The Best Nitrate Test Kits for Precise Nitrate Measurement

To boot, aquarium water testing is quite indispensable, particularly in a newly set up tank. Examining the water is crucial in order to ward off fish loss as nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia increase rapidly. In an established aquarium, water testing is vital to guarantee the safe and healthy of fish and other invertebrates.

In addition, test kits must be regarded as valuable components of the operating expense linked with keeping a tank. Hence, if you cannot afford test kits or if you feel distressed examining your water yourself, it is highly advised to check with your fish store to see how much they charge for administering water testing.

Basically, some fish stores offer free tests every month or others will quote you a base rate for monthly water testing. From there, you may compare their charges against the current cost of test kits.

It is highly recommended that you take a few minutes each week to check your tank conditions and see that it creates a safer and healthier underwater world for your aquarium’s inhabitants.

Selecting a reliable saltwater or freshwater nitrate test kit is vital to keeping an aquarium in good condition. But it can be tricky without knowing all the crucial buying factors. So here’s a small overview to provide a solid starting point:

  • Ease of Use: A nitrate aquarium test isn’t much help if you can’t use it easily. So please, research how to use each one before buying one. It’s a simple way to ensure you end up with a successful buying experience.
  • Brand: Only buy a nitrate test kit after looking into the brand making it. Otherwise, you may waste money on a test that doesn’t provide accurate results. So check out customer reviews and other resources to ensure it’s a reputable brand.
  • Cost: Create a well-researched budget to make a responsible purchase. An easy way to build one is by thinking about your preferred features and their impact on price. For instance, if you want an electronic nitrate tester, it’ll cost extra.

Examining your tank water has never been so precise or easy! Keep in mind that investing in the best nitrate test kits can significantly help sustain a low nitrate level that could superbly enhance the health of your tank occupants.

Best Overall

API Water Test Kit

✔ Inhibits algae growth
✔ Easy to utilize & read
✔ Light on the pocket


Premium Choice

Salifert Nitrate (No3) Test Kits

Salifert Nitrate (No3) Test Kit

✔ Fast result
✔ More outstanding than API test kit
✔ Ideal for sensitive reef tanks


Editor’s Choice


Seachem MultiTest Test Kit

✔ Total of 75 tests
✔ Easy and reliable to use
✔ Doesn’t require a test tube


Top-Quality Nitrate Test Kit Reviews 2023

1. API Test KIT Individual Aquarium Water Test Kit

API Test KIT is quite simple to use and is calibrated to employ a similar amount of water that is utilized in their sample tubes. Moreover, this product is very convenient because there is no need for you to monitor which tube goes with the test reagent.

This nitrate test kit has been in the market for several years and most of their products are reliable, easy to administer, capable of providing fast results and cost-effective. No wonder why many consumers highly trust this brand. In reality, this is one of the top choices among tank owners.

Furthermore, this test kit is highly precise when they are fresh; however, the Carbonate hardness (KH/CH) reagent will only last until the expiration period. On the other hand, the General Hardness (GH) reagent is infamous for dying instantly like approximately one year so there is a need to have this replaced roughly 6 to 8 months prior to the expiration period.

To help you better distinguish between colors when testing the water, please be guided that if your tested water turns yellow after 5 minutes then this conveys the water is still fine. But, if not, it means you have to address the issue. At the time the color begins heading into a brownish-red color, then this means it is high time to solve the problem.

As you can see, the nuts and bolts of this test are: you should prefer to keep it as close to yellow as probable. This is because if the test comes back red, brown, or light brown, then this implies it is necessary to administer water changes.

  • Helps adjust and regulate pH
  • Inhibits algae growth
  • Wards off invisible water problems
  • Light on the pocket
  • Easy to utilize and read
  • Doesn’t test very low phosphate levels
  • Slightly tough to distinguish between colors

Overall, this water test kit is affordable as compared to other brands. Many people complain about the difficulty of differentiating between colors when testing the water; nevertheless, this is actually easy to read; all you need to do is to read and execute the instructions carefully and you’re done!

