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The 11 Best Koi Pond Water Test Kits

Testing pond water is an often forgotten but essential step to maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

After all, ponds are all subsistence ecosystems that require minimal human management.

To keep your koi and other pond inhabitants healthy, you must monitor and maintain the pond's water conditions.

Find the best koi pond water test kits with the help of these reviews by BestForPets (bestforpets.org).

How to Choose the Right Pond Water Testing Kit: a Buyer's Guide

To what extent do these factors affect my pond, and why?

The health of your pond may be monitored more effectively by examining the water’s parameters on a regular basis. High bioload animals, such as koi and goldfish, necessitate this precaution.

You can tell if the pond’s biological bacteria, or cycle, is working properly by checking the parameters. You may use this information to determine if there is an abundance of garbage, insufficient filtration, an excessive number of fish, or the presence of toxins.

To what extent should I verify what parameters?

  • Ammonia

Waste products from fish and the decomposition of organic debris both contribute to the atmospheric concentration of ammonia.

Fish can be severely harmed or even killed if ammonia is present in the pond. Monitoring ammonia levels is one way to tell if your pond’s filtration is doing its job and the cycle is still going strong.

In a properly cycled pond, there shouldn’t be any measurable quantities of ammonia.

  • Nitrite

Nitrite is the byproduct of ammonia decomposition, the second stage of the nitrogen cycle. Another sign of a healthy pond cycle and population of good bacteria is the presence of nitrite. A properly cycled pond should have zero parts per million (ppm) of nitrite.

  • Nitrate

That’s the last thing the nitrogen cycle gives us. When compared to ammonia and nitrite, nitrate poses less of a threat to your fish, but at very high concentrations, it can still be harmful.

Plants take up nitrate from the water, so it’s smart to maintain your pond lush with vegetation. Nitrate levels are virtually always present in a cattle pond.

Although many people report feeling well with nitrate levels up to 80 ppm, it’s best to maintain them below 60 ppm.

  • pH

The acidity or alkalinity of the water in your pond may be determined from the pH reading. The optimal range for the pH of water for koi fish is between 7.5 and 8.0.

If your fish appear content and healthy, though, you shouldn’t go pH chasing. Large-scale attempts to adjust the pH can have disastrous consequences.

  • Phosphates

Phosphates are an undesirable byproduct in the production of fish food for animals. Phosphate alone is not dangerous, but excessive amounts can lead to problems with algae growth and water cloudiness.

Phosphates are a necessary nutrient for plant growth, however excessive phosphates can promote the spread of undesirable “pest” species like duckweed.

Algae blooms may occur at phosphate concentrations as low as 0.5 parts per million, therefore it’s important to keep it at bay. It is recommended that phosphate concentrations be kept at or below 0.05 parts per million.

  • Chlorine

However, fish and good bacteria can be killed by the chlorine used to disinfect tap water. There should be no chlorine present in a pond at all.

  • Hardness of Water (GH)

The GH of your water is indicative of the concentration of magnesium and calcium in solution. Koi ponds should have a GH of 8-12. If the GH value is high, the water is quite hard, whereas a low value indicates that the water is soft.

  • Alkalinity (KH) 

The amount of carbonate and bicarbonate in your water is reflected in its KH value. As a result, the greater the KH levels in the water, the more consistent the pH.

A lack of KH can cause pH levels to fluctuate rapidly, which can be disastrous for your fish. KH levels between 5 and 8 are recommended for a koi pond.


The best koi pond water test kits on the market today are reflected in these reviews by BestForPets (bestforpets.org). However, the Pond Master Test Kit API is the ideal choice as it provides a wide range of reliable tests at a low cost.

However, if your budget is tight, you can get a better understanding of your pond’s water characteristics by using the Aqua Care Pro Freshwater 6-in-1 Test Strip.

The best choice for testing most of the parameters you will need to monitor in your pond is the Lifegard Aquatics All Purpose 6-Way Test Kit.


