Dependent on the type of fish you are housing, you want to ensure the pH levels of your water are optimal.  A pH level that is off balance will greatly affect your fish’s health and lifespan, causing great stress for them.

pH is the measure of acidity and alkalinity and each type of fish needs a different balance.  The average pH balance for plants in general is between 4.5 and 7.0, bacteria around 6.0 to 8.0 and for fish between 6.5 and 8.0.  However, aquaponics do seem to lie more around the 6.5 mark for the highest benefit.

So, how does one ensure the pH balance and other levels of your aquaponics fish tank are perfect?

Investing in a water and pH test kit is the sure fire way of optimal accuracy when it comes to pH balance.  You should be testing on a weekly basis and having an easy to use kit will make this tedious process that much more tolerable.

You will be looking at measuring a few areas, namely nitrate and nitrite levels (converted by bacteria) ammonia, pH levels, KH and GH (Carbonated and General Hardness of water, which is predominately caused by tap water) and alkalinity levels.  Some kits cover all of these and some are specific to one or a few.  The importance of ensuring these levels are correct is vital for the optimal living environment of your fish.

We have tried to bring you a varied bunch of water test kits that cover all these.

 

Here are our top 6 favorite water and pH test kits - :


API Freshwater Master Test Kit

 

With a step by step guide you will be on your way to testing your water pH balance and other levels in no time.  API brings you everything you need in one simple kit.

 

Their highly accurate testing kit comes with 4 test tubes, a laminated color chart, which has been calibrated by a computer and a nifty holding tray.

 

You are able to administer over 800 tests, which test Nitrate and Nitrite levels, Ammonia, High Range pH as well as standard pH levels.

 

Whether freshwater or saltwater, you will find your testing operation a real fast and simple process.

 

Not only are you getting an easier than easy kit but also you are going to pay a cheaper than cheaper rate.   An all round winner right here.


API Freshwater PH Test Kit

 

When it comes to simple, this, as with our other API test kits, it’s is a piece of cake.

 

Note that this kit is specific for freshwater tanks only(perfect for aquaponics) and only tests for pH levels.

 

Simply scoop some water into the provided test tube, pop a few drops of the box liquid into the tube, shake and watch for the color change.  Then use the chart provided to see what the color chart predicts is your current pH rate.

 

Just know that it only works between pH ratings of 6.0 and 7.6, so if your water is very hard where you live, you will need to either consider a different kit that offers a higher reading or use your maths brain to work it out further.

 

Then again, if it goes over 7.6 your fish are in trouble, so its then pretty obvious a remedy is necessary.

 

It is good to know you can do 250 tests and with the low price you are getting a real bargain from this water and pH test kit.


API Ammonia 130 Test Kit

 

When it comes to ammonia you want to make sure the levels are super low.  Ammonia is the main culprit for fish deaths and if you can avoid this upsetting event as well as the waste of valuable money, then you want to invest in this ammonia test kit.

 

Perfect for freshwater and saltwater fish tanks, you simply take some water in the test tube, drop the solution inside, wait a few seconds and match the color up with the provided chart.

 

The test will give you an accurate ammonia level of between 0 and 8 ppm.

 

Ammonia can enter your tank by three methods – tap water, organic matter (mostly decomposed matter) and thirdly protein breakdown (in that we mean from your fish’s poop, basically).

 

You want your ammonia reading to be nearer to 0 than 5.  Ideally zero is what you want to read but that is not always possible.

 

Priced nice and simple to use, you wont go wrong with this Ammonia test kit.


Tetra EasyStrips 6-in-1 Test Strips

 

EasyStrips are just that – easy!  In addition, as mentioned, the water testing process, which is a necessary with aquaponics, can be made easier with these nifty little strips.

 

A simple dip in the water, a glance at the helpful chart and you are working out the various levels of your fish tanks water.

 

This little kit measures nitrates, nitrites, pH levels, alkalinity (KH) levels, chlorineand general water hardness.

 

In addition, you can use this kit in both fresh and saltwater.

 

An accurate little kit, with 100 strips, for a good price.


API GH and KH Test Kit

 

When it comes to the hardness of water, you are looking to reduce the levels of GH (General Hardness) and KH (Carbonate Hardness).

 

This awesome kit from API, measures those levels.  And, an accurate level will ensure no stress for your fish.

 

For optimal and safe levels you want to be measuring these levels regularly, like at least every week.  The API Test Kit will help you here.

 

The signs of high KH levels will be a white crust or scale, which will form on the walls, hood and other parts of the tank.  Test for this before it occurs because if it gets to this level your fish are in serious danger already.

 

This kit comes with 2 glass test tubes with caps that are snap-tight, 2 bottles of liquid reagent for testing the water and clear step-by-step instructions.

Again, a well priced product from API.