POND MAINTENANCE Pt 2
INTRODUCING LIVE FISH
So after you have given your pond its seasonal clean out its time to introduce some new livestock. A number of things should be checked before this happens.
1. WATER TEST : over the winter organic material that is left to break down in your pond will negatively affect your waters chemistry and the ponds biosphere, and will cause problems when introducing new livestock. It is very important to test on a regular basis.
2 . PH/NH3+/NH4+/NO2/NO3 : Ok it’s important to know where these gasses come from, how they affect your fish and pond and how to get rid of them.
PH: PH is the measure of acidity of water. A ph reading of 7 is neutral. A ph higher than seven is alkaline, and a PH of below 7 is acidic. Maintaining your ponds proper PH ensures optimal water quality. The PH should be tested weekly since organic material (fish waste, uneaten food) left to break down can cause PH changes, and fish don’t like this!
AMMONIA/NH3/NH4+ : Fish continually release ammonia directly into the pond through their gills, urine and solid waste. Uneaten food and other decaying organic material also add ammonia to the water. A natural mechanism exists that controls ammonia in the pond – the biological filter. However as with any natural process, imbalances may occur. So testing for ammonia on a regular basis is a must !!! Even small amounts of ammonia can lead to suppressing of the immune system and can lead to fish death or disease.
NITRITE NO2 : Is produced in the pond by the biological filtration system. Beneficial bacteria in the biological filtration system then converts nitrite into NITRATE . Nitire in the pond is toxic, and will prevent fish from carrying on normal respiration, and high levels will quickly lead to fish death. Even small amounts of nitrite, stress fish, suppressing their immune system and increasing the likelihood of disease.
NITRATE NO3 : Nitrate is produced in the aquarium by the biological filter. Beneficial bacteria in the filter convert toxic ammonia and nitre into nitrate. High levels of nitrate indicate a build up of fish waste and organic compounds, resulting in poor water quality and contributing to the likelihood of fish disease. Excessive nitrate also provides a nitrogen source that can stimulate algae blooms.
API TEST KITS : API LIQUID TEST KITS are the easiest way to keep your ponds water chemistry in check. Very simple and easy to understand these kits are essential for keeping your pond clean and your fish happy and healthy.