Make your own free website on

Water Quality Test Kits

Kordon's AquaTru Test Kits were designed for accuracy with several important criteria in mind:
1-Dry,stable reagents
2-Dated reagents
3-Accurate, translucent color comparators
4-Comprehensive instructions
5-Measurement ranges that are correct for aquarium use.

AquaTru Water Quality Test Kits pioneered the use of dry
reagents for use in aquarium water testing. The major
advantage of dry reagents is in their shelf life.
Dry reagents are more stable than liquid reagents,
which means the aquarist can perform tests with the
confidence of knowing the results will be as accurate as
possible when using a "colorimetric" type test.
Kordon also dates their reagents. All manufacturer's
reagents, whether dry or liquid, are subject to degradation.
Because the reagent chemicals break down over time, it is
important to know the age of the reagents and their
expected life.

AquaTru's color comparator system has been carefully designed to reflect the needs of the
concerned aquarist. The top is flared to make adding reagents easier, the wide base increases
stability and a special sliding window helps make color comparisons more accurate.
The color strip consists of translucent colors applied to a durable plastic, rather than
a printed paper card. The translucent color strip allows light to pass through,
providing a much more accurate match when comparing the cube's colors to those
produced by the reagents. Reflected colors, such as those produced on a printed comparator
do not match well when compared with the translucent colors in a test cube.

The quality of tap water varies widely and aquarium systems are becoming increasingly
sophisticated (and expensive). It is increasingly important to monitor water conditions carefully
in the aquarium. It is equally important to select only top quality, reliable test equipment to
monitor these conditions. It is beyond the scope of most aquarists to analyze the accuracy of a
test kit. They must depend on the manufacturer to provide them with accurate, dependable test
kits, and a staff available to answer questions and resolve problems. Kordon has taken pride in
providing professional quality test kits and test kit consultation... for over 15 years.

The reagents should be used before the expiration date shown on the package. If the reagents are
to be used after the expiration date they should be checked with an accurate standard solution to
insure the reliability of the reagents. The reagents should be stored in a cool place. The color
comparator strip should not be exposed to strong light sources for an extended length of time to
prevent fading of the colors.

Available Test Kits:

Item Number

Product Description

35800 Aquarist Master Test Kit - FW & SW Ammonia (Salicylate), Nitrite,
LR Nitrate, LR pH & Marine pH
35810 Fresh Water Master Test Kit - FW Ammonia (Sal), Nitrite,
HR Nitrate & HR pH
35820 Salt Water Master l Test Kit - SW Ammonia (Nessler), Nitrite,
LR Nitrate & Marine pH
35830 Salt Water Master ll Test Kit - SW Ammonia (Salicylate), Nitrite,
LR Nitrate & Marine pH
35840 Low Range pH Test Kit (5.5-7.5)
35860 High Range pH Test Kit (6.5-8.5)
35880 Marine pH Test Kit (7.8-8.6)
35910 Ammonia (Nessler) Test Kit (0-3.0 mg/L)
35920 Nitrite Test Kit (0-.75 mg/L)
35930 High Range Nitrate Test Kit (0-.175 mg/L)
35940 Low Range Nitrate Test Kit (0-50 mg/L)
35960 Chelated Copper Test Kit (.5-2.5 mg/L)
35970 Ammonia (Salicylate) SW Test Kit (0-.8 mg/L)
35980 Ammonia (Salicylate) FW Test Kit (0-1 mg/L)
35990 Copper Ion Test Kit (.05-.25 mg/L)


AquaTru® Ammonia (salicylate)
Test Kits

Item No. 35980 (fresh water); Item No. 35970 (Marine)

Ammonia is a principal excretion product of fishes which results from the metabolism of
nitrogenous (nitrogen containing) compounds in their food. These compounds are composed
mainly of protein. Ammonia is also formed from the bacterial degradation of nitrogen containing
organic materials such as decaying plant and animal matter. It is present in solutions as both
ionized (nontoxic NH4+) and unionized (toxic NH3); the proportion of these two forms is pH and
temperature dependent. Click to see the section titled "
Increased concentrations of ammonia in aquarium water can result in gill tissue damage, stress and
eventual death to the fish if it is not controlled. In an established biological filter, an autotrophic
bacteria will utilize ammonia and convert it to nitrite; however this conversion is dependent upon
environmental conditions including pH, oxygen content, and temperature of the water. If
conditions inhibit nitrification (the conversion of ammonia to nitrite) or if the nitrifying bacteria in
the filter have not been established, the ammonia can reach dangerous levels in a very short period
of time. As little as 0.6 ppm total ammonia can be toxic to fish. Although the proportion of total
ammonia that is in the toxic (un-ionized) form is pH and temperature dependent, it is necessary to
accurately monitor the total ammonia present so that the actual concentration of the toxic form can
be determined.

1) Fast and accurate readings in ranges appropriate to fish health. Graduations of concentration
are very small to facilitate accurate readings of highly toxic ammonia.
2) Highly stable powdered reagents. Sealed in foil pillows and dated to insure freshness.
3) Easy-to-use kit: simple step-by-step instructions and ex-planations.
4) Readings of ammonia are expressed both as ammonia nitrogen and as ammonia.