2. Salifert Nitrate (No3) Test Kit

Salifert Nitrate (No3) Test Kits

The Salifert nitrate test kit is quite simple to utilize. The instructions are clear and uncomplicated to follow. Indeed, the reading is done by simply comparing the color of the water to a chart.

Truth is, this is somewhat complex at first as it takes some time to get used to it. What is more, this kit is good at gauging low range and high range and it is also adept at providing you with more data to validate your reading.

There are a lot of other test kits available nowadays that are largely subjective and many a time makes your water testing a hassle.

This product is known for being a premium water test kit that is capable of providing accurate nitrate measurement in tanks. It comes with a dual-range nitrate test kit that is especially intended for fish-only tanks and reef aquariums.

Additionally, it works exceptionally by means of precisely detecting tank nitrate levels as low as 0.2 ppm. Take note that this is a perfect option for reef aquariums that are sensitive.

Similar to nitrite, a lot of nitrate test kits are susceptible to amine interference that could make nitrate levels seem much lesser than they really are.

It is delighting to know that this test kit brand does not go through this interference and is capable of providing fast and precise results with a total testing time of roughly 3 minutes.

This test kit is a bit expensive to purchase as compared to other available brands.

  • Easier and more precise to administer
  • More outstanding than API test kit
  • Easy-to-follow instructions
  • Fast result
  • Ideal for sensitive reef tanks
  • Dry powder is slightly tricky to measure
  • A bit difficult to tell the difference of the color

This test kit is an excellent choice. It is a nice item to have if you own a reef tank. It is smooth sailing to utilize and it only takes a few minutes to do; there are a few steps to follow and from there you can obtain a precise reading, be sure to strictly follow the Salifert nitrate test kit instructions.

This can be used at least one time per week to monitor ammonia, nitrates and nitrites levels in your aquarium.

3. Seachem MultiTest Nitrite and Nitrate Test Kit


The long term life span of tank inhabitants highly depends on good water conditions. Thus, it is just right that you keep the water in the aquarium safe and clean for your fish to thrive.

Are you looking for a water test kit that comes with easy-to-follow instructions? Seachem MultiTest Nitrite and Nitrate Test Kit are easy to utilize and well-packaged. In the same way, there are tools provided like a measuring spoon.

Many tank owners prefer this brand because this is superb at detecting low nitrate concentrations in both saltwater and freshwater. Likewise, you could instantly examine nitrate and nitrite for up to a total of 6 varied tanks in an in sync mode in approximately 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, the results are discerned by matching the color of the solution to the gradient that is found on the color card. While this may be intricate to read at times, it is still a lot easier to read as compared to other identical tests that most tank owners previously utilized.

Besides, this kit is particularly helpful for those who are experiencing algae filtering concerns because gauging nitrate levels with those filtering systems could be a daunting task since nitrate levels are generally under 1ppm – as you know, other kits could not even provide positive results for that value.

This test kit surely requires more work and takes longer. Nevertheless, you will love the fact that it is capable of executing multiple tests at once for confirmation.

  • Comes with a total of 75 tests
  • Designed with a unique indicator
  • Ideal for saltwater and freshwater use
  • Easy and reliable to use
  • Doesn’t require a test tube
  • Complex to get an accurate reading at the lower end
  • Not as accurate as a Hach test kit

This testing kit is highly recommended because it provides a plain sailing method to conduct the test. And, you will love the fact that it could provide instant results.

This product is a smart purchase since it comes with a glass container of a set of concentration nitrate solutions which you could utilize as control or for you to confirm if your test kit is working and if you are administering it appropriately.

4. NYOS Nitrate (NO3) Reefer Aquarium Test Kit


Are you searching for highly accurate analyses of seawater conditions? Then, NYOS Nitrate (NO3) Reefer Aquarium Test Kit will work wonders for you! This kit offers a superiorly amazing price-performance ration and it is well-known for making test kits of laboratory quality. Also, this is an economical option for tank owners.

