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Get the Best Fish Tank Test Kits for Your Swimming Friend
Last updated: 20 Jul 2021
Fish are usually seen as easy or dull pets, but they are absolutely the opposite. Taking good care of pet fish is a hobby many across the globe enjoy. While some people have extravagant, wild aquariums full of small and large fish alike, most people have a 20-50 gallon tank to enjoy and take care of themselves. One of, if not the, most important part of caring for your swimming friends is taking excellent care of the water. Without the right pH balance or temperature, your fish are vulnerable to many elements that might kill them. Finding the best fish tank test kits in 2021 is as important as finding the right aquarium. We’ve compiled a list below to help you easily select exactly what you need. These at-home test kits offer a variety of ways to measure your water with ease, so keep reading to ensure your fish are there for you like you are for them!
This test kit has all the equipment needed to collect and test for individual measurements of pH, nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia– the five most important measurements for your freshwater fish tank. The kit includes all the tools you’ll need to take accurate measures: seven bottles of testing solution, color cards, and glass sample tubes. The supplies are packaged in a plastic box for cleanliness and the price-point is nothing to fret over.
API Master test kits are easy to use
The kit has enough reagent chemicals for 800 tests
Test results are available in 10 minutes
The color card has numerous options for precision matching with the tested sample
The API Master test kit vials can leak if the caps aren’t secure
Leaving the test solution in the vial longer than instructed may stain the inside of the tube
The dropper bottles can release more than a drop of reagent at a time
One test strip documents chlorine, carbonate, nitrate, nitrite, pH, and water hardness levels in freshwater and saltwater habitats in one minute. These are so easy to use, all you do is dip a strip in the tank. Strips are wrapped in packs of 50. Because they’re so easy to use, it will no longer be a hassle to do a weekly check on your fish’s water. These strips can even be stored for up to two years, so you’ll have plenty of supplies on hand.
RUNBO Aquarium 6 in 1 Test Strips are easy to use and read
The test strip needs to be submerged for only two seconds
The testing procedure doesn’t require significant prep work
The screw-top bottle keeps tests clean and dry until use
RUNBO’s general hardness test can be difficult to read because it involves multiple colors
The color on the strips can run when wet, making some of the results inaccurate
Abbreviations next to each color are not spelled out
Use one test stick to measure seven metrics: pH, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, chlorine, alkalinity, and water hardness. Compare used strips with color coded labels on the bottle for results. A bottle has 25 tests and is inexpensive with a strong reputation. This strip tests 7 things at once, saving you time and making your job easier. These EasyStrips are able to be used in freshwater and saltwater tanks.
Tetra test strips provide an accurate reading in 45 seconds
Instructions are simple to follow
It’s nearly impossible to lose the test result color guide because it’s on the outside of the bottle
There’s no test prep needed
Tetra test strips won’t work right if the test pads are contaminated by your hands
If the label on the bottle gets wet, it can interfere with matching the test strip
Results on strips may change if left out for longer than intended
NYOS designed this kit for accuracy, and it shows. This test is a bit more expensive than others on our list, but the quality demands it. This testing kit includes a calibrated dropper and reagents that conform to NIST, AAS, and EN ISO 9001 standards. It measures nitrates from 1-160 mg/l. This laboratory-quality test ensures that you will get a proper reading every time you test your fish tank, therefore ensuring your fish is living in a good environment.
The NYOS test kit comes with straightforward instructions, making it easy to use
The color-coded comparison chart takes the guesswork out of visual analysis
Results show up promptly, within about five minutes
‘The kit includes everything needed to carry out tests
The NYOS test kit can’t reliably discern numbers lower than one
The snap-on caps for the vials can leak if not secured properly
Keeping a healthy and balanced environment for fish is very important for their growth and wellbeing. The only way to maintain this sort of environment for your fish is by regularly testing the water in your fish tanks. This means that carrying out tests on your fish tank is directly linked to keeping healthy fish. To ensure that your fish flourish, you have to make certain that your fish tanks remain at a level similar to their natural habitat. Anything below that quality can lead to fish illness, and if not properly monitored, death.
The most popular parameters used to gauge the quality of the water in your fish tank are Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate concentrations, and pH levels. These parameters are not detectable by the naked eye and are also prone to constant fluctuations, so the only way to guarantee that they are always within the desired range is to carry out weekly fish tank tests. To do that well, you need to get a reliable fish tank test kit.
