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Is Fluorine an Essential Element?

Updated: Dec 13, 2023


I’ve been adding my results to the Captive8 spreadsheet and noticed that Fluoride I have to leave blank. I understand that not all the ICP testing measures this. Is fluoride an element I should be concerned with? Thanks, Rob


Hi Rob!


I hope all is well with you!


This is an area of active research for us. Fluorine is a complex element to measure using any ICP method due to specific attributes of the Fluorine ion (Fluoride) and the interactions it has with other elements. All present analytical methods for measuring Fluorine, including methods other than ICP, suffer from complex interferences that frustrate the analysis and introduce uncertainties in the accuracy of the result. Given that Fluorine quickly becomes toxic to marine organisms even at slightly elevated levels, we want to ensure that any test result we provide is accurate under the very wide variety of conditions that can be found in samples collected from reef aquaria. Regardless of the fact that several companies are now offering Fluorine in results, we are cautiously skeptical of the accuracy and suitability of these results when applied to reef systems. At Reef Labs, Inc, we are very committed to providing accurate, precise, and reliable test results that won't result in reef organisms being placed at unnecessary risk. We don't have anything to announce yet, but we are making progress. Fluorine is not an essential element. Reef aquaria have been thriving for years without supplementing it. There is growing anecdotal evidence that supplementing it does provide some additional coloration, particularly in corals with blue pigments. Feel free to reach out with any other questions. Best, Gene


"Fluorine quickly becomes toxic to marine organisms even at slightly elevated levels"


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