Editor's Choice - Our Favorite Instant Ocean Aquarium Hydrometers

1. Instant Ocean SeaTest Hydrometer

User Ratings: 59 6

Instant Ocean TK-504 First Impressions

"Calibrate it, use it."

Make your own by simply boiling some water and collecting the condensate. This one here was much cheaper,& exactly the same as they sold in the store. My only criticism would be that it's a little too dark. Normally that gives the more accurate reading. Used distilled water to calibrate, the screw is located under the rubber cap. Once I adjusted the refractometer, my aquarium salinity read 1. Hate the batteries, but once loaded, it seems to work fine.

  • Instant Ocean SeaTest Hydrometer
  • Marine hydrometer: Tests salinity and specific gravity in marine aquariums to help maintain a healthy tank
  • Accurate: Precise, full-range readings - accurate to +/- 0
  • Ready to use: Simply dunk in aquarium to fill with water, then set on level surface to read
  • Easy to read: Clearly marked to show results
  • Extra-wide stabilizer base: Two-color scale with a safe zone for simple results
  • Manufacture: Instant Ocean
  • Item Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 4.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Instant Ocean TK-504
  • Accuracy
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Instant Ocean TK-504 Final Thoughts

"Good price."

Simple to use, but if there are any air bubbles the results will be way off. The instant ocean hydrometer will always be right. 026 with the new Aquatic Experts fluid. Now its easy to make sure I have the correct amount of salt in my aquariums. Looks to provide very accurate readings. Easy to use, easy to clean, easy to read. My only criticism would be that it's a little too dark.

Overall Score
4.2


(426 Points)

2. LemonBest 0%-10% Automatic Temperature Compensation Salinity Refractometer Salt Water Aquariu...

User Ratings: 75 5

LemonBest First Impressions

"Great tool."

I don't want to deal with temperature correction or. When I compared it to what my local pet store was reading my water at it was dead on. Used distilled water to calibrate, the screw is located under the rubber cap. This one here was much cheaper,& exactly the same as they sold in the store. At first, I was getting bubbles sticking to the rotating arrow. Definitely a lot cheaper than a refractometer. I decided to upgrade and it was easy to calibrate.

  • LemonBest 0%-10% Automatic Temperature Compensation Salinity Refractometer Salt Water Aquarium by Lemonbest
  • Features with automatic temperature compensation (ATC) function
  • Designed for testing the concentration of salt water and brine, ideal for aquariums, marine monitoring and quality control in research and clinical laboratories
  • With just a couple of drops of aquarium water you know exactly what the salinity is
  • Measures on 2 scales, specific Gravity (D 20/20) and parts per thousand (‰), provides a direct reading of the specific gravity and concentration of salt in water
  • Comes with a hard case, dropper, screwdriver and cleaning cloth
  • Manufacture: Lemonbest
  • Product Dimensions: 7.87 x 1.57 x 1.57 inches; 3.88 Ounces
  • Editor's Impressions Of The LemonBest
  • Accuracy
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

LemonBest Final Thoughts

"Easy to use."

Make sure to knock out the bubbles on the white dial by hitting it with your knuckle. It works OK but seems pretty flimsy and it's feel that way. My only criticism would be that it's a little too dark. I don't know if that's a positive or negative but just different. Just rinse with warm water afterwards. I bought this and a hydrometer because of the reviews saying its not accurate. Pretty darn accurate for the price.

Overall Score
4.5


(315 Points)

3. Digital Salinity Meter, SA287 Portable Digital Salinity Meter High Precision Salinity Temperature Pe...

Jadpes First Impressions

"Works great for reefing!"

At first, I was getting bubbles sticking to the rotating arrow. Perfrct for someone learning or anyone for that matter. Works great,& comes in a storage box. Then I made a mark on it to set the salinity of my fish tank. Bubbles can greatly affect the reading. I tried it over and over and no bubbles! I think those reviews just didn't know how to use it properly.

