The Best Aquarium Water Test Kit for Healthy and Thriving Environment

best aquarium water test kit

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 with the most suitable 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.

Finding high-quality aquarium water test kits requires understanding several factors. So before we get to the reviews, let’s take a look at some of these key aspects. It’ll provide a good starting point for your own research:

  • Accuracy: Test kits need to provide accurate results without any hassles. Otherwise, you’re putting the safety of your fish and other aquatic friends at risk. So do significant research into each kit’s accuracy before buying or using it.
  • Longevity: Every fish water testing kit will have an expiration date. Try getting one with the longest possible lifespan to prevent usage issues.
  • Size of the Kit: Each kit will come with a different number of tests inside it. So each buyer must decide how many they need in their chosen option.
  • Type: There are three main types of water hardness test kit aquariums can use—dip, liquid, and electronic tests. For utmost accuracy, aquarium water testing kits’ electronic devices will be the most trusted choice.

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 guesstimates 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.

Best Overall

API Freshwater Master Test Kit (800)

API Freshwater Test Kit

✅ Straightforward instructions
✅ Ideal for monitoring on a weekly basis
✅ Can deliver good results


Premium Choice


Tetra Aquarium Test Strips

✅ Ensure more effortless and convenient way of testing
✅ Are readily available in 25 and 100 count packages
✅ Reactions halt in a span of 60 seconds


Editor’s Choice


NW Aquarium Test Strips

✅ Administering this test is a breeze
✅ Provide instant and precise results
✅ Comes with larger desiccant packet


Top 12 Aquarium Water Test Kit Reviews 2023

1. API Freshwater Master Test Kit

API Freshwater Master Test Kit (800)

If you are presently searching for the best aquarium water 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 administer it properly. 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.

  • Can precisely control five most substantial water parameters in freshwater tanks
  • Comes with straightforward instructions
  • Ideal for monitoring on a weekly basis or when fish turns strange or when water becomes dusky
  • Can deliver good results
  • Adept at tracking quality of water and aids inhibit hazardous water issues
  • Can only be used for freshwater tanks
  • Not a good option for anyone requiring decimal results

All in all, this test kit is a must have for those who keep a freshwater tank. The results are close to accurate and it can help make examining water parameters less intricate to handle. Since it provides step-by-step procedures in carrying out the test, this is generally chosen because it is user-friendly even for beginners.

Additionally, it is a superb product for its price range, you can execute the test by simply putting the proper amount of water in the test tube and then you just need to mix it with the suitable solutions. Afterward, there would be a change in the water’s color and you can instantly come up with comparisons on the color change by checking the test kit’s color chart. It is really a nice option as it does not break the bank.

2. Tetra EasyStrips Aquarium Test Strips


What makes 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.

  • Can ensure more effortless and convenient way of testing aquarium water
  • Are readily available in 25 and 100-count packages
  • Reactions halt in a span of 60 seconds to inhibit erroneous higher readings
  • Precisely gauges tank water’s alkalinity, nitrate, chlorine, nitrite, general hardness and pH levels
  • Capable of delivering more precise hardness test
  • Seems not ideal for testing nitrates
  • Color chart is slightly baffling to understand
In general, this is a perfect match for those who prefer instant aquarium water testing. It does not require complex administration so it is user-friendly for everyone. This is a good deal for the money and won’t in any way hurt your pocket. With instant and accurate results, practical and unique features, and reliable and convenient performance, you obviously have all the reasons why you need to end your search here.

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 the 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 low quality. Therefore, if you are not fine with these cons, then this is not a good catch to consider for your aquarium.

  • Highly acclaimed for being the topmost home testing kit
  • Each test strip can provide instant and precise results
  • Capable of administering tests for a total of 7 water parameters
  • Administering this test is a breeze
  • Comes with larger desiccant packet
  • All tests seem not precise
  • Low quality

Over and above, judging this aquarium water testing kit’s ease of use, capability to produce fast results, cost-effectiveness and capacity to measure a total of seven water parameters, this product is a great deal to get for aquarists. There is no need to suffer headaches from confusing test procedures as this is supported by extremely easy-to-utilize instructions that can benefit both beginners and pros in aquarium keeping.

