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Aquarium Test Kits | Home Fish Aquarium Guide

Home Fish Aquarium Guide

Fishkeeping Information and Resources for the Home Aquarium



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Aquarium Test Kits

A good basic collection of Aquarium Test kits is a basic necessity for any aquarium keeper. Yes, many pet stores and local fish stores will test your water for free, but especially during the aquarium cycling process you need to be testing each day to know what is going on with the water chemistry of the tank.

The best test kits that I have used thus far are those made by API (Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Inc.) They are relatively easy to read with some clear color distinctions for most of the tests I’ve used. They also are relatively easy to measure out and time. In as little as five minutes you will know what is going on with the water in your tank!

The API test kits are liquid test kits and those are known to be more accurate than test strips. Test strips have you dip a little strip of paper into the aquarium and then wait for a few moments and compare the color on the strip to a chart. The small size of the strip can make reading a challenge. Most of the liquid test kits make use of a test tube that is filled with 5 ml of water and then a revealing solution is applied to the tube in a certain number of drops anywhere from 3 up to 20 depending on the test. After that there is typically a period of time to wait. Anywhere from no waiting, up to about 10 minutes. After this time you compare the color in the test tube to a laminated chart to find the level of whatever you are testing for in the aquarium.

Liquid test kits are relatively cheap at around $8-$12 each with refills for the chemicals running a bit less. you can also purchase a master test kit which includes many of the individually available tests in one large batch (and many times with tray to organize.) Many people find the master test kits to be a cheaper investment.

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    February 11, 2011 - 9:51 PM