What do I do now?


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I tested my pond water and have a basic understanding, but could use help interpreting results and acting on them.
My pond is about 2500 gallons.
I fully drained and cleaned the pond three weeks ago. We no longer have fish, though we hope to again.
i have a waterfall and an aerator. We have used beneficial bacteria, but are waiting to put any back in until our chemicals are under control.

I bought API test kits. They are drops. The results this evening are:
ph is 9.0
Ammonia is .25
Nitrate is 0
Phosphate is .25
KH is 0-50 ppm
GH is 0-50 ppm

I know the ph is way out of balance. I’m not sure what to do about it.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thanks, Deanna
 

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Hi Deanna. Over time the ph generally drops. Plants will help it go down. It can take a year or so for it to go into the 7’s If it’s 9 now.Even if it drops a little bit it will be okay for a few Koi. If you are planning on goldfish they won’t mind high ph. Koi usually like the ph a little lower. So I would recommend a few small goldfish to help seed the pond with ammonia so the bb start to build up. I assume you have a biological filter with a pond that size? If you don’t want to add fish there is a way to do a fishless cycle by adding small drops of ammonia. You really need the beneficial bacteria to build up before you add fish again and it won’t do that without something to start it. I don’t recommend the bb you buy in stores. It’s not the same as what your pond will build up on its own.
 
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As far as I am concerned without fish or even with fish adding plants either from a local source, a friend, or even a local pond will give the pond a big boost. Bringing all sorts of micro organisms and bacteria. Yes it is possible if not probable something may hitch a ride we prefer didn't but as anyone who has bought fish or plants will tell you even Store bought or from a nursery you never know whats your introducing. Snails for one we have all found on our plants. A good balance in my eyes is a carnavour to eat skeeter. Like mosquito fish or trout they love black flies , and baby koi. A bottom feeder such as channel cats. To get missed food and or un digested food. And an algae eaters like koi or goldfish is a good start to help balance the load.
 
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I tested my pond water and have a basic understanding, but could use help interpreting results and acting on them.
My pond is about 2500 gallons.
I fully drained and cleaned the pond three weeks ago. We no longer have fish, though we hope to again.
i have a waterfall and an aerator. We have used beneficial bacteria, but are waiting to put any back in until our chemicals are under control.

I bought API test kits. They are drops. The results this evening are:
ph is 9.0
Ammonia is .25
Nitrate is 0
Phosphate is .25
KH is 0-50 ppm
GH is 0-50 ppm

I know the ph is way out of balance. I’m not sure what to do about it.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thanks, Deanna
Hi Deanna. So I am reading your post again and you mentioned you are waiting to add bb before your chemicals are under control. Sorry if Im saying something you know already. A lot of people read these threads so I try to make helpful comments everyone can learn from. The chemicals won’t get under control by themselves no matter how long you let the pond sit without fish or beneficial bacteria. What you want to accomplish is to create a natural cycle that uses fish wastes and converts them so fairly inert substances that will not harm your fish or plants. The process is as follows. The fish give off wastes. The beneficial bacteria in your filter converts the ammonia to nitrite. Nitrite actually can be pretty harmful so there is a second set of bacteria that builds up in your bio filter that converts the nitrites to nitrates. Nitrates are fairly inert and are less harmful to your fish. If you have plants they will use the nitrates to grow. Once you have the beneficial bacteria going well algae will generally go away because they are competing with the beneficial bacteria for the same food and the bb generally wins out. So if you are waiting for ammonia and other chemicals to go down but you haven’t started the nitrogen cycle then you are not really accomplishing anything. You really need to have a few small fish to get things going. For a new pond it can take several months for the cycle to really work well. You have to be careful not to add chlorinated water or clean things with chlorinated water because it will kill the bb. Also if you turn your biofilter off for 45 minutes or more the bb will start to die off. They need continuous water movement to survive. Also any chemicals except for decolor can interrupt the nitrogen cycle and make things worse so you never want to add algaecides or anything like that. Once you add fish do it very gradually and don’t over feed because it will take a while for the ammonia and nitrites to be converted by the nitrogen cycle if it is fairly new. I can usually tell my pond has cycled in the spring every year because the string algae disappears. I hope this helps.
 
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Read addy1a thread on how she felt with her ph issues. And test your tap water. Our understanding of fish is growing, and many fish keepers are finding that ( at least for freshwater fish that aren't super sensitive) on isn't as big a deal so long as it is steady. Drip aclimation is good if they are making a big change, such as coming from acidic water to basic. Otherwise, a steady oh is more important that a "perfect " that you have to fight to maintain. Sensative species still require their care though, but hardy fish like goldfish don't need a perfect on, just a steady one.
 
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addy1

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@Deanna Gupton our well water is very soft, can't even get a reading, and very acidic, ph 5.4 When I first filled the pond, I let it run for a few months then got some fish, they all died. That is when I found out that the pond was acid bath and too soft for the fish.

I added 100 lbs of crushed oyster shells to the pond, chicken grit. I put the grit in the bog, you mainly want water running over it. The next summer the ph crawled up to 7.6 the hardness to around 100. I added the grit for 4 years, every year another bag. Now my water tests fine constantly. The mature bog, plants, bio mater keeps the ph stable and the hardness where it belongs.
 

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