Furthermore, it is priced affordably so even if you’re on a limited budget, you can get this test strip for you. The good news is that you can monitor your tank water without any complications anymore. This could be done right at your own home and the results will be acquired in no time. Without question, the convenience of this aquarium water testing is really something that all aquarium hobbyists can benefit from.



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.

  • Helps keep track of nitrate, pH, nitrite, general water hardness and carbonate levels of both saltwater and freshwater tanks
  • Simple to administer, fast color check and precise outcomes
  • Can be safely used on a weekly basis, when water turns gloomy or when fish acts oddly
  • Superb at blocking unnoticeable water issues that could lead to fish death and other dangers
  • Not ideal for testing ammonia
  • Slightly tricky to differentiate between contiguous colors
Overall, considering this test kit’s outstanding performance when it comes to tracking major tank water concerns, ability to produce precise readings, capability to help keep aquarium pets healthy and safe and it is risk-free to use even on a regular basis and in some unfortunate incidents, this product is king! And, most importantly, even though it is a little overpriced, in exchange, it is loaded with beneficial features and functions which make it actually economical in the long run. This brand is known for its effectiveness, reliability and promising results. Thus, this is not a waste of money for you to splurge in.

5. Capetsma 9-in-1 Aquarium Test Strips


Many freshwater aquarium water testing charts can be a 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.

  • Executed simply by dipping a strip into the tank water and compare it to the chart
  • Ideal use for aquariums, spas, urine, drinking water, laundry, pools and dishwasher
  • Assists aquatic pets to auspiciously thrive in a safer, healthier and happier environment
  • Not intricate to read
  • Can administer a total of 9 tests all included in this comprehensive test kit
  • Not completely precise
  • Tendency for the test pads to bleed
Right to it, if you are more hooked to instant results, easy tank water administration, affordable cost and great performance, then you’ve finally found your right match. This is a 9-in-1 type of test kit, yet it does not put a hole in your pocket. Since you can execute the test quickly, you can also acquire the results immediately. Undoubtedly, this is a great piece of test kit that can help sustain clean tank water for your aquarium pets to dwell in and enjoy.

6. API 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.

  • Performs excellently in controlling and adjusting pH and aids in blocking hidden water issues that are potentially damaging
  • Can be carried out on a weekly basis when fish acts oddly or when water becomes dusky
  • Interprets the levels of phosphate between 0 by up to 10 ppm
  • Ideal and practical choice for saltwater and freshwater tanks
  • Restrains hideous and excess algae buildup that could inhibit hard coral growth and bring about fish stress
  • Color card comes with poor resolution
  • Ineffective if it reaches close to its expiration period
Generally speaking, API test kits are highly distinguished for their affordability, reliability, ease of use and capability of delivering quick results. This can be your best bet if you are starting out with a fish tank or pond. It is a multi-purpose kit that is definitely less expensive as compared to purchasing the bottles individually.

7. 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.

  • Comes with the major kits necessary to operate a marine tank in good condition
  • Enables users to effortlessly track ammonia, alkalinity, nitrite, pH, and nitrate levels
  • Designed with easy-to-interpret color charts and easy-to-follow test procedures
  • Can administer precise tank water testing procedure in minutes
  • Easy and convenient to use
  • Differentiating results may be annoying
  • Packaging is unsatisfactory
As a whole, this test kit provides all the basic tests that are specifically required for a marine tank. The tests are easy to administer and even though differentiating the results may be slightly obscure, once you concentrate on the instructions, you can eventually get by.

8. 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.

  • Can gauge ammonia, nitrate, nitrite and high range pH levels
  • Aids in adjusting and controlling pH and impede unnoticeable water issues that are hazardous to aquatic pets
  • Includes 4 glass tubes, 1 color card and a total of 6 bottles of tank water testing solution once purchased
  • Utilize when fish issues emerge and for monitoring on a weekly mode
  • Can deliver high precision outcomes that aid inhibit fish death
  • Does not administer secondary crucial tests
  • Less discreet as compared to other aquarium water test kits out there

To conclude, this test kit is highly ideal for aquarium owners who are starting out a saltwater tank. While the tests are administered in a long time as compared to using dip strips, this can promise more precise results that are substantial for saltwater tanks. It is fundamental to consider that this kit comes with the most indispensable tests that are specifically intended for saltwater tanks and the most reasonable of all is that it does not force you to spend extravagantly.

