For all aquarium hobbyists, it is crucial to be able to sustain and keep track of the levels of distinct elements inside the tank and this can only be done if you invest in the best aquarium water test kits available on the market today.
The water in the tank needs to remain clean and safe since we have various fish species and other aquatic creatures dwelling in it. And, as their owner, it is our responsibility to provide them the best possible hub where they can safely and healthily thrive.
Test kits that are particularly designed for aquariums help aquarium keepers to control magnesium, ammonia, iodine, nitrates, carbon, nitrites and pH levels in the tank. It is worth noting that these elements are hazardous and could even be fatal to your aquarium pets.
And, because tap water is used when we fill the tank, thus, these test kits do a great job in measuring the levels of these dangerous elements. Indeed, these readings are quite useful when it comes to making guesstimate while introducing vital minerals.
To learn more about the right test kit for your fish tank, it will be advantageous for you to go over the detailed product reviews and important buying information below.
Table of Contents
- Best Aquarium Water Test Kit Reviews 2020
- 1. API Freshwater Master Test Kit
- 2. Tetra EasyStrips 6-in-1 Aquarium Test Strips
- 3. JNW Direct 7 in 1 Aquarium Test Strips
- 4. API Saltwater Master Test Kit
- 5. API TEST STRIPS Freshwater and Saltwater Aquarium
- 6. Stript Health 7-Way Aquarium Test Strips
- 7. Capetsma 9 in 1 Aquarium Test Strips
- 8. BSKJ 6 in 1 Aquarium Water Test Strips
- 9. API Test KIT Individual Aquarium Water Test Kit
- 10. Red Sea Marine Care Test Kit
- 11. Salifert Master Reef Testing Combo Kit
- 12. Generical X Aquarium Test Strips
- What To Look For When Buying Aquarium Water Test Kits
- Other Important Factors To Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Aquarium Water Test Kit Reviews 2020
1. API Freshwater Master Test Kit
If you are presently searching for the best aquarium test kit, then API Freshwater Master is the ultimate kit that can satisfy your expectations. You can finally examine your tank and tap water and measure the levels of nitrates, nitrites, pH, ammonia and high range pH present in your aquarium.
More than that, what makes this kit a sure-fire purchase is that there is no need for you to spend lavishly to measure all these five crucial water parameters. As a matter of fact, this is touted as one of the most reasonably priced aquarium water test kits available that can match any budget.
And, even for beginners, this is a piece of cake to use as it comes with very detailed instructions on how to properly administer it. So, whether you are a newbie or already a pro in aquarium hobby, you won’t get lost in using this kit.
Please take note that this aquarium test kit is not designed for saltwater tanks. Also, this is not highly recommended if you prefer to obtain decimal results.
2. Tetra EasyStrips 6-in-1 Aquarium Test Strips
What make Tetra EasyStrips a standout are its distinctive and practical features that you could rarely experience in other aquarium water testing kit brands on the market today. Administering water testing in your tank becomes a smooth sailing task and this is made possible by its fast measuring capability. In a span of 60 seconds, you can already monitor nitrate, alkalinity, nitrite, pH, chlorine and hardness levels in tank water.
It is interesting to note that after 60 seconds, you can observe that the reaction within the strips ceases so that you can avoid acquiring faulty higher readings. And, surprisingly, the strips are quite precise even when correlated with alternatives that necessitate a few minutes of waiting till they can deliver results.
Likewise, it is not a pain in the neck to utilize; this is in fact ideal for newbies. There are detailed procedures for you to rely on so you won’t have worries even if it is your first time to administer aquarium water testing. This won’t hurt your budget too; it already provides adequate strips that can execute a total of 100 water tests. Looking at its price range, you can see how economical this option could be.
Regardless of the many unique features, a few of the minus points of Tetra EasyStrips are its slightly perplexing color chart that isn’t that easy to understand. In line with this, it appears that it is not that reliable when it comes to testing nitrates.
3. JNW Direct 7 in 1 Aquarium Test Strips
This aquarium water testing kit is a useful choice for those who wish to measure a total of 7 distinct tests that consist of chlorine, pH, carbonates, hardness, nitrites, total alkalinity and nitrates. It comes with 150 strips that are appropriate for a total of 150 tests. Basically, you can obtain instant results and, fortunately, the tests are easy to carry out.
