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what type of water test kit should i get

Posted by loriques (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 18, 10 at 21:23

i'm so confused on this water testing. i currently have dip sticks that test

ph, hardness, nitrate, nitrite and alkalinity.

i have very soft water and i need to test my water daily to make sure the ph does not drop. but i have seen posts on testing amonia, and salt levels. so what type of test kit should i get to make sure my fish live. i am currently loosing fish left and right due to bacteria. i am using malifix to treat the whole pond. i know i shocked the fish putting them in a very low ph pond and i think the stress is what is causing them to die. so i got ph buffer and stabilizer.

i'm doing all i know to do, but i really need help figuring out the tests.. thank you for any help at all..

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: what type of water test kit should i get

  • Posted by jalal z3/Canada (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 18, 10 at 21:45

Aquarium Pharmaceuticals has a test kit that includes Low Ph, High Ph, Nitrites, Nitrates and Ammonia. KH/GH test not included. Kit is pricey $70CD don't know what it is in the US. Nutrafin carries separate tests for each of these ranging from $8 to $20 a kit here. You need to have the ammonia test as it may be what is killing your fish. Make sure you get one that has drops you add to a test tube of water. The strip tests are useless. It doesn't take very much ammonia to kill fish. You can neutralize the ammonia with stuff like Prime and I'm sure there are others. If ammonia readings are high you need to do a water change but no more than 25% if you can help it. Can't remember names of other ammonia neutralizers. As long as ammonia is showing your filters have not cycled.

Oh in my book that's with my kit they requmend AMMO-Lock to detoxify ammonia. It doesn't remove it it just converts it to another non-toxic form. There is a test by Seachems Multitest for ammonia that will test free ammonia levels in your pond when using Prime or AMMO-Lock. The biofilter will convert the non -toxic ammonia to nitrite and then nitrate. You need to test ammonia levels on a new pond at least every two days. After no ammonia, nitrites, nitrates showing then can test every week. Feeding increases ammonia levels but if your fish are not doing well they probably aren't eating.

RE: what type of water test kit should i get

Tetra Laborette is a good inexpensive test kit. It costs less than $15 on

If you pH is low and your water is soft, your pond is in danger of a pH crash. You should get some buffer in there, but the problem with that is alkalinity is consumed by the bio-filter so buffering agents won't last. As the alkalinity drops, it will allow the pH to shift which is very hard on the fish can can be deadly. If you add a pH or buffering product when there is any trace of ammonia in the pond, the rise in pH makes the ammonia much more toxic. So if you do have ammonia, bind it with ammoloc, chloram-X, Pond prime or similar product before adjusting the pH. I keep oyster shells in my filter all of the time to add a safe, stable buffering agent.

RE: what type of water test kit should i get

the two most important test are ammonia and nitrite.if there is any your fish will can raise your kh,and stabilize your ph by adding baking soda to your should find out why you are loosing your big is your pond?what type filter do you have?are you doing weekly water changes.

RE: what type of water test kit should i get

  • Posted by jalal z3/Canada (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 19, 10 at 16:23

Laura I think you need to post some info on your biofiltration, size of pond and how long it's been running. No ammount of salt or melafix will fix a pond that isn't cycled if that's what is happening. Treating fish with medications is a tricky business especially as figuring out what is going on is next to rocket science! Baking soda to buffer ph is a cheap alternative to products purchased at petstores. From what I've read on that site you have to test your kh daily to get it to the level you need to buffer ph.

Did you climatize your fish before you added them to the pond? The change in water chemistry alone from wherever you purchased them to your pond can kill your fish if they aren't climatized slowly to the new water. When I move my fish out to the pond in the spring it's a fairly long process--even with moving their indoor pond water out at the same time. I still put them in 20 gal tubs--add some pond water (about 2 cups) leave them for 20 minutes and do it again. I do this three times before I release them into the pond. The only thing I add to my pond at start up is Prime water conditioner (for the chloramines and chlorine). I do 10% water changes for weekly for the first month then every 2 weeks depending on how dirty my settling chamber is. With the rain we've been having I havn't done a water change in two weeks--I'm due for one as the mats in the sc are full of algae but it's been raining too much to do this.

So please post some more info on your pond--hopefully someone out here can address your dying fish problem.

RE: what type of water test kit should i get

I've never tested my pond water and I don't even have a filter in my large pond, or even a pump. Just put in a crap ton of plants and it'll take care of itself. My fish are too numerous to count in my 20x30 pond, it just balances itself out. Of course, I have a natural looking pond, I don't want it to look like a swimming pool. Some like that "artificially clean" look, I guess.

RE: what type of water test kit should i get

Sandy, sorry to say this, but that is VERY poor advise. Your "natural looking" pond is a disaster waiting to happen. Think of a liner pond as a giant aquarium. You would not expect an aquarium to just take care of it's self, would you? It can't be done. A pond is no different. As soon as you put a liner in it, you have created an artificial environment. No matter how many plants you add, you cannot create an natural pond. The stocking rate of a liner pond is probably 100 times that of a real natural pond, and you do not have the constant water exchange that goes on in a natural pond. Becuase of that, we must keep the environment clean and healthy for the animals that live there. That does not mean it has to look like a swimming pool, but it does mean that fish waste and rotting plants can't be allowed to remain in the water. The decaying organics form hydrogen sulphide gas that will some day might kill all of the inhabitants of the pond. That kind of pond will balance it's self, because creatures that aren't getting what they need will keep dying off. As fish grow large, they will suffocate from lack of oxygen. As ammonia levels build, they will die from burned gills. The original poster actually cares about her fish dying and wants to stop it....not just let the pond balance it's self out by allowing fish to suffer and die. If that's the way you want to keep a pond, that's fine....but please don't suggest to someone else that adding a huge pile of plants will fix all of their problems. That is just plain irresponsible.

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