There are several important details for you to consider when trying to choose a fish tank test kit, and in this buying guide we cover every single one of them.
Why You Need a Fish Tank Test Kit
There are so many things that can cause the water in your fish tank to have problems. It can be due to an accumulation of fish waste and uneaten food, or it could be due to a build-up of organic matter. It can even be that you added untreated water to your tank. Whatever the reason is, once your fish tank becomes less than ideal, serious danger could be posed to your fish. And what’s more? There’s no way to differentiate between water that is less than ideal and water that isn’t using just your eyes.
This is where fish tank test kits come in. These kits help you maintain an optimal level to your fish tank and alert you whenever there is an imbalance in your fish tank. Fatal changes to the water in your fish tank usually happen gradually, and consistent use of test kits helps you get right on top of these changes.
Categories of Fish Tank Test Kits
Fish tank test kits are categorized by what they test for. Some popular types include:
Master Test Kits
A master test kit is simply a combination of multiple individual test kits. They are ideal for beginners because they can test for several water parameters.
Ammonia Test Kits
Ammonia test kits are up there with the most necessary individual test kits. Ammonia within your fish tank could be of two forms; the ionized form (also known as ammonium), and the non-ionized form. Some ammonia test kits test for both the total ammonia level and the level of non-ionized ammonia, while others test only for the level of total ammonia.
Nitrite Test Kits
Nitrite test kits are super important for new fish tanks and should be used weekly in the early stages. For fish tanks that are already established, it is recommended that nitrite tests are carried out every month or whenever a fish gets sick.
Nitrate Test Kits
High levels of Nitrate in fish tanks can lead to fish stress, which in turn leaves them more vulnerable to diseases. For this reason, it is important to use nitrate test kits regularly.
General Hardness/Carbonate Hardness Test Kits
These kits are used to measure the concentrations of dissolved minerals in your fish tank. The GH and KH parameters are particularly important because they determine the species of fish which can flourish in fish tanks.
pH Test Kits
Changes in pH levels, whether gradual or sudden, are typically harmful to the health of your fish. As such, consistent pH tests are essential if you want to maintain optimal levels in your fish tanks.
Things to Look Out For When Buying Fish Tank Test Kits
Before going to buy your test kits, you need to determine the level of accuracy that you are looking for. If the fish in your tanks are a species that are sensitive to slight changes, then you must go for test kits that offer high accuracy levels. But with species that can adapt to subtle shifts in the water chemistry, you can settle for tests with lower accuracy levels.
The thing with accuracy is that the more detailed and on-point the test kit’s results are, the more expensive they come.
Tests Per Kit
Depending on how regularly you want to run tests on your tanks, you might need to consider how many tests you can perform with a particular kit before the materials run out. Larger kits can last for many months and carry out several tests.
Ease of Use
Some test kits are much more easily figured out than others. Dip strips, for example, offer you a level of convenience that you might not get with more complicated tests. You need to decide whether you are going for the straightforward test kits which can be used in less than a minute, or the ones that require a lot more processes.
Considering that you will be carrying out tests pretty regularly, you need to consider the price range of test kits you are getting. Target the ones that match your spending power so that you wouldn’t get overwhelmed with the costs of refilling or replacing the components of the kits.
Fish Tank Test Kits Price Ranges
Cheap fish tank test kits can be bought anywhere within the $8-$15 range. For this price, you can get kits that test for only a single parameter.
Test kits that fall within this category will cost between $15 and $20. They are also mostly single parameter kits, but they usually can carry out a lot more tests.
The most expensive fish tank test kits will cost you between $20 and $40. These are typically the master test kits that can test for different water parameters for your fish tank.
Fish Tank Test Kits FAQs:
Can the same test kits be used for both saltwater and freshwater tanks?
Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate test kits work for saltwater and freshwater tanks, but the color cards used to compare the test results may vary.
Should I go for Test Strip kits or Liquid Tests?
That depends on what you are going for. Test strips are much more convenient and easier to use, but liquid tests offer you more in-depth test results.
Growing up in a seaside town, Manuel gained an immediate appreciation for aquatic life. His current home features a massive aquarium, teeming with fish, algae, and other aquatic pets. He's volunteered his time to give advice on aquatic pets of all shapes and sizes.