LAQUAtwin probes are a suite of water testing devices by Horiba Scientific which offer incredible potential. Using Ion Specific Eletrodes, the LAQUAtwin probes are fine tuned to test a myriad of water parameters, many of which are critical to reef aquarium function.
Horiba Scientific’s LAQUAtwin probes are all ion specific, meaning they test just one parameter, and they are available for Nitrate, pH, Salt, Conductivity, Sodium, Potassium and Calcium. Using just a single drop of liquid, the LAQUAtwin probes can quickly and accurately measure a range of chemical parameters given that some prerequisites are met.
The one unfortunate downside to the Horiba LAQUAtwin probes is that being Ion Specific Electrodes, they are fine tuned to measure Calcium, Potassium and Sodium in the relative absence of other ions. This means that the LAQUAtwin probes do encounter interference from other ions, as in the LAQUAtwin Calcium probe is affected by magnesium levels above 1000ppm, which wouldn’t work well for reef aquarium use.
Whether or not there is any kind of workaround for using the LAQUAtwin probes in aquarium application is hard to gather, at least you could use them to test the water used to make your salt, or make up water. Alternatively perhaps it’s possible to cut your aquarium water sample with half fresh water to get interfering ions below the threshold of the LAQUAtwin probes, and double the readout value.
Alas, once the problem of applying the LAQUAtwin probes to aquarium use is solved, then you have to swallow the pretty high cost of these scientific grade probes. The Calcium and Potassium probes cost $350 and up to $495 for the Nitrate version.
A dedicated high tech freshwater planted aquarium enthusiast would have a field day fine tuning their water chemistry for delicate softwater Tonina Style plants but it seems the path to saltwater testing nirvana won’t be through the LAQUAtwin probes, at least not yet. [Horiba Scientific]