your friend why he stopped in the first place?

    On the other board a few seemed to jump on the testing as a novalty but I would wonder how many became repeat customers, which are what sustain a business like this.
    Rob
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    Upgrade in the works! Keep looking for an update.


  7. #7
    Senior Member carrhd's Avatar
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    All very good points, thanks for the input.

    I'm waiting to see what happens with pricing.

    The last guy who fronted for this particular lab went his own way without ever really getting started. The guy who owns the lab is in the process of securing a new, more accurate, faster instrument.

    I'll let you know more when I know more.

    Hank.
    220G mixed reef main, 30 G (3 x 10) brood/grow-out, 25 G secondary, 6 G frag with shared sump

    Return Pump: Iwaki MD55RLT
    Water Movement: Tunze Turbelle Stream 6060, 4 x MaxiJet 1200
    Lighting: 60" Outer Orbit dual 250 W 10k HQI and quad 48" T5HO Actinic
    Skimmer: Precision Marine Bullet-2 with Iwaki MD55RLT, WC610 waste collector, and gate valve

    Experience: Fresh since 1976 - Marine since 1987

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hank.carr

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