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. NEW RHS-10ATC 0-10% Salinity Refractometer Salt Water Aquarium

User Ratings: 53 7

Ade Advanced Optics RHS-10ATC First Impressions

"So, it does seem to work."

Definitely a lot cheaper than a refractometer. I bought this refractometer as a more accurate option for salinity than a hydrometer. But there are some ways to keep on getting accurate readings. I bought this salinity meter for my aquarium. Small problem with bubbles on the needle but other than that no issues. The reading is big enough for you to read and it comes with the batteries. I don't know if that's a positive or negative but just different.

  • NEW RHS-10ATC 0-10% Salinity Refractometer Salt Water Aquarium
  • Manufacture: Ade Advanced Optics®
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Ade Advanced Optics RHS-10ATC
  • Accuracy
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Ade Advanced Optics RHS-10ATC Final Thoughts

"I recommended!"

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. Very easy, turn screw very slowly to calibrate. Very quick to calibrate and to use. Just give me one simple, accurate reading to go by, and I'm happy. Clear readout with the ability to calibrate and focus. Excellent piece of equipment for the price.

Overall Score
3.9


(68 Points)

3. Pet Dog Cat Refractometer Pet Urine Specific Gravity Refractometer Serum Plasma Protein: 2~14g/dl, C...

User Ratings: 66 16

RZ First Impressions

"Clear directions."

Trying to turn it by hand won't work. The water was at what I expected it should be. I would recommend this product to anyone that has a marine aquarium. The instant ocean hydrometer will always be right. And it is much more accurate than my old salinity meter. This requires repeatedly tapping the arm with a pencil. Bubbles can greatly affect the reading.

  • Pet Dog Cat Refractometer Pet Urine Specific Gravity Refractometer Serum Plasma Protein: 2~14g/dl, Clinical Animal Refractometer Hydrometers Urine Tester 1.000-1.060SG for Veterinary Cat Dog Pets
  • TRIPLE SCALES REFRACTOMETER: Left scale for testing urine specific gravity of large animals such as dog, the middle scale can measure cats urine specific gravity or other small animals, the right scale tests serum or plasma protein level for all animals.
  • QUICK & EASY OPERATION: few sample than other lab hydrometers, just 2 or 3 drops of solution and wait for a few seconds, accurate data automatic shows, automatic temperature compensation 0°C-30°C/50°F to 86°F
  • MEASURING RANGE: Serum or plasma protein: 2-14g/dl, large animal like dog and small animals like cats’ urine specific gravity 1.000~1.060 SG, resolution: 0.001SG. Ideal for your home pets, clinical veterinary and pet owners.
  • DURABLE REFRACOMTER: comfortable holding and non-slip ABS rubberized grip, anti-rust aluminum body for long term using. Strictly quality and safety standards approved.
  • COMPACT SIZE: Lightweight and pocket size lab refractometer, comes with sturdy plastic box, mini screwdriver, pipette and wiping cloth and manual packed together, easy to carry and storage.
  • Manufacture: RZ
  • Editor's Impressions Of The RZ
  • Accuracy
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

RZ Final Thoughts

"These seem spot on."

I have tried others before but this has given me accurate and stable results. Now that it's calibrated I love it! I use this to check the specific gravity of my marine aquarium. Looks to provide very accurate readings. Get precise salinity readings in moments. Make your own by simply boiling some water and collecting the condensate. I use this for my 10g brackish and it works ok.

Overall Score
4.0


(8 Points)

4. RZ Aquariums Salinity Refractometer for Seawater Marine Fish-Keeping, Dual Scales Specific Gravity S...

User Ratings: 74 3

RZ First Impressions

"Great product."

I bought this salinity meter for my aquarium. I needed this product and it is a lot less expensive than the local aquarium store. When I saw the price offered on this one, I decided to buy and I love it. Works well on my Saltwater Aquarium. I was surprise that the product was really cheap compare to the other ones. But there are some ways to keep on getting accurate readings. Too that makes it appear too cheap.

