Monitor Pond Water Parameters
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Pond Fish Health: Monitor Pond Water Parameters

Koi ponds are living systems requiring attention to water parameters. Because the key to healthy koi is maintaining good water quality, experienced koi owners perform regular, routine tests.

Why test pond water parameters?
Clear water is not always an indication of healthy water. In fact, most pond pollutants are not visible. Testing is the only way to accurately measure and monitor these pollutants. In addition, testing provides insight into trends and allows for timely adjustments and maintenance. Ultimately, routine testing helps you maintain ideal living conditions for your prized koi. Some important pond water parameters to monitor include:

AMMONIA

A toxic chemical byproduct released during the breakdown of protein in uneaten fish food and decaying wastes. Also excreted by fish through natural metabolic processes. Ammonia levels should be zero.

NITRITE

A toxic byproduct of ammonia produced when beneficial nitrifying bacteria process ammonia. Nitrite levels should be zero.

NITRATE

Chemical compound formed during the final stage of the nitrogen cycle. It is the least toxic nitrogen byproduct, but in large quantities, nitrate is still dangerous to pond inhabitants. Maintain nitrate levels under 60 ppm.

OXYGEN

Proper oxygen level is essential for healthy koi. Chronic low oxygen levels can increase fish susceptibility to disease and can also compromise biological filtration. Maintain pond oxygen content at 8 mg/L or higher.

pH

A measurement of acidity or alkalinity in your water. Maintaining stable pH level is vital for fish health. A pH range between 6.8 and 7.2 is ideal for koi.

WATER TEMPERATURE

Affects koi ability to digest and utilize food. Adjust koi diet based on water temperature. Water temperature also influences dissolved oxygen level.

SALINITY

The amount of dissolved salts in water. Essential parameter for koi ponds conditioned with pond salt. Levels should be 0.1%

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