To start the test, you only need to dip it and make comparisons with big color chart that is indicated on the product’s bottle. As you can see, it is unnecessary to wait for weeks or months for results coming from expensive labs since you can execute the testing on your own doorstep.
Still and all, amidst the several practical features that this test strip can offer, a couple of the drawbacks that you need to inspect are its reportedly imprecise results for all tests and its being low quality. Therefore, if you are not fine with these cons, then this is not a good catch to consider for your aquarium.
4. API Saltwater Master Test Kit
This aquarium water tester kit is comprised of 1 color measurement card, a total of six bottles of testing solutions and it can administer 4 tests. It is actually well-known for its precision. In point of fact, its precision level is perceived as higher than any other available testing kits of the same category.
Since the major issues in a saltwater tank are ammonia, high pH, nitrite and nitrates, this test kit only focuses on these problems. Note that this is merely practical if your water is fine on every other aspect. You will need to use 3 or 4 testers for you to guarantee that the saltwater is risk-free for your aquarium pets.
For all that, please take in mind that this test kit does not administer secondary essential tests since it only concentrates on the four primary concerns of saltwater tank specifically nitrate, high pH range levels, nitrites and ammonia. This means that other water issues are not measured if you use this test kit. Also, it appears to be less discreet if you are going to compare it with other available aquarium water test kits sold on the market nowadays.
5. API TEST STRIPS Freshwater and Saltwater Aquarium
This fish tank water test kit is not only good at testing nitrate, pH, nitrite, general water hardness and carbonate levels of both saltwater and freshwater tanks; but it is also absolutely dependable when it comes to providing assistance on how aquarium owners can keep their finned buddies in good condition and safe at all times.
In like manner, it can thwart any unnoticed water problems that could result to ailing or dying fish and other living creatures dwelling in the aquarium. This is harmless to your aquatic pets, in reality, it can be safely utilized every week, when you observe that the water turns unclear or when your fish starts to exhibit some strange behaviors.
Unlike other test kits, this is can solve both saltwater and freshwater tank issues in a fast, reliable and accurate approach. To boost its efficiency, it is a must to strictly adhere to the instructions indicated on the product’s label.
Notwithstanding, please be reminded that this seems to be not that dependable in terms of testing ammonia levels. Apart from this, it may be a little confusing to distinguish between almost identical colors. These are the weak aspects that you have to handle if you picked this product.
6. Stript Health 7-Way Aquarium Test Strips
Stript Health strip tests can guarantee outstanding performance and it is awesome to discover that with just a single strip test, it will be possible for you to immediately examine the tank water and this can be accomplished in minutes. Isn’t it great to know that there is no waiting game if you use this test strip?
More than that, since you can execute water testing right away and get results without waiting for a long time, you can spend more time watching your aquarium friends and relieve your stress away. This is practical for aquarium keepers with a very busy schedule.
And, you can test a total of seven water parameters in just one dip without the need to experience very complex water testing procedures. This is a worthwhile investment in that you can already administer 100 tests in a single bottle- isn’t it a good way to keep the tank water safe without spending huge money?
Besides, you’ll also love the fact that this product is supported by a money back guarantee offer that enables you to invest in it more confidently without having something to be upset about in the future. Should you have issues with this item, then you can contact their customer support and they will kindly deal with your concerns.
Anyhow, this strip test seems the type that you can’t completely bank on. In the same way, the readings appear to be imprecise caused by bleeding colors. Accuracy is not 100% here.
7. Capetsma 9 in 1 Aquarium Test Strips
Many freshwater aquarium water testing charts can be nuisance to interpret. For some reason, today’s testing kit somehow lessens that stress. Capetsma 9 in 1 Aquarium Test Strips is a must-have.
It is affordable to invest in yet it can administer a number of different tests that do not just concentrate on aquariums alone. This could actually be used in many other applications so that makes it even more cost-effective to consider.
Unquestionably, this is one of the favorite options of aquarists mainly because it can serve a number of different purposes.
Howbeit, this test kit may not produce totally accurate results. Apart from this, there is possibility for the test pads to bleed making reading somewhat complex to interpret.
8. BSKJ 6 in 1 Aquarium Water Test Strips
Surely, aquarium care for beginners can be daunting at times. It is a happy chance that you can shop for some reliable testing strips that could somehow make the task a not so laborious and headache-causing project for you to focus on.
