Testing the Marinlab kit from Aquaforest

Posté le 9 juin 2017 par

The Marinlab Sea Water Test provides a snapshot of the water quality of your aquarium for many items with excellent accuracy. Using this type of analysis from time to time is a big plus over the usual colorimetric tests that we use in reef aquariums: more precision and much more measured elements compared to what can be done with colorimetric tests.

Marinlab uses the Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometry (ICP-OES) method for the analysis of sea water. The sample supplied is plasma sprayed at 8,000 ° C. The substances to be analyzed are quantified via an optical emission spectrometer (OES).

It offers analysis for many macros and trace elements crucial to the health of your reef aquarium:

Li, Si, I, Ba, Mo, Ni, Mn, Be, Cr, Co, Fe, V, Zn, Hg, Se, Cd, Sn, Sb, As, Al, PB, Ti, Cu, La, Sc, W, Na, Ca, Mg, K, Br, B, Sr,S, P, PO4 + Salinity + KH!

There are two test kits at Marinlab, the one-tube for the aquarium water and the test with two tubes, one for aquarium water and another for your RO. We are testing here the kit with a tube for aquarium water only.

Additional methods

  • Alkalinity: UV Vis Spectroscopy.
  • Salinity: professional Atago Refractometer and photometer.
  • PO4: estimate calculated from the Phosphorus ICP-OES measure (measures organic and inorganic phosphorus).

Marinlab kit content

  • A plastic envelope containing enough to do the analysis. To open gently, it will serve for the shipping of the test. It already has the ship address.
  • One tube, labeled with a number, plastic with cap.
  • An explanatory sheet (Polish)

Steps for using the Marinlab analysis kit

Once the Marinlab kit bought (the price of the kit included the cost of the tests), follow the steps:

  1. Create an account online at http://marinlab.com (after selecting the English or Polish language). You will receive a confirmation email, before the first connexion.
  2. Rinse the tubes twice in the aquarium you want to test and fill the tube with the salt water. Tightly close the tube with the supplied cap.
  3. In your Marinlab online account, enter the number on the tube (Add new sample) after creating your ‘aquarium’ (Add new tank).
  4. Place the sample tube in the envelope and postage before shipping.
  5. You will receive an Email when the test is complete. Log in to your account to view and retrieve the results.


Delays between sending and results during this test:

  • Between box mailing and email for analysisl availability to be upload: 10 days

The results

Once received the availability email, you can log on to the Marinlab website.

If you already have made analysis by Marinlab, you have the history and will be able to select the test.

Sample select

For a given sample, you have the choice between viewing on the site ‘Check your result’ or downloading in pdf ‘Download PDF’.

Direct visualization on the site displays a color scale representing the position of the measured value in relation to natural sea water. The pdf result file contains all the results on one page, group per categories (micronutrients, polluants, man elements and nutrients) and gives values or reference ranges based on natural sea water.

Website resuls

Some of the measured elements are measurable with the usual tests for reef tank (Ca, Mg, PO4, …, Salinity, Kh). This makes possible to compare these various tests. I advise you to make measurements with your usual colorimetric tests at the same time as taking the water sample sent to Marinlab to give you a comparative idea.

I like
  • The large quantity of tests, largely inaccessible to the usual colorimetric tests.
  • The precision of the tests with the ICP-OES method compared to our usual Reef aquarium Hobby tests.
  • Ease of use.
  • The results are easily readable with reference values and colorimetric range.
  • The results can be downloaded in pdf format and with history.
  • The speed of the test (taking into account shipmen delay).
  • The results include KH and salinity in addition to the ICP-OES test.
In an ideal world I would have also liked
  • The kit, emails and the website have only two languages to select, Polish and English. Other languages may be a plus for some users. The usage of tools like Google Translate may be enough for this type of translation.
I do not like
  • Nothing.



Price recorded: about 25.00 € for the kit (about 30.00 € for the two tubes kit to add RO) + 2.20 € shipping costs for shipment from France to Poland.

Provider information: Marinlab


French version

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