2- Pond Test Kits :
A fantastic UK pond water test kit which includes all 6 important water tests for garden fish ponds. NT Labs PondLab kit provides results for pH, GH, KH, nitrite, Nitrate, and Ammonia. If you want an all-in-one kit for the essentials without having to purchase separate tests, this is a very good choice.
The box comes with multiple test tubes and liquid solutions for easy mixing, and includes charts on the back of the box sleeve to match with your results. Since the results are on the box itself, be careful not to throw the box sleeve away before running all the tests! The box