How to Test Pond Water
Testing pond water is a simple task that requires little time and effort. All you need is a pond water test kit. This contains all of the supplies and information needed to determine the appropriate levels to toxicity in the water. Most kits include a tube used to sample water, as well as several chemicals.
In order to test the water, fill the tube with a water sample up to the fill line. Depending upon which toxin is being tested, drop the specified amount of the chemical into the water. The water will turn a certain color. Included in the kit is a chart that places a toxicity value to the color in the test tube.
Step 1 - Test for Ammonia
Ammonia is an extremely toxic waste product produced by fish and other types of organisms in a fish pond or other body of water. A detectable amount of ammonia found in pond water can cause fish to experience gill damage, impaired functions and can often prove to be fatal. If ammonia is detected, begin using an ammonia remover in your pond water. Slowly changing pond water is another option. Keep in mind that when changing pond water, fish need time to adapt to the fresh water.
Step 2 - Test for Nitrite
Nitrite is also a toxic poison found in fish ponds. This particular type of poison limits the fish’s ability to carry oxygen to the blood. Nitrite can damage the immune system and lead to death.
Step 3 - Test for Nitrate
Nitrate is much less toxic than the two poisons previously listed. Nitrate is found in fertilizer and can lead to an increased amount of algae in ponds. This can also be remedied by changing pond water frequently.
Step 4 - Test pH Level
Maintaining an appropriate pH level in pond water is key to the survival of the plants and fish within the pond. The pH test is also a part of the test kit. The fish in a pond can survive if the pH of the pond water ranges from 6.0 to 9.0. The ideal level would be anywhere from 7.0 to 8.5.
The chemicals found in the kit that are used in determining the levels of toxicity all have expiration dates. When they have expired, they are no longer reliable. It is always important to note the expiration date found on the fish pond test kits.
Regular testing of a fish pond is necessary to the success of the pond. It is important that the testing be done on a regular basis in order to determine changes in different levels, and also to treat a certain toxin that may be found in the water before it becomes a greater hazard for the fish and plants.