  • Digital Salinity Meter, SA287 Portable Digital Salinity Meter High Precision Salinity Temperature Pen Type Tester for Saltwater, Swimming Pool, Aquaculture, Aquarium
  • WATERPROOF SALINITY METER:It displays the salinity value precisely, compact size and light weight, easy and portable to carry, convenient to use.This instrument can not only detect the salt content of edible salt, salt water pool and koi fish pond, but also the salinity of seawater, marine, salt water fish tank salt level testing.
  • SALINITY TESTER:Digital Salinity Tester for Salt Water.The pen type salinity meter is a precision instrument for testing the salinity value of a solution.Quick and reliable manner for most regular water solutions' testing.
  • WIDE APPLICATIONS:Suitable for saltwater, swimming pool, aquaculture, aquarium (seawater) and pond, food processing and health care products industry. Saltwater Tester for Seawater, Aquariums, Marine Monitoring.
  • BACKLIT DESIGN:It adopts large screen LCD, PPT standard unit display, power display, power data protection function, automatic temperature compensation, dustproof and waterproof functions.
  • APPLICATION:Its full-featured performance, easy operation and replaceable electrodes make it the best choice for rapid, accurate salinity testing in laboratories, sites and schools.
  • Manufacture: Jadpes
  • Product Dimensions: 0.39 x 0.39 x 0.39 inches; 5.29 Ounces
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Jadpes
  • Accuracy
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Jadpes Final Thoughts

"Couldn't do without it."

YOU WILL NOT get an accurate reading if there are bubbles on the needle. It did not need adjusting to calibrate, though I tried to just to see how it worked. This is perfect to keep a check on the salt level in your tank. Make sure to knock out the bubbles on the white dial by hitting it with your knuckle. My only criticism would be that it's a little too dark. It is essential to get some specialized aquarium calibration fluid for 1. I have purchased before will buy again!

Overall Score
3.0


(1 Points)

4. Amzdeal Salinity Refractometer Aquarium & Seawater - Dual Scale (1.0 to 1.070 S.G.)

User Ratings: 66 12

amzdeal First Impressions

"Seems to work fine."

Hate the batteries, but once loaded, it seems to work fine. For the price you definitley cant beat this meter is great! I would recommend this product to anyone that has a marine aquarium. Make sure to knock out the bubbles on the white dial by hitting it with your knuckle. I was surprise that the product was really cheap compare to the other ones. I don't want to deal with temperature correction or. This is perfect to keep a check on the salt level in your tank.

  • Amzdeal Salinity Refractometer Aquarium & Seawater - Dual Scale (1.0 to 1.070 S.G.)
  • 【Automatic Temperature Compensation】 Hand-held ATC refractometer, can be used in the temperature 5-30 ℃ / 41-86℉
  • 【Dual Salinity Scale】Salt content 0 ~ 100 ‰ (0 ~ 10%) and Salt specific gravity 1.000 ~ 1.070sg. Minimum scale is 1 ‰ (0.1%) or 0.001sg, more precise
  • 【Easy to Use】Using distilled water to calibrate and then you can measure the saltwater and get the result
  • 【Package Content】Come with all the accessories, including Dropper, Screwdriver, Cleaning Cloth, Storage Case and User Manual
  • 【Widely Use】This refractometer can be used to measure the salt content or sugar content, good for aquariums and marine monitoring
  • Manufacture: Amzdeal
  • Editor's Impressions Of The amzdeal
  • Accuracy
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

amzdeal Final Thoughts

"Massive peace of mind."

Be sure to adjust the focus by turning the eye focal when you first receive. Even the smallest bubble will throw the measurements way, way off. YOU WILL NOT get an accurate reading if there are bubbles on the needle. I use this to check the specific gravity of my marine aquarium. When I saw the price offered on this one, I decided to buy and I love it. Excellent piece of equipment for the price. Perfrct for someone learning or anyone for that matter.

Overall Score
4.2


(56 Points)

5. HydroLogic HLTDS DM-2 Industrial Monitor

HydroLogic HLTDS First Impressions

"Case is nice as well."

Don't care much for having to post a review in order to activate warranty. YOU WILL NOT get an accurate reading if there are bubbles on the needle. The water was at what I expected it should be. However, the numbers are soooo small it is sometimes hard to read. Get precise salinity readings in moments. Was calibrated and worked perfect right out of the box. I would suggest purchasing the salt calibration solution.

  • HydroLogic HLTDS DM-2 Industrial Monitor
  • Measures The Flow Of Untreated Water Coming In Versus Purified Water Going Out
  • Comes Equipped With A 1/2" Inlet And 3/8Th Inch Outlet
  • Features An Auto-Off Function To Conserve Battery Power
  • No Assembly Required
  • Manufacture: Hydro-Logic
  • Item Weight: 2.38 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.1 x 1.7 inches
  • Editor's Impressions Of The HydroLogic HLTDS
  • Accuracy
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

HydroLogic HLTDS Final Thoughts

"Using for my Pacman frog."

Looks to provide very accurate readings. It is a little cheaper made but it works great for the cost! I've checked about 5 times with the hydrometer and each time has been near perfect. Once I figured that out, it works great. I needed this product and it is a lot less expensive than the local aquarium store. Clear readout with the ability to calibrate and focus. Easy to use, easy to clean, easy to read.

