4 Steps to Balanced Pond Water

As we discussed in a previous newsletter, Spring Pond Cleaning, it is important to give your pond a fresh start this season with a thorough cleaning, and possibly a partial or full water change. However, once your pond is clean, there are several additional steps you need to take to ensure that it stays balanced and can effectively support life.

Plants and fish are what help to make your pond a beautiful ecosystem. However, those same forms of life also create imbalances in the pond water that can cause problems if they aren’t monitored and dealt with effectively.  Balanced water is essential to creating and maintaining a healthy ecosystem in your backyard pond. It is important to equip yourself with the proper pond supplies for testing and treating your pond water, because it is necessary to regularly:

  1. Use a test kit to monitor the pH, chlorine, nitrate, and ammonia levels in your pond.

  2. Maintain ideal pH levels in your pond to keep your water clear and your fish and plant life healthy and happy. Good pH levels are right around 7.0, because that means water is neutral. Higher levels indicate too much ammonia build-up in the pond, and lower levels indicate that the water is too acidic and your fish aren’t getting enough oxygen. You can do partial water changes to help balance the pH levels, and if they continually fluctuate into dangerous levels, you can use a buffer such as Crystal Clear pHusion Down or Pond Care pH Up.

  3. Eliminate any chlorine detected in the water by using a dechlorinator or chlorine neutralizer. Chlorine prevents beneficial bacteria from growing.

  4. Monitor the amount of nitrate and ammonia in your pond. Both of these chemicals are a result of the metabolic waste produced by your fish. If levels are too high, excessive algae will grow, oxygen will be depleted, and your fish and other plant life will suffer. A good pond filter should help to get rid of most of the nitrate and ammonia build-up in your pond, and water plants can also help to keep levels low.  For more detailed information on reducing nitrates and ammonia, see our article on Which Water Treatments Should I Use?
It is essential to regularly monitor and adjust each of these pond water components, because one of the most important aspects of plant and fish health is consistency. Fish in particular react poorly to abrupt changes – they are sensitive and delicate creatures, and it is up to you to create and maintain an ecosystem in which they can comfortable survive.