With its capacity to generate highly precise outcomes, it is not surprising why it is labeled as one of the most outstanding aquarium water test kits available for saltwater tanks.

9. 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 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.

  • Certified FDA approved
  • Supported by responsive and friendly customer service
  • Can deliver precise test results and less complex color reading
  • Highly recognized as professional fish tank test strips
  • No trouble to administer
  • Needs to be sealed in a plastic bag to stow moisture away from the container
  • Unreliable usage instructions

All told, this product is a worthwhile purchase that will certainly satisfy your tank water testing requirements and reference. This is user-friendly so newbies in the aquarium-keeping world won’t have a tough time.

It is prominent for having the capability to deliver close to perfection test results, color reading is not a painful process for you to interpret and right after 20 seconds have passed, you can immediately refer to the color chart to read the parameter data. The truth is, this is perceived as a necessity for devoted aquarium owners who only want to provide the most suitable and safest environment for their aquarium pets.

10. Stript Health 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 examine the tank water immediately 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 very busy schedules.

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 imprecisely caused by bleeding colors. Accuracy is not 100% here.

  • A single strip can help test tank water at once
  • Designed to be multipurpose
  • A good value for the price
  • Allows users to obtain results in a single dip the straightforward way
  • Highly recommended for those who prefer quick testing and results
  • Imprecise readings brought about by bleeding colors
  • Can’t fully rely on
As a whole, this strip test is untroublesome to use, it can be regarded as a multifunctional testing kit that is capable of instantly measuring levels of nitrites, free chlorine, nitrate, alkalinity, general hardness, and carbonate as well as pH levels with just one quick dip. Therefore, this is an ideal option for people who prefer quick testing and dependable fish tank test strips results that could help in keeping their tank water clean and safe for their fish tank occupants to dwell in.

11. Salifert Master Reef Testing 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 a digital readout. Aside from this, since it can guarantee the accurate, dependable and exhaustive type of marine tank water testing, an 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 a simple procedure and acquire results in minutes.

  • Kit already comes with the major parameters of marine reef tank or saltwater tanks
  • Can administer a total of six major tests in no time
  • One of the most exhaustive marine water test kits on the market
  • Accurately and effortlessly monitors alkalinity, magnesium, calcium, nitrate, phosphate and pH levels
  • Capable of delivering fast, reliable and precise results
  • Really very costly
  • Not equipped with digital read out that’s a piece of cake to interpret
All valuable features taken into account, Salifert won’t put your pennies to waste. This contains every test kit that you particularly necessitate to operate a reef tank. It may be overpriced but it is absolutely a premium quality test kit. This is one effective means to solve saltwater aquarium problems in a more reliable and convenient method.

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.

  • Does a good job at maintaining aquatic pets’ health and safety inside the tank
  • Uncomplicated to utilize, interpret and can supply instant result
  • Can test free chlorine, total alkalinity, pH levels, nitrate, general hardness, nitrite and carbonate
  • Capable of combatting humidity and can comes with long shelf life
  • Already contains a total of 150 strips
  • Reading the color may be tricky
  • Strips appear to be poorly made

Laid on the line, this test kit is the top-tier bang for the money. This is one great way to keep your aquarium pets in good condition and this could be done by examining your tank water in a regular mode. By the same token, this is the perfect pick if you are searching for a reliable, economical and exhaustive type of tank water testing. You can ensure the health and safety of your most treasured finned friends, yet this does not necessitate a pricey technique to do so.

But, take into account that the strips may be frail, so it is advised to handle them with the utmost care when administering the test. See to it to follow the instructions, too. Otherwise, it would be challenging for you to interpret the color readings.

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, and various forms of bacteria that are present in fish tank water.