If you would like to invest in a reliable test kit that is specifically meant for nitrate levels in saltwater, there is no other product that could give you what you’re looking for than this one. It utilizes a distinct reagent system reason why it is capable of making a precise validation test if you have some queries or doubts about other kits’ results.

Nonetheless, similar to other nitrate tests, this comes with restricted affectability in the low range, so it is slightly hard to differentiate the level of nitrate, for instance, a range of 0.25 from 0.75. Note that this could be substantial if you are carbon dosing.

You will love this option because it is a certified simple test kit that does not have the same chemist feel that you could experience with other test kit brands. In the same way, it is quite a piece of cake to administer as the test solely has only 2 steps for you to follow and then wait for about 5 minutes to obtain results.

This product is not that expensive and the glass vials are a lot easier to handle. Therefore, if you want consistency of results, this is the appropriate pick for you!

  • Comes with intuitive pictogram instructions
  • No sweat to administer
  • Easy to utilize and read
  • Fast and precise results
  • Less expensive selling price
  • Not good dropper bottle
  • Test kit itself seems quite flimsy

You definitely won’t waste money in purchasing this test kit. This is likely one of the less expensive yet quite precise test kits you can invest in. As a matter of fact, this brand is renowned for its accuracy, and it’s proven to be an effective option for saltwater reef tanks especially when water parameters are most valuable.

So, why would you spend more when you can have excellent test kit features at an affordable price?

5. Industrial Test Systems 480009 Nitrate Test Kit


To ensure the cleanliness and safety of your water tank, it is essential to use water test kit products that could guarantee ease of use, superb performance, accuracy and affordability. If these are some of the qualities that you are currently looking for in a test kit, then Industrial Test Systems 480009 WaterWorks Nitrate/Nitrite Nitrogen can meet your needs and preference.

This kit is well-known for being an ideal and fast home test for nitrate and nitrite in water. It comes with patented test strips that have successfully transformed water testing. This model is capable of providing precise and fast outcomes at an economical selling price- things that you won’t find in many other brands available on the market these days.

Apart from that, this test kit is also equipped utilizing first-rate chemistries as well as out-of-the-ordinary manufacturing processes; the brand is proud to have test kits and test strips that have replaced old-fashioned testing kits that are cost and labor intensive.

This product also comes with 2 units of measure that are ready for use hinging on your detection requirements. It is worth mentioning that the first solution discloses outcomes and

Nitrogen while the second solution presents outcomes as Nitrite or Total Nitrate. The main concern that product users complain about this test kit is the slight difficulty in reading the results.

However, this is not a serious issue since most of the best nitrate test kits are reported to be a bit tough to read especially when you are a newbie. It is advised to follow the instructions accordingly to avoid confusion.

  • Instant home test kit for nitrates and nitrites
  • Reasonably-priced
  • Accurate and reliable to use
  • Gilt-edge manufacturing process
  • Require no technical training to gain results
  • Quite expensive
  • Accuracy verification is sometimes complex
In sum, whether you are examining tap water at home, well water or tank water, this test kit is the most trusted option. It is ideal for water quality testing and a good price for dependable test strips. Needless to say, a premium test kit is a solution if you are aiming for dependable, portable and accurate results.

Outdated Products

Red Sea Fish Pharm ARE21420 Test Kit (Outdated)


Red Sea Test Kit is quite effective at reducing Aiptasia from your tank; it is important to know that this could be fatal to your marine pets. Aiptasia is also known as glass anemones and these could commonly enter the tank with coral and live rock as their source.

By the same token, this test kit comes with 2 distinct shape needle applicators as well as a plunger. It can better deal with issues concerning ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, alkalinity, and pH levels. This does not only provide you with precise results but it is also quite uncomplicated to handle.