The Most Comprehensive Test Kit Is the API Pond Master

  • Liquid for testing
  • A total of 500+ examinations
  • Four variables/options/etc.
  • Cost $$

The API Pond Master Test Kit, which includes over 500 tests, is the greatest all-around option for testing the water in a koi pond. This liquid test kit analyzes for nitrite, ammonia, pH, and phosphate.

Since phosphate tests aren’t normally included in test kits for freshwater aquariums, this one is tailor-made for pond maintenance.

If you follow the directions carefully, this test kit will give you the most reliable results for your pond. Each test may be run separately with this liquid test kit, so if you only need to check for phosphate, for example, you can simply use that one.

Despite popular belief, this kit has more than 500 tests when all of them are added up. According to your needs, we may do anywhere from one to several tests for each parameter. You can’t check the water’s hardness, alkalinity, or nitrate levels using this kit.


  • Kits with over 500 tests
  • Four-parameter tests
  • Created with ponds in mind
  • Most precise method if applied correctly
  • The tests can be done one at a time.
  • Affordable


  • More than 500 tests are available in total; not 500 of each test.
  • Eliminates the need for a nitrate, KH, or GH test


Best Price on Aqua Care Pro Freshwater 6-in-1 Test Strips

  • Different kinds of test strips
  • Total Number of Tests: 64 and 116
  • Six distinct parameters
  • Cost $

Aqua Care Pro Freshwater 6-in-1 Test Strips, available in packs of 64 and 116, are the finest value water test kit for koi ponds. Tests for hardness, alkalinity, chlorine, nitrite, nitrate, and pH are all included on a single strip.

The greater width of these strips makes them more legible than the standard strip tests. They have been adjusted for use in ponds and other bodies of fresh water.

These won’t provide you with the most precise results, but they will help you get a feel for your water’s overall condition. The amounts of phosphates and ammonia aren’t checked. There have been rumors that the pads that alter the color might come off easily.


  • Highest monetary return
  • Dual-pack sizes
  • Checks on six different variables
  • Wider than usual for comfort of use
  • Designed for use in ponds and other bodies of fresh water


  • Definitely not the best choice
  • Avoid ammonia and phosphate tests at all costs.
  • It’s possible that the pads will slip off.


The Premium Selection 6-in-1 All-Purpose Test Strip Kit from Lifegard Aquatics

  • Different kinds of test strips
  • A total of 25 tests were conducted.
  • Six distinct parameters
  • Cost $$$

If you’re willing to spend a little more on your testing equipment, the Lifegard Aquatics All Purpose 6-Way Test Strip Kit is a great choice.

The alkalinity, water hardness, pH, nitrite, and nitrate levels, and ammonia levels may all be determined using the 25 assays included in the package.

The extra 25 strips allow for individual testing of ammonia concentrations. These are convenient since they are quick to use and reasonably precise.

A desiccant pack is included in every bottle of strips for just such an occasion. These strips aren’t as reliable as a liquid test and don’t check for phosphates.


  • Checks on six different variables
  • Separate usage of ammonia strips is possible.
  • Facilitated usage
  • Deliver reasonably precise outcomes
  • Pack of desiccants guarantees dryness of strips


  • For a hefty sum
  • Avoid phosphate tests at all costs!
  • Inaccurate in comparison to a liquid test kit


The Premium 17-Point Drinking Water Test Kit from var

  • Different kinds of test strips
  • Total number of exams: 102
  • With 18 parameters, your query is quite specific.
  • Cost $$

Although it is designed for testing potable water, the Varify 17 in 1 Premium Drinking Water Test Kit has you covered for about every parameter you may want to measure in your pond, save for ammonia and phosphate.

These strips analyze 17 different factors, such as alkalinity, water hardness, zinc, free and total chlorine, copper, nitrite, and nitrates. Two further tests are provided to detect potentially dangerous microorganisms.

