I'm at my wits end and I need help


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I'm at my wits end and I need help in more ways than one.
Hugh water quality issue with PH. I have well water and have tested it fresh out of the hose after running it for 2-3 min.
Temp-60 deg
Ph-6.0 or less
Ammonia-0.0
Nitrite- 0.0
Nitrate- 0.5
I have tested water after letting it rest for 24 hrs in a plastic 1gal milk jug. no changes in test results. in the pond I am experiencing a PH swing of 7.6 within 24 hrs, fish are NOT happy with this. thinking I have a problem with my substrate I totally revamped the bio-system with 3/8 pea gravel. testing all rocks with Clear White Vinegar (CWV) in a 4 cup measuring cup with a single layer of stone for 1hr before installing in the bio-system and showed very little results.
3/8 pea gravel- 1 bubble every 10 to 15 min.
3/4-2" rock removed from pond showed no result at all.

Totally frustrated with the PH swing and the results I retested the well water, this time I filled a 20gal fish tank and aerated it with a small air stone for 24hrs+ and BAMMMM my PH was off the scale with a 7.6ph. UGH... its not my pond its my water.

I have only found 2 ways to control high alkalinity, clear white vinegar and Citric acid, not much out there dealing with this issue for pond usage and dosage.

Any help with this issue would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Jhn

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So if I understand correctly your ph swing Is from 6 or less to 7.6 in 24 hrs… instead of trying to lower your ponds ph, I would set Up a reservoir for top off(and correct this water) if you find you need to top off frequently and it is swinging the ponds ph too much. Really for top off the Source water shouldn’t be swinging the ph in your pond that bad, unless you let it get way down and need to add a lot of water… or are you doing water changes on your ponds, if so stop doing water changes. Are unnecessary and even counterproductive in most cases for ponds.
 
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Years ago when my pond kept crashing, someone told me to put limestone in the water. Either in a bag in the bio filter so the water runs through it or put a slab of it in the pond. I have a shelf in my pond so I put a huge slab of it on the shelf. Never had a PH problem since.
 
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Don't panic. I bet you are more stressed than your fish (if they actually are stressed) over the pH swing. Aeration will cause pH to rise because you are 'boiling off' C02. Fish respiration affects pH.
You mention a pH swing of 7.6. What are the extreme values of your pond ( not well) water? How may fish do you have and how large is your pond? Do you have live plants in the pond? What type of filtration do you use? Is the filter dirty? Dirty filters can greatly affect pH. And finally, is your pond completely cycled?
 
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The Ph of my tap water is 7.1-8.4 per our water authority. Fish can do fine at 7.6. I do not see the issue with topping off your water with the lower pH water, and letting the pond be at 7.6. The important thing is that your fish do not have sudden changes.

I am unclear if your water will get more and more basic if left alone, or if it settles around 7.6 ?

Continuing to add acid seems unsustainable and what if you go out of town. The acids may stress them more that the lower pH ?
 
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Ph is not a problem as long as it is stable, but swings can be deadly to fish. To get a stable pH, you need to raise the KH (alkalinity) in your system to buffer the acid being produced by the nitrogen cycle. That is easily done with plain old baking soda. Limestone works as well, just normally not as quickly.

Yes, adding those things will raise the pH, and at the level of KH that you need, 100 to as much as 400 ppm or so, the pH will be at 8.2 or 8.3. That is not a problem for the fish. Swings are. I keep my KH around 200 ppm so my pH is always at those numbers. But it needs to be monitored because it is slowly depleted over time and more should be added to get the KH back to good levels.

How are you measuring alkalinity? I don't see how high alkalinity is your problem. You need more alkalinity to balance the acidity being produced in your system.

Also the beneficial bacteria have a difficult time growing in water that is acidic. They will die off so your filter and pH will crash. So will your fish.

You will need a high range pH kit and of course a KH testing kit. Both should be liquid tests, not strips. Raise the KH gradually since it will raise the pH. Never try for a certain number with pH. Just make sure it is stable.
 
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addy1

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My well water is a ph of 5.4 the first fish I put in the pond a week after filling died. To correct, the pond sat fishless until the next year. I added crushed oyster shells to make the water harder (we are lower than 30) as the water got harder the ph also raised, it sits around 7.6 or so now. A 100 lbs per year for about 4 years.