This kit comes with clear and easy-to-follow instructions and the top-tier part about the equipment is that it is not messy at all. The equipment is nicely fitted in the package.

This product is not fancy and does not provide you with any professional data, but it is great for those who are just beginning and this kit does not require a decimal type of readings.

It is worth noting that the colors do not craft any sort of mess; as you know, a lot of liquid kits cause more danger than benefits. With this brand, you can examine all over the spectrum from a high range of 50+ by up to 0.25 ppm and the colors are quite precise.

  • Guarantees instant results in no time
  • Easy, fast and reliable to utilize
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Colors are accurate
  • Easy-to-follow instructions
  • Low quality
  • The glass vial is fragile

While this test kit may be a bit costly, it can guarantee accuracy and fast results. This is actually more excellent to use as compared to the API test kit. This is ideal for those who keep a reef tank. This is a smart investment for it comes with quality components and high resolution that you could not find in other brands.

If you would like to monitor the most vital aspect of keeping a healthy marine aquarium and check your water parameters every now and then with accuracy, this test kit will help you do that. It is just right that you take better care of your marine friends!

Hach 2745425 Nitrate and Nitrite Test Strips (Outdated)


Exorbitant amounts of nitrite and nitrate in water could considerably cause various adult ailments, and infant fatalities and could also produce uncontrolled abortion in cows. More than that, some wells contain superior levels of nitrate. As you know, when water contains higher levels of nitrate, nitrites are generally prevailing in low concentrations.

So, when instances like this emerge, you have no other choice but to invest in a premium quality test kit to keep the water safe and clean. Without a doubt, shopping for a nitrate and phosphate test kit can be a challenging task to deal with. Luckily, there are available brands out there that can be the ideal solution for this problem.

Hach 2745425 Nitrate and Nitrite Test Strips is undeniably one of the leading brands in test kits for nitrates. This product already contains a total of 25 tests. This test kit will certainly do a very top-notch job yet investing in it won’t even hurt your pocket that much! Obviously, this is already an ideal pick for you; thus, trying to look for other costly brands does not a good idea for you.

  • Less expensive brand
  • Easy to utilize
  • Easy to dispose of after use
  • Fast and quantitative outcomes in the lab or field
  • Ideal water quality indicator
  • Slight issues in reading results
  • Ineffective when instructions aren’t followed accordingly

Evidently, this brand is a handy and instant technique to check and monitor contaminants in tank or runoff water. For a fact, many product users have claimed that this brand works excellently for dependable outcomes with solely a few minutes of test time required. If you are going to make features and price comparisons, you will come to realize that this product is the top-tier price in the market.

This is absolutely a great solution when keeping an eye on that nitrate! For a less expensive water testing method, these test strips won’t let you down for sure!

What To Look For When Buying A Nitrate Test Kit


When shopping for a nitrate test kit, there are some factors that you need to take into account. Some of these consist of the following:

  • The ease of use and accuracy of the test kit to administer.
  • It must come with easy-to-understand and follow instructions when conducting the test.
  • The product must be capable of providing fast and precise results in no time.
  • Always go for a reliable, practical and reasonably-priced product.
  • Opt for the one that significantly helps adjust and regulate pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and other harmful elements.
  • The test kit must be adept at warding off any tank water problems that could endanger the tank’s inhabitants.
  • Check if the brand is ideal for saltwater and freshwater use.

Other Important Factors To Consider


When using nitrate test kits, see to it that you strictly adhere to the instructions to ensure the effectiveness of the test. In most cases, the accuracy of the results is highly affected due to the improper procedures in administering the water tank test.

Prior to conducting the test, make sure that you carefully go over the instructions included in the test kit package.

What is a nitrate test kit?

A tank test kit is primarily designed to aid in gauging a particular water parameter. This is a very special tool in that it works to keep the water in the aquarium safe, clean and healthy for your marine friends to survive.

