Aquarium water tests – JBL Pro Scan

Water Tests

One of the most important aspect when owning an aquarium is water quality and its parameters.

Each aquarium type (African cichlid tank, planted only or just a simple goldfish tank) it is absolutely necessary to have a water test kit in order to have compliant water specifications with your desired tank. This is why in 2019 a new generation of analysis is coming in the aid of the modern aquarist with a downloadable app for Android and iOS and ease of use that makes it convenient for everyone to use and quickly have results.

That product is JBL Pro Scan, I personally have been using this for over 3 years and have seen some amazing improvements on the application side and this is why I decided to write about it since I fell that is has reached maturity and it has the potential to be widely accepted.

JBL Pro SCAN review

Video Review: Doing water tests with JBL Pro Scan
Phone not included 🙂

Unboxing the water test kit we see that it contains the following:

  • 1 pack of 24 water analysis strips.
  • 1 color-card.
  • 1 leaflet.
  • downloadable app free of charge (requires iOS 7.0 or higher | Android 4.0 or higher and a camera with autofocus).
Contents of JBL Pro Scan
Contents of JBL Pro Scan

How to use it?

  • Install the Application: in the leaflet, you will find a link and a QR code with instruction on how to download the application on your phone. I found it really easy to use the QR code and get a direct link, but if you don’t have a QR code application, just simply type JBL in the search box of either Play-Store or App-Store and you will find it guaranteed.
    • First time only: Open the application and make an account. This is crucial if you want to have your analysis saved in the cloud and be able to view them anywhere at any time and also have them available even if you change phones
  • You will be greeted by 2 options My Analyses and Quickscan
    • My Analyses is the option where you can scan, save and compare your measurements history. Basically, it saves your test results and you can make categories.
    • Quickscan is the same without the save measurement function; it provides a quick way to test out water parameters without looking at past data.

As you can see, I have made collections for all my aquariums; thus I can easily track the progress of each one and have past data to see how the water parameters are changing.

  • Once you selected what test you want to do and named your aquarium, you can hit the plus + sign and start a new test.
    • This is where you will need to take one analysis strip from the tube and place it in the aquarium water for only 2-3 seconds. (do not leave it for too long)
    • You then have to shake the remaining water off sideways so that there is no excess water on them. Here I found some additional tips for this step to be more effective: tap the test strip on the kitchen paper and never shake it around in the air. Otherwise, the measuring fields might react with each other. “Puddles” can also cause the color fields to react with each other and to produce reflections.
To improve test results: tap the test strip on the kitchen paper and never shake it around in the air.
  • We now have to place the strip on the ColorCard.
  • The final step is to use the application to read the strip on the color-card and get the results.
    • There are a few tips here as well in order to get the best result possible:
      • It is best to carry out the test near a window (natural light) in bright light and using a sheet of white paper as a matt non-reflecting base.
      • Direct light from above casts shadows or reflections which can affect the color rendering.
      • The ColorCard should be uniformly illuminated.
      • Shadows and reflections can cause fluctuations and can indicate an incorrect reading.
  • Save your results.

Having data to analyze.

This is why I love technology and apps that can save your test data. the JBL Pro Scan app can save your date and present it in a very informative way so you can keep track of water parameters and see what changes need to be applied in order to keep your aquarium healthy.

pH history in my aquarium

It is also very nice if you hit the more button on the history page and it will redirect you to JBL site where you can visualize your data in a more detailed manner.

My history analysis.

I even have some analysis from my old aquarium from 2016. This is amazing !

Another good part of this product is that you can get also quick recommendations if your values are to high or to low on how to improve them. This is a very useful feature for new comers in the aquarium world to learn how to keep your water clean and safe for your fish and plants.

Final conclusion

I strongly believe in this product that I have been using for years now and feel like it has the potential to teach anyone to use and interpret water tests, and that can only lead to a healthy aquarium and happy fish. And in that regard, it is what sets this product apart from all the other ones out there, the fact that anyone can pick it up and learn how to use it very fast.

This is why I recommend this product to anyone who wants quick and reliable access to water tests along with a great app for ease of use.

Thank you all for your support!