How to sample your tank’s microbiome

  1. Sample microbes from your tank with our custom sampling kit.
  2. Register your sample online.
  3. Mail your sample to us in the prepaid envelope included with the kit.
Please read the instructions before you begin, and don’t open anything until instructed to.

Only sample an undisturbed aquarium – begin this sampling process before any of your daily maintenance tasks, rather than afterwards.

  1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly. Open and put on a pair of gloves.

  2. Remove the syringe from its package, remove the cap, and draw 60 ml of water from the upper surface of your aquarium into the syringe.

  3. Open the filter cup, then attach the filter to the end of the syringe.

  4. Filter the microbes from your sample by gently pushing on the plunger to slowly expel water from the syringe. Go slowly (about 4 drops per second), so that it takes approximately 5 minutes to completely filter the sample.

  5. Dry the filter: remove the filter from the syringe, draw about 10 ml of air into the syringe, replace the filter on the syringe, and gently push the air through the filter.

  6. Open the plastic shipping tube and remove the small tube of fixative. Turn the lid of the shipping tube upside down to provide a small cup, and pour the fixative into this cup.

  7. Remove the filter from the syringe, draw the fixative into the syringe, and replace the filter on the syringe.

  8. Preserve your sample by gently pushing on the plunger to slowly expel the fixative from the syringe. Go slowly (about 1 drop per second).

  9. Dry the filter again (see step 5).

  10. Open the sterile sample bag, remove the filter from the syringe, and place it in the sample bag. To seal the bag, hold the wire clips while folding the bag over the top twice, then fold the wire clips flat.

  11. Register your sample in our online database.

  12. Place the sample bag in the postage-paid shipping envelope included in the kit, and mail it back to us within the next 24 hours after sampling (or store frozen until shipped).

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