BSKJ 6-in-1 Water Test Strips is a nice product for you to keep handy. This is safe to use for your aquatic pets and as a proof you can check its label and you’ll see that it is indicated there that it is FDA approved. Should you have some concerns that need to be resolved right away, you can bank on their amicable customer service support.
There are a few shortcomings for you to unveil about this test kit and these include its somewhat misleading instructions and it may also require being sealed in a plastic bag so that it won’t be susceptible to moisture. Still, these cons do not change the fact that this kit is a must-buy for aquarists.
9. API Test KIT Individual Aquarium Water Test Kit
Aquarists often refer to fish tank water test chart to keep track of the tank water condition. As you know, aquarium pets find it difficult to thrive in unsafe and unclean tank water. Thus, it is a must to get a reliable and efficient test kit that could ensure precise tank water testing so you can solve various water problems at once.
When it comes to effective, almost precise and reliable aquarium water test kits, API is the brand that you can trust.
Meanwhile, it is highly suggested to use this test kit before its expiration date. In like manner, the color card of this kit commonly comes with poor resolution so reading can be knotty sometimes.
10. Red Sea Marine Care Test Kit
You definitely want to guarantee a clean, safe and sound habitat for your aquatic friends. And, one way to achieve this is ensuring that the tank water is free of any elements that are potentially detrimental to them. To pinpoint the probable tank water problems, it is a must to get a tank water test kit that could reliably and accurately monitor the tank water parameters.
It is noteworthy to share that Red Sea Marine Care Test Kit is a product that worth a try. This has been proven to work wonders in helping aquarists maintain clean and safe tank water for their finned buddies.
Withal, the only things that give this product minus points are its poor packaging that makes the kit not neatly organized and the reality that when you reach the point of distinguishing test results, this seems to be the hardest part.
11. Salifert Master Reef Testing Combo Kit
This costly test kit comes complete. It can handle the primary parameters of saltwater tanks. You may think that it is expensive at first, but if you’re going to do the math, you can unveil that it is actually cost-effective in the long run. This already runs a total of six valuable tests that could help marine reef tanks maintain its safety and cleanliness.
While this is a very comprehensive marine water test kit, it does not come with digital read out. Aside from this, since it can guarantee accurate, dependable and exhaustive type of marine tank water testing, expensive price tag is to be expected.
Keeping track of the alkalinity, magnesium, calcium, nitrate, phosphate and pH levels in your saltwater tank is not an exhausting job to manage anymore and you can execute the test in simple procedure and acquire results in minutes.
12. Generical X Aquarium Test Strips
Buying freshwater aquarium test kits can be a tough chore especially for beginners. By happy chance, with this brand, testing your tank water is no longer a painful process for you to go through. It comes with an excellent packaging design, it is reasonably priced, it features step-by step instructions and it even contains some aquarium care tips that you will definitely find so helpful.
Aside from these, it contains 150 individual strips that you can utilize for a total of 150 tests. Undeniably, this is a cost-effective purchase to consider since it can be used for a long time. It comes with a lifespan of 2 years and it is protected by a desiccant that aids in making the strips capable of combatting humidity.
Not the less, this test kit’s color reading may seem slightly challenging to understand because the color of the entire pad commonly alters- to avoid this, follow the instructions by heart. Hence, this makes the readings way off. And, the strips are a bit poorly made so it is a must to handle them with caution while administering the test.
What To Look For When Buying Aquarium Water Test Kits
Since budget is always a given when it comes to making a purchase, let us explore more on other aspects to ponder on when investing in an appropriate aquarium water test kit for you:
Is the test kit precise? Whether you only prefer a general reading or you especially require figuring out the precision, it matters to get the kind of test kit that’s capable of providing the most accurate results. The reason behind this is because the safety and life of your aquatic creatures and the cleanliness of the entire tank highly rely on the accuracy of the test kit you buy.
Freshwater test kit. This is quite indispensable particularly if you wish to gauge and control the aquarium water parameter. Such test kit is very important when discerning tank pollutants that consist of detrimental constituents such as ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and many more.
These elements are actually difficult to see and can merely be detected with the aid of a top quality tester. This kit already have all the things you necessitate to examine a number of parameter at once; as a result, you can set aside more pennies and time in the process.
Is it long-lasting? Check if the test kit has a long lifespan. If you purchase a kit that contains premium-range pH value, this commonly comes with longer lifespan as compared to ammonia test kit. Take note that the expiration period relies on the usage as well as normal storage conditions. In general, such test kits last for a period of 3 years prior to getting expired.
