Is it Important to Test Garden Fish Pond Water Regularly? Yes,
Fish keeping is about managing pond water quality and the way to keep on top
of this management task is to observe what is going on in the pond and then test
to confirm it ... this especially means testing your fish pond when all looks
well. The problem with pond testing advise is that it is given at the time of a
problem appearing and frankly it's too late to get the most from testing the
Testing water is difficult and results can also be very difficult to
interpret. This is certainly true for factors like pH
and water hardness data. Nevertheless knowing the
state of your water garden under normal circumstances is important.
Why Do I Need To Test My Pond Regularly?
If there is no history of test results for your pond then chances are that
when you really do need to know if all is well (or not) pond testing probably
creates more problems than it resolves. At the best of times pond water quality
test results are difficult to interpret accurately and once the result is known
what is to be done next anyway? Is the result right, wrong or in between and
what must be done with the information if you're not sure anyway? Properties
like pH even change with time of day. Other results will fluctuate wildly
depending upon what and when you fed the fish ,
whether your biofilter is performing
at its best and so on.
Create A Water Quality History
To overcome this problem and introduce a great deal of certainty into your
test results you need to create a complete history of your pond water. You do
this as follows ...
Get the best test kit you can afford.
Stick with the same test kit and system. Not
all kits work the same and some are better than others.
Always use a reliable source and check the
expiry dates on the reagents when you buy the kits and a the time of buying
Get used to the test and make access to the
Every day at the same time and before feeding
(early morning is good time) take your pond water samples and do the tests.
Religiously record the result ... if you
suspect any kind of error retest until you get the same result twice.
Plot the result on graph paper or use a
Observe your fish and record the observation
at the same time ... this may be "all seems well, fish swimming together as
Monitor the results over time.
You will build up the "normal state" for your
own water gardening fish pond which means you will immediately spot
abnormalities with a degree of certainty that would not be possible by
relying upon a single test result in isolation.
If you prefer not to follow this routine do
yourself and your goldfish or koi a big favour ... don't test at all.
Remember ... Important parameters such as pH, ammonia and
nitrites within the pond itself change during the day and especially just after
feeding. Test results will also change depending on time of day and when you fed
the fish for example.
The Problem With Testing Your Fish Pond Occasionally
You get a result and it has negative implications such as ammonia is 0.3 or
pH is 8.5. What do you do?
You ask your dealer what you must do and he sells you a "correctant" . You
find this doesn't seem to help so you add some more or you add a "counter-correctant."
Eventually you go around in circles. Real problem are created from one that
didn't exist in the first place. Initial results may be TOTALLY wrong ... hence
the need to build up a history of your pond test parameters so that you can spot
true variations from the norm.
The best test kit by far is the behaviour of your fish.
Observe them and get to know them.