Water Testing – pH
pH (Potential Hydrogen) is the measure of whether your pond water is acidic or alkaline. Having a pH between 6.5 to 8.5 is the normal range for a pond system. If your pH is below 6.5 this is acidic and if it reaches below 4 this can be disastrous for your fish and is unlikely that they will survive. pH over 8.5 is alkaline. The test for pH is only an indication as the pH will vary at different times of the day as it is affected by photosynthesis and the respiration of flora and fauna. pH will generally be at its lowest at dawn and highest at dusk. pH can swing from acidic to alkaline if there is no presence of calcium carbonate in the water which helps to control pH levels. These swings are extremely dangerous as they can interfere with the basic body functions of the fish which leaves them vulnerable to stress and disease.
Factors that can affect the pH level are as follows:
- Carbon dioxide concentration
- Dissolved Minerals
Generally when fish are looking ill the first thing you do is a water test to establish the cause. You can test the pH levels with the PondCare Master Test Kit, which also has Ammonia, Phosphate and pH tests included or you can buy the pH test kit separately. To adjust your pH level you can use the following:
- pHMax – This product will lower pH levels, while also adding electrolytes to help fish maintain a strong slime coating and healthy appearance.
- Clearpond pH Down – Lowers pH.
- Calcium Carbonate – Raises pH and hardness.
- Hardness Plus – This product will raise the HARDNESS in your water and will also help to bring your pH up. This product is best for people who are using rainwater in their ponds as the rainwater can be quite SOFT, which mean that the Calcium and Magnesium levels in your pond are low and this can result in pH swings.
You can drop in to The Pond Shop with a water sample and we can perform a Water Test for just $3.00. If you have any concerns or would like to speak to someone about a particular problem you are having with your pond you can send us an e-mail, give us a call or come and speak with us in the shop.
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