Also now that the pond is 11 years old the bog, the plants, etc it can handle our acidic well water being added when it needs to be added.
I do not do water changes.
 
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So if I understand correctly your ph swing Is from 6 or less to 7.6 in 24 hrs… instead of trying to lower your ponds ph, I would set Up a reservoir for top off(and correct this water) if you find you need to top off frequently and it is swinging the ponds ph too much. Really for top off the Source water shouldn’t be swinging the ph in your pond that bad, unless you let it get way down and need to add a lot of water… or are you doing water changes on your ponds, if so stop doing water changes. Are unnecessary and even counterproductive in most cases for ponds.
I'll give the water storage a try. I do not have the capability of storing what I have lost in the past,
as of recently I had to between 120-200 gal a day. I haven't found any leakage anywhere so I'm thinking its through evaporation/splash out from the falls. I did slow down the pump rate to the waterfall by at least a 3rd.

Thank you for your insight and response
 
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Years ago when my pond kept crashing, someone told me to put limestone in the water. Either in a bag in the bio filter so the water runs through it or put a slab of it in the pond. I have a shelf in my pond so I put a huge slab of it on the shelf. Never had a PH problem since.
Sometimes when I over think things I loose sight of common sense. I do have a lime stone quarry near me I'll give this a try

Thank you for reminding me of the simple cures.
 

Jhn

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I'll give the water storage a try. I do not have the capability of storing what I have lost in the past,
as of recently I had to between 120-200 gal a day. I haven't found any leakage anywhere so I'm thinking its through evaporation/splash out from the falls. I did slow down the pump rate to the waterfall by at least a 3rd.

Thank you for your insight and response
Is this the 800 gallon or so pond, if so you definitely have a leak or some serious splash out on your falls. Shouldn't be losing that much due to evap. If your adding that much water to your pond with your source water having a ph of 6 or less putting limestone in your pond isnt going to help with a ph swing caused by that water being added to the pond.(may bring it back inline with the ponds natural ph quicker but still going to have that swing.

Is your ponds ph 7.6 and stable normally until you add your top off water? What does your ponds ph drop to when you top off with the lower ph water?

you need to either figure out a way to lessen/stop the water loss or as I said figure out a top off reservoir where you can adjust the ph of your source water. One other option is do an auto top off where there is a constant slow trickle into the pond keeping it full, then buffering/stabilizing the ph via limestone or another buffering agent to raise the kh to proper levels as watergardener suggested will work.
 
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Don't panic. I bet you are more stressed than your fish (if they actually are stressed) over the pH swing. Aeration will cause pH to rise because you are 'boiling off' C02. Fish respiration affects pH.
You mention a pH swing of 7.6. What are the extreme values of your pond ( not well) water? How may fish do you have and how large is your pond? Do you have live plants in the pond? What type of filtration do you use? Is the filter dirty? Dirty filters can greatly affect pH. And finally, is your pond completely cycled?
Stephen the test set-up was a 20 gal fish tank with nothing but a air stone and a small rock to hold it down. my pond set up is 850gal 2 water falls and stream and a equalizing tank. plants are limited 3 small cat tails and 3 Waterlily, growth is ok for the amount of direct light the system gets. pond water values are
Temp-76deg
PH- 7.6
Ammonia- 0.25
Nitrite- 2.0
Nitrate-10.0
fish load
was 5 now 4 6"-8" shubunkins
15- 1" gold fish
3- 4" koi
filter set up is over kill but have the capability to throttle the flow rate down, it's a old hayword super pump and diatom filter. I don't run the filter portion much it's mostly set on recirculate. my old flow rate was close to 80-90gal a minute. now the flow rate is closer to 50-60 gal a minute.
my pond has been running with the new bio filter for at least 2 weeks. you can see my set up in my post "

Good morning, Good after noon, Good Evning.


Thank you for your response
 
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I think @addy1 gave you the best direction With let the pond settle mature and grow over time. @Jhn i agree with aging water but if he's adding 120 to 200 gallons a day a huge vat would be needed. The biggest part of how we are doing ponds here is to give mother nature a stage and time to set up for the show. this took my pond a good year. but i can make it swing in a negative way by over feeding and the positive peach fuzz can become slimy in pockets . it's all about patience
 

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