Through simply consistently examining the water with the aid of a test kit, you can guarantee that the water parameters are maintained within risk-free levels and instantly act if they are not; therefore, this helps save the lives of your tank occupants.

How does it work?

A nitrate reduction test is deemed as a subjective method for identifying the capability of bacteria to minimize nitrate. In the reaction, it is significant to note that nitrate is minimized to nitrite and this might then be further minimized to ammonia or nitrogen gas. The identification of the reduction of nitrate to nitrite is a 2-step method.

Nitrate test kits work superbly in monitoring and sustaining the levels of distinct particles. These comprise magnesium, ammonia, iodine, nitrates, carbon, nitrites, and pH levels.

What are the different types of nitrate test kits?

  • Iodine Test Kit
  • Chloramine Test Kit
  • Nitrate Test Kit
  • pH Test Kit
  • Chlorine Test Kit
  • Alkalinity Test Kit
  • Magnesium Test Kit
  • Copper Test Kit
  • Nitrite Test Kit
  • Calcium Test Kit
  • Ammonia Test Kit

Why do you need a nitrate test kit? (Benefits)

Nitrate test kits play a vital role in water tanks and of course, they could help save the lives of your marine pets. This is one of the reasons why it is indispensable for you to invest only in a premium brand to ensure the test kit’s effectiveness, reliability, and precision.

Surely, you wouldn’t want your marine friends to be harmed, and as their owner, you are the sole responsible for keeping them safe, healthy and happy always! And, for you to keep their environment risk-free and sustain low levels of harmful elements in the water they live in, choosing the right, effective, reliable and accurate test kit can do the magic.

Once you invest in the right test kit for your tank, some of the benefits that these products could offer include the following:

  • Ensuring that the water stays stable in order for tank occupants not to be subjected to unnecessary stress.
  • Aid keep the water in the tank healthy, clean and safe for your tank pets to thrive.
  • Help in gauging a specific water parameter in the aquarium.
  • Guarantees risk-free levels and immediately act if they are not. Hence, this tremendously helps in saving the lives of the fish living in your aquarium.
  • It helps monitor and maintains distinct element levels, for instance, nitrites, ammonia, carbon, iodine, magnesium, nitrates and also pH levels.

Frequently Asked Questions


How often should I test for nitrate in my aquarium?

It’ll depend on how long your tank has been set up and running. For instance, a newbie starting an entirely new aquarium will want to check their nitrate levels every 2 -3 days. Some even find it helpful to do it daily until their tank’s environment thrives.

But every two or three days is more than enough. It’ll help ensure your new tank achieves acceptable nitrate levels much quicker. Once these levels are reached (less than ten ppm), the checks can be toned down a little to about once weekly.

Of course, this testing can only be done with a high-quality nitrate monitor test kit. So it’s best to pick a trustworthy option like Salifert’s Nitrate (No3) Test Kit or Nutrafin’s Mini Master Test Kit. I found both more than capable of providing accurate and viable results.

How do I get rid of nitrate?

Lowering or eliminating nitrate levels is a simple process. For instance, changing your water is the easiest and most effective way to accomplish this goal. But the process will need to be done in stages to ensure you aren’t affecting the beneficial bacteria in the tank.

So I’d recommend starting by reducing your water level to 20%, refilling to 40%, and easing back to 20% once again. Although it may seem weird, it’ll reduce the nitrate level quickly and efficiently.

Once this part’s done, repeat it and refill your tank fully. You should then test your water to see if the nitrate level is where you want it. Aquarium owners should be gunning for anything less than ten ppm.

How long is my test kit good for?

In most cases, solutions inside a test kit are usable for a year after opening. But there are a few factors at play capable of shortening their lifespan. One of them would be where you store them when not in use.

For instance, outdoor storage will significantly impact the test kit’s lifespan. It could even shrink it by half to only six months. So I often recommend indoor storage in cool and dark places when possible.

