[Coral-List] Portable, easy to use water testing kits

Douglas Fenner douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
Tue Feb 14 10:56:07 EST 2017

    A review of indicators of water quality on the Great Barrier Reef by
Fabricius et al found that turbidity (or water clarity or visibility) was
the best single indicator among 38 tested.  They write in their abstract
"Turbidity was the best predictor of biota"  It is very low tech, cheap,
quick and easy to take.  Disadvantages are that it doesn't impress people
as being fancy technical science, and it can't differentiate causes, like
plankton and nutrients, vs sediment, vs chemical pollution, etc.  One of
the problems for testing with things like nutrients is that they come in
pulses, and you have to test frequently to catch pulses.  Also, it would
take a lot of expensive sampling to detect spatial patterns, and if you
don't have the spatial pattern you can miss the hot spots (and clean
areas).  At least sediment may be visible from the shore or a boat or a
plane and so the spatial and temporal patterns can be seen.  A simple photo
can show you patterns that would take hundreds or thousands of samples to
detect.  Runoff is typically fresh water, so it floats on the surface and
at least initially the finest sediment is suspended in that water at the
surface, making it easy to see from the air.  Sediment pulse events might
suggest some aspects of the spatial and temporal patterns of nutrient
runoff as well, since they may both be correlated with rain-produced runoff
events.  Of course, some rivers might have lots of sediment runoff but
little nutrient runoff, and others the opposite.

Cheers,  Doug

Fabricius et al 2012.  A bioindicator system for water quality on inshore
coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef.  Marine Pollution Bulletin 65:


On Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 6:36 AM, Benjamin Cowburn <
benjamindcowburn at googlemail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> I'm trying to find an easy and robust way of checking water quality (esp.
> nutrients) on a reef. I've found various kits available for aquarists e.g.
> this
> <http://www.swelluk.com/api-reef-master-test-kit/?gclid=
> Cj0KEQiA8orFBRCEpODivaOft_EBEiQAy3mlfaDNakIGStWelz_
> ..
> Are these appropriate for use in the field? Any recommendations or
> suggestions of how to do water quality testing, without a dedicated lab
> would be welcome!
> Cheers,
> Benjamin Cowburn
> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list

Douglas Fenner
Contractor for NOAA NMFS, and consultant
"have regulator, will travel"
PO Box 7390
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA

phone 1 684 622-7084

Join the International Society for Reef Studies.  Membership includes a
subscription to the journal Coral Reefs, and there are discounts for pdf
subscriptions and developing countries.  Coral Reefs is the only journal
that is ALL coral reef articles, and it has amazingly LOW prices compared
to other journals.  Check it out!  www.fit.edu/isrs/

"Belief in climate change is optional, participation is not."- Jim Beever.
  "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts."-
Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Last year was- again- the hottest year on record.

99 Reasons 2016 was a good year.
 Check items 42-59.

43. Global carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels did not grow
at all in 2016, for the third year in a row.  Scientific American

44. renewables now account for more newly installed capacity than any other
form of electricity in the world, including coal.. Gizmodo

More information about the Coral-List mailing list