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: Pond size: About 700 gallons, filled about two months ago Pump/Filter: Savio pump/skimmer with filter, a waterfall, and an additional pond filter (Beckett BF700) UV Light: None yet but it's on my list Water changes: I don't yet have a high power pond vacuum. I tried a shop vac but it's useless. Treatment: I use a sludge remover liquid and an algae control powder about once a week Silt Level: there is a 1/4 inch layer of silt on the bottom that I would try to remove if I had a vacuum Fish count: 10 small pet store koi purchased as an initial test (I'll give some away as they grow) Fish health: they seem to be doing great, definitely getting bigger. More active at certain times of day than others. Feeding: Once a day, sometimes skip. Fish seem to be eating stuff on the rocks and sides. Fish demeanor: fairly skittish but there's a garter snake that lives in the rocks that pesters them Plants: basically none Sun: full sun much of the day I have the API Pond Master test kit and tested in the mid-morning. Here are my findings as best as I can tell: - pH level is greater than 8 but definitely less than 9. Probably low-to-mid 8s if I were to extrapolate? - Ammonia level is definitely less than 0.25. I'd guess 0.10 if I were to attempt to extrapolate. - Nitrate level is essentially zero - Phosphate levels are essentially zero Here 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): There's an ever-so-slight difference between the pond (on the left) and the garden hose (on the right). - Am I crazy or is that a pretty high pH level coming out of the hose? - Should I try to use different water to refill the pond (that would be a challenge LOL) - Is there a permanent pH lowering treatment? Thoughts?