Another thing to consider is every test kit will come with expiration dates. Therefore, don’t take this year-long lifespan as a certainty. You’ll be much better off looking at these dates and evaluating your options from there.

Why can’t I use test strips?

You can count on aquarium test strips chart nitrate levels and other information about what’s happening inside aquarium tanks. Most people consider them enough to keep these aquariums safe and healthy for fish. But a test strip’s results provide much less accurate data than more advanced options.

For instance, a digital nitrate tester freshwater/saltwater device will be more accurate. So anyone who wants precision will rely on something other than test strips results. Instead, you’ll want something automatic or digital to monitor your tank.

The only upside of using test strips is they’re much less expensive. In contrast, a high-quality digital aquarium water tester from Hanna, for example, is a small fortune to obtain when compared to test strips or any option on our list.

As a result, it’s easy to see why many people end up purchasing test strips. The only issue is that only a few top-tier options can provide accurate results. An excellent example would be the ones used in Industrial Test Systems’ 480009 Nitrate Test Kit.

What are the most popular nitrate test kit brands?

The most highly-recognized nitrate test kit brands include the following:

  1. API Aquarium Water Test Kit
  2. Seachem Purigen for Freshwater & Saltwater
  3. API TEST STRIPS Aquarium Water Test Strips
  4. Tetra 6-in-1 Aquarium Test Strips
  5. Red Sea Fish Pharm Kit for Aquarium
  6. Salifert Calcium Test Kit – 50 to 100 Tests
  7. Tetra Test Strips for Fresh/Salt Water
  8. Seachem Ammonia Alert
  9. Instant Ocean SeaTest Hydrometer
  10. Stript Health 7-Way Aquarium Test Strips

How to use nitrate test kits?

Using a tank test kit is quite easy; the steps are as follows:

  • Fill the test tube with aquarium water. Typically, 5 ml of tank water to be tested is enough. You may consider utilizing a disposable pipette when transferring the tank water to the tube to ensure the accuracy of results.
  • Carefully add your testing solution. Hold the testing solution and put 3 drops into the test tube. Note that a colored cloud will start to form in the water when you add the drops. Make sure the solution is not yet expired.
  • Shake the solution carefully. This is to mix the testing solution evenly with water.
  • Compare the tank test kit to the color chart. Carefully match the test tube’s color with the color of the chart that is included in the test kit. Please be guided that whichever color is closest will be the outcome of the test. Generally, the test will only take a few minutes and you can also get the results right away.

Do nitrate test kits work for both fresh and salt water?

Due to a very fragile ecosystem in a tank, it is critical to go for a tank water test kit if you are absolutely serious about keeping your aquarium inhabitants safe, healthy and happy.

Fortunately, there are several tests that work for both freshwater and saltwater simply because the two aquariums are not as distinct as one may perceive.

While this isn’t often the case, many a time, the same elements that are harmful to saltwater fish are also unhealthy to freshwater fish. Some tests are not simply applicable in some instances, specifically when it comes to saltwater and freshwater tanks concerns.

Where to buy?

You can purchase aquarium nitrate test kits in leading online stores such as eBay, Amazon, Lowes, and other trusted online shopping sites. Indeed, you may also opt for local fish stores located in your area. Products like these are luckily not so difficult to find.


It is necessary to have the best nitrate test kits to sustain pH, magnesium, nitrates, nitrites and carbonates levels in your tanks. In point of fact, a correct balance of valuable minerals and comprehensive alleviation of dangerous particles will lead to a nutrient-filled and happier stomping ground for your marine pets to live in.

Essentially, you could either choose a tank water test kit that provides an array of varied examinations, or you could opt for specially designed packages for certain criteria like pH, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates levels.

Bear in mind that your decision or judgment will highly rely on your requirements, needs, and the kinds of inhabitants in your tank. With the product reviews detailed above, you can definitely narrow down your search and be able to come up with a well-informed decision to ensure that you get your real money’s worth!