Best Aquarium Water Test Kit-2021

Aquarium water is a key component for keeping fish which should be maintained properly. Aquarium water contains lots of chemical substances such as O2, CO2, magnesium, ammonia, iodine, nitrates, nitrites and pH, hardness, alkalinity, etc. which should be kept appropriate level otherwise there will be dangerous and possibly will be lethal to your aquarium inhabitants.  It is important that all the water quality parameters should be measured wearing appropriate lab coat
for proper protection. 

Water testing kits play a key role to keep the water healthy and balanced for your aquarium environment to thrive.  There are many water test kits in the market which are particularly designed for the aquarium to maintain proper water quality in your aquarium. It is important to test the water weekly basis and ensure the best aquarium environment to thrive aquarium inhabitants.

The aquarium contains various fish species and other aquarium inhabitants. It is important to ensure the best environment for your aquarium inhabitants where they can safely and healthily thrive. It is fundamental to maintain and keep all the water parameters suitable level inside the tank for all aquarium hobbyists. It is possible if you install the best aquarium water test kit available in the pet fish market today at a reasonable price.

You might also read: Best pH Meter

10 Best Aquarium Water Test Kits

Best quality water test kit ensures the tank environment healthy and keeps your tank inhabitants happy. In the pet fish market, there are lots of aquarium water test kits but it is tough to decide for selecting the best one to purchase. We make a list of 10 best aquarium water test kits in the following table that help you to choose the best one.

API Freshwater Master Test Kit

Hi every freshwater aquarium enthusiast, do you want to keep your aquarium inhabitants happy and healthy? If you want to examine the tank water on a regular basis using the water test kit, then API Freshwater Master test kit is perfect for you that can meet with your expectations.

Using this kit, you can check the tap water and aquarium water and measures the level of five different parameters such as ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, and high range pH that have an adverse effect on the health of your aquarium fish. It is easy to use and you can carry out over 800 complete tests which mean it will continue a really long time.

This test kit contains four glass test tubes, seven bottles of testing solution, a test tube rack, a holding tray, an instruction booklet, and a computer-analyzed calibrated and laminated color card. So it can tolerate getting wet during the operation of the water parameter test. Usually, this kit is sufficient to maintain and monitor a simple tank.

To test your tank water parameters, you just fill the test tube with water, add the solution drops and evaluate results by comparing it to the color card. After performing the test, you follow the recommendations on the card for further action. It is one of the most sensibly priced test kits available in the pet business sector within your budget.

The packet of this kit also provides detailed instructions for proper use. So, if you are a beginner fish keeper or expert aquarium hobbyist, you do not fail to take in using this API Freshwater Master Test Kit.

Besides these, it shows a few drawbacks. This aquarium test kit does not provide decimal results and it is not designed for saltwater aquarium.


  • It is compact and easy to store.
  • Inexpensive and easy to use.
  • It comes with detailed instructions to use.
  • It can provide an accurate result.
  • It is designed for freshwater aquarium.
  • You can precisely monitor the five most vital water parameters levels in freshwater aquariums such as nitrite, nitrate, pH, high range pH, ammonia, etc.
  • It helps examine water quality and inhibit invisible water problems that can be detrimental to fish and other aquatic organisms.
  • You can use it any time when water or fish problems come into sight.


  • It is designed to use for only freshwater fish tanks.
  • It can`t provide decimal results.

Tetra EasyStrips 6-in-1 Aquarium Test Strips for Freshwater and Saltwater

Are you looking for the versatile, convenient and easy water test kit to measure your tank water parameters? Tetra EasyStrips 6-in-1 Aquarium Test Strips is the perfect solution for you. This kit is designed using the same technology used in scientific and medical laboratories. By using this kit, you can measure six important water quality parameters such as nitrate, nitrite, chlorine, pH, hardness, and alkalinity.

It is easy, safe, non-toxic to use and gives a fast and accurate result within 60 seconds. During performing the test kit, you just dip strips exactly into your aquarium water and read the results in seconds.

If you have new aquariums, check the water daily but it should be done on an established and older aquarium weekly basis. Tetra Easy Strips Test Strips give exact results with minimal effort in water testing, using the most advanced technology.

It is ideal for new fish keepers and it is designed to measure water parameters for both freshwater and saltwater aquarium. Don’t worry, if it is your first time to run aquarium water testing. Because the water kit box contains detailed procedures with a color chart for you making it easy to take a reading. The box provides adequate strips and you can execute a total of 100 water tests using this kit.

Besides these above many unique features, it shows a few drawbacks. It has a slightly mystifying color chart that is not easy to understand when it comes to testing nitrates.


  • It is convenient to test strips suitable for both fresh and saltwater aquariums.
  • It is safe for both fresh and saltwater aquariums.
  • Complete all-in-one testing.
  • It gives a fast and accurate result within 60 seconds.
  • It is easy, safe, non-toxic to use.
  • The water kit box contains detailed procedures with a color chart for you making it easy to take a reading.
  • The box provides adequate strips and you can execute a total of 100 water tests using this one kit.