Excessive levels of calcium, magnesium and nitrite in the water will interfere in the performance of
this test when concentrations exceed 1000 mg/L as CaCO3; 6000 mg/L as CaCO3;
and 12 mg/L NO2-N, respectively. Sulfate, nitrate and phosphate may interfere if concentrations
exceed 300 mg/L SO-2; 100 mg/L NO3; (N) and 100 mg/L PO4-3(P).

1) Rinse the color cube 2-3 times before collecting samples. It is suggested that tap water be
used for the initial rinse so chemicals do not get into the aquarium or pond water when the cube
is dipped. Aquarium or pond water should be used for final rinsings so that residual tap water
will not affect the readings. Discard the rinse water each time so that residual chemicals are not
poured into aquarium.
2) When collecting water samples, take care to obtain a representative sample. For example,
collection near the bottom where organic compounds have accumulated can result in higher
readings. The collection of water at the surface can also give erroneous results since surface
temperature fluctuations can change the actual concentration of the ammonia in solution.
To check sampling techniques, two samples can be taken and tested; any variation in the results
indicate that more care should be exercised when collecting samples. A recommended method is
to (a) submerge the rinsed, capped cube to midwater, (b) open the cube and allow to fill with
water, (c) cap while still submerged, and (d) drain water to correct level (discard excess).
3)Test the water sample immediately after collection.
4) For consistent accurate readings when making comparisons, use white paper as a background
and read into normal daylight or cool white fluorescent light sources.

1. Cut open one of the foil pillows marked "ammonium salicylate" and empty contents into the
smaller cell. Put the cap on securely. Do not place your finger over the cube's sample cell unless
the cap is in place. Shake cube several times to dissolve powder completely. Allow sample to
set for not less than three minutes.
2. Open cap. Cut open one of the foil pillows marked "ammonium cyanurate" and add contents
to the smaller cell. Replace the cap securely and shake cube to dissolve completely. Allow sample
to set for 15 minutes.
3. Match the color of the sample to the closest color in the Test Cube by moving the sliding
window up or down until both left and right windows match as close as possible. Read the level
of total ammonia in mg/L from the scale. Flush reacted water sample down the drain. DO NOT
return water to aquarium or pond. All fishes have varying tolerances to ammonia. If the
concentration approaches 0.1 ppm total ammonia nitrogen, the use of Kordon's AmQuel®
ammonia remover will reduce toxic levels.

This kit contains potentially harmful chemicals that can be dangerous if misused. Read label
cautions carefully and exercise extreme care during handling, use and disposal of these chemicals.
This kit should not be used by children except under adult supervision. Following use,
always clean hands, test apparatus, and test area.

The reagents should be used before the expiration date shown on the package. If the reagents
are to be used after the expiration date they should be checked with an accurate standard
solution such as Kordon's Test Kit Standards, to insure the reliability of the reagents. The
color comparator strip should not be exposed to strong light sources for an extended length
of time to prevent fading of the colors. The reagents should be stored in a cool place.

The Freshwater and Saltwater Kordon Ammonia Test Kits are available separately,
or in a Master Test Kit.

The Individual Test Kit includes:
A color comparator of molded plastic with a colored plastic insert that reads 0.0-0.8 mg/L (ppm)
total ammonia in 0.2 increments (Salt Water) and 0.0-1.0 mg/L (ppm) total ammonia in 0.2
increments (Fresh Water); 20 pillows (10 each of Ammonium Salicylate and Ammonium
Cyanurate) sufficient for 10 tests. Detailed instructions for each test are included in every kit.


Item Number

Product Description

35970 Saltwater Ammonia Salicylate Test Kit
35980 Freshwater Ammonia Salicylate Test Kit
35770 Ammonia Salicylate Fresh and Saltwater Reagents (10 tests)
34702 Ammonia Salicylate Fresh and Saltwater Reagents (50 tests)

A lot of confusion exists in regard to the measurement of organic nitrogen (ammonia, nitrite and
nitrate) concentrations. When dealing with organic nitrogen in aquariums and ponds, it is essential
to know whether readings are expressed as ion concentrations or as nitrogen concentrations.
Many test kits do not explain how they express concentrations. This can lead to serious
miscalculations. Ammonia concentrations in Kordon's Salicylate Ammonia Test Kits are in units
of ammonia ion (printed in bold face) and ammonia nitrogen (see explanation below). Giving both
methods of determining ammonia concentration allows the aquarist to use the method that
matches the information available

Ammonia nitrogen is that nitrogen present in water that is from total ammonia in the solution.
To convert readings of ammonia nitrogen to ammonia ion values:
Multiply the nitrogen reading by 1.3.
For example, an ammonia nitrogen concentration of .5 ppm multiplied by 1.3 would equal .65 ppm
ammonia ion. The conversion factor of 1.3 is based upon weight proportions of the nitrogen and
hydrogen in ammonia (1.3 grams of ammonia contain one gram of nitrogen).

The calculation of the conversion factor is as follows:

Nitrogen atomic weight: 14.01

Hydrogen atomic weight: 1.01

Molecular weight NH4 (ammonium):
(M.W. nitrogen) + (4) (M.W. hydrogen) = (14.01 + (4) (1.01) =18.05

Ammonia nitrogen = 14.01 / 18.05 = 0.7762

Click here to return to