Fishbowl Adviser

Best Aquarium Water Test Kits to Help Monitor Water Quality

Updated: Sep 09, 2021

BEST CHOICE

4.5/5

API Aquarium Water Test Kit

PREMIUM PICK

4.5/5

Red Sea Reef Foundation Test Kit

BEST PRICE

4.5/5

Tetra EasyStrips Aquarium Water Test Kit

BEST CHOICE

4.5/5

API Aquarium Water Test Kit

PREMIUM PICK

4.5/5

Red Sea Reef Foundation Test Kit

BEST PRICE

4.5/5

Tetra EasyStrips Aquarium Water Test Kit

fishbowladviser favicon

By Fishbowl Adviser

Published: 09:02 am

FishbowlAdviser may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn more

Many aquariums can have water problems that are not visible to the naked eye but can be very harmful to your fish. Because of that, it is important to monitor the water parameters and their levels to make sure your fish have a healthy environment with proper levels of pH, nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia. The levels of these parameters can quickly change and create harmful conditions that can even be fatal to your fish. To avoid this, you need to do regular aquarium maintenance and test the water on a weekly basis with a proper water test kit. But how do you choose the best aquarium water test kit? Here is our buying guide along with our top choices of the best aquarium test kits you can find.

Product NameParametersRatingPrice
API Aquarium Water Test KitpH, High Range PH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate4.8Check Price on Amazon
HoneForest Aquarium Water Quality Tester/4.4Check Price on Amazon
API Aquarium Water Test StripspH, Nitrite, Nitrate, Carbonate, General Hardness4.6Check Price on Amazon
Tetra EasyStrips Aquarium Water Test KitNitrates Nitrites Water Hardness Chlorine Alkalinity and pH Levels4.6Check Price on Amazon
JNW Direct Water Total Hardness Test StripsSoft/Hard Water Test4.4Check Price on Amazon
Seachem Alert Combo Aquarium Water Test KitAmmonia Levels, pH Levels4.2Check Price on Amazon
API Test KitGH & KH in freshwater aquariums4.7Check Price on Amazon
JNW Direct Aquarium Test StripsTotal Hardness, Free Chlorine, Iron, Copper, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH, Total Alkalinity & Kh / Carbonate4.5Check Price on Amazon
Red Sea Reef Foundation Test KitCalcium, Magnesium And Alkalinity (KHz)4.6Check Price on Amazon
SJ WAVE 16 in 1 Aquarium Water Test Kit
pH, Hardness, Chlorine, Lead, Iron, Copper, Nitrate, Nitrite
4.3Check Price on Amazon

Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

The Best Aquarium Water Test Kit

1. API Aquarium Water Test Kit

API Aquarium Water Test Kit
KEY FEATURES:
  • For freshwater aquariums
  • Easy to use
  • Designed for weekly water testing
  • Scientific accuracy

API Freshwater Aquarium Test Kit will help you monitor the water quality of your tank and prevent any invisible water problem that can harm your beloved pets. With over 50 years behind them, API is all about creating and providing their customers with innovative solutions that have been thoroughly researched and tested to make sure people can take care of their beloved fish.

This aquarium test kit was designed for the weekly monitoring of aquariums with freshwater. It has one master test kit with 7 bottles of testing solutions, 1 test tube rack, 1 holding tray, 4 glass tubes with caps, and 1 computer calibrated and laminated color card. The kit can actively monitor levels of the most important parameters for freshwater aquariums: ammonia, pH, nitrate, and nitrite.

But how do you use it? It’s pretty straightforward to use. You will need to fill the test tubes and add the test drops and compare the results based on the color card. And you will also have recommendations on the card for any action that you need to take based on the results.

2. HoneForest Aquarium Water Quality Tester

HoneForest Aquarium Water Quality Tester
KEY FEATURES:
  • Reliable and accurate
  • Factory calibrated with auto-lock function
  • Easy to use
  • Automatic temperature compensation

The HoneForest TDS Meter & Water Quality Tester is an accurate and reliable water test meter for aquariums. Along with its Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC), it achieves its accuracy because of its quality titanium alloy probe that ensures the readings you get are always accurate, regardless of the temperature. Apart from aquarium water, it is also A handy tool for household testing of tap, filtered, distilled, bottled, and refrigerated water.