  • It shows problems for testing nitrates due to slightly mystifying color chart.

API Saltwater Master Test Kits

If you are a saltwater aquarium enthusiast and if you want to make your aquarium environment safe and healthy for your fish and invertebrates that dwell in, then API Saltwater Master Test Kit is the perfect for you that allows you to check the most important water parameters: nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, and high range pH.

This test kit provides highly accurate and exact results and you can able to use it for a long time because the test kit includes enough materials that can conduct 550 tests.

This highly precise kit box contains four test tubes with measurement caps, a total of six bottles of testing reagents, a holding tray, one computer calibrated and laminated color measurement card and one detailed instruction booklet. This test kit is well-known for its high accuracy and it can execute four different tests for saltwater aquarium: ammonia, high range pH, nitrite and nitrate.

Since, saltwater aquarium faces major problems created by ammonia, high pH, nitrite and nitrates. So, API Saltwater Master Test Kits give you guarantee and make a risk-free environment for your aquarium pets. You can use it weekly basis or whenever you feel there might be something abnormal going on in your fish tank.

As a whole, this test kit is famous for highly precise and ideal for those aquarium owners who keep saltwater fish. It provides more exact outcomes that are essential for saltwater tanks. Since this kit executes the most crucial tests that are particularly suitable for saltwater tanks. If you want to identify and solve the major water quality problems, then you should purchase this kit without any bother.


  • It helps to monitor water parameters that prevent invisible water problems.
  • It provides exact results that finally prevent fish loss.
  • You can check nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, and high range pH levels.
  • It is a budget-friendly kit.
  • Available kit for saltwater fish tank.


  • Less careful as compared to other test kits.
  • Not suitable for the secondary important tests

Stript Health 7-Way Aquarium Test Strips 100 Count For Freshwater and Saltwater Aquariums

Are you looking for dependable and multi-functional fish tank test strips that help to keep your tank water safe and clean for their tank inhabitants to dwell in? Then Stript Health 7-Way Aquarium Test Strips is the perfect option for you.

It is the multifunctional testing kit that can help you for checking a total of seven water parameters such as free chlorine, nitrate, nitrites, total alkalinity (KH), general hardness (GH), carbonate and pH levels with just one dip.

It provides very fast and exact results without waiting for a long time. You can perform 100 tests using just one bottle that makes the tank water safe without expenses huge money. As a whole, it is un-troublesome and easy to use with outstanding performance.

You can purchase it with a money-back guarantee offer that enables you to invest to purchase more confidently. It is not a complex testing procedure and you can perform to check water without any prior experience.

Besides, sometimes it shows unclear readings caused by bleeding colors. It also does not show 100% accuracy.


  • It is designed for multipurpose use.
  • It is suitable for those fish keepers who prefer quick testing and results.
  • Users get seven different results in a single dip using a single strip.
  • It provides very fast results within minutes.
  • Money-back guarantee offer.


    • It does not provide 100% accuracy.
    • Sometimes show unclear readings due to bleeding colors.

    NYOS Nitrate (NO3) Reefer Aquarium Test Kit

    A healthy aquarium environment means healthy fish. If you make your aquarium environment healthy, then you have to maintain proper water quality regularly. If regular tank maintenance is not performed over many periods, nitrate poisoning occurs. It also occurs due to overfeeding and overstocking of fish.

    Are you looking for an excellent nitrate test kit to maintain a normal level of nitrate in saltwater conditions? Then NYOS Nitrate (NO3) Reefer Aquarium Test Kit is the ideal option for you.

    The NYOS Nitrate test kit is simple and easy to use. It provides accurate and exact results and covers many levels. This aquarium test kit is designed to use for the saltwater reef aquarium. You can execute up to 50 tests using this test kit.

    This kit is inexpensive with easily useable glass vials and works wonders for you. To perform the nitrate test, you need only 2 steps for you to follow and then you have to wait for about 5 minutes to get a result. So, if you get the exact and reliable results, then The NYOS Nitrate test kit is the suitable and perfect pick for you.

    It is well-known test kits due to maintaining laboratory quality and offers a superiorly amazing price-performance ration. If you want to purchase the reliable test kit to measure the appropriate nitrate levels in a saltwater aquarium, the NYOS Nitrate test kit should be the only perfect choice for you.

    The NYOS Nitrate test kit provides reagents that are made in Germany following EN ISO 9001 standards. It also provides intuitive pictogram instructions making the procedure very easy. The box contains calibrated German-made dropper which ensures uniform drops during all repeat tests.

    Besides these, it has few drawbacks because this comes with restricted affectability in the low range. In this case, it is somewhat hard to make different the level of nitrate between the ranges from 0.25 to 0.75 mg/l. It only gives a result between 1 – 160 mg/l NO3.


