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The pH level in my pond always reads high. What can I do to reduce it? | Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A


Q: The pH level in my pond always reads high. What can I do to reduce it?

Q: The pH level in my pond always reads high. What can I do to reduce it?

Mike – Forest Hills, NY

A: Your pond’s pH – or potential hydrogen – level is an important measurement to understand because it affects the health of those things swimming around in the water. If your pH level is too high or too low, it could affect your fishes’ ability to reproduce, fight disease and metabolize food. It can also impact the well-being of other living things in your pond, like plants, amphibians and other aquatic critters.

A pH test, like the one found in the API® Pond Master Test Kit, can reveal a lot about your pond. But what does a high or low pH reading mean, and how can you adjust its level – or should you just leave it alone? Read on to learn more about understanding your pH level and how to change it.

Potential Hydrogen Defined

In super simple terms, pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline a water body is on a scale from 0 to 14. Pure water is neutral. It has a pH close to 7.0 at 77 degrees F. Blood is also close to neutral. Ammonia’s pH is ~11, which is high on the alkaline charts, while stomach acid’s pH is ~1, which acidic enough to burn through your chewed-up chow.

Adjusting to a Proper pH

You don’t have to keep your pond at a perfect 7.0 pH all the time. In fact, an acceptable pH reading for a pond is 6.5 – 8.5, so if your score falls in this range you need not make any changes at all. If it’s outside those levels, however, you will need to make some adjustments. Here are some ways to reduce your pH:

  1. Partial Water Change: Replacing some of your pond water with fresh water is one way to reduce your pH. Remember to treat with water with a conditioner, like The Pond Guy® Stress Reducer PLUS, to remove impurities and heavy metals that could be harmful to your fish.
  2. Use pH Reducer: If you need to adjust your pH using a pH stabilizer like pH Lift or pH Drop, apply enough treatment to shift the levels 0.5 at a time, wait several hours before re-treating, and test the waters often with your API® Pond Master Test Kit.
  3. Test Your Water: Try testing your tap water, especially if you’re on a well. If the pH is high from your well, then your pond will stay at about that level and you won’t be able to do much to treat it.
  4. Try Clarity Defense®: A water clarifier like Clarity Defense® can help to add trace minerals while buffering pH to promote stable levels and prevent swings. Plus, it clears cloudy water by locking up excess nutrients and allowing your filter to remove them.

Try these tricks to reduce the pH levels in your pond – but remember to do so very gradually. Good luck!

Pond Talk: How often do you test the pH levels in your pond?

Prevent pH Swings & Keep Fish Safe - Pond Logic® Clarity Defense®

 

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4 Responses

  1. i want to thank you for a very informative blog which I first started reading when I was shocked to find a snapping turtle sunbathing on my dock!!!. I have a half acre springfed pond that was doing beautifully until last year. That’s when I noticed that my fish were gone – we had stocked it with bass & minnows some 20 years ago & everything worked smoothly. I read your blog & thought maybe it was a heron or a bear that ate them up. This year my water lilies have not bloomed. I read about ph balance but I am here at my country home only for summers and as a city girl I have no idea how to check the ph balance. I have also been told that a lot of pond products are banned in new york state. Not sure if that applies to anything you sell but it is of course a consideration for me

    • Hi Silvia – It sounds like you have a larger pond (1/4 acre or more). In that case typically the pH is pretty stable in a large body of water like that unless your area in general is high in pH. We would be able to ship the natural bacterias for breaking down organic build up, aeration, pond dye and any pond tool. Only the algaecides and herbicides are restricted for shipment to New York. Here is an article about getting a pond back into shape with pond maintenance practices for a larger pond. Hope this helps!

      • thank you so much for this, Kathie. I will read the pond maintenance practices and get back to you. yes, my pond is a half acre — I am grateful you are aware of the restrictions for shipment to New York.

      • No problem Silvia. Don’t hesitate to ask us any questions, that’s what we are here for 🙂

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