Oceamo is an Austrian company started by Dr. Christoph Denk, a professional chemist and lifelong aquarium enthusiast. Christoph and his team at Oceamo have developed a new seawater testing service that brings professional laboratory analysis with scientifically sound methodology to the aquarium hobby.
Previously this service was only available in Europe, but we’ve recently partnered with Oceamo to distribute their service in the US.
The Oceamo Seawater Analysis Service is not just another option for ICP testing – although the service does include ICP, there’s so much more.
Although ICP-OES is a powerful method for measuring the levels of individual elements, many of the important parameters in reefkeeping (e.g. alkalinity or nutrients) cannot be directly measured with this method.
For this reason, the Oceamo Seawater Analysis subjects each sample to an array of additional measurements.
Ion chromatography (with conductivity and UV detection) is used to measure fluoride, nitrate and nitrite with very low detection limits. Salinity is determined using a conductivity sensor, and alkalinity determined titrimetrically. Phosphate is measured with a sensitive photometric method which determines accurate and sensitive data on this important parameter.
ICP is a powerful tool for measuring the levels of individual elements in a sample, including trace elements present at low levels in seawater. However, the usual analysis of unfiltered samples can lead to major errors in the levels of trace elements.
To remove this contamination and provide clean samples suitable for ICP analysis, the Oceamo Seawater Analysis service includes a customized sampling kit. The kit includes a syringe filter that effectively removes any particles as small as bacteria. These filtered samples provide data without the contamination from small particles that can otherwise produce substantial errors in these measurements.
ICP analysis of the samples collected using the Oceamo kit produces reliable data on the levels of essential macro elements, trace elements and pollutants in the water.
In addition to the technical advantages described above, what sets this service apart from other ICP testing services is the personalized interpretation and advice that each client receives.
Oceamo doesn’t just provide you with a list of numbers. In complex datasets, the interpretation is at least as valuable as the data themselves. The team at Oceamo takes the time to evaluate and explain your results, so you don’t have to be a chemist to understand the data. If any imbalances or deficiencies are found, the team will provide suggestions on a strategy for remedying these conditions.
This service is not just an automated printout from a lab instrument. All the data from each sample are reviewed by trained professionals at Oceamo, who then communicate their conclusions to the clients directly, along with suggestions for correcting any problems detected by the test. This direct line of communication between hobbyists and chemists is a truly unique advantage that to our knowledge is not offered by any other ICP service in the aquarium industry.
The obvious challenge here is that Oceamo is located in Austria, and international shipping is expensive, requires additional paperwork, and takes time.
AquaBiomics is distributing the Oceamo Seawater Analysis Service for aquarists in the US so they don’t have to deal with these international shipping issues.
Here’s how it works:
So how long does it take? That’s the tricky part. Christoph and his team at Oceamo actually have a very fast turnaround time, measured in days. The delays are entirely from the logistics of international shipping.
The short answer is this: to minimize your turnaround time, keep an eye on our Sample Testing Schedule. This regularly-updated page lists the date of the next shipment to Oceamo. If your sample arrives at our facility right before that date, you’ll receive data within 1-2 weeks.
We’ll be working to increase the frequency of these shipments. As we grow toward that goal, the best strategy for users interested in minimizing their turnaround times would be to keep a sample kit on hand, then take the sample and ship it back to us right before the next scheduled test.
This service is developed and operated by a professional chemist and a fellow aquarium hobbyist. It’s clear from the way Oceamo operates, from the quality control procedures in laboratory work to the personalized attention each client receives, that accuracy and quality are the top priority.
The Oceamo Seawater Analysis provides more accurate ICP data, along with additional data on important parameters that cannot be directly measured by ICP. It’s the kind of service that someone who understood both aquariums and analytical chemistry would come up with. But you don’t have to be a chemist yourself to use it, since they’ll be reviewing your results for you.
We invite you to give it a try today!