    • It provides a fast and exact result.
    • Inexpensive and easy to use.
    • The box includes intuitive pictogram instructions making procedures very easy.
    • Calibrated German-made dropper ensuring uniform drops.
    • Reagents are made in Germany following EN ISO 9001 standards.


      • It is not the best option for low range results.
      • The dropper bottle is not so good.
      • Test kit itself seems quite fragile.

      API Reef Master Test Kitd

      Regular aquarium maintenance is an important part of making a safe environment. It includes regular changes of water, observing fish behavior, filter servicing and checking the water parameters. Maintenance of aquarium would not be complete without checking important water parameters.

      Regular checking water quality determines any problematic issues that help to prevent threatening problems of your aquarium inhabitants. Routine aquarium maintenance should include the vital water parameters to test: nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia, pH, total alkalinity, general hardness, etc.

      If you have a reef aquarium and if you want to check the water for providing the safe environment to your aquarium reef, then API Reef Master Test Kit is the perfect solution for you. API Reef Master Test Kit performs the test for carbonate hardness (KH), calcium, phosphate, and nitrate that are all essential to maintain the perfect balance of your aquarium reef. You should use it weekly basis to expose any unseen problems of your reef dwellers or when problems pop up.

      The kit box contains four glass test tubes, seven bottles of the test solution, one instruction booklet, and two laminated color cards. You can perform 500 tests using this one kit box.

      API Reef Master Test Kit is the awesome kit that is suitable for general maintenance and you can remain your plants and animals happy by making your tank water quality healthy. API Reef Master Test Kit is particularly designed to detect the levels of carbonate, calcium, water hardness, and phosphate. These parameters can obstruct in the way of the development of your aquarium inhabitants if they are found in incorrect levels. In this case, it is recommended you purchase the API Reef Master Test Kit and execute the tests of above-described water parameters to ensure undesirable and uncommon issues don't attack your aquarium occupants.


      • It is easy to use.
      • Provide fast and exact results.
      • Detect the invisible rare problems in your tank.
      • It performs the test for the most important aquarium levels in a Reef Aquarium.
      • Tests include Carbonate Hardness (KH), Calcium, Phosphate, and Nitrate.
      • You can execute 500 tests.
      • It is specifically designed to protect reef-dwellers from dangerous water conditions.
      • Kit Includes detailed instruction booklet on how to correct unsafe water conditions.


      • The kit box does not suitable for storage.
      • This kit only performs four tests, so usage is very limited.

      Salifert Master Reef Testing Combo Kit

      Salifert Master Reef Testing Combo Kit is a professional test kit that performs six tests including Calcium, Nitrate, Phosphate, pH, Alkalinity, and Magnesium for saltwater or marine reef tanks. This combo will check all that you need to keep your saltwater aquarium environment balance and healthy. This kit provides fast and exact results.

      The kit includes a syringe or dropper, reagent, and a test tube. The kits give extremely accurate results but it takes a little more time to complete than some other competitors.

      By using this kit, you can perform a total of six valuable and important tests in the simple and easy procedure and get results in minutes that could help marine reef tanks keep up its safety and hygiene. You may feel that it is costly at first, but if you calculate, you can reveal that it is really savvy over the long run.

      As a whole, it is absolutely a premium quality test kit that contains all valuable features that are particularly important to operate a reef tank. It may be high priced but it is more effective to solve any saltwater aquarium problems in a more consistent and convenient method.

      It is a very comprehensive, dependable and exhaustive type of marine tank water testing kit that provides guarantee accuracy. By using this kit, you can execute the water test in a simple process and get results within minutes. Aside from this, it does not provide a digital outcome which is only one drawback.


      • It provides fast, reliable and accurate results.
      • By using this kit, you can execute the six following tests: alkalinity, magnesium, calcium, nitrate, phosphate and pH levels.
      • It is simple and easy to use.
      • It is a dependable and exhaustive type of marine tank water testing kit.


        • It is expensive to buy.
        • It does not provide digital outcomes.

        Salifert Nitrate (No3) Test Kit

        Nitrate poisoning occurs if regular tank maintenance is not performed over many periods. It also occurs due to overfeeding and overstocking of fish.

        If you require only nitrate test kit, then Salifert Nitrate (No3) Test Kit is an excellent choice for you. Because it is easy to use, affordable and it is an ideal for beginner fish keepers.

        Salifert nitrate test kit provides detailed instructions booklet which makes the procedure very clear and uncomplicated to use. You can get result easily through simply matching up to the color of the water to a chart.

        It is the best item for your reef tank. It is smooth to run and it needs a few minutes to test, just you pass few steps to follow and you can get a exact reading. In this case, you should strictly follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. To know the exact nitrate level of your tank water, you should execute at least one test per week.

        Today, there are many test kits available in pet business sector and they may make many hassles during operation. But Salifert Nitrate (NO3) Test Kit is the best known premium water test kit which can provide exact nitrate measurement in your aquarium water.

