The Fish Keeping & Aquarium Guide.

Best Ammonia Test Kit For Aquarium

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How do you ensure that your aquarium is in its optimal state?
The answer is quite simple: you need to use aquarium test kits. Every aquarist should have these essential tools as these are important in determining your tank or aquarium state. For instance, you cannot simply assess the ammonia level of your aquarium with your naked eyes. You certainly need a test kit to know whether your fish is safe from high ammonia content.

With the number of available options in the market, however, you might feel overwhelmed and end up getting confused about the suitable test kit to use. Read on and learn some tips on how you can find the perfect aquarium test kit that suits your needs and budget.

Ammonia Test Kits Options for Your Aquarium

If you are looking for the best ammonia test kit that you can use in your aquarium, the list below could help weigh your options. Depending on your needs and budget, the list below should help you narrow down the long list of brands available in the market.

1) SeaChem Ammonia Alert

Every aquarist should have an ammonia test kit. The SeaChem Ammonia Alert is use widely; it boasts an innovative color device that can detect toxic-free ammonia. Free ammonia refers to the type of ammonia that you need to look out for as it is considered fatal for your fish. The SeaChem Ammonia Alert has a sensor that can turn yellow, green, or blue depending on the ammonia concentration detected.


  • The test kit package claims it can last for a year.
  • There is no need for any particular kind of care, except for the algae build-up.
  • The test kit can monitor the ammonia level for 24 hours and seven days.
  • The kit is relatively affordable compared to other test kits.
  • It works for both freshwater and saltwater tank.


  • There are comments that the SeaChem Ammonia Alert test kit is hard to read.
  • The test kit is not suitable for water with an acidic pH level.

2) API Ammonia Test Kit

The API Ammonia Test Kit is a salicylate-based ammonia test kit for either saltwater or freshwater aquariums. This test kit can read the ammonia level in parts per million or ppm. This test kit is mercury-free and measures the levels of ammonia from 0 to 8 ppm.

There are two ammonia test color charts. It is different for freshwater aquariums and saltwater aquariums, and you should make sure that you know the difference between the two. Otherwise, you might end up misinterpreting the results.

This test kit is considered helpful in preventing fish loss since ammonia is one of the most common fish stressors.


  • One package of API Ammonia Test Kit includes two solutions and 130 tests. The package also includes two color charts, a glass test tube, and the instructions.
  • This test kit is also relatively affordable.
  • The test kit can accurately read ammonia level helping you monitor and prevent any potential invisible water problems that can kill your fish.


  • The test results could sometimes be hard to determine.

3) API Ammonia Test Strips

API Ammonia Test Strips can also assess the water quality in your aquarium as they can determine the presence of ammonia in the tank.

API Ammonia Test Strips also work for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums. Using these strips is also helpful in maintaining the optimal state of water inside the tank, thus helping ensure that the fish inside the aquarium is safe. Just like any other aquarium test kit, aquarists should also use this regularly to help you prevent or manage any potential imbalances in the tank.

The makers of API Ammonia Test Strips claim that these are very easy to use. The test strip has to be dipped into the water and then compare the color with the chart that comes with the test strips package. These results of the color test will help you determine if it needs any action from your end. If the color is standard, then there is nothing to worry about. There are specific instructions on how you can treat the water inside the tank and neutralize the ammonia.


  • Each package has 25 single-use test strips.
  • The strips are fast, simple, and easy to use.
  • The strips can detect small levels of ammonia, which could be within the rate of 0-6 ppm.
  • The color-coded charts are also simple.
  • The package contains a list of recommendations on what actions need to be taken depending on the results.


  • Some users claim that the test kits may not be as accurate as to test kit.

4) Salifert AMPT Ammonia Test Kit

Salifert AMPT Ammonia Test Kit is the epitome of precision and accuracy. This ammonia test kit can detect a small amount of ammonia to help you act immediately if something is wrong with the water quality inside your tank.

This ammonia test kit is known for its sharp color. The results are also easy to read and understand, so the results are not confusing. You only need to spare a few minutes whenever you need to assess water quality in your aquarium.

It is very sensitive to the smallest fluctuation of ammonia in a saltwater tank. It is crucial to ensure the coral and invertebrates are healthy and grow well.

Each package has 50 test kits, which is perfect since you need to assess the water quality once a week. This brand is considered the top choice of many aquarists, given its ability to detect a low level of ammonia in water.


  • The test is easy, fast, and accurate.
  • The test kit can detect the total ammonia level even at a low level, such as 0.5 ppm.
  • Made in Holland, Salifert AMPT Ammonia Test Kit packages come with a syringe, test vial, and a reagent.


  • The NH3-2 reagent has mercury salts; thus, it needs extra care while doing the test.

Buyer’s Guide: Why Aquarium Water Testing is Important?

It would help to know why aquarium water testing is essential before purchase the right test kit.

Ensuring good quality is necessary for maintaining the health of aquatic animals. It applies not just to fish but also turtles, invertebrates, amphibians, and corals.

Water testing is essential for any newly set up aquarium to ensure the health of fish and other living things to be placed inside the aquarium.

Nature works in unique ways, and it often can naturally filter waste products from decaying matter. Nitrites and ammonia, which could be harmful, are removed by plants and bacteria. The bigger the body of water, the safer it is for the living things in lakes or rivers.

However, in an aquarium setting, natural filtration is hard to achieve since there is a limited amount of water. Thus, the equipment has to be set up for a similar process of filtration to happen. It is crucial to monitor the quality of water inside the tank or aquarium by using test kits. Too much ammonia or nitrites could be potentially fatal for the fish or other inhabitants inside the aquarium. Water testing is one of your first steps to help ensure that you will not end up losing the resources you have invested in your aquarium, most especially if it is for your business.

How to Avoid Ammonia Poisoning?

Ammonia poisoning refers to a condition where the pH level of a fish tank becomes elevated that could be fatal to the fish inside the tank. It may take several days, or it may happen in a spur of a moment. But ammonia poisoning is undoubtedly harmful to the fish inside the tank.

If the fish inside the tank experience ammonia poisoning, they will start gasping for air at the surface of the water. In many cases, your fish will also lose their appetite. Once the ammonia level is no longer tolerable, you will end up losing all your fish.

Ammonia poisoning is a typical fish disease, but it is something you can avoid. By being proactive by using aquarium test kits to monitor the state of the water inside the tank, you can avoid this headache of losing too many or all your fish.

Ideally, you should conduct an ammonia test once a week and have your record log the weekly status. It is vital as this will allow you to act swiftly in case the test reveals a problem. If there is any amount of ammonia in the aquarium, you can save your fish from danger or death.

The case is different for the newly set up aquarium. It would be best if you exert extra effort to monitor every two days. For an established aquarium, weekly monitoring should be enough. Aside from monitoring the quality, it would help if you also acted on the next steps if something is wrong with the water quality.


Aquarists should do aquarium tests regularly, and the process does not have to be complex. As long as you have an accurate and easy-to-use ammonia test kit, aquarium tests would not feel like a burden in maintaining your aquarium.

If you are still learning the ropes of maintaining aquariums, you need to ensure that you will choose the best ammonia test kits. Your budget and needs are different from others, and you should also have to consider picking the best aquarium test kit for you.

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