Aquarium water test kits are one of the first pieces of equipment that are purchased by all aquarists.
It definitely helps in maintaining the proper water conditions in a thriving aquarium and gives us vital information for stocking and maintaining a stable aquarium.
With the varieties of aquarium water test kits available, how would you know which one you would need and why?
For the marine hobbyist, the standard test kits that should be on every hobbyists shelf should include alkalinity, pH, Calcium, magnesium, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, and ammonia.
All that’s left for you to decide is to pick which type and brand.
Let’s start with the “type” of test kits. For the most part there are two types: titrimetric and colorimetric tests.
Titrimetric test kit
It again uses a reagent or reagents of a known strength to the test water until a reaction occurs, usually a color change.
Unlike the colorimetric test, the titration test will usually have you count the drops of the reagent or refer to a chart that corresponds to the amount of reagent used, which will give you the concentration of the substance you are testing for.
Colorimetric test kit
It is simply a test that forms a color. Generally you will add a reagent or reagents to the water you are testing and match the color with a color chart that will determine the amount of the substance in the water you are testing for.
I myself use both types.
I use a titrimetric test kit to test my phosphate and nitrate level.
Why test phospate level?
Well, phosphate can enter your aquarium through tap water, fish waste and decaying organics such as uneaten food or dead algae.
As phosphate increases so does your chance of having unsightly algae and green water blooms. In saltwater, phosphate can also inhabit the growth of corals and other reef building organisms.
I would recommend:
Aquarium Pharmaceuticals (API) products This kit allows you to easily and accurately measure the phosphate level and maintain a healthy aquarium. It does 150 tests.
The Phosphate Kit contains: two dropper bottles for accurate dispensing of test solutions, easy to read instructions and color charts, one non-staining glass test tube with snap-tight cap.
- For fresh and saltwater
- High phosphate leads to algae growth
- Easy to read test kit
I will give this product a “5 star” rating for the ease of use.
Another great thing about Aquarium Pharmaceuticals (API) products that I cannot stress enough is “safety“. Their test kits have childproof locks which is really great! Many of us have children around our aquariums and even households without children should be aware of the danger that some of these chemicals pose.
I use Mardel 5-in-1 test kit for the other water parameters often tested. This kit is a colorimetric test kit type.
They use the same technology found in medical labs and replace other potentially toxic and time-consuming kits.
They are designed to be accurate and dependable while being safe and easy to use. It tests your aquarium water for pH, hardness, alkalinity, nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia the quick, easy, accurate and safe way.
It will give you results in just one minute or less.
- Contains one (1) API 5-IN-1 TEST STRIPS Freshwater and Saltwater Aquarium Test Strips 25-Count Box
- Monitors levels of pH, nitrite, nitrate carbonate and general water hardness in freshwater and saltwater aquariums
- Dip test strips into aquarium water and check colors for fast and accurate results
- Helps prevent invisible water problems that can be harmful to fish and cause fish loss
- Use for weekly monitoring and when water or fish problems appear
Aquarium water test kits are one of the vital parts of our aquarium system. The ones mentioned in this article are my choice and what I would highly recommend to others.
The aquarium water test kits products mentioned here provide me with accuracy, safety, and ease of use.
I hope that some of the points I mentioned about my preferred testing brands will help you in finding a test kit that suits your needs as well.
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Last update on 2023-06-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API