        It offers a duel range nitrate result that can be used for reef tanks and only fish tanks also. The duel test offer ranges are:

        • Low range: 0.2 - 10 mg/L (ppm) as nitrate.
        • Medium range: 2.0 - 100 mg/L (ppm) as nitrate.

        It is easy to use and you can also use it to check any other issues that make harm your fish and plants. It can precisely detect nitrate level as low as 0.2 mg/l which is the perfect option for your sensitive reef tanks. It also can able to provide fast and exact results with a total time of about 3 minutes.

        It is advised that, you should clean test vial and store it in a dry place after every test operation. Besides, keep it out of reach of children.


        • It is affordable and easy to use.
        • It provides detailed instruction booklet which makes the procedure very easy.
        • It also provides fast and exact nitrate levels.
        • It is suitable for sensitive reef tanks.
        • It can also detect any unseen issues.
        • It can give result as low as 0.2 mg/l of nitrate levels


          • Sometime, it is difficult to make the difference of the color.

          Red Sea Marine Care Test Kit

          If you want to a clean, safe and sound aquarium environment for your marine aquatic inhabitants, then you should ensure the tank water free of any unwanted elements that potentially affects them. To locate the possible tank water problems, you must purchase the premium tank water test kit that can consistently and precisely monitor the water quality parameters of the tank.

          If you try to purchase the best product, Red Sea Marine Care is the best option for you because it works wonders in helping aquarium hobbyists maintain hygienic and secure tank water for their aquarium inhabitants.

          It is a multipurpose test kit that can execute the tests of most important water quality parameters: nitrite, and nitrate, ammonia, alkalinity and pH.

          You can execute each test easily and precisely using clear instructions that was provided by the manufacturers. It is inexpensive and you could   purchase it within your budget.

          As a whole, a marine care test kit includes all the basic tests that help you to run a healthy marine aquarium.

          Red Sea Marine Care Test Kit includes

          Test Name

          No. of Tests


          Test Range

          Test Type



          ± 0.1 mg/L

          0.0-2.0 ppm


          Nitrate (NO3-)


          ±1.0 mg/L

          0.0-250.0 ppm


          Nitrite (NO2-)


          ± 0.025 mg/L

          0.0-1.0 ppm




          ± 0.1 mg/L





          1 dKH/0.36 mg/L




          • This kit is suitable for marine tank.
          • You can effortlessly check the levels of ammonia, alkalinity, nitrite, pH, and nitrate.
          • It is easy and convenient to use.
          • Provides precise results in minutes.
          • The kit comes with detailed instructions and color charts that help to make the test procedure very easy.


            • Packaging is not good.

            Lifegard Aquatics 5 Way Test Strip

            If you are looking for best water test kit that performs test to check the most necessary water parameters then Lifegard Aquatics is the perfect option for you.

            Lifegard Aquatics is well-known aquarium water test kit which is appropriate for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. You can also use it to check the Garden pond water. It is simple kit but you can execute to test five different water parameters such as nitrite, nitrate, hardness, pH, and alkalinity.

            This kit contains 25 strips for performing to check five most important water parameters of freshwater or saltwater aquariums or garden pond water. The bottle is leak proof with easy open pop-top lid which prevent any moisture from getting in. A box also provides side chart which allows you to fast read results.

            The Lifegard Aquatics strips help guarantee proper water environment for your freshwater and saltwater fish and plants. As a whole, the strips in this 5 in 1 kit are non-hazardous, effortless to use and provide quick, exact results.

            It is an inexpensive and available in pet business sector today. If you want to identify and solve the major water quality problems, then you should purchase this kit without any bother.


            • The kit contains 25 tests each of alkalinity, pH, nitrite, nitrate, and hardness.
            • It is suitable for salt or fresh water aquariums or ponds.
            • It is suitable for salt or fresh water aquariums or ponds.
            • It provides fast and exact results.
            • Bottle contains leak proof pop top lid.
            • Dip and read one-step test.
            • No separate vial required.


              • The kit does not include strip for ammonia test.

              Aquarium Water Chemistry

              Aquarium water chemistry is very important for keeping the good health of fishes and other aquatic organisms. To keep fish, there are two types of aquarium, freshwater or saltwater. In this case, freshwater aquarium is used to keep different type of freshwater fish and plants while saltwater aquarium is used for fish only, fish with live rock and reef. In this case, saltwater aquarium is more expensive and more difficult to maintain. To ensure good water quality, some basic maintenance such as water changes, filtration and testing water is needed regularly. 

              Keeping good water quality is the most fundamental factor to keep up a good aquarium environment. Maintaining good water quality is one of the most challenging aspects for the aquarium hobbyists. Water contains a wide variety of chemicals and minerals which should be kept suitable level for the aquarium inhabitants. Variation of all the chemicals and minerals depends on the source of water you use to fill your tank. In this case, most of the aquarium fish keepers use tap water to fill their fish tank.