Overall Score
5.0


(1 Points)

6. Coralife BioCube Mini Aquarium Hydrometer

User Ratings: 37 28

Coralife 100115642 First Impressions

"NO BUBBLES!"

My corals will be much happier now. Every time I leave to do something I come back and it's at the bottom of my tank. And it is much more accurate than my old salinity meter. This device is a godsend and so much easier and cleaner to use. It is a little cheaper made but it works great for the cost! Just give me one simple, accurate reading to go by, and I'm happy. When I saw the price offered on this one, I decided to buy and I love it.

  • Coralife BioCube Mini Aquarium Hydrometer
  • Can remain submerged inside your aquarium or sump
  • Know your salinity in a glance
  • Compact design allows for discreet placement in the aquarium
  • Ideal for all saltwater aquariums and sumps
  • Manufacture: Central Garden & Pet
  • Product Dimensions: 3.9 x 1 x 6 inches; 0.8 Ounces
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Coralife 100115642
  • Accuracy
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Coralife 100115642 Final Thoughts

"I say it works very well."

Waterproof if you accidentally drop it in the pool. Do not spend money on calibration fluid to calibrate this meter. I use this for my 10g brackish and it works ok. I use this for my 10g brackish and it works ok. There are conversion charts and tables online. Wipe down glass surface to dry it and put it back on the shelf til next time. I would recommend you to purchase this and skip the other ones.

Overall Score
3.3


(57 Points)

7. TOPINCN Square Saltwater Hydrometer Salt Water Salinity Meter Accurate Automatic Hydrometer Salt Wat...

TOPINCN First Impressions

"Super easy to use."

Then I made a mark on it to set the salinity of my fish tank. This device is a godsend and so much easier and cleaner to use. 027, I'm so glad I bought this one and it came spot on. I would recommend you to purchase this and skip the other ones. This refractor should last a good number of years. Find a good light source to make reading easier. Just rinse with warm water afterwards.

  • TOPINCN Square Saltwater Hydrometer Salt Water Salinity Meter Accurate Automatic Hydrometer Salt Water Salinity Meter for Fish Tank
  • Accurate, durable, and easy to read sea water hydrometer
  • This product is designed with an automatic level function, can automatically identify the level to avoid errors
  • Very accurate measurement readings, please rest assured to purchase
  • And each hydrometer has a laser engraved patent number
  • Fit for brackish and marine aquariums. Perfect for testing both salinity and specific gravity of your brackish and marine tanks.
  • Manufacture: TOPINCN
  • Product Dimensions: 5.51 x 3.54 x 0.79 inches; 3.17 Ounces
  • Editor's Impressions Of The TOPINCN
  • Accuracy
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

TOPINCN Final Thoughts

"Case is nice as well."

The refractor was off out off the box. It works OK but seems pretty flimsy and it's feel that way. I got this to have a more accurate read than the hydrometer. This device is a godsend and so much easier and cleaner to use. Bubbles can greatly affect the reading. Be sure to adjust the focus by turning the eye focal when you first receive. Ambient room light at night is not enough and makes what you're viewing dark.

Overall Score
5.0


(1 Points)

8. Pen Type Salinity & Temperature Meter ATC NaCl Salt Water Quality Tester for Saltwater Aquarium Hydr...

User Ratings: 49 17

Gain Express 837-2 First Impressions

"Easy to calibrate."

Just rinse with warm water afterwards. I run brackish tanks and it works perfectly. Hate the batteries, but once loaded, it seems to work fine. I tried it over and over and no bubbles! Excellent piece of equipment for the price. The water was at what I expected it should be. 026 and the tank isn't, new animals will go into shock.

  • Pen Type Salinity & Temperature Meter ATC NaCl Salt Water Quality Tester for Saltwater Aquarium Hydroponics Food
  • MEASURING RANGE: 0~9999 ppm or 10.0ppt~100.0ppt or 0.0%~10.0% or 0.950~1.080 (S.G.) based on NaCl with ±%F.S ±1 digit / ±0.5°C Accuracy
  • DISPLAY: Dual Temperature and Salinity in four measurement units (ppm, ppt, %, S.G) / 30 x 18mm LCD Size
  • APPLICATION: Salinity measurement in fish pond, tank, aquariums, laboratories, food processing, hydroponics, Aquaculture, and other water monitoring facilities.
  • FEATURES: Waterproof IP65 / One touch calibration / Auto power off and Non-Sleep mode disable / Multi points calibration
  • POWER SUPPLY / SENSOR : 4 x LR44 button batteries
  • User friendly easy to operate with One-touch calibration
  • Manufacture: Gain Express Holdings Ltd
  • Batteries: 4 LR44 batteries required.
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Gain Express 837-2
  • Accuracy
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Gain Express 837-2 Final Thoughts

"So, it does seem to work."