Is it a piece of cake to use? For newbies, it is advised to pick the test kit that is less intricate to utilize. This type of test kit usually calls for minimal energy and time to be consumed in order to achieve positive outcomes. Meanwhile, a few complex test kits have the tendency to consume more time before they can provide accurate results.
Other Important Factors To Consider
What is an aquarium water test kit? How does it work?
An aquarium water test kit is a tool that comes with all the things you require for you to accurately monitor various water pollutants that could be dangerous and fatal to your aquatic pets and plants.
This device is responsible for examining the tank water’s pH, nitrite, chlorine and nitrate levels, and also the hardness, various forms of bacteria that are present in fish tank water.
Test kits that examine tank water works by being dipped into the water. And, from there this could already provide you an assessment of the overall amount of various water pollutants or constituents present in your tank water.
It comes with a color chart that is meant to point out what the examination results are indicating with regards to the quality of water in your aquarium. This chart also reveals the ranges of the recommended level that tank water should be.
What are the different types of water test kits?
There are 3 distinct forms of aquarium test kits. It is essential to understand that while the objectives of all these kits are to deliver precise outcomes with regards to tank water quality, it is imperative to pick the one that you think and feel is best suitable for your needs.
Electronic tests. These are designed to help minimize the use of indicators and provide users with the opportunity to keep track of the pH in various tanks or control it in consistently. They are also known as built-in electronic pH meter or digital testers. These come with glass electrode as well as a reference electrode.
These are adept at pinpointing the water’s pH level and this is done by gauging the voltage between the two electrodes. This can deliver precise outcomes mainly because the outcomes are obtained from the quality and sensitivity.
Dip tests. These are user-friendly and are highly recommended for newbies. They are smooth sailing to use yet they are capable of producing immediate results. You only need to dip the test strip into the tank and simply assent the color with the reference chart.
Alternatively, it is possible to utilize your mobile phone camera to take the readings for you. But, please be guided that these are known to be quite sensitive to high humidity reason why it is necessary to keep the container closed. While these test kits can deliver immediate outcomes, precision is not 100%.
Liquid tests. These are very prominent and most typical test kits available on the market. In addition to this, the outcomes obtained from these are founded on the altering color of the indicator that is generated by the level of hydrogen ion concentration of the water.
It is worth mentioning that the color at the end is correlated with the normal color chart that is included in the box when purchased and it comes with a renowned pH. These could be quite imprecise when it comes to acidic conditions.
Why do you need a water test kit for aquarium? (Benefits)
In essence, using aquarium water test kits can provide a number of benefits and some of these consist of the following:
- Figuring out pH level. The water’s pH level indicates how alkaline or acidic the water really is. It is helpful to enhance the water quality of the tank to balance and strengthen a healthy environment through adding an appropriate buffer. It is nice to know that the readings derived from water test kit will inform you about all these chemistries.
- Does a wonderful job at encouraging coral growth. Test kits intended for aquariums can examine the calcium level that will significantly aid in allowing corals to grow. It is important to understand that the recommended calcium level in fish tank water is approximately 380 by up to 420 Ppm.
- Monitors algae accumulation. When you see that the tank water looks greenish and misty, then the probable cause of this is algae buildup. Test kits aid in identifying superior level of phosphates if the tank water appears gloomy. It is natural for algae to emerge in water and they could instantly proliferate all through the tank. Monitor the water chemistry on a consistent mode to aid ward off the accumulation of algae.
- Examines chlorine level. As you might already know, tap water contains chlorine that makes it safer for living things like humans to consume. Be that as it may, chlorine is unsafe for various fish species. This is where water test kit comes into play; it assists in underscoring chlorine level in the water. The level of chlorine in the aquarium should be 0.
- Aids in analyzing ammonia. Ammonia refers to inorganic substance that’s colorless and is naturally derived from animal wastes; in the same way, it is brought about by over feeding your fish. Hence, if there is high level of ammonia in tank water, this could be detrimental to your aquarium dwellers. Ammonia is seriously toxic. And, to get rid of this, an aquarium water test kit is a useful instrument to consider.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most trusted aquarium water test brands?
You can come across numerous aquarium water test kit brands on various local pet or fish stores and if you’re going to shop online. Nevertheless, it can be perplexing to decide which brand can be the best option for you. So, to help you narrow down your choices, here are the most topnotch brands that you can select from:
- Red Sea
- JNW Direct
How often should I test my aquarium water?