               In many cases, tap water contains harmful elements creating unfavorable environment for the tank inhabitants. You can easily remove these harmful elements using a biological filtration system. Keeping good water quality with overall health of your fish, best aquarium filter system is required.

              Aquarium Water Test Kit

              The aquarium water test kit is one kind of device. By using this tool you can accurately examine the various water quality parameters such as pH, DO, CO2, Ammonia, nitrite, chlorine and nitrate levels, alkalinity and also the hardness. You can also examine various water pollutants or constituents and various forms of bacteria present in aquarium tank water that could be dangerous and fatal to your aquatic pets and plants.

              Aquarium water test kit is reliable and very easy to use at home. The kit measures the key parameters that affect water quality in your tank. By using test kit, you will get information if nitrates, ammonia, and other toxins are present. To know the normal range for the water parameters in your tank you should check your tank water regular basis using water test kit. If you check the water on regular basis, you will get accurate information about water quality.

              If sudden change in pH or other water chemistry, you could take action immediately before it becomes a major problem for your aquarium inhabitants. Ammonia and nitrite rapidly rise in a newly set up aquarium. Hence, water testing is essential to ensure the good health of your fish for avoiding fish loss. By testing water quality, you can prevent chemicals that harm the health of your aquarium organisms.

              If the tank water quality declines, it may result excess algae growth or high chemical levels. This poor water also weakens the body resistance of fish causing powerlessness against disease. You should do routine water changes to keep your water quality high. In this case, you should make an effort to test your tank water every week to ensure the good water parameters in your tank.

              Types of Aquarium Test Kits

              Different types of aquarium test kits are found in the pet business sector at a reasonable cost. It is essential to know which kits can deliver exact outcomes with regards to tank water quality. In this case, you should pick the best one which is suitable for your needs. In the pet market, the following types of aquarium test kits are available:

              Electronic Testers

              These types of testers are designed to check the individual water parameters. They are also known as digital testers or built-in electronic meter (pH meter, ammonia meter, nitrate meter, etc). In this case, you need to purchase many testers such as one for nitrate, one for pH, another for ammonia, etc. So it can get costly.

              They are small battery operated devices that provide an exact result of a given water parameter. Generally, before using the electronic testers, a small water sample is needed to mix with either powdered chemical or a liquid which is known as reagent. This reagent is placed inside the body of the meter and the meter then gives an exact number on the front of the device.

              In this case, you have to purchase chemicals and calibrate the device periodically.


              • It provides fast results
              • It also gives more exact result than other device.


              • It is expensive to use.
              • In this case, you have to buy a tester for each parameter.
              • You have to purchase reagent chemicals.
              • Periodical calibration requires.

              Liquid Tests

              They are well-known and most standard test kits which are available in the pet business sector with sensible cost. They are longer-lasting devices than test strips. It is required 15-20 minutes to get most of your tests if you have only one tank. But for multiple tanks, over 90 minutes are needed to run a full set of tests.

              If you check the nitrate and ammonia of your tank water, you need several steps and then wait for several minutes to develop color. Sometimes, it can cause skin and eye irritants during handling.


              • It provides more exact result than test strips.
              • It has longer shelf life than strips.


              • It requires much longer time to get result than strips.
              • Sometimes, it can cause eye and skin irritants during handling.

              Dip tests/ Test Strips

              It is simplest type of test which is user-friendly and highly recommended for new fish keepers. It can able to producing instant results but precision is not 100%. To check water using dip test, you simply dip the test strip in the tank water and simply compare the color with the reference chart.

              The test strip is a slender plastic piece that contains several reactive pads which are attached along its length. In this case, each pad does reaction to different types of chemical and they can change the color if you expose it to the dissolved substances in your tank water.

              During checking the water parameter, just dip the strip into your tank water and wait for 30-60 seconds until the color develops to get results. After developing color you have to compare the strip to a color chart and finally figure out what range your tank water falls under.

              This system is easy to use but the strips do not give the most accurate result. In many cases, the strips contaminate with humidity or wet fingers giving false result.


              • It provides instant results.
              • It is easy to use.


              • It does not lasting longer period.
              • It can contaminate easily with humid air or wet fingers.
              • It does not provide always reliable result.
              • Test strips are 4 or 5 times more expensive than liquid tests.

              Benefits of Water Test Kits

              Using aquarium water test kits have some following benefits:

              • You can measure the pH level of your tank water using test kit. pH enhances the tank water quality and strengthens a healthy environment by adding an appropriate buffer.
              • You can examine the calcium level in your salt water aquarium by using the test kits. To maintain proper coral growth, calcium plays a significant role. The recommended level of calcium in fish tank water is approximately 380 -420 ppm.
              • Test kits provide readings derived from water and will inform you about all the water chemistries.
              • Test kits help to identify the superior level of phosphates causing algal bloom.
              • Test kits play an important role to examine the chlorine level in your fish tank. The chlorine level of the tank water should be 0 (zero).
              • You can analyze the level of ammonia in your tan water by using test kit. If your tank water contains high level of ammonia causing detrimental effect to your aquarium inhabitants.

