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Best Pond Water Test Kit (Complete Pond Water Testing Guide 2021)

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Testing your pond water regularly is a great way to maintain fish health and a healthy pond ecosystem.

It’s also a must to help diagnose certain pond issues, for example, when pond fish become sick and/or die, or if you start to experience water clarity issues.

A pond water test kit can help quickly diagnose such issues, so you know exactly what you need to do to fix the problem.

Let’s look at the best pond water testing kits available today and how to best test your pond with our pond water testing guide.

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Pond Water Test Kit Comparison Chart

Description Tests For Price
API Pond Master Test Kit API Pond Master Test Kit pH, ammonia, nitrite, phosphate SEE PRICE »
5 in 1 Pond Test Strips 5 in 1 Pond Test Strips pH, nitrite, nitrate, hardness SEE PRICE »
Watersafe Water Test Kit Watersafe Water Test Kit pH, nitrite, nitrate, hardness, chlorine, and more SEE PRICE »
Pond Salt Test Kit Pond Salt Test Kit Salinity, temperature SEE PRICE »

*Buying through links in this chart may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Best Pond Water Test Kits

Here are the leading pond water quality test kits, which when combined, cover all the common parameters that a pond or lake owner would typically test for. Read the reviews below to see which parameters each kit is designed to test for so you can quickly find the kit (or kits) that are right for you.

If you don’t have a specific parameter you want to check, but rather are performing a regular test (for peace of mind), then we recommend the API Pond Master Test Kit.

API Pond Master Test Kit

The Pond Master Test Kit by API is a 4-in-1 kit that provides accurate results for the most commonly tested parameters. Perfect for small garden ponds up to large farm ponds and lakes.

The kit includes over 500 tests for pH, ammonia, nitrites, and phosphates. The convenient storage container holds 6 bottles of liquid test reagent, 4 glass tubes, laminated color cards, and step-by-step instructions.

You can download the full instruction booklet if you want to know what the testing process is like before you buy.

Tests Pond Water For:

  • pH
  • Ammonia
  • Nitrite
  • Phosphate
API Pond Master Water Test Kits

API Pond Master Water Test Kits

Price:
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Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

5 in 1 Pond Test Strips

Another valuable product from API, the 5-In-1 Pond Water Test Kit Strips will help you monitor water quality issues that can be potentially harmful to your fish and/or ecosystem.

The kit contains 25 pond water testing strips to measure pH, nitrites, nitrates, carbonate hardness (CH), and general hardness (GH).

The nice thing about these strips as they are easy to use! You simply dip them in your pond and read them. Testing pond water has never been easier.

Tests Pond Water For:

  • pH
  • Nitrite
  • Nitrate
  • Carbonate Hardness - CH
  • General Hardness - GH
5 in 1 Pond Test Strips

5 in 1 Pond Test Strips

Price:
Buy Now on Chewy
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Watersafe Water Test Kit

The Watersafe Water Test Kit is designed to test your home’s tap water to ensure it’s safe to drink. But we’ve found it also makes a great pond water tester for many important parameters.

It comes in an easy-to-use test for the common parameters that pond owners look for, but we’ve found it really comes in handy to test tap water for chlorine (which is extremely harmful to pond fish) before you add it to your pond. This is great for when you need to top your pond off with water, perform a water change, or are filling a new pond.

The pen-style tester with digital readout makes it easy to perform the test and read the results.

Just keep in mind, this kit only tests each parameter once, so you’ll have to buy additional strips if you want to perform regular tests.

Tests Pond Water For:

  • pH
  • Bacteria
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Nitrite
  • Nitrate
  • Total Hardness
  • Chlorine
  • Lead
  • Pesticides
Digital ppm Tester + Watersafe City Home Tap Drinking Water Test Kit

Digital ppm Tester + Watersafe City Home Tap Drinking Water Test Kit

Price:
Buy Now on Amazon

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Pond Salt Test Kit

The Pen Salinity Tester makes it easy to get a quick reading of your pond’s salinity levels at any time.

But why would you need to test your ponds salt levels? If you use pond salt in your koi pond or used salt to kill cattails (or other pond weeds), then it’s a good idea to make sure ponds salinity levels are in check.

This pen-style tester with a digital readout will accurately measure your ponds salinity levels and your pond's temperature, which can be handy in extreme weather conditions.

Tests Pond Water For:

  • Salinity
  • Temperature
Pen Type Salinity & Temp All-in-1 Checker Tester

Pen Type Salinity & Temp All-in-1 Checker Tester

Price:
Buy Now on Amazon

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How To Test Pond Water Quality

Before we test pond water quality, we should have an idea of the different parameters we are testing for. Let’s cover the most important measurements, their ideal range, and which test kit is best used for that measurement.

pH

Your ponds pH, which stands for “potential of hydrogen”, is basically the measurement of how acidic or alkaline your pond is. It’s measured on a scale of 0 to 14, with 0 to 6.99 being acidic, 7 being neutral, and 7.01 to 14 being alkaline.

