15 Best Aquarium Test Kits Reviews 2021 | Saltwater & Freshwater

If you are a marine life enthusiast, then you must have an aquarium in your home residing fish and other aquatic organisms.

Aquarium Test KitsIt is essential for you to have the best aquarium test kits to maintain and monitor the levels of different elements. These elements include ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, carbon, iodine, magnesium, pH levels, etc.

The presence of these elements inside your aquarium might prove dangerous and sometimes even fatal for your aquatic friends.

Since most of us are using tap water, therefore these tests also serve the purpose of providing the level of different constituents in your tap water.

Moreover, these readings can help you make a well-reasoned and educated guess while introducing essential minerals. These important minerals include iodine or magnesium in your aquarium.

Types of Aquarium Test Kits

There are eleven different types of test kits available, that can be performed on an aquarium to keep a safe and healthy environment for the fish. Those eleven test kits include:

  1. Alkalinity Test Kit
  2. Ammonia Test Kit
  3. Calcium Test Kit
  4. Chloramine Test Kit
  5. Chlorine Test Kit
  6. Copper Test Kit
  7. Iodine Test Kit
  8. Magnesium Test Kit
  9. Nitrate Test Kit
  10. Nitrite Test Kit
  11. pH Test Kit

Alkalinity Test Kit

The alkalinity test is used to determine the stability of pH shift levels in your aquarium and fish tanks. To maintain a stable environment inside your aquarium, the readings for this test should be in the range of 7 dkH to 12 dkH.

Ammonia Test Kit

Ammonia is accumulated in the tank as a result of fish excretions and their decomposing food. It is one of the leading causes of fish death in aquariums. The readings showing the presence of ammonia in your aquarium should be zero.

Calcium Test Kit

This test helps you to keep a stable level of calcium in your fish tanks. Also, when you introduce calcium in your tanks for the growth of corals, this test helps you in maintaining the calcium levels.

Moreover, it will help you to determine when and how often to dose calcium in your aquarium.

Chloramine Test Kit

As the name suggests itself, this compound is a combination of chlorine and ammonia. This is usually used to disinfect water and is slightly stronger than ammonia.

This compound is harmful to your aquatic animals, and therefore, the levels of chloramine need to be kept in constant check-in your aquarium.

Chlorine Test Kit

This chemical is abundantly found in tap water and is used for disinfecting the water and killing bacteria. On the other hand, this chlorine can also be fatal for your fish.

Therefore, it needs to be cleaned from the water before it goes inside the tanks and the levels need to be kept under constant monitoring.

Copper Test Kit

Copper is one of the elements that are never needed by a fish, and its presence can prove fatal for them. This element can be introduced into tap water if you have old copper pipes.

Therefore, the copper levels should be checked, and the component needs to be removed from the water before pouring it in the aquarium.

Iodine Test Kit

This test kit is usually required for saltwater because a saltwater aquarium shall contain corals as well as invertebrates.

Iodine is an essential nutrient for these organisms, but overdosing can be dangerous for them. Therefore, this test can keep a check on the Iodine levels in your aquarium.

Magnesium Test Kit

The range of magnesium in natural saltwater is 1200 ppm to 1400 ppm. These levels should also be maintained in your saltwater aquarium.

This test will help in determining the presence and maintaining the acceptable level of magnesium in aquariums.

Nitrate Test Kit

Nitrates are converted into nitrites inside an aquarium by the cycling process. They might not be as dangerous as ammonia or nitrates but can still be harmful to your fish.

This test kit will help in maintaining the ideal levels of Nitrate in your aquarium which is 20 ppm or less. The levels of nitrate can only be reduced by partial or total replacement of water inside the aquarium.

Nitrite Test Kit

The bacteria in your aquarium are responsible for the conversion of ammonia into Nitrites which is lethal for your aquatic friends. This test will help maintain the ideal levels of Nitrite in your aquarium which is zero.

The levels of nitrite can only be reduced by partial or total replacement of water inside the aquarium.

pH Test Kit

This test gives an accurate picture of the alkalinity levels inside your aquarium. It ranges from 0 to 14 where zero is highly acidic, seven is neutral, and fourteen is highly necessary.

This test will help in maintaining the pH level in your aquarium based on the requirement of the fish that you are keeping in there.

Top 15 Aquarium Test Kits Review

After thorough research and evaluation of different products, we have formulated a list of fifteen best Aquarium Test kits to fulfill your needs.

Also, this exhaustive list will help you in choosing one of the most accurate aquarium test kits for yourself.

1. API Aquarium Water Test Kit

This water testing kit is beneficial in maintaining suitable surviving conditions for your fish in the aquarium. It can monitor PH, Nitrite, and Nitrate levels in water most accurately.

As the name suggests, this can only be used in freshwater aquariums. The kit includes seven bottles of testing solutions, one color card, and four glass tubes along with their caps.

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  • Contains all the must-know tests
  • Easy to use


  • Lacks Test-tube holders

2. Seachem Purigen for Freshwater & Saltwater

This test can control Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates which are the essential components of fish excretions. These three substances are very harmful to them.