              Some Important Water Quality Parameters

              Some potential problems are created due to an increase of various nutrient levels into your tank water. You can avoid this issue by measuring the water quality parameters with the help of test kit. Preventive measures help keep your tank water free of chemical unbalance. In this case, a test kit is a necessary complement to measure the water quality parameters.


              Ammonia is highly toxic to your aquarium inhabitants if the tank contains too high levels of ammonia. In this case, ammonia shows more toxic at pH levels above 7.0 and higher temperatures while it is less harmful at pH levels below 7.0 and lower temperatures. They show detrimental effects on your aquarium inhabitants and can quickly kill them.

              It is produced by breaking down of uneaten foods and from fish waste with the activities of nitrifying bacteria. Growth and activity levels of nitrifying bacteria turn down with a pH levels of 6 or below. Generally, it is produced high levels due to over feeding of your fish, stock too many fish or as part of the cycling of a new tank.

              Symptoms of Ammonia toxin

              • A red or purple color occurs around the gills.
              • Fish moves at the surface level for grasping.
              • Fish become lethargic or rest at the bottom of the aquarium.
              • Fish become pass away.

              Preventive Measures

              If you see the above signs then you should treat the tank water with a suitable ammonia remover immediately. You should avoid overfeeding or overcrowding and keep a clean tank to prevent ammonia levels from rising in the future.


              The chlorine is very harmful to fish gills and invertebrates. The tap water does contain chlorine which is not safe for fish. If you use tap water in your aquarium then you have to neutralize them with a dechlorinator before aquarium use to make it suitable for fish. The safe level of chlorine is 0 mg/l for freshwater fish.

              Normal Range: 0 mg/l for freshwater fish.

              Signs of High Chlorine Levels

              • Fish show quick and jerky movements.
              • A white tinge is seen in gills.
              • Fish appear distressed.
              • Fish jump almost from the water.

              Treatment and Preventive Measures

              • You have to adjust the tap water temperature before adding to match your tank water.
              • You can use Tetra® AquaSafe® Solution with tap water before adding to your aquarium. In this case, you should use 5 ml Tetra® AquaSafe® Solution per 5 gallons aquarium water.


              Nitrites are the secondary product of the Nitrogen Cycle. They are produced from toxic ammonia through break down by beneficial bacteria. In this case, ammonia is converted to nitrite. It works as toxic waste product when good filter bacteria are not functioning.

              It hampers the oxygen supply in your fish blood. It can cause acute fish stress and delays respiration. It is less harmful than ammonia. Generally, nitrite level rise very shortly in a newly established tank than older tank. To prevent nitrate poisoning, you should test the tank water at regular basis.

              Normal Range: 0-0.2 mg/l but 0 mg/l is ideal.

              Signs of High Nitrite Levels

              • Fish grasp for breathe at the surface of the water.
              • Fish become restless.
              • Fish show quick jerky movements.
              • Fish become lethargic.
              • Gills become brown color.
              • They show rapid gill movement.
              • Fish hang near the water outlets.

              Treatment and Preventive Measures

              • Checking of water should be done regularly to catch problems early.
              • Water changes should be done regularly.
              • If nitrite level of your tank water spike, then you should change the water up to safe level.
              • Reduce fish feeding.
              • It is recommended to increase aeration with an air pump and air diffuser.
              • Always keep your tank clean by removing any dead plants or other debris.
              • You can add aquarium salt or marine salt mix 1 to 3 teaspoons per gallon of tank water to minimize nitrite toxicity.
              • You can also add 5ml Tetra® SafeStart® Solution filter bacteria per 5 gallons of your tank water.


              Nitrites are produced in fish tank from waste product of biological filtration system. Generally, it is the third and final product of the Nitrogen Cycle. It builds up high levels over time in your tank. It can cause fish stress and algal bloom with very cloudy water. Nitrate poisoning occurs if regular tank maintenance is not performed over many periods. It also occurs due to overfeeding and overstocking of fish.

              Normal range: 0 - 20 mg/L for freshwater and 0 - 20 mg/L but 0 mg/l is ideal for saltwater

              Signs of High Nitrate Levels

              • It causes fish stress.
              • High nitrate level can cause algal bloom.
              • Water becomes very cloudy.
              • Fish rest on the tank bottom.
              • Loss of appetite.
              • Fish show high respiration rates with rapid gill movement.
              • Fish loss equilibrium or disorientation.
              • Listlessness, acting dazed.
              • In advanced stages, curl head to tail.

              Treatment and Preventive Measures

              • Perform 25% partial water changes which help lower nitrate levels.
              • Adding live plants also help to reduce nitrate level.
              • Amount of feed should be reduced.
              • Removing all uneaten food.
              • Overstock should be avoided.
              • Always keep your tank clean.
              • Increasing aeration into your tank water.
              • You can use nitrate-removing filter media.
              • You can also add 5 ml Tetra® Easy Balance® Solution per 5 gallons aquarium water.

