Water tests for reef aquariums are critical to the success of a reef tank. To determine where our water parameters are, we have been doing daily water tests using a test kit like the one below.
Initially, water testing will be done daily, after that, at least weekly. This is the the only way for you know what is going on concerning the waste, bacteria, and other chemical factors in your tank. We log these results using a spreadsheet so we can keep track of these levels.
Test kits come either as liquid solutions, strips, or tablets. We went with solutions for now, although may play around with other methods later on. Most tests in this kit come with two types of solution per test.
You start with filling the glass vials with water from the tank. There is a direction booklet that comes with the kit. Each kit is performed a little differently, but mostly solution 1 and solution 2 are added to the vial and vigorous shaking is done before waiting 5 minutes for the result.
Most tests require about 5 minutes before they can be determined, but some are immediate.
The results are determined by the color change that happens over the wait time, and compared to the color card that comes in the kit.
What we are looking for, before we can get our first fish, is zero ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Once that happens, we can buy our first fish. Can’t wait!