Future Pets' Pond Manual
Testing & Controlling Pond Water Quality
Test Your Pond Water
The health of your pond depends on good water quality. Testing the
water is an important step in monitoring the condition of the pond and
Over time, ponds can become contaminated with high chemical
toxins, particularly if the ecosystem is newly
established or newly changed or if you neglect to maintain
Study the illustration to understand
which by-products are produced in the normal cycling
of your pond.
A high quality test kit will test for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.
- High pH will cause any ammonia in the pond to become toxic,
even at low levels. Always test for pH and try to keep it at
approximately 7 - or neutral.
- Over time, many ponds which started out with a high pH will begin
to drop precariously low. Below 5.5 is too low for bacteria to thrive,
and the biological filter will be damaged.
- Ammonia is the number 1 killer of pond fish. It is a by-product of
decay and decomposition. Suddenly adding a heavy fish load or failing
to remove built up sludge and debris can cause high ammonia.
- Test frequently for ammonia - especially during the early days
after pond start-up. Ammonia is the first stage of waste cycling
and the first to cause damage.
- Nitrite is also damaging to fish. If the pond survives the ammonia
created by decomposing waste products and fish elimination, the ammonia
will be turned into damaging nitrite.
- Nitrite turns into nitrate, which fertilizes plants. Too much nitrate
and too few plants can cause algae bloom (because algae is a plant).