              General Hardness (GH)

              General Hardness refers to the levels of calcium and magnesium of the total dissolved minerals in the water. It may also be referred to as total hardness. Water hardness effects on pH and its stability. When tank water contains a low amount of dissolved minerals then it is considered soft water while the water with higher amounts of minerals, is considered hard water. If the tank has soft water which can cause pH crashes causing fish stress in your tank.

              High hardness water usually contains high pH while soft water has a lower level of pH. Different aquatic species favor different environments. Some species of fish need hard water while others need soft water. For example, fish like African Cichlids favor higher levels of hardness whereas Tetras and Discus prefer lower levels of hardness. Generally, the hardness depends on the source of the water. If you use groundwater it tends to be harder while if you use surface water it tends to be softer.

              Total hardness is very important for spawning fish and raising fry because it contains calcium which is essential to egg, bone, and development of tissue. Besides these, some tropical fish species need very soft water for spawning and development. So, total hardness should be tested in most aquariums once a month. But if your tank contains breeding fish or raising fry, total hardness should be tested more frequently.

              Normal range: 75 - 200 mg/L

              Table Showing Different Water Hardness For Freshwater Aquarium

              Hardness Type


              Degrees (dGH)


              0 – 50

              0 - 3

              Moderately Soft

              50 - 100

              3 - 6

              Slightly Hard

              100 - 200

              6 - 12

              Moderately Hard

              Enter your text here...

              200 - 300

              12 - 18


              300 – 450

              18 - 25

              Extremely Hard



              Water Hardness and Its Effect on Fish

              Water hardness influences the pH value of your aquarium water. It also influences fish wellbeing since some basic fish illness medications are affected by water hardness and subsequently it should be considered while calculating the dose of medications.

              How Can I Decrease Water Harness? 

              Using Reverse Osmosis: You can easily soften the aquarium water by using reverse osmosis. It is the most economical and popular way to decrease water hardness in your aquarium. Reverse osmosis system can remove heavy minerals, contaminants, and metals from the water and ultimately lessen the water hardness.

              By Using Water Softening Pillows: There are many Water Softening Pillows manufacturers. They produce Water softening Pillows commercially and you can purchase and add them in your aquarium filters to soften the water hardness. They work well for the small-sized aquarium but it does not work well in a large aquarium.

              Using Peat: You can use peat to soften the water hardness. Generally, you can use it in your aquarium filter or soak for a couple of weeks using a large bucket then add it to the tank water. You can also keep the peat in a pillowcase and then submerged in tank water.

              Using Rainwater: You can also collect rainwater using a clean plastic bucket and then add it to the tank water to soften the tank water. In this case, chemical leaching should be prevented by using hygienic collection methods.

              Using Driftwood: You can also soften the aquarium water by adding driftwood. In this case, you have to use smaller pieces of driftwood. Firstly, boil it and cool it and then scrub to remove contamination if any. If you use driftwood to soften the hardness, water needs to be changed daily.

              How Can I increase the Water Hardness? 

              Using Crushed Coral: You can increase the water hardness in your aquarium by using crushed coral. In this case, you can add the crushed coral in the filters or use it as a substrate instead of gravel.

              Using Buffer Products: Buffer products help to increase general hardness and alkaline hardness. In this case, you can maintain the pH level of the water.

              Using Limestone: Limestone contains calcium and other minerals. If you use limestone, they leach out calcium and other minerals into the water column and hence increase the water hardness.

              Total Alkalinity

              The most common and most important components of alkalinity are carbonates and bicarbonates. Total Alkalinity is also known as carbonate hardness which is caused anions of carbonate (CO32-) and bicarbonate (HCO3-). Alkalinity gives a buffering facility to aquarium water. The higher the alkalinity is, the higher the buffering facility against pH changes.

              Mathematically, alkalinity can be determined by:

              Alkalinity = [HCO3 -] + 2[CO3 2-] + [OH- ] – [H+]

              In saltwater, it is essential for the formation of corals. It acts as an indicator of how stable your tank water quality is. If your tank water contains low levels of alkalinity, stimulate a sudden change of pH level of the tank water causing stress on your fish. Because low levels alkalinity will not adequately regulate pH level which potentially causes acid buildup or make a dangerous pH crash. Low pH also inhibits the growth of any live aquarium plants. The freshwater tank should have good alkalinity with 75 - 200 mg/L and above 180 mg/l for saltwater aquarium. You can increase your tank water alkalinity by changing water.

              Besides it, you can also raise the alkalinity using alkalinity enhancers available at your local pet supply store.

