I'm new to this pond hobby. I recently purchased a home that has a garden pond and I've been trying to learn things and make adjustments so that it would support fish:\n\nPond size: About 700 gallons, filled about two months ago\nPump/Filter: Savio pump/skimmer with filter, a waterfall, and an additional pond filter (Beckett BF700)\nUV Light: None yet but it's on my list\nWater changes: I don't yet have a high power pond vacuum. I tried a shop vac but it's useless. \nTreatment: I use a sludge remover liquid and an algae control powder about once a week\nSilt Level: there is a 1/4 inch layer of silt on the bottom that I would try to remove if I had a vacuum\n\nFish count: 10 small pet store koi purchased as an initial test (I'll give some away as they grow)\nFish health: they seem to be doing great, definitely getting bigger. More active at certain times of day than others.\nFeeding: Once a day, sometimes skip. Fish seem to be eating stuff on the rocks and sides.\nFish demeanor: fairly skittish but there's a garter snake that lives in the rocks that pesters them\nPlants: basically none\nSun: full sun much of the day\n\nI have the API Pond Master test kit and tested in the mid-morning. Here are my findings as best as I can tell:\n\n- pH level is greater than 8 but definitely less than 9. Probably low-to-mid 8s if I were to extrapolate?\n- Ammonia level is definitely less than 0.25. I'd guess 0.10 if I were to attempt to extrapolate.\n- Nitrate level is essentially zero\n- Phosphate levels are essentially zero\n\nHere is a comparison of the pH of the water from the pond compared to what comes out of the hose (which is what I used to fill the pond after treating the water with a de-chlorinator powder):\n\n[IMG]http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k137/audioenvy/Koi%20Pond/2016-09-05%2010.33.39_zpsu6sv7wxx.jpg[/IMG] \n\nThere's an ever-so-slight difference between the pond (on the left) and the garden hose (on the right).\n\n- Am I crazy or is that a pretty high pH level coming out of the hose?\n- Should I try to use different water to refill the pond (that would be a challenge LOL)\n- Is there a permanent pH lowering treatment?\n\nThoughts?