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FishLore.com's Freshwater Aquarium Book


AQUARIUM WATER TEST KITS - TESTS FOR YOUR FISH TANK
An aquarium water test kit is needed if you want to be successful in the tropical fish hobby
(freshwater or saltwater). You will need to know how to test your fish tank water with an
aquarium water test kit during the cycle and whenever problems arise.
There are many aquarium test kits that you can use on your aquarium including:
? Ammonia
? Nitrite
? Nitrate
? Salinity/Specific Gravity
? pH
? Carbonate Water Hardness
? Alkalinity
? Chlorine and Chloramine
? Copper
? Phosphate
? Dissolved Oxygen
? Iron and Carbon Dioxide
?
Buying these aquarium test kits individually can get expensive. You can usually save a few
dollars by getting a master test kit. For most hobbyists these master test kits will be sufficient.
Live plant keepers and saltwater reef tank keepers may need to invest in additional specialized
mini test kits such as copper, phosphate, dissolved oxygen, etc.
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.
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