TEST YOUR WATER, A SPRING POND CARE REMINDER
Early spring is a great time to take a walk, visit your pond and check to see if you need to attend to any problems or potential problems. If you don’t inspect your pond on a regular basis, more problems may occur. One area to be mindful of is testing the water chemistry of your pond.
Q: What is the importance of testing pond water quality?
A: Testing your pond water is important because it allows for early detection of potentially serious imbalances. Many pond owners never test their ponds, and only detect a problem when plant or animal life sickens and/or dies.
Q: How do I test the quality of my pond water?
A: The quality of your pond water is directly related to its use. You should consider the uses of your pond to determine which parameters are your greatest concerns. There are many economical products out there that can help you test your pond water.
Q: What are the uses of your pond?
A: Primary pond uses are for animal drinking, swimming, fishing, irrigation, and aesthetics. We'll focus primarily on aesthetic and fish ponds.
Q: What are the different parameters of pond water according to its uses?
A: You're going to want to monitor the following in your backyard pond.
• Turbidity – Muddy pond water is usually an aesthetic problem caused by runoff from disturbed areas around the pool.
• Water temperature – It is best to match the type of fish in the pond to the temperatures common to your climate. Cold-water fish prefer a maximum temperature below 70oF, while warm-water fish prefer temperatures around 80oF.
• Dissolved oxygen – Most pond water can hold 10-12 mg/L of oxygen. Below 6 mg/L can have detrimental effects on pond life.
• pH Levels – The ideal pH level is 6.5 to 7.5. pH levels that are less than 6.0 may result in reduced fish populations.
• Algae – Algae can take over a pond, produce toxins, and soak up the oxygen of the pond water. All of which greatly interfere with the health and happiness of fish.
• Chemicals and minerals – Specifically Copper and Ammonia, these kill fish fast if they build up.
• Nitrates - These are a by-product of breaking down ammonia and while not quite as toxic to fish, can certainly cause irreparable damage to many of their systems. Nitrates or nitrite levels should remain well below 0.25 ppm.
• Parasites – Such as leeches, anchor worms, and fish lice can affect pond fish, like koi and goldfish. First, prevent these by quarantining new fish. If you detect signs of parasites, you may have to use an insecticide and/or physically remove them directly from the fish.
For further information about water testing, or to sign up for a free eNewsletter that'll bring more pond and water garden tips to your inbox once a month, visit Pond Planet's blog at http://www.pondplanet.com/pondblog/. If you'd like further information about the products that Pond Planet has available to test or manage your pond's water chemistry, please call us at (844) 921-4501.