If you have set up a new tank or if it is your first time to cycle an aquarium, then it is highly suggested for you to examine your fish tank on a daily basis in order for you to easily observe how you tank is doing. Once your fish tank is already properly settled and cycled, and you were able to improve proper maintenance routine, you may reduce the frequency of testing your aquarium to once per week.
Nonetheless, if you observe any technicalities or deviations in your fish tank; for instance, dusky water or fish acting strangely, then execute water testing right away.
How to test aquarium water?
Here are the guides on how to start testing your aquarium water:
- Learn about the parameters that you specifically require examining in your tank. Remember that there is a need to examine distinct parameters hinged on the kind of aquarium that you keep.
- Utilize a tube or a syringe in taking a sample from your tank. When you already have the water sample into the syringe, pull it out and carefully pass on the water into the test kit’s test tube.
- Then, gently fill up the test tube as per the directed level.
- As instructed, it is time to add the testing solution to the test kit’s test tube.
- See to it to adhere to the instructions when it comes to mixing the testing solution.
- Lastly, you may read the results by following the instructions indicated in the test kit’s label.
How to test fish tank water without kit?
For you to examine your aquarium water without utilizing water test kit, you may consider the following tips:
There is actually no need to examine the water every now and then once your aquarium is already established. All you need to do is to follow a scheduled maintenance that is accomplished by the appropriate procedures in sustaining clean tank water consistently.
And, make it a habit to observe your aquarium inhabitants; you can determine if the water is unsafe or unclean if you can notice the following behaviors on your finned friends:
- Red gills
- Heavy breathing
- Gasping at the surface
- Resting at the underneath section of the tank
- Floating around the tank
- Sluggish movement
Please be informed that all these strange fish behaviors are clear indications of dropping water quality.
How to care & store?
Aquarium water test kits are easy to care and store. Upon purchase, see to it to check the expiration date of the test kit brand you are eyeing to buy. This is for you to have an idea until when you can safely use it. It is also crucial to follow the usage instructions of the product to ensure satisfying performance.
When not in use, make sure to keep or store the test kit in a cool dry place. As much as possible, keep it away from children as they may use it for play activities purposes.
Where to buy?
If you’re wondering where you can purchase aquarium water test kit products, you can begin your search in your area. Go to local pet or fish stores and ask if they offer such kit. And, if so, ask them about the different brands available in their store. Often times, you can only be offered by limited options if you’re shopping from local stores.
Alternatively, you can go online shopping too. Typically, you can come across innumerable number of options when it comes to aquarium water test kit if you shop online. Various brands are offered here. You can visit sites like Lowes, Amazon, eBay, Walmart, PetCo, PetSmart and other leading online shopping sites globally.
What is the warranty?
Just like in other products, warranties offered for aquarium water test kits also differ in some ways. Manufacturers or brands offer warranties based on specific conditions. Depending on the brand you chose, you can review the warranty they offer. There are some offers such as replacement in case you received a defective item while others offer full refund or 30-day money back guarantee program.
Always make sure that the product you purchase is supported by a warranty. This is because highly trusted brands offer this kind of program to their most valued clients. Basically, this is their way of showing their gratitude for patronizing their product and to ensure that customers are satisfied with their products.
At times, manufacturers who do not offer warranties are not yet highly acclaimed in the field, so it is better to opt for brands that already have established names.
Taking into consideration all the product reviews and buying guides discussed in this article, you have learned that keeping the aquarium water balanced and in good condition is the sole approach for your aquatic pets and plants to survive residing in a confined hub like a fish tank. And, the best aquarium water test kit serves a vital role in achieving this goal.
While it is true that even though saltwater and freshwater tanks have distinct elements to keep track of, it is still critical to examine the tank water on a weekly basis and whenever your aquatic pets begin to act strangely, or when you observe something odd inside the tank. Be reminded that unclean water is often times the reason why your finned friends and aquatic plants suffer from diseases or even death. That said, it is just right to examine if it is safe or not.
Fundamentally, in order to ensure that you’re capable of creating a safe, healthy and thriving environment for them, one way of making this achievable is to invest in a reliable and accurate test kit that is specifically designed to monitor various levels of elements inside the tank that makes it an unsafe place to dwell in for your aquarium inhabitants.