If you have a koi or goldfish pond, the ideal pH range is between 7.0 and 8.0. They’ll survive in water slightly outside of that range, but your fish will start to become stressed and may start to suffer from alkalosis or acidosis, depending on which way the pH swings. If the pH swings too far from the ideal range, then that could result in death for your fish.

A pond pH test kit will help you determine the level of your pond. Keep in mind, the pH number will fluctuate, so unless it has stayed above the ideal range for several days, or there was a huge spike, then you may not have an issue.

Ideal Range

  • 7.0 – 8.0 for ponds with fish

Recommended Pond Test Kit

API Pond Master Test Kits

API Pond Master Test Kits

Price:
Buy Now on Chewy
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Ammonia

Ammonia is basically a chemical in your pond that naturally occurs through the breakdown of waste, fish excrement, uneaten fish food, and more. The ideal level of ammonia in a pond with fish is zero, or at least as close to zero as possible, since achieving zero in a fish pond is near impossible.

In a healthy pond, ammonia is broken down by beneficial bacteria in a process called the nitrogen cycle.

Proper pond filtration, supplementing with beneficial bacteria products, and using quality fish food will all help keep ammonia levels in check.

Ideal Level

  • Zero (or as close as possible)

Recommended Pond Test Kit

API Pond Master Test Kits

API Pond Master Test Kits

Price:
Buy Now on Chewy
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Nitrite

Nitrites are a by-product of the aforementioned Nitrogen Cycle. Essentially, when ammonia is broken down by beneficial bacteria, it creates nitrites.

And like ammonia, nitrite levels should be as close to zero as possible. A level of 0.25 ppm or lower is considered acceptable in established ponds. If you have a brand-new pond then don’t be surprised if you see levels up to 10ppm. The nitrite levels will drop as your pond’s bacteria levels increase.

Lowering nitrite levels is basically done the same as lowering ammonia levels. Through proper pond filtration, supplementing with beneficial bacteria products, and using quality fish food (and don’t overfeed them).

Ideal Range

  • Zero (or as close as possible)

Recommended Pond Test Kit

API Pond Master Test Kits

API Pond Master Test Kits

Price:
Buy Now on Chewy
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Hardness

General hardness (GH) is the measure of Magnesium and Calcium concentration in dissolved water.

When you fill your pond with tap water, the hardness may depend on the water treatment process your tap water has undergone.

When testing your koi or goldfish pond, the ideal hardness range is between 60 to 180 ppm.

Ideal Range

  • 60 – 180 ppm

Recommended Pond Test Kit

5 in 1 Pond Test Strips

5 in 1 Pond Test Strips

Price:
Buy Now on Chewy
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Chlorine

Almost all tap water has either chlorine or chloramine in it. This is beneficial for us as they kill off harmful bacteria. But this can be harmful and even deadly for your fish and good bacteria in your pond.

The ideal chlorine level in your pond is zero, or as at least as close to zero as possible, to avoid causing burns to your fish, killing god bacteria and even fish poisoning and death.

It’s a good idea to test your tap water for chlorine before adding it to your pond. But if you suspect your pond may have elevated levels of chlorine (due to a recent water change, for example) you can test it, as well.

If you do have elevated chlorine levels in your tap or pond water, use a pond dechlorinator to bring those levels down.

Ideal Range

  • Zero

Recommended Pond Test Kit

Digital ppm Tester + Watersafe City Home Tap Drinking Water Test Kit

Digital ppm Tester + Watersafe City Home Tap Drinking Water Test Kit

Price:
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Salinity

Pond salt is commonly used in koi ponds to improve fish health and prevent parasites like fish lice. It’s even used to kill some pond weeds like cattails.

But if you use salt in your pond you need to make sure the salinity levels are kept in an ideal range to avoid killing your fish and pond plants.

Ideal Range

  • 0.1% to 0.3%

Recommended Pond Testing Kit

Pen Type Salinity & Temp All-in-1 Checker Tester

Pen Type Salinity & Temp All-in-1 Checker Tester

Price:
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

did you know How Do I Test My Pond Water?

If you’re looking to measure one of the parameters from above, then use the recommended kit under that specific parameter to perform the test. If you want to measure multiple parameters, if possible, opt for a kit that meets all your needs (you may need to purchase multiple pond testing kits). Be sure to follow the directions that come with the recommended kit(s). If you are looking to perform a general water test, then the API Pond Master Test Kit is a great choice for regular checks.

How Often Should You Test Your Pond Water?

How often you should test your pond water is up for debate, but there are a few best practices that we like to follow for specific situations.

New ponds, for example, should have their water tested once a week for the first month or so. We want to make sure any water quality issues are taken care of before introducing fish to your pond.

When performing partial water changes is another good time to do a water test. If you have fish in your pond, be sure the water you add doesn’t have chlorine in it. And after you add water, test your pond to make sure all the parameters are still in an ideal range.

If you notice water clarity issues and/or your fish are acting strange, you should definitely test your pond water. A quick pond water test can help diagnose any issues, so you know exactly what you need to do to fix the problem.

Lastly, seasonal pond water testing is common amongst koi pond owners. For example, performing a test in Fall can help ensure your pond (and it's fish) are ready for the winter freeze. Check out our article on how to keep pond fish alive in winter for more winter survival tips!