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Shopping for the best aquarium monitoring system is not the easiest task in the world. Some devices are designed with niche features. Others are more well-rounded and can cover more categories like CO2 levels, pH levels, temperature, and so on.
It’s important to keep in mind that you should always choose something that is best suited for your needs. You don’t always need the best aquarium monitoring system to keep your fish healthy. Sometimes having a device that just monitors pH or temperature is more than enough.
Best Aquarium Monitoring System
7 choices reviewed
Before you even consider any monitoring system or controller, you need to be familiar with what your fish need. The more demanding your livestock are, the more features you might need on your monitoring system. Sometimes having the best aquarium monitoring system can also interfere with the wildlife in your water tank.
Size is extremely important. A device that’s too big may not fit inside your tank, or it may be unaesthetic. If you want to maintain a visually pleasing arrangement, you might want to use more manual monitoring tools instead of submerged automated products.
We’ve compiled a list of manual and automated measuring devices that can help you create a healthier environment for your fish. Some include a variety of different features, while others are designed for a single purpose. Depending on what you need, any of these products can be the best aquarium monitoring system for you.
We will explain the features of each individual product and point out which of them are more important than others. But before we move on to the list, here are a few more things you should know about monitoring and control tools for your aquarium.
What You Need to Know About Aquarium Monitoring Systems
Monitoring systems these days are more than just a way to regulate water temperature. The technology used can let you control water level, pH, pump power, lights, pressure, and more. The best aquarium monitoring system can be designed for general use or for certain tank models and capacities only.
The importance of using such devices should not be underestimated. They make the maintenance easier and help your tank last longer. They also increase the life expectancy of your fish by providing a regulated environment.
Watch this video on what need to be taken under control in your Aquarium water
The automation provided by the best aquarium monitoring system makes owning an aquarium more fun than ever before. It does a lot of the chores for you and it can alert you when something goes wrong. What’s even better is that some of these devices can blend in with the tank’s decorations, so it can still maintain a natural look.
When budget is an issue, you might want to pick the best aquarium monitoring system that is hands-on and easy to use. Complex designs can monitor everything for you, but that comes with a higher price tag.
The main difference between automated devices and manual ones is the price. Most manual devices come with a screen and separate probe that takes care of readings. This means that you have to manually place the probe in the water, take the readings into account, and then make the necessary changes to the water.
Some people think that the best aquarium monitoring system is by default automated and can measure more than just temperature. In reality, any sort of device that lets you measure pH, pressure, temperature, CO2 levels, and ORP, either all at once or individually, can be considered the best.
No one product can be considered the absolute best. The most you can hope to get out of any deal is finding the best aquarium monitoring system for your specific needs. It can be manual or automated, and depending on the specs, it can take basic or advanced readings.
Best Aquarium Monitoring System
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Professional TDS ppm Meter by Health Metric
This device makes use of electrical conductivity, a temperature meter, and TDS (total dissolved solids) to monitor water quality inside your fish tank. It can detect increased levels of colloidal silver as well as nutrients. In that respect, it is one of the most accurate products available.
The reader has a ppm range of 0-9999 and a temperature range of 0.1-80°C. The main draw of its design is the way it combines the values of both TDS and EC to provide a more accurate reading. At the moment, it can be considered the best aquarium monitoring system seeing as it gives results with 2% accuracy as opposed to the 20% accuracy from most competing products.
This reader from Health Metric may be a bit more hands-on than other devices, but the accuracy is more than impressive.
Because you can’t just submerge it and leave it there indefinitely, you can use it for more than just an aquarium.
It has the capability to test drinking water, pool water, well water, and much more.
The versatility comes with more than makes up for it being hands-on.
Also, given its price tag, it is certainly one of the most cost-effective items on our list.
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Refractometer Mariculture Salinity by Hamh Optics&Tools
When shopping for the best aquarium monitoring system on a budget, going for an optical device might be a good idea. This refractometer from Hamh Optics&Tools has a high refraction index optical lens that gives very accurate readings. It is built from brass and also chrome-plated to give you a very durable product.
Using it is as easy as placing two drops of water you want tested and looking at them in the light. The refractometer also comes with detailed instructions, so you don’t have to be a chemist to make use of it. It’s not an automated device, but it does come in handy when the power is out.
You can use it to measure salinity from 0 to 100‰ (for 0-10% salt content). Furthermore, this model also has an ATC feature. Automated temperature compensation is mandatory for the most accurate results possible.
This device can help monitor the salinity level in your aquarium to ensure that your fish are living in the best suited environment. As with all optical devices, all measurements procedures are non-invasive and the results are usually highly accurate.
The precision increases drastically with this refractometer due to its high-performance lens.
This product comes with everything you need, including a pipette, a special cleaning cloth, and a user manual. The instructions are especially great for people without a background in chemistry. The inclusion of specific instructions and everything you need for maintenance makes for a very well-rounded salinity measuring tool.
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Analog pH Sensor by DF Maker
This device is specially designed to work with an Arduino controller.
Any product that aspires to be the best aquarium monitoring system needs to be able to perform an accurate pH reading. The accuracy is relevant in this case for ± 0.1pH (25℃) which is enough for an average to large-sized aquarium.
Most manufacturers make manual monitoring systems that are not compatible with other products.
However, DF Maker designed this device to have an optimum performance when used in conjunction with the Arduino controller.
The pH sensor comes equipped with a BNC connector and a pH2.0 interface. Not only does this make the device versatile, but it also helps achieve a response time of under a minute. You also have the benefit of a LED power indicator.
