Reviews Water quality

Review: sera aqua-test box

April 30, 2017
sera aqua-test box

Water quality is one of the most important parts of fishkeeping. If your aquarium isn’t cycledΒ your fish are in danger, so keeping a close eye on the water values is always a good idea. To test your water you need a water test kit that tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH at the very least. But which water test kit should you choose?

Keep reading for a review of the sera aqua-test box, a very complete water test kit by German aquarium company sera.

What is the sera aqua-test box?

I bought the sera aqua-test box to replace my old test set, which was old and dried out. It’s a complete freshwater aquarium test kit that contains all the water tests you need to make sure your fish are safe. It contains tests for NH4/NH3 (ammonia/ammonium), NO2 (nitrite), NO3 (nitrate), PH (acidity), GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness), PO4 (phosphate), Fe (iron) and Cl (chlorine). A Cu (copper) test is not included. Not everyone needs all these tests, but they offer great insight into what’s going on in your tank.

The test kit comes with a color chart, instruction booklet and plastic case. It even includes a pen to write down your test results, which I thought was thoughtful!

Testing

My first impression of the test kit was that the quality looked great. Sturdy case, glass testing vials, clear color chart and everything you need to run the tests. A big difference compared to the test kit I had before, which was cheaper but also clearly lower in quality.

The water tests all worked as they should. I used the instruction booklet and pretended I had never done a water test before. Although these tests are always a little complicated I managed to run all of them without any issues. The instructions were short but clear and the glass vialsΒ made reading the color chart a lot easier than with my previous test kit.

With the water tests that are included I was able to easily figure out my aquarium was fully cycled (yay!) and that most of the parameters were in the right range for my plants. A Co2 test is unfortunately not included, but you can buy one to use in your indicator here.

sera aqua-test boxsera aqua-test box

Conclusion

All in all, not much to say about this test kit. Not everyone needs all these different tests but they are great for anyone wanting to keep a close eye on their water values (such as the dedicated planted tank enthusiasts). As always, the Germans know what they’re doing when it comes to fishkeeping and this is a high-quality kit that I would definitely buy again.

Buying the sera aqua-test box

The sera aqua-test box might be a little difficult to find outside Germany, but luckily you can easily order it online from Amazon here.


If you have any more questions about what I thought of the sera aqua-test box or if you want to share your own experiences with this test kit, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!


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3 Comments

  • Reply ri May 1, 2017 at 5:54 am

    what would you recommend for a beginner who can’t get this test box or the API one? Those products do not come to my country and buying them from Ebay is impossible due to my country’s importation restrictions (i know, crazy). There is, however, the Sera Aqua Test Set, which contains tests for Ph, Kh, Gh and NO2 and it costs… around 66 american dollars. And a test from Tetra that’s around the same price range and tests for all of the above plus CO2. I’m not sure what to do, those seem to be my only options, after that, there is only those tests strips that I know aren’t reliable

    • Reply Mari May 1, 2017 at 9:28 am

      Hmm, that’s a very difficult one. You do really need NH4/NH3, NO2, NO3 and pH tests, those are the basics. If there are no kits available that contain those I’m not sure what to do. With only NO2 it’s very difficult to figure out whether your tank is actually cycled – if it’s at 0 that could either mean it’s fully cycled or not cycled at all. Do the strips include the correct water values? If so, those might unfortunately be your only option.

      Edit: Maybe they sell tests separately. Have you checked that? Just a thought.

      • Reply Ri May 1, 2017 at 9:25 pm

        Thank you for answering my question! There are, yes, individual tests and most of them are reaaally expensive. I recently discovered most aquarists here just… fly solo, as odd as it sounds.

        Still, I think I’ll buy NH4/NH3, NO2, NO3 and pH liquid tests separately and it will be about the same price than those kits (I thought they were a lot more expensive, but there are some that are relatively cheap, actually). Most of them are from Prodac, I don’t know if it’s a good brand, but it has to be better than strips, right? Meanwhile I guess I’ll try to somehow get my hands on the API Freshwater Master Test Kit… Thank you for the advise!

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