Pond Testing Kits
Testing Your Pond Water Before It Becomes an Issue
It can be very hard to tell what chemicals are needed and the current chemical levels in the pond water. You can never be 100% sure until you test the water to find out what needs to be increased and what needs to be reduced. There are methods to figure out your water chemistry issues without using a test kit. For example, watch your fish's behavior. If they are acting out of the ordinary you know the water balance is off. However, this takes time to learn.
Why do you need to test your water in the first place? If the ecosystem isn't balanced in terms of chemicals, temperature and many other factors, then the pond will end-up being an angry marsh; fish could die and plants could be suffocated.
Specifically for this purpose, there are testing kits that help you determine the chemical balance for your pond. This is the best method because you will know exactly what is wrong and exactly what you will need to balance it. PH level is important because it is affected by ammonia (from fish excrement and decaying leaves, among other sources). When your PH balance and chemical balance is off, you may need a few pond chemicals to promote the optimal chemical levels.
There are different types of kits that use a variety of different methods, the most popular being the dipping technique . This method involves dipping a strip into the water, watching it change color and then matching it up to the similar color on the chart supplied, which will tell you what is needed. There are also liquid drop kits and digital salt meters.
So What Should You Test For?
- Basic pond chemical test kits include pH, nitrates, nitrites, water hardness, and alkalinity.
- There are also a few other products available to check other levels like salt, oxygen and ammonia. These kits usually range in price between $8 and $16 each.
- If you have Koi in your garden pond you also need to test for KH (carbonate hardness).
- You may also want to test for ORP, which is the oxidation reduction potential.
It is a good idea to test your water at regular intervals to get a definitive read. If you are on top of your water balance then it is much easier to balance if small things go wrong. Keeping up on this can save your fish, your plants and lots of labor.