Best Aquarium Testing Supplies

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington

Depending on what kind of fish you’re stocking your tank with, you’re going to need to test the water to make sure it’s just right. Here are the best aquarium testing supplies to help you out.

Dogs, cats, and other traditional pets interact with their owners on a daily basis. Over time, you get a feel for your pet’s personality and you can easily tell when something is wrong. Aquarium fish are not the kind of pet you typically interact with, and they don’t have as much personality. This makes it tricky to know when something in the tank isn’t quite right. So, what do you do?

As an aquarium hobbyist, it is your responsibility to make sure your tank is set up to provide for the needs of your aquarium fish. Different species have different requirements, so the only way to know whether your tank is within the proper parameters is to test the tank water. Read on to learn more about testing your aquarium water and to see our recommendations for testing supplies.

Best Aquarium Testing Supplies

You don’t necessarily need to spend a small fortune on aquarium testing supplies, but you should be able to test the essentials mentioned above. If you’re not sure where to start, pick a basic testing kit and learn how to use it. Over time, you may decide to upgrade to something with more testing options.

Here are the top aquarium testing supplies we recommend:

1. API Master Test Kits for Aquariums

Affordably priced under $25, this comprehensive aquarium water test kit is great for beginners. It comes with 7 bottles of testing solution, a color card, and four glass tubes with a cap for testing. Choose from a freshwater, reef, or saltwater kit.

2. API Aquarium Test Strips

If you prefer not to deal with mixing solutions to test your tank water, these test strips are a great option. The kit comes with 5-in-1 test strips that makes it easy to monitor levels of pH, nitrite, nitrate, and water hardness with a single dip. Just dip the strip into a water sample from your tank and compare the colors to the color card.

3. Tetra Easy Strips Aquarium Test Strips

These easy test strips make it quick and simple to test 7 different aspects of water chemistry in your tank with a single strip. Test chlorine, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, GH, KH, and pH all in a single dip. What could be easier than that?

4. JNW Direct 7-in-1 Aquarium Test Strips

This test kit comes with 50 or 150 strips that enable you to test 7 aspects of water chemistry with a single water sample. Test total water hardness, free chlorine, nitrite, nitrate, pH, total alkalinity, and KH/carbonate with just one dip.

5. Capetsma 9-in-1 Aquarium Test Strips

Take your water testing one step further with these 9-in-1 aquarium test strips. In addition to the 7 parameters tested by the previous option, you’ll also be able to check for levels of iron and copper in your tank water.

6. Stript Health 7-Way Aquarium Test Strips

Another option in 7-way aquarium water testing, these strips offer fast results. Plus, you get 100 strips in one bottle for just $15.

7. HoneForest Water Quality Tester

If you’re not sure how to properly read aquarium water test strips or you want something more accurate, try this water quality tester. Simply turn it on and use it to stir a water sample then see your results on a clear LCD screen in a matter of seconds.

8. Life20 Ultimate 14-in-1 Aquarium Test Kit

Measure 14 different aspects of aquarium water chemistry all in one test strip with this kit. It is reliable, cost-effective, and very easy to use.

9. API Nitrite Test Kit

Maintaining high water quality in your tank is essential for the health and wellness of your fish. As waste products break down, they produce ammonia which is then broken down into nitrite. This test kit helps you quickly and accurately test nitrite levels in your tank so you can fix high levels with a water change, if needed.

10. Seachem Ammonia Alert

The presence of ammonia in your fish tank can quickly turn catastrophic for your fish. The secret to a healthy, happy fish tank is to recognize that there is a problem before any sign of stress. The Seachem Ammonia Alert sensor is a great solution to this problem, providing you with continuous monitoring without spending all of your time testing.

Simply place the sensor in your fish tank in an easy-to-spot location and give it a few days to balance itself out with the levels in your water. After this time, it will continue to monitor ammonia levels on an ongoing basis using a color-changing sensor.

The color sensor design is easy to read, even for first-time fish keepers. When the sensor is yellow, your fish are safe. However, if you see it transitioning to green or blue, it’s time to act!

Tips for Testing Your Aquarium Water

When it comes to maintaining a home aquarium, there are a number of elements you need to keep track of. In addition to keeping the tank at a stable temperature, you also need to think about things like ammonia levels, water hardness, pH level, and more. The only way to keep track of these parameters is to test your tank water on a regular basis.

Here are some tips for testing your aquarium water:

  • Take some time to research the species of fish in your tank and learn their requirements for different aspects of aquarium water chemistry.
  • Start with aquarium water test strips – they are the simplest testing method to use because you simply dip them in a water sample.
  • Test your aquarium water once a week and record the results in a notebook – this will help you establish the “normal” levels for your tank so you can spot a problem if something changes.
  • Once you get the hang of aquarium test strips, you might want to upgrade to a more comprehensive test kit so you can get more specific results.
  • Make adjustments to your aquarium water chemistry as needed, indicated by the results of your weekly testing.
  • If you notice your aquarium fish exhibiting signs of stress (such as flashing, gaping, or lolling on the bottom of the tank), test your water to see if it is an issue with the tank chemistry.

Your home aquarium is a captive environment in which your fish spend their entire lives. Use the testing equipment we’ve recommended above to ensure that the conditions in your tank stay within the proper limits to keep your fish happy and healthy.

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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