You can get 100 strips each bottle, and Varify has round-the-clock chat and email assistance. In addition, they give back to a charity called Water for Good, which works to bring safe drinking water to underprivileged communities in the Central African Republic.


  • Examinations of 17 Variables
  • With two different tests for harmful bacteria
  • Contains one hundred individual test strips.
  • Help for clients is accessible. 24/7
  • The revenues help a charity that works to alleviate water poverty.


  • Does not check for phosphates or ammonia
  • There is currently no option to buy a bacteria test individually.
  • Inaccurate in comparison to a liquid test kit


Test Strips, 5-in-1, for the API Pond

  • Different kinds of test strips
  • A total of 25 tests were conducted.
  • Five parameters are considered.
  • Cost $

When compared to a liquid test kit, the API Pond 5-in-1 Test Strips are not only more convenient, but also more accurate. Whether you’re looking to test for nitrite, nitrate, pH, water hardness, or alkalinity, each container comes with 25 test strips to do just that.

No ammonia or phosphate levels are ever measured. To ensure that the strips remain dry and used for as long as possible, they are wrapped in a “stay dry” tube.

Each test comes with an easy-to-read color chart and a bundle of literature detailing what to do if you find hazardous levels. These strips are among the most accurate strip tests available, however they are less precise than the liquid test kit.


  • Facilitated usage
  • The strips remain dry and usable thanks to the accompanying “stay dry” tube.
  • The use of color makes charts intuitive.
  • Instructions for addressing test-indicated dangerous levels are included in the packet of data.
  • In terms of strip tests, it is one of the most reliable.


  • Does not detect phosphates or ammonia.
  • The bottle contains just 25 tests.
  • Inaccurate in comparison to a liquid test kit
  • Only five variables are examined.


Six Different Aquarium Tests with One Box of Tetra EasyStrips

  • Different kinds of test strips
  • Results from 25, 100 tests
  • Six distinct parameters
  • Cost $

Nitrate, nitrite, chlorine, pH, water hardness, and alkalinity can all be determined with the help of the Tetra EasyStrips 6-in-1 Aquarium Test Strips, which come in two different pack sizes.

Neither phosphate nor ammonia testing is done. They are one of the most reasonably priced options for test strip kits. Discoloration of the nitrate pad upon removal from packaging has been noted by certain users, and this has been shown to dramatically impact outcomes.

Nitrate tests are wrong even when specimens are not discolored, although all other parameters are reliable.


  • There are two different sized packages
  • Checks on six different variables
  • Budget-friendly
  • Very reliable for many parameters


  • Does not detect phosphates or ammonia.
  • A discolored nitrate pad is possible.
  • Does not provide a reliable nitrate measurement
  • Inaccurate in comparison to a liquid test kit


Pond Test Strips by JNW Direct

  • Different kinds of test strips
  • Number of tests 50
  • Number of parameters Seven
  • Cost $$

The JNW Direct Pond Test Strips are strip tests that check for nitrite, nitrate, water hardness, alkalinity, carbonate hardness, pH, and free chlorine. No ammonia or phosphate levels are ever measured.

There are 50 tests per package, and the purchase provides access to a free mobile app that allows you to track your pond’s parameters.

It also includes an e-book that explains what the parameters mean and how to keep them at safe levels, although some people have found the information in the e-book to be lacking and have still needed to look up information separately.


  • Tests for seven parameters
  • Free mobile app for tracking parameters is included with purchase
  • Free e-book helps you better understand what the parameters mean


  • Does not check for phosphates or ammonia
  • E-book doesn’t clearly provide all needed information
  • Inaccurate in comparison to a liquid test kit

Author Image

Dr. Barry Buttler

Dr. Barry Buttler, DVM, MS, DACVIM, is an experienced veterinarian who specializes in the care of small animals, specifically dogs. Dr. Barry K. Buttler is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and holds multiple certifications in small animal emergency medicine and geriatric pet health.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Barry Buttler


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