  • RZ Aquariums Salinity Refractometer for Seawater Marine Fish-Keeping, Dual Scales Specific Gravity Salinity Meter Hydrometer 0-100ppt & 1.000-1.070, Saltwater Tester with ATC Function
  • Measures on 2 Scales: Aquariums refractometer features Specific Gravity (D 20/20) 1.000-1.070sg and parts per thousand 0-100PPT (1‰=1ppt=1000ppm)
  • Seawater refractometer measures saltwater or salinity of water, ideal for aquarium, marine monitoring, fish-keeping,salty pools&spas and etc.
  • ATC Function: salty water refractometer with automatic temperature compensation, allow you obtain accurate readings easier and faster
  • Salinity Refractometer is made of aluminum body and ABS rubber light and very sturdy, comes with a hard plastic case, a mini screwdriver, a dropper
  • Easy to Use: put 2-3 drops on the saltwater’s prism, towards light then to get the accurate readings through the optic eyepiece, ideal for replacement the poor quality and difficult to read hydrometer refractometer
  • Manufacture: RZ
  • Editor's Impressions Of The RZ
  • Accuracy
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

RZ Final Thoughts

"Seems to work fine."

I will get one later but for now this will do, since im just starting. Comes with a nice carrying case for easy and secure transportation. I decided to upgrade and it was easy to calibrate. Plenty of info on YouTube and the web if you don't know how. Small problem with bubbles on the needle but other than that no issues. The reading is big enough for you to read and it comes with the batteries. Be sure to adjust the focus by turning the eye focal when you first receive.

Overall Score
4.6


(296 Points)

5. Hikari AccuProbe Aquarium Hydrometer, Mini

User Ratings: 55 45

Hikari 96005 First Impressions

"NO BUBBLES!"

However, the numbers are soooo small it is sometimes hard to read. Make sure to knock out the bubbles on the white dial by hitting it with your knuckle. It's fast, it's tidy, and it's accurate. I did NOT calibrate, but am getting accurate readings. Definitely a lot cheaper than a refractometer. Ultimately, the measurement was exactly the same as our old tester. Calibrate with distilled water and test every so often.

  • Hikari AccuProbe Aquarium Hydrometer, Mini
  • Ideally suited for use in Nano tanks, smaller setups or sumps of larger systems
  • Accurate to 0.001 specific gravity and salinity (PPT) measurements
  • Durable construction for extended life
  • Designed to give a temperature-corrected reading in warm water aquariums – 68°F to 85°F (20°C to 30°C)
  • Readings can be taken by taking the meter out of the aquarium and placing on a level surface or leveling the unit in the substrate
  • Manufacture: Phillips Feed & Pet Supply Natural Balance
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 3.5 inches; 0.8 Ounces
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Hikari 96005
  • Accuracy
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Hikari 96005 Final Thoughts

"Just got it."

Next I calibrated the refractor with the calibration solution that I ordered too. Just give me one simple, accurate reading to go by, and I'm happy. Once I figured that out, it works great. So worth it considering its great quality and great price. Ultimately, the measurement was exactly the same as our old tester. Wipe down glass surface to dry it and put it back on the shelf til next time. It's a basic but reliable refractomer I use it for my aquariums.

Overall Score
3.2


(2 Points)

6. 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)

7. Coralife Energy Savers ACLAF877 Deep Six Hydrometer

User Ratings: 67 7

Coralife 100108103 First Impressions

"024 and my refracto read."

I found mine was calibrated out of the box. At first, I was getting bubbles sticking to the rotating arrow. Wipe down glass surface to dry it and put it back on the shelf til next time. So once your instant ocean shows a measurement. Does just as good of a job of any meter you would buy at the store! I tried it over and over and no bubbles! Simple to use, but if there are any air bubbles the results will be way off.

  • Coralife Energy Savers ACLAF877 Deep Six Hydrometer
  • Included components: All Components included in Picture and Description
  • Cora life is one of the markets leading manufacturers of premium aquarium products
  • Cora life's Hydrometer takes a true water sample at six inch depth
  • Easy to read and accurate, this specific gravity meter is designed to give temperature-corrected readings in warm water aquariums
  • Coralife is one of the market’s leading manufacturers of premium aquarium products
  • Coralife's Hydrometer takes a true water sample at six inch depth
  • Specific Gravity and Salinity PPT Scales
  • Optimal Specific Gravity / Salinity range indicator on scale
  • Manufacture: Central Garden & Pet
  • Product Dimensions: 6.69 x 0.79 x 4.72 inches; 3.2 Ounces
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Coralife 100108103
  • Accuracy
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Coralife 100108103 Final Thoughts

"Easy instructions."

I couldn't decide between this and one of the float arm meters or both. Once I figured that out, it works great. Now its easy to make sure I have the correct amount of salt in my aquariums. I use this for my 10g brackish and it works ok. My only criticism would be that it's a little too dark. I will update later to see if the refractor will keep its calibration. The instant ocean hydrometer will always be right.

Overall Score
4.3


(543 Points)

8. Ade Advanced Optics aaosal Professional Automatic Temperature Compensation Sea Water Salinity Refrac...

User Ratings: 68

Ade Advanced Optics aaosal First Impressions

"What else can I say."