It comes with a backlit LCD that allows easier reading, sling with an auto-lock function that allows easier use and installation. All you have to do is just turn on the TDS meter and gently stir the water. The stabilized readings are going to be auto-locked on the LCD screen in just a few seconds, even after the TDS ppm meter automatically shuts off every 2 minutes.

3. API Aquarium Water Test Strips

API Aquarium Water Test Strips
KEY FEATURES:
  • Easy to use
  • All types of aquarium water
  • Scientific accuracy
  • Designed for weekly water testing

API Aquarium Test Strips are a great help for monitoring the tank’s water quality. With regular testing, these strips can help you prevent any water problem that can harm your beloved fish but can’t be seen with the naked eye. API has over 50 years of designing innovative solutions that make sure their customers have a thoroughly researched and tested tool that will allow them to take care of their fish.

These 5-in-1 test strips will help you keep track of nitrite, nitrate carbonate, pH levels, and water hardness in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. How do you use these strips? Just dip the test strips in the water of your aquarium and wait for the colors to appear. With the color-coded chart you get, you will know the levels of these parameters based on the color you get. These accurate results will tell you if your water is healthy or if it needs any adjustments. It will also help you prevent any problems from appearing and make sure there is nothing harmful to your fish.

4. Tetra EasyStrips Aquarium Water Test Kit

Tetra EasyStrips Aquarium Water Test Kit
KEY FEATURES:
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile
  • Convenient
  • Monitors 6 parameters

The Tetra EasyStrips 6-in-1 Aquarium Test Strips offer complete testing of your water parameters. With just one test, you will be able to monitor different parameters that would usually take 6 tests instead of just this one. Using this one test, you will be able to monitor and control levels of pH, nitrates, nitrites, chlorine alkalinity, and water hardness. And it is also very versatile, allowing you to use it in both saltwater and freshwater aquariums.

The Tetra 6-in-1 EasyStrips is very easy and straightforward to use. All you have to do is quickly dip the test in the aquarium water, wait for 60 seconds and see the results. With this quick testing option, you will be able to identify all of your potential water quality issues in the aquarium. EasyStrips will provide you with accurate results that require minimal effort, using the most advanced technology in water testing that was designed from medical and scientific laboratory technology.

5. JNW Direct Water Total Hardness Test Strips

JNW Direct Water Total Hardness Test Strips
KEY FEATURES:
  • Easy to use
  • For water hardness
  • Quick and reliable
  • For water conditioning and reverse osmosis systems

The JNW Direct Water Total Hardness Test Strips allow you to easily test the water in your tank and see if the water hardness is okay and whether or not your water softener is working. And you can keep track of their water conditioning and reverse osmosis systems.

How do you use it? It’s easy to use, all you have to do is follow these 5 steps:

  • Remove the strip from the bottle
  • Dip the strip in aquarium water and hold it there for 2 seconds
  • Remove any excess water,
  • Place the strip on a tissue horizontally and wait for 30 seconds
  • Compare results with the color chart you get

This test is fast and easy to use, with easy-to-read instructions and color charts. You will instantly have reliable results without any complicated manuals.

6. Seachem Alert Combo Aquarium Water Test Kit

Seachem Alert Combo Aquarium Water Test Kit
KEY FEATURES:
  • Ammonia and pH levels
  • Last up to a year
  • Easy to use
  • No chemicals

The Alerts Combo Pack allows you to continuously keep track of ammonia and pH levels in a freshwater aquarium. It combines two tests – pH Alert and Ammonia Alert, in half the size. And it’s easy to set up and use. Simply place the small Ammonia Alert and pH Alert in a visible place in the aquarium or filter. It will track the parameters without any chemicals or test procedures.

The Ammonia Alert has a sensor that will change from yellow to green to blue, depending on the ammonia concentration. It will also detect the presence of free ammonia with a response time of about 15 minutes.

The pH Alert is basically a color device that was designed to monitor the pH levels continuously. Its sensor will change colors from yellow to orange to red, which will alert you if there are shifts in pH levels between 5.4 and 8.0.

