Fauna Marin and GHL have teamed up to distribute their marine aquarium products in the USA themselves. The new venture called CM Distributors after the founders Claude Schuhmacher of Fauna Marin and Matthias Groß of GHL, is based in Connecticut and it will both distribute products wholesale to the trade, and sell directly to end users.
The new deal will help both Fauna Marin and GHL be more in step with the American Market, but it will also serve as the service center for a new venture called the FM Seawater Research Lab. Presumably, the Fauna Marin ‘SRL’ will be an analytical water testing facility, based in Germany, and CM Distributors will receive and send away water samples to Germany for testing and analysis.
The new water testing service from Fauna Marin plays into the growing popularity of sending off water tests to third parties like Aquarium Water Testing in the U.S. and Triton Lab in the U.S. and Europe. Home water testing is plenty good enough for for basic analysis of nutrient and mineral levels, but getting an idea of the trace elements in our aquarium water requires more sophisticated equipment than hobbyists can practically use.
We don’t know much about Fauna Marin’s new proposed Seawater Research Lab, but it will probably be outfitted with an HPLC (high pressure liquid chromatography) machine and supported by colorimeters and photometers. However, the technical and financial challenge of installing and operating a full-blown ICP-OES machine like Triton Lab will probably be out of reach for Fauna Marin.
We have to admit that we were definitely among the skeptical reef aquarists when the mail-off testing services first popped up. But after many years of using them intermittently it’s clear that there’s a lot we can learn about our reef aquariums and the corals we keep by keeping a closer eye the concentration of more than just calcium, magnesium and alkalinity.