But with alittle persistance I am able to read it. Perfrct for someone learning or anyone for that matter. Once I adjusted the refractometer, my aquarium salinity read 1. Works great,& comes in a storage box. Works well on my Saltwater Aquarium. It did not need adjusting to calibrate, though I tried to just to see how it worked. Would be nice if stem were slightly larger for easier read.

Overall Score
3.8


(99 Points)

9. Pen Type Salinity & Temp Meter Measurement Units Checker Quality Tester ATC for Pond Pool Saltwater ...

User Ratings: 36 25

TEKCOPLUS SMTK-49_SOL First Impressions

"So here's the verdict."

Just give me one simple, accurate reading to go by, and I'm happy. This is perfect to keep a check on the salt level in your tank. He is too cute not to want to take care of properly. Bought this as a back up refractometer. Get precise salinity readings in moments. The unit is really easy to calibrate and used. My only criticism would be that it's a little too dark.

  • Pen Type Salinity & Temp Meter Measurement Units Checker Quality Tester ATC for Pond Pool Saltwater Aquarium Cooking Seawater Drinking Water (Salinity Meter 70.0ppt + Buffer Sol'n)
  • Ideal for checking salt in fish tanks and aquariums, water monitoring, seawater-prepared food solutions, holding tanks and more!
  • Measuring Range: Salinity: 0.00~10.0 ppt (NaCL) and 10.1~70.0ppt (NaCL)
  • Auto Power-Off Function with disable feature
  • °C/°F unit switchable ,Easy one-touch calibration, Waterproof Rating: IP65
  • Calibration set: Buffer NaCI 50ppt and calibration guideline
  • Manufacture: TekcoPlus Ltd
  • Editor's Impressions Of The TEKCOPLUS SMTK-49_SOL
  • Accuracy
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

TEKCOPLUS SMTK-49_SOL Final Thoughts

"Measurement does work."

I have to recalibrate it ever use though which worries me sometimes. Just rinse with warm water afterwards. I bought this salinity meter for my aquarium. I bought this and a hydrometer because of the reviews saying its not accurate. I have gone two years in this hobby with a hydrometer. Easy to use, easy to clean, easy to read. Compare it with the refractometer and adjust the refractometer so that it matches.

Overall Score
3.6


(5 Points)

10. Dual Scale Salinity Refractometer ATC 0-100ppt (0-10%) & 1.000-1.070 Specific Gravity, Portable Mete...

User Ratings: 76 4

Gain Express RES-10ATC First Impressions

"Documentation is limited."

So once your instant ocean shows a measurement. And always make sure there is no bubbles on the measuring unit. Make sure to knock out the bubbles on the white dial by hitting it with your knuckle. But with alittle persistance I am able to read it. Make your own by simply boiling some water and collecting the condensate. Works great,& comes in a storage box. Trying to turn it by hand won't work.

  • Dual Scale Salinity Refractometer ATC 0-100ppt (0-10%) & 1.000-1.070 Specific Gravity, Portable Meter Tester for Seawater Salt Sea Water Aquarium Brackish Reef Tank Marine
  • Range: 0-100ppt (0-10% Salinity) and Density/ Specific Gravity 1.000-1.070 1ppt Salinity and 0.001 g/cm3 Density Resolutions
  • Water or a salt (brine) refractometer preferred by aquarist, it checks saltwater & brine or salinity of water, best for aquariums and marine monitoring
  • True seawater or a salt (brine) refractometer preferred by aquarist
  • Calibrate simply by distilled water, comes with free screwdriver for calibration
  • Has automatic temperature compensation (ATC) and has built with the highest and finest quality of aluminum & rubbe
  • Manufacture: Gain Express Holdings Ltd
  • Part Number: REB-32ATC
  • Material: ABS Material for Handle
  • Item Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Color: 0-10% Salinity
  • Batteries Included?: No
  • Batteries Required?: No
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Gain Express RES-10ATC
  • Accuracy
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Gain Express RES-10ATC Final Thoughts

"Good product."

For the price you definitley cant beat this meter is great! Now its easy to make sure I have the correct amount of salt in my aquariums. Comes with a nice carrying case for easy and secure transportation. Get precise salinity readings in moments. I have tried others before but this has given me accurate and stable results. Im using it for trying to create water conditions for amano zoes. I couldn't decide between this and one of the float arm meters or both.

Overall Score
4.6


(49 Points)

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