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About The Author
Authors Notes
Your First Pond
Trees & Sunshine
Take The Plunge
Preformed Pools
Installing A Liner
Making A Raised Pool
A Koi Pond
Miniature Ponds
Adding A Waterfall
Colourful Ponds
Choosing A Pump
Solar Powered Pumps
Looking After A Pump
Pond Pipework
Installing A Fountain
Self-Contained Fountains
The Leaky Pond
Planting The Pond
A Wildlife Pond
A Bog Garden
Pond Plants
Plants Round A Pond
Choosing A Lily
Floating Plants
Water Hyacinth
Oxygenating Plants
About Fish
When To Buy Fish
Choosing Fish
Quarantining Fish
Fish Under Stress
Feeding Your Fish
Holidays & Fish
Breeding Coldwater Fish
Changing Colours Of Fish
Pond Fish
A Koi Collection
Ghost Koi
Fancy Goldfish
Coldwater Catfish
Grass Carp
Rearing Trout
Swan Mussels
Visitors To The Pond
Visiting A Koi Auction
Clubs & Societies
Caring For Fish
Testing The Water
Are You Poisoning Your Fish
Ponds & Medicines
Diseases & Parasites
Disappearing Fish
Problems With Herons
Green Ponds
Fish Pond Filters
How A Filter Works
Improving Your Filter
Ultra Violet Sterilizers
Looking After A Filter
The Pond Through The Year
Spring Cleaning
Pond Plants In Spring
Ponds In Summer
Autumn & Winter
Breaking The Ice
10 Problems
Useful Facts & Figures

Allotment Articles1.
Allotment Articles 2.

Testing The Water

There are many ways of testing water in which fish are to be kept so as to measure its suitability for them. Whilst temperature is not so important for pond fish it is crucial that it is maintained correctly for tropical fish. 75 to 80 F is quite suitable for most tropical fish although some such as Silver Sharks like it a little cooler. If a fishpond were to get that high the fish would start gasping for oxygen and some sort of aeration would be urgently required. However, it does not happen very often in this country, except in freak summers.

Oxygen levels can be checked and there are now test kits available for it. However sensible stocking levels and good aeration should remove the need for testing in both the fish tank and pond.

Where temperature is more significant in the pond is when Autumn comes and it gets cooler. As the pond temperature starts to drop to around 55F the feeding of high protein ground fish based foods should be stopped. Wheatgerm based foods should then be given until the temperature drops further still, so that the fish go into a semi dormant state and just lie on the bottom of the pond.

All fish keepers should be aware of the problems that high Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate levels can cause. They are all Nitrogen based compounds produced by feeding fish and the decay of vegetation. Ammonia is highly toxic to all fish and if its presence is detected a water change should be carried out immediately. If the water is agitated, ammonia will oxidise to produce white bubbles that are a simple warning of its presence.

Nitrite levels of even 1 part per million are too high and a partial water change should be carried out. Nitrate levels on the other hand can go much higher before they become harmful. If nitrate levels are high the addition of quick growing plants such as ELODEA will help matters as Nitrates are natural plant food.

Another quite important thing to test is the P H level. This is a measure of the degree of acidity, or alkalinity of the water. A P H reading of between 7 and 8 is suitable for most fish. Pond and Aquarium water may become acidic with age, or become alkaline due to the presence of lime from any cement. If this happens P H buffers, or adjusting chemicals are available to make the water safe for fish again.

You can also test the hardness of water, but this should not concern the average fish keeper other than the fact that hard water may leave scale deposits on pipe-work to the pump.

Salinity can be tested using a hydrometer, but again this only concerns the specialist fish keeper, who may keep marines, unless salt water is being used as a medicative treatment for freshwater fish.