Main Banner
Webb's Pond Resources
Location
Home / Webb's Pond Resources / How-To Articles / Testing Water Quality

Testing Water Quality

In order to succeed at keeping fish, ensure that you are providing the best water conditions possible. Too often, disease and death among fish is a result of bad water quality. The following are water quality parameters that you must adhere to in order to be successful.

Removing Toxic Chemicals

Chlorine and chloramines are commonly used to disinfect public water supplies. Both are lethal to fish. Eliminate with water conditioners, designed to neutralize poisonous compounds present in tap water.

Temperature

Temperature should be between 65 and 85 degrees. Goldfish and koi will thrive below 65 degrees, but disease treatment is much more effective at higher temperatures, where the fish immune system is functioning better. Be sure to keep your holding facilities in the shade if possible to avoid high temperatures.

Dissolved Oxygen

Fish need oxygen in the water to survive. A lightly stocked pond may not need additional aeration. However, if you have more than just a few fish in your pond or holding tank, additional aeration may be needed. If the water is low of dissolved oxygen, the fish will come to the top and stick their noses out of the water, seeming to gasp for air.

pH

pH is the measurement of hydrogen ions in your water. It is vitally important to continually monitor your pH level, attempting to maintain a pH of 7.9. The lower your pH is below 7.9, the more likely you are to suffer a pH crash, resulting in severe stress to your fish. To increase pH, add sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) @ 1 teaspoon per 10 gallons until the desired level is reached. A higher pH alone is not harmful. However, a combination of high pH and ammonia in the water is a deadly combination. Lowering pH can be difficult. Adding peat or vinegar is somewhat effective.

Ammonia

Ammonia comes from fish waste and decomposition of uneaten food. Ammonia levels will quickly rise to lethal levels in a system with new or uncycled filters. Levels need to be maintained as close to 0 ppm as possible. If levels are consistently above 0.5 ppm, you need to decrease stocking density and feeding, and/or increase filtration. A combination of high pH and high ammonia is especially dangerous, because with each 1 point increase in pH (for example from pH 7 to pH 8) the ammonia present becomes 10 times more toxic. You cannot smell or see high levels of ammonia. You MUST use test kits.

Nitrite

Bacteria in your filter system consume ammonia. Nitrite, a toxic byproduct of this process, must also be monitored. Nitrite accumulation will quickly kill fish in a system without fully cycled biofilters. An ideal nitrite level is 0 ppm. Anything above 0.15 ppm is stressful to fish and can cause disease. To reduce high nitrite levels, increase your water changes and filtration, and decrease your feeding and stock density.

Article Posted: 12/25/2016 04:48:27 PM

Shop Our Store for These Items

13164 - API Pond Master Liquid Test Kit (MPN 164M)
$48.98 $34.98 (Save 29%)
87 Points | Out of Stock
00026 - API Pond Nitrite Test Kit 180 Test (MPN 26)
$16.78 $11.98 (Save 29%)
30 Points | In Stock
63L - API Phosphate Test Kit (MPN 63L)
$20.98 $14.98 (Save 29%)
37 Points | In Stock
Banner Adverts
Free Shipping on orders over $49
Deal of the day
Tetra Koi Vibrance
Recent Articles

Webb's Q&A: How to Prep your Pond for Fall

09/28/2022 11:05:35 AM: In this Q&A Justin asks Joe the best things you can do for your pond before the leaves even start falling. Joe talks about plant care, introducing beneficial bacteria and more tips for preparing for fall. Any questions? Call us at 1-866-819-7663.

7 Ways to Pamper Your Koi

08/23/2022 02:40:46 PM: In this post we consult with koi guru, Carolyn Weise of Microbe-Lift on how to give koi excellent care and treatment.

How to Protect Your Fish from the Heat

07/20/2022 10:50:08 AM: Tips to protect your fish from the heat. Keep reading for advice on how to keep your water babies safe in relentless summer weather.

Inspiration for Your Water Features from 13 Incredible Yards in St. Louis

07/11/2022 10:46:42 AM: Get ideas for your ponds and water features from these backyards that we visited during the St. Louis Pond-O-Rama.

Webb's Water Gardens
Your Cart
Your Cart: Empty
Quick Store Search
Browse
866.819.7663
Online Store Search
Webb's Exclusive Offers: FREE Shipping and Discount Codes Click Here for Details
Product Types

We Have The Largest Selection of Pond Supplies and Equipment Available on the Planet

Accepted Payments | Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, PayPal Authorize.Net Merchant - Click to Verify
© 1981-2022 Webb's Water Gardens, all rights reserved worldwide.
Software: Kryptronic eCommerce, Copyright 1999-2022 Kryptronic, Inc. Exec Time: 0.09971 Seconds Memory Usage: 11.359184 Megabytes
Kryptronic