I've tried several different refractometers now and they are mostly the same. When I saw the price offered on this one, I decided to buy and I love it. The refractor was off out off the box. I would suggest purchasing the salt calibration solution. I don't want to deal with temperature correction or. The product itself is very good quality and the included instructions are very clear. Looks to provide very accurate readings.

  • Ade Advanced Optics aaosal Professional Automatic Temperature Compensation Sea Water Salinity Refractometer for Aquarium, Hydrometer, 0-100 ppt and 1.000-1.070 Salinity S.G.
  • Manufacture: Ade Advanced Optics
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Ade Advanced Optics aaosal
  • Accuracy
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Ade Advanced Optics aaosal Final Thoughts

"Arrived quickly."

This requires repeatedly tapping the arm with a pencil. On the shaft of the refractometer, there's a little, rubber-covered nub. However, the numbers are soooo small it is sometimes hard to read. I have tried others before but this has given me accurate and stable results. I would suggest purchasing the salt calibration solution. It's fast, it's tidy, and it's accurate. When I compared it to what my local pet store was reading my water at it was dead on.

Overall Score
4.5


(9 Points)

9. Premium Salinity Refractometer with Automatic Temperature Compensation for Saltwater, Aquarium, Mari...

User Ratings: 75 9

ONE250 First Impressions

"Arrived quickly."

I HIGHLY recommend this to Aquarists! Find a good light source to make reading easier. But with alittle persistance I am able to read it. My corals will be much happier now. I would recommend this product to anyone that has a marine aquarium. It's perfectly accurate based on the known calibration fluid. When I compared it to what my local pet store was reading my water at it was dead on.

  • Premium Salinity Refractometer with Automatic Temperature Compensation for Saltwater, Aquarium, Marine Reef Tank Testing - Dual Scale (0-100ppt & 1.000 to 1.070 S.G.)
  • ✔ Hand-held analog salt meter; Light-weight, portable, includes protective carrying case
  • ✔ Measures concentration of salt and dissolved solids in aqueous solution
  • ✔ Provides reading in parts per thousand (0-100PPT) and specific gravity (1.000 to 1.070 SG)
  • ✔ Ideal for on-site measurements in processing and storage areas, or in the field
  • ✔ Determine salinity during preparation of pickles, seafood products, frozen vegetables and fruits
  • Manufacture: ONE250
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 3 x 2 inches; 9.14 Ounces
  • Editor's Impressions Of The ONE250
  • Accuracy
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

ONE250 Final Thoughts

"This tool does that."

Compare it with the refractometer and adjust the refractometer so that it matches. On the shaft of the refractometer, there's a little, rubber-covered nub. I bought this refractometer as a more accurate option for salinity than a hydrometer. Be sure to buy the calibration solution and test this before use! Bought this as a back up refractometer. 026 with the new Aquatic Experts fluid. I felt it wasn't accurate which was verified by my LFS.

Overall Score
4.5


(18 Points)

10. Dr. Marine Saltwater Marine Aquarium Salinity Portable Refractometer Meter ATC 0~10% reef

Aquarium Equip D-803 UP鹽度檢測器 First Impressions

"Great Product, Thanks!"

I bought this and a hydrometer because of the reviews saying its not accurate. Great product I used for beer making and my saltwater aquarium. Bought this one to check my old one, this one checked right on the dot at 1. I needed this product and it is a lot less expensive than the local aquarium store. Simple to use, but if there are any air bubbles the results will be way off. I have purchased before will buy again! Don't spend your money on calibration solution.

  • Dr. Marine Saltwater Marine Aquarium Salinity Portable Refractometer Meter ATC 0~10% reef
  • This latest salinity refractometer is designed for testing the concentration of salt water and brine and used for quality control in research and clinical laboratories and marine industry. Its scale provides a direct reading of the specific gravity and concentration (Parts per Thousand) of salt in water.
  • Manufacture: UP AQUA
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Aquarium Equip D-803 UP鹽度檢測器
  • Accuracy
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Aquarium Equip D-803 UP鹽度檢測器 Final Thoughts

"Good product."

Now that it's calibrated I love it! On the shaft of the refractometer, there's a little, rubber-covered nub. Get precise salinity readings in moments. I bought this and a hydrometer because of the reviews saying its not accurate. Get precise salinity readings in moments. Comes with a nice carrying case for easy and secure transportation. Not sure how accurate it is, but it's a good reference point.

Overall Score
5.0


(1 Points)

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