              To ensure sufficient levels of alkalinity for the aquarium inhabitants, total alkalinity should be tested once a month. If your tank water contains less than 50 mg/l of alkalinity, you should check the alkalinity every week or every other week. Serious problems occur when the value of alkalinity goes to low or too high. In this case, the measurement of alkalinity should be done regularly to keep up a suitable level for the fish.

              Effects of High Alkalinity on Fish

              • High alkalinity creates serious problems if it remains prolonged time. Because, it dissolves the protective mucous layer around the fish body making them naked, causing bacterial attack and infection.
              • High alkalinity also converts non-toxic ammonia to toxic ammonia causing trouble breathing.
              • High alkalinity also affects the fins and tails of fish, hampering their normal growth.
              • Fish may fail to thrive and ultimately die in a high alkaline environment.

              Effect of Low Alkalinity

              • Low levels alkalinity will not adequately regulate pH level which potentially causes acid buildup or make a dangerous pH crash.
              • Low pH also inhibits the growth of any live aquarium plants.
              • Alkalinity level below 50 mg/L is very dangerous to fish which leads to pH crash.
              • Low alkalinity adversely affects on fish health.

              Treatment and Preventive Measures

              • You should do a regular test of tap water.
              • Change water as needed to maintain proper alkalinity.
              • Increase the alkalinity of the tank water to stabilize the pH level.
              • You can also add 5ml of Tetra® EasyBalance® Solution per 5 gallons of aquarium water.
              • You can increase low alkalinity it by adding chemical buffers, such as baking soda or sodium bicarbonate to the tank water.

              Normal Range of Alkalinity: 75 - 200 mg/L for freshwater and above 180 mg/l for saltwater aquarium.

              Water pH

              pH measures the level of acid and base of your tank water where 7.0 is neutral, below 7 is acidic and above 7 is basic. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14 where 0 means the absolute most acidic water and 14 means the absolute most basic your tank water whereas 7 denotes neutral value. It is very important for raising the healthy fish in your fish tank because low or high pH value can effect overall fish health causing stress and threat.

              Suitable pH value ranges from 6.8 - 8.4 mg/l for freshwater and 7.8 to 8.4 mg/l for saltwater. A consistent pH level is suitable for your fish. For this reason, your first step is to maintain consistently high water quality. In this case, you perform routine maintenance and partial water changes to keeping your pH levels stable. If you find the pH level unacceptable then you have to raise or lower the pH level using pH enhancers that are available in the pet business sector at a reasonable cost.

              Different species need different levels of pH. Some aquarium plants and animals can survive in a high acidic pH than others. For example, Koi fish can thrive with a pH value of 7.5 to 8.2 while oscar fish favor to live in more acidic water with a pH value of 6.5 to 7.0. Besides these, African Cichlids prefer to live in more basic water with a pH value of 8.5.

              Normal Range: 6.8 - 8.4 mg/l for freshwater and 7.8 to 8.4 mg/l for saltwater.

              How to increase your aquarium’s pH

              • To raise the pH value you can add crushed corals, limestones or perform aeration the tank water with an air pump.
              • Perform a 25% partial water change.
              • Adding peat or driftwood, you can lower the pH value.
              • Adding crushed coral, limestone or dolomite chipping, you can raise the pH level.
              • If your tank water contains pH value below 6.5 then add 1 tablet Tetra® Correct pH® per 10 gallons aquarium water.
              • Adding baking soda into your tank water, you can raise the pH levels. In this case, 1 teaspoon of baking soda per 5 gallons is generally considered as safe.

              How to Decrease Your Aquarium’s pH

              • Using peat moss is a common way to lower the aquarium pH value.
              • Adding Reverse Osmosis (RO).
              • Decreasing aeration of the aquarium.
              • Adding driftwood will soften the water and lower the pH value.
              • Increasing CO2 will lower the level of pH (planted aquariums

              Effects of pH on Fish Health

              A fish tank with a low pH can burn the fish skin while high pH can chap or chemically burn the fish skin. Generally, young fish are more susceptible to lower pH water (higher acidic) than adult fish. If your tank contains pH value of 5.0 or low which can kill off fish eggs.

              Image of pH-Scale

              Concluding Remarks

              To build the ideal aquarium, it is important to keep the aquarium water balance and healthy. You have to keep tank inhabitants and other living things in safe and risk-free environment making your tank good-looking. In this case, you have to use best aquarium water test kit that help to monitor the tank water by identifying the unseen problems.

              To make a friendly and nutritious environment for your fish, plants and other tank inhabitants, you have to maintain a perfect balance of essential minerals and ensure full elimination of detrimental elements. Keep in mind that, freshwater and saltwater aquariums use different kits so ensure you are using the right kit to test the aquarium water.

              To purchase the best aquarium water test kit, you should depend on your requirements and types of aquarium lives that live in either marine or freshwater environments.

              I think you should select the best test kit that can execute different types of the test or you can desire particular package that can do specific tests such as ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, alkalinity, general hardness or pH levels.

              You might also read: Best Aquarium CO2 Diffuser

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