Water tests should be performed regularly on water gardens and backyard ponds. These pond test kits will help you stay on top of your pond water and keep it safe for koi and other fish.
With so many pond water testing kits available it can be confusing to know what you need. What test do you need to perform for the best water quality? Do you need to know your Salinity or Alkalinity? Let take a look at some basic tests that you should do and how to do them.
Ammonia is formed from fish waste and organic debris from frogs, leaves, dead fish, sticks, etc. The decomposition of these materials release Ammonia. Again the best reading will be zero, but sometimes it will not be possible.
Many experts will tell you that testing the pH of your pond is crucial. It is debated by pond experts but the ideal range is 7.0-7.5. Keep in mind though that pH can change during the day. Try and find a average reading.
When nitrite is converted to nitrate it is less dangerous to your fish. Again ideally you want a reading of zero.
Fish waste will introduce these to the pond water. Algae will flourish when this nutrient is in the water. Other aquatic plants will use the nutrient, but ideally again a reading of zero is ideal.
This term stands for Carbobate hardness. Which is total Alkalinity. Different from pH it is the ponds ability to stabilize the pH in the water. You want this number to be 100-200 PPM.
Every pond water test kit on the market will use a chemical reaction between the reagent and sample pond water. This causes a color change and show the results.
A photometer can be super accurate, but they are costly. They will give you quick results on a bunch of different pond water tests. The only downfall of photometers is having to recalibrating them. Newer models are getting better about this though.
With small vials you take the sample pond water and add reagents and see what color it turns. Just compare the color to a color chart and it will give you a accurate reading.
The benefit of using a dry pond test kit is speed and ease of use. Just dip the test strip in the water and watch the color. Again, like the other pond testing kits compare the color to a provided chart. Dry test strips are easy to use and a great way to take multiple test in a day.
If you have a new pond it is recommended that you test your pond once a week. If you have a established pond that has a problem you may need to test daily until it goes away.
Those in colder climates should also keep testing during winter months. Just bring the samples inside and allow the pond water to warm up before testing.
The actual time of day is debated. Just pick one time that you can consistently test at and keep testing at that time.
Since test kits need reagents to work they do have a expiration date on them. Just look at the date that is printed on the chemical you are using.
Tip: To lengthen the life of your dry and liquid test kit keep them out of moisture and sunny conditions.
If you pond water test kit does not have a expiration date on it, it should be used within one year of purchase.
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