This test contains a unique synthetic polymer that is regenerable. It comes in 100 ml bags.

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  • Renewable
  • Easy to Use


  • Very Cloudy water can reduce the usage time of the bag

3. API TEST STRIPS Aquarium Water Test Strips

This test is equally helpful in checking the level of harmful substances inside the aquarium in freshwater as well as saltwater.

The toxic substances include pH, Nitrates, Nitrites, Carbonation, and general hardness of the water.

However, it doesn’t test the levels of ammonia. The box contains 25 strips for testing your aquarium.

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  • Reasonably accurate
  • Economical
  • quick


  • Doesn’t test ammonia
  • Slightly challenging to distinguish between different colors

4. Tetra 6-in-1 Aquarium Test Strips

The test prevents false readings by stopping different chemical reactions within sixty seconds while you are testing the water in your aquarium.

The hardness test for this product is accurate, and it is convenient to use. Apart from hardness, this test can measure nitrates, nitrites, alkalinity, and pH Levels.

It comes with 25 strips and this is one of the best saltwater aquarium test kits.

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  • Easy to read
  • Quick


  • Color Chart is inside the label

5. Tetra Test Strips for Fresh/Salt Water

This test is useful in getting accurate readings because it stops all chemical reactions within 60 seconds.

This test is used to measure hardness, levels of nitrates, nitrites, alkalinity and pH levels in water inside your aquarium.

The package comes with 100 Strips so the more, the merrier.

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  • Easy to read
  • Quick


  • Color Chart is inside the label

6. Seachem Ammonia Alert

As the name suggests, this test is specifically for ammonia and is more of a reader rather than a trial. It will give you a continuous reading regarding the levels of ammonia in your aquarium.

The interpretations are based on the Sachem Sensor Technology. There is no hassle of strips or tests.

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  • Fairly accurate reading
  • Easy to use


  • Can only give readings regarding ammonia levels.

7. Red Sea Fish Pharm Kit for Aquarium

The test is very efficient in eliminating Aiptasia from your aquarium which can be harmful to your marine friends.

The other name for Aiptasia is glass anemones and can usually enter the aquarium with live rock or coral as a source.

The kit includes a plunger and two different shape needle applicators.

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  • Easy to use
  • Instant results


  • Low quality

8. Seachem Stability 250ml

This product can be equally helpful for either freshwater or saltwater. Overdosing, whether accidentally or intentionally may not be harmful to your aquarium residents but you should be careful while using this product.

The product will break down the waste organics, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrites to provide a safe habitat for marine life to survive and thrive.

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  • Easy to Use
  • Quick Results
  • Perfect for a new tank


  • Expensive

9. Instant Ocean SeaTest Hydrometer

This product can easily and quickly measure the level of salt levels as well as specific gravity inside your aquarium.

The design of the product allows you to have your hands dry while performing the tests. The reading marks are easy to read and full scale.

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  • Economical
  • No wet hands
  • Compact


  • Inaccurate Readings

10. Stript Health 7-Way Aquarium Test Strips

This is an easy to use, multi-purpose testing kit that can quickly calculate levels of carbonate, Alkalinity, pH, General Hardness, Free Chlorine, Nitrate, and Nitrites just with a single dip.

The results of the test are relatively quick so that your fishes and marine animals can live and thrive easily inside your aquarium in perfect living conditions.

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  • Economical
  • Easy to Use
  • Quick Results


  • Inaccurate readings due to bleeding colors

11. JNW Direct Aquarium Test Strips 7 in 1

The product is helpful for seven different tests including total hardness, free chlorine, nitrites, nitrates, pH, total alkalinity, and carbonates.

There are 150 strips which means they are suitable for 150 tests. The results are quick and reliable whereas the kit is easy to use.

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  • Economical
  • 150 testing strips


  • Low quality
  • All tests are not accurate

12. Salifert Calcium Test Kit – 50 to 100 Tests

As the name suggests, this testing kit will give you accurate levels of calcium inside your aquarium.

This will help you to maintain the ideal calcium level to improve your aquarium friends to survive and thrive and have a suitable living environment.

The kit can perform up to 100 tests.

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  • Easy to use
  • Quick Results


  • Inaccurate results

13. American Marine Pinpoint ORP Monitor

This testing kit can measure the levels of ORP (oxidation-reduction potential or REDOX) inside your aquarium.

The product is beneficial for the people who use potassium permanganate as an artificial agent for the oxidation of fresh or saltwater in their aquarium.

It helps to keep a check on the living environment for the fishes and take any precautionary steps if need be.

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  • Good Quality
  • Quick Results


  • Difficult calibration

14. Salifert Magnesium Test Kit

This kit provides the levels of magnesium in your aquarium.

Maintaining balanced levels of magnesium helps your fish and other marine life to comfortably live and thrive in your aquarium.

The kit is good for a maximum of fifty tests.