Test kits that examine tank water work by being dipped into the water. And, from there, this could already provide you with 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 indicate with regard 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 most 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 inconsistently. They are also known as built-in electronic pH meters or digital testers. These come with glass electrodes 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 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Examines chlorine level. As you might already know, tap water contains chlorine which 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 the water test kit comes into play; it assists in underscoring the chlorine level in the water. The level of chlorine in the aquarium should be 0.
  5. Aids in analyzing ammonia. Ammonia refers to the inorganic substance that’s colorless and is naturally derived from animal wastes; in the same way, it is brought about by overfeeding your fish. Hence, if there is the 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


How long is my test kit good for?

Every water test kit for aquarium tanks will come with an expiration date. It’ll provide an exact lifespan for the equipment when its chemical solutions are still in the package. But once they’re opened, this expiration date gets thrown out the window.

At this point, the kit only remains usable for a year when stored indoors. This lifespan shrinks even further down to six months if the water tester for fish tank settings is left outdoors. Once these benchmarks are reached, it’s time to get a new one, or it won’t be effective.

Some manufacturers will advertise that their kits’ expiration date can remain the same, even after opening the solutions. But I wouldn’t recommend taking them at their word. You’d be much better off playing it safe with these guidelines: I’ve even been duped a couple of times regarding fish tank testing kit longevity.

Which parameters should I test for my freshwater tank?

Maintaining a freshwater tank will require testing several crucial parameters to ensure comfortable living conditions for the fish. Here’s a quick list of what you need to be testing:

  • pH
  • Temperature
  • Nitrogen cycle (nitrite, ammonia, and nitrate)
  • GH (general hardness)
  • KH (carbonate hardness)
  • Carbon dioxide and iron levels (for planted aquarium tanks)

At first glance, it may seem like a lot to monitor. But a high-quality test kit for freshwater aquarium tanks will make the owner’s job much more manageable.

A perfect example of a suitable option would be the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. It’ll offer excellent results for all these parameters, even as an ammonia test kit. Other freshwater test kits usually struggle with recording ammonia levels.

Why can’t I use test strips?

Water test strips for fish tank environments offer less accurate results than other options. Therefore, I recommend only using them when they’ve received excellent reviews. Several choices mentioned in this article would be more than satisfactory.

But even these test strips do come with certain issues. For instance, they can provide inaccurate readings when stored improperly, exposed to excess moisture, or misused. So it’s vital to be aware of these potential problems before purchasing and using test strips.

Of course, buying a digital water tester would be the easiest solution. It’ll offer precise results while limiting the potential of any user error. But getting one will be more expensive, which drives most aquarium owners to stick with test strips.

What pH should my fish tank be?

Most experts recommend keeping a freshwater fish tank between 6.8 to 7.8 pH. However, certain fish will have different pH level requirements outside this range. For example, saltwater fish like African cichlids prefer a pH above 8.0.

Anyone unsure about their fish’s pH level should talk to a marine vet. These experts will help you get your aquarium’s setup fitted adequately for the fish’s needs. It’s a much better idea than settling for information found on Reddit or other forum sites.

At the same time, it’ll allow you to ask any other questions that have been weighing on your mind. I can’t tell you how often a conversation with a vet has alleviated all my concerns about pet-related issues.

What are the most trusted aquarium water test brands?

You can come across numerous aquarium water test kit brands in 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 most useful option for you. So, to help you narrow down your choices, here are the most topnotch brands that you can select from:

  • API
  • Tetra
  • Salifert
  • Red Sea
  • JNW Direct
  • Capetsma

How often should I test my aquarium water?

If you have set up a new tank or if it is your first time cycling an aquarium, then it is highly suggested that 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 are able to improve your 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Then, gently fill up the test tube as per the directed level.
  4. As instructed, it is time to add the testing solution to the test kit’s test tube.
  5. See to it to adhere to the instructions when it comes to mixing the testing solution.
  6. 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 a 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 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
  • Yawning
  • 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 for 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 of 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. Oftentimes, 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 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 choose, you can review the warranty they offer. There are some offers such as replacement in case you received a defective item, while others offer a full refund or a 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 ensuring 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 oftentimes 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.