7. API Test Kit

API Test Kit
KEY FEATURES:
  • Easy to use
  • For freshwater aquariums
  • Designed for weekly water testing
  • Scientific accuracy

API Test Freshwater Aquarium Water was designed to help you keep track of the parameters and quality of the water of your aquarium. This aquarium test kit will prevent any invisible problem in the water from harming your fish. API has a history of over 50 years in which they have made and provided thoroughly researched and innovative solutions to ensure people are able to take care of their beloved fish.

The API test kit measures the parameters with scientific accuracy to provide you with professional and accurate results that will help you make sure your fish stay healthy. The test was designed to provide the best results of the water quality in order to help you promote healthy bacterial growth, control algae, and help control and avoid potential fish diseases. It will accurately measure general hardness (GH) and carbonate hardness (KH) in freshwater tanks.

8. JNW Direct Aquarium Test Strips

JNW Direct Aquarium Test Strips
KEY FEATURES:
  • Monitor several parameters
  • Easy to use
  • Reliable and accurate
  • For both freshwater and saltwater

The JNW Direct Aquarium Test Strips for Fish Tank is the ultimate home aquarium testing kit you can get. You will be able to monitor several different parameters with just one test: pH, nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, carbonate, water hardness, carbonate hardness, alkalinity, iron, copper, and chlorine.

These aquarium strips are easy to use, and they will provide instant results with ultimate accuracy. You will need to dip the test in the water, wait for the results, and use a color chart to compare your levels. And you can also use an app to record, monitor, and track the results on both Android and iOs devices,

9. Red Sea Reef Foundation Test Kit

Red Sea Reef Foundation Test Kit
KEY FEATURES:
  • For saltwater
  • High accuracy titration test
  • Monitors magnesium, calcium, and alkalinity
  • Easy to use

The Red Sea Reef Foundation Test Kit is a high-accuracy titration test that will give you accurate levels of magnesium, calcium, and alkalinity. This saltwater aquarium kit will make sure that the levels of magnesium, calcium, and alkalinity are in a balanced proportion and alert if they are not.

It was designed to ensure you have the best results of your water quality. With this test, you will be able to promote healthy bacterial growth, control algae, and help control and avoid potential fish diseases.

10. SJ WAVE 16 in 1 Aquarium Water Test Kit

SJ WAVE 16 in 1 Aquarium Water Test Kit
KEY FEATURES:
  • Longer Shelf Life
  • Easy to use
  • Quick results
  • Suitable for various water source

The SJ Wave 16 in 1 Water Test Kit has everything you need in one test. It allows you to test the water in your tank for 16 different parameters: total hardness, total alkalinity, pH, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia chloride, free chlorine, total chlorine, cyanuric acid, MPs, lead, iron, copper, fluoride, carbonate, and bromine.

Each batch is carefully inspected and tested before they are sent out to the customers, so you can rely on them and use them without any worries. It will detect low levels of impurities and even find foreign substances that you wouldn’t be able to find otherwise. The test kit is very easy to use with clear instructions and quick accurate results. SJ designed these strips for quick and easy use of different water sources. You can monitor your water condition in your home, not just the aquarium. And because they are packed in a sealable bag, the strips have a long shelf life of around 2 years.

Best Aquarium Water Test Kits Buying Guide & FAQ

After seeing what are the best products on the market, let’s take a look at some of the most important things you need to know before buying an aquarium water testing kit.

Goldfishes

Why You Need a Water Test Kit for Your Aquarium

Regardless of the tank and fish you have, regular water testing is vital. You need to test your water before you set up your tank and keep doing weekly testing to make sure your fish stay healthy.

While the water looks the same, there are many dissolved chemicals, minerals, and other potential contaminants that can change the water’s chemistry and harm your fish. Because of that, you need to monitor all the water parameters, adjust the pH levels, and make sure there is no excess of ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites. And you’ll also need them to find the cause of your cloudy fish tank.