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  • Easy to use
  • Quick Results
  • Accurate results


  • Difficult reading of results

15. API MASTER Aquarium Water Test Kit

The test kit is useful in monitoring the levels of ammonia, pH, nitrites, and nitrates in your aquarium. It is essential in providing a natural and nutritious environment for your aquatic life to survive and thrive.

The kit contains an API saltwater master test kit and an API marine flakes 1.1-ounce fish food to provide essential nutrients for your fish.

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  • Easy to use
  • Multipurpose


  • Expensive

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I test my aquarium water for?

It is very important to keep a close check on the aquarium water. The water chemistry is an essential factor to determine.

It is the term used to describe the important elements included in the water. Usually, it is recommended that you consider the pH, hardness, ammonia levels and nitrates in the aquarium water.

How often should you test your aquarium water?

It is very important to keep a close check on the water. Water check determines the health of the water and the ammonia levels.

Once in a month test is enough but if the fish are dying, then you may test it accordingly. The tests will show how well your aquarium is doing.

Can I use RO water for a fish tank?

RO or reverse osmosis water is a great choice for aquariums. Although it is expensive, it guarantees a longer life for the fish. RO ensures a long life for fish of all kinds.

It also helps in the growth and healthy development of your color water pets.

How do I reduce ammonia in my freshwater aquarium?

The ammonia levels can be reduced in some easy to follow steps. After the ammonia test comes positive:

  • Replace half of the water
  • Clean your gravel
  • Remove the rotten growth
  • Clean and unclog the filter
  • Reduce the feeding
  • Add ammonia pellets
  • Clear the leftover feed

What is the best water to use for a fish tank?

Usually, the aquarium owners prefer adding tap water. The two recommended options are tap water and RO water.

RO water is a healthy option but requires frequent rebuffing. If you own the freshwater fish, then it is better to fill the fish tank with tap water.

How do I lower the pH in my freshwater aquarium?

PH levels are a must for the long life of the fish and the healthy aquarium. The pH levels can have negative implications for the fish.

If you feel that your fish are feeling uneasy and falling ill, test the pH. The pH levels can be reduced by adding RP water, driftwood, peat moss, and the Cappella leaves.

How often should I clean my fish tank?

The fish tank requires cleaning when you observe some adverse changes in the fish tank.

The cleaning needs to be done as the tank gets messy and stinky. Twice a month cleaning can be helpful. This will involve cleaning of gravel, filters, and water.

It is also important to remove unused food and algae.

How can I improve the water quality in my aquarium?

It is very important to have quality water added to your fish tank. The water quality can do wonders. It is not a difficult thing.

Just follow the given points for creating a perfect aquatic environment:

  • Ensure a healthy aquarium setting by adding substrate.
  • Keep testing the water frequently.
  • Change the water as things start getting out of hand.
  • Add plants to give natural water cleaners.
  • Introduce biological filtration.

How do you check ammonia levels in a fish tank?

It is important to keep the ammonia levels low. The ammonia levels can increase at any time.

It is observed when the fish start dying. You can buy the ammonia kits to test the ammonia levels.

What temperature should my fish tank be for cichlids?

The temperature of the water must be between 73 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The water needs to stay warm.

These are tropical fish and therefore require comparatively hot water. It is better that you add a heater to your fish tank.

This will help you bring the temperature to the required levels.

What is a safe nitrate level in the aquarium?

The nitrite levels need to be negligible in the fish water tank. The increase in the nitrate level can be risky for the fish in the water.

The aquarium experts suggest that the nitrite levels must be low than even 0.5 ppm. Higher than this can be stressful for the fish.

Can fish die if the water is too cold?

The fish used in the aquarium is of two types being tropical and cold-water fish. The cold water fish love the cold water, so the cold or low-temperature water is not risky for them.

On the contrary, tropical fish cannot survive the cold temperature. Therefore, the life of the fish is at stake if the water is not according to the natural needs.

What is the pH of RO water?

Water has a certain pH. The pH level makes it either alkaline or acidic. The RO water allows the gases of different nature to pass through RO water. This makes the pH between 6 and 7.

Hence, the RO water gets acidic. The pH can be altered by adding certain chemicals as required.

Why my aquarium fishes are dying?

If your fish are dying, check for the following reasons:

  • The water is getting unfavorable due to high ammonia levels, nitrites or the pH.
  • The water is not changed as required.
  • The fish are getting bothered by the unfavorable surroundings.
  • The size of the aquarium is smaller, but you have ore fish in it.
  • They are overfed.


To summarize, you will always be needing the best aquarium test kits freshwater for maintaining the levels of nitrites, nitrates, pH, carbonates, and magnesium in your aquariums.

A perfect balance of essential minerals and complete elimination of harmful elements will result in a friendly and nutritious environment for your fish to live.

You can either select a kit that gives a range of different tests, or you can choose specialized packages for specific criteria such as nitrates, nitrites, ammonia or pH levels.

Your choice will depend on your need, requirement, and types of marine life in your aquarium.

(Last Updated On: January 19, 2021)

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