This could be the best aquarium monitoring system for you if you need highly accurate pH readings. Certain fish are extremely sensitive and require you to maintain a specific pH level.
This tool will help you do just that.
The manual is informative and guides you through the entire process of taking measurements, understanding them, and making the appropriate adjustments. The price tag makes it cost-effective for what it provides.
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Zacro Digital Aquarium Thermometer
The device includes a fully submersible probe with a temperature range from -50 to 70°C.
The operating range, however, is only -10 to 50°C. The screen can be mounted on the outside of the aquarium.
It also comes equipped with a suction cup that makes it easy to stick to the glass. The LCD screen displays the statistics in a large font. It can be the best aquarium monitoring system if your fish are not too sensitive or demanding.
You can attach the probe to the inside walls of the aquarium or let it float freely. The positioning makes little difference because of the automatic reading adjustments the device can make. However, it’s not recommended to place the probe near the pump exhaust.
This device is perfect for any tank regardless of its size. The user-friendly design makes it a great tool for anyone who is not tech-savvy.
The probe is small enough not to disturb the fish, and it can also blend in with any decorations you might have.
You can place the LCD screen either on the glass or anywhere near the aquarium. Because of how big the screen is, you can see the readings even from a distance. If automation is not something you’re interested in and you are on a budget, then this device may be the best aquarium monitoring system for you.
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Glass CO2 Drop Checker with 4dkh/PH Solution by NitolcG Aquatics
The NitlocG Aquatics CO2 Drop Checker provides an accurate way of measuring CO2 levels in your aquarium.
The flip top bottle is easy to use and you don’t need additional syringes or other tools.
Drop checkers are popular non-electronic measuring tools that blend well with the environment.
The pH reagent is pre-mixed, so you don’t need any chemistry knowledge to make use of this tool. The 4dKH fluid can render some of the most accurate results when it comes to measuring CO2 levels.
The Drop Checker from NilocG Aquatics offers a hands-free solution to monitor the CO2 levels in your fish tank.
Because all the fluids come pre-made, you don’t need to have a chemistry background and make your own. It is easy to use and set up, and the design allows the drop checker to blend in while submerged in the aquarium.
If you’re unable to invest in something more automated, then this might just be the best aquarium monitoring system you can get. If you are concerned about the CO2 levels because of the environment you set up or because you feel like the pumps are underperforming, this is a good way to narrow down the cause of your problems.
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American Marine Pinpoint ORP Monitor
Measuring the ORP is what this device does best. Keeping a close eye on the oxidation-reduction potential is essential to ensure a healthy environment for your aquarium. It is probably the best aquarium monitoring system for anyone who doesn’t use ozone.
It can measure in the range of -2000 to +2000mV. The Pinpoint ORP monitor also uses a platinum electrode that helps achieve a 1mV digital resolution.
This device from PinPoint could be the best aquarium monitoring system for everyone that needs to constantly keep tabs on ORP levels.
It weighs only 9.6 ounces and comes with a very long cable, which makes it very easy to use.
Whether you check readings from afar or attach the screen to the tank, it doesn’t take much technical ability or knowledge.
This is perhaps the best aquarium monitoring system to use in fish tanks. But if you’re keeping an iguana, you will have no use for it.
The ORP measuring tool can last you a lifetime. Unless physically broken, the device will give accurate readings for a very long time. If the oxidation-reduction potential is your main concern and you can splurge on a monitoring tool, this could be the right choice for you.
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Inkbird Digital Outlet Heat Temperature Controller
The temperature measurement range for this device is between -50 and 70°C. The NTC sensor is sensitive enough to make this model a worthy contender for the best aquarium monitoring system title.
The readings are displayed on the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales.
Inkbird aims to provide customers with easy-to-use monitoring tools. The size and user-friendly design make this temperature controller an easy fit for any size tank.
The dual temperature display shows the targeted temperature and the current one. This makes it easy to constantly adjust levels. The manual comes with detailed instructions and tips about how to make the most of the day/night control feature.
Few temperature controllers do more than just offering some readings. The accuracy and user-friendly design make this product the best aquarium monitoring system with dual temperature readings. You can monitor the water tank day and night and adjust whenever necessary.
Because of the 24-hour monitoring cycle, the device was designed to consume as little battery power as possible. The drawback of needing additional accessories to mount it or attach it to a surface doesn’t take away anything from this controller.
It is the best aquarium monitoring system for anyone that needs dual temperature display and accurate measurements within 0.1°C. The price tag also makes it affordable to a wide range of customers. It is especially good for those who like complicated automated monitoring systems.
Depending on your needs, each of these models can be the best aquarium monitoring system for you.
If your fish only need a specific temperature or pH level, then you shouldn’t splurge on complex monitoring systems. There are plenty devices on the market that can monitor specific aspects, which is more than enough in most cases.
Some devices that read temperatures come with dual displays, which gives them enough of an edge to be called the best aquarium monitoring system in their category. Although there are cheaper and more basic models that are just as accurate, every extra perk is worth the money.
The best aquarium monitoring system will always be the one that satisfies your needs and is within your budget.
With technology becoming more and more high-performance, it is hard to find readings that are not accurate on any tool.
Keep in mind that aquarium monitoring systems don’t also have to double as a controller. Convenience is one thing, but as soon as you pack more and more features into such a device, it will become considerably more robust. Fitting it inside your water tank or aquarium will become more of a nuisance.
While some of you might look at the most complex multi monitoring tool and think that it is the best aquarium monitoring system, it doesn’t mean you should go over the budget. In fact, sometimes basic can be the smartest choice.
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