Things To Look For When Choosing Aquarium Water Test Kits

Before going off to search for your ideal product, there are some things you need to know when choosing your aquarium water test.  The most important thing to think about is accuracy. Any aquarium test kit will give you basic data, but not every reading will be completely accurate. Most fish keepers don’t need complete accuracy, but it’s good to have it (especially if you plan on breeding your fish). Most of the fish in the aquarium are hardy and adaptable even to subtlest changes in the water chemistry in the tank. As long as you don’t have a major shift, your fish will probably live without any problems.

Different Types of Fish Tank Test Kits

Once you start researching which aquarium water testing kit you want to buy, you will see that there are more types of these aquarium test kits. You need to consider what type of kit works best for you.

Liquid Tests

Liquid tests are an ideal option for getting in-depth information about your water quality. Compared to other types of tests, they tend to be the most accurate.

Using a liquid test means you will take a small water sample and add an appropriate reagent to it. This type of test is good to use with a single tank, but if you have larger multi-tank setups, it will take more time to test everything.

Test Strips

The most widely used and affordable tests are test strips. And they’re the easiest to use as well. The strips are usually made of plastic, and all you have to do is dip the strip in the aquarium water and just wait for the results.

These tests are colorimetric, which means they use colors to provide readings. Kits with test stips will come with a color chart to help you identify the results you get. You just look at the chart and find the color your test is showing you.

However, test strips aren’t the most accurate option. Since you’re relying on a color chart, there will always be some room for interpretation. And they don’t last long. They react to the environment. Once you take them out of the tank they will start reacting to the new environment, so you need to be fast with your result interpretation. If you are located in a humid environment, you will see the strips change colors without being used at all.

Electronic Water Tests

The third type of test you will find is the electronic water test. These tests are the closest thing to those in professional labs. They are small devices that are battery-powered and will accept samples and reagents for reading. To use electronic tests, you will have to collect a water sample from the tank, but without any significant waiting time. It takes seconds or minutes to get the results. But what makes these tests stand out is their accuracy, Out of all of them, electronic tests are the most accurate ones. And they also have a screen that displays all of the parameters

Beautiful fish

How to Use an Aquarium Test Kit

Getting accurate results with a water test kit will happen only if you use it properly. So let’s take a look at the proper way to use an aquarium water kit.

  • Read the instructions first

As with everything in life, reading the instructions is important. Different types of tests work differently, and you must take some time to read the instructions of the test you get before you do anything.

  • Collect the materials

The next thing you need to do is gather the materials you get in the kit. The kit can have several test tubes or just one basic test strip, reagents, and a color chart., depending on the type of kit you have.

  • Gather the sample

With test strips, gathering the sample means dipping the entire strip into the tank water. For electronic and liquid tests, you’ll need to basically collect a sample, preferably with a clean syringe or pipette. You’ll need to gather as much water as it is written in the instructions (usually around 5 mL).

  • Add the reagent

After getting the sample, you’ll have to add the reagent or compound you got in the kit. Add the exact amount that was stated in the instructions.

  • Wait for the results

Once you’ve added the reagent, you’ll need to shake the tube to ensure that it’s fully dissolved and wait for the results.

  • Compare colors and data

Once you get the results, you will be able to compare the data, usually with a color chart (for colorimetric tests). Make sure you look at the test results and color charts in natural daylight conditions, so you don’t perceive the colors wrong. With electronic tests, you will get number readings, so you’ll need to compare figures and follow what the instructions say.

Fish tank with fishes

Best Aquarium Water Test Kits FAQ

A: Once you cycle the aquarium for the first time, you’ll need to test the water. And after you set up your tank, you’ll need to do weekly water testing to make sure everything is okay with your tank water.

A: In terms of accuracy, aquarium test kits are not exactly the most accurate option for measuring water quality. They may be accurate enough for most fish keepers, but they are not that precise. The difference between having a nitrate level of 0 and 0.1 might not seem like a big difference, but it can be. However, the average fish keeper probably won’t need this kind of precision. The only time you need precision like this is if you have rare and sensitive fish, corals, or aquarium plants. And you’ll also need precision and the perfect water parameters when you breed your fish.

A: Each test kit is designed for one type of aquarium water. There are tests that are designed for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums, but most of the time you will find freshwater and separate saltwater aquarium kits.

SHARE:

Related Posts