Aquarium Water Testing Methods, Results and Interpretation

Some aquarium test kits come as dip strips that you dip in a test tube filled with water from your tank. You then compare the color with the card that came with the kit to get your final reading for each particular test. The other type of test kit has liquid droppers. You dispense the liquid (certain number of drops) into a test tube with tank water. You usually need to shake the tube and wait a few minutes for the test to develop. You then match the color of the water in the test tube against a test card to get your final reading. It can be a good idea to ask someone else in your house to compare the colors and give you a second opinion. Don't tell them what it means, just ask them to match up the colors. As hobbyists, we may tend to skew the results in our favor, so a second opinion may help keep us honest.

Just like water changes, aquarium water testing should be part of your regular routine.

It must be noted that most kits fail to take into account the variances in readings due to existing color and/or cloudiness in the water sample. Most aquariums and ponds will develop some degree of yellow color over time, which can contribute significantly to the perceived color of a given test. Both Nessler’s and alkaline-cyanurate test results will be thrown off by any significant yellow color. In addition, most pH color comparisons will be negated by yellow water. Those kits that make use of a “blank” water sample will always give the most reliable results. The blank sample is usually positioned behind the color standard (which is next to the sample to which the reagents have been added) and the best color match is made. The effects of existing color and cloudiness are thus compensated for.

Aquarium Water Testing: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals pH Test Kits

Aquarium water test kits are one of the first equipments that are purchased by all aquarists. • We also offer more in depth testing for KH/Alkalinity, Phosphates, Magnesium, and Calcium for a small fee. We charge a small fee ($1.00 each test) for the following aquarium water tests performed, Calcium, Alkalinity/KH, Magnesium, and Phosphates. Even more advanced test can include Iodine, Iron, Potassium test ($2.00 each test).

Aquarium Water Testing: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Copper Test Kit

Aquarium water test kits are one of the vital part of our aquarium system. The ones mentioned on this article are my choice and would highly recommend to others.

Aquarium Water Testing and Tank Maintenance - That Pet Place


Keeping tropical fish healthy in an enclosed environment involves not only regular tank maintenance but also some knowledge of how to test your water and what to look for when you have the results of those tests in front of you. You have got to remember that just because the water looks nice and clear, that doesn't necessarily mean that the water is in good condition, for all you know your aquarium water may contain some extremely dangerous toxins that are lethal to fish. So before you put water in your tank, you must purchase some good quality water testing kits that will test ammonia, nitrite, nitrates and pH, these are the four elements that you must test for on a regular basis, even after your aquarium is fully established. It doesn't matter whether your aquarium has been set up for one month, or 10 years, you will always need to have some water test kits at hand.Nitrate is the byproduct of ammonia and nitrite and is nowhere near as toxic as ammonia or nitrite. Very high levels of nitrate can stress fish and make them more susceptible to disease. It should also be kept very low if you are breeding. Nitrate can only be removed/lowered by doing water changes rather than being removed by nitrifying bacteria. Nitrate levels should be kept at 40 ppm or below. If you keep your fish in a suitable environment, it is extremely easy to keep the nitrate levels below 20 ppm by doing regular water changes. If you keep your Oscar in a tank that is too small, you may find that nitrate levels rise very quickly.

It is important to know what the pH of your water is. Basically, the pH value indicates whether the water is acidic, alkaline or neutral. Without going into detail, a pH level of 7.0 is classed as neutral. If the pH level falls below 7.0, it is classed as acid, if it rises above 7.0, it is classed as alkaline.

Water test kits should be bought with the aquarium before you add any fish. To set up an aquarium and biological filter properly, you need to test the water on a regular basis. Trying to set up a fish tank without knowing what is going on with the water could very well put your fish at risk so please remember to ask for a water test kit when you are buying your aquarium.

Nearly every aquatic company manufacture their own water test kits. Since keeping Oscars, I have used three companies. They are, , and They all work very well but If you were to ask me which I preferred, then it would have to be Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. The main reason why I prefer the test kits manufactured by this company is the longest you have to wait for the results is five minutes, rather than 20 minutes for some of the others. They don't come cheap but you get a lot for your money

Some people prefer to take their water to the local aquatic centre for testing. Many shops will do it for free, or maybe charge you a very small fee. Whereas there is nothing wrong with doing it this way, I prefer to do the testing myself. This means that you can test the water at any time. If you have a problem during the holiday period when the shops are not open, you could put your fishes health at risk whilst waiting for the aquatic centre to open up again. Testing water really is extremely easy, you don't have to be a scientist to do it. It's just a case of adding a few drops of a special chemical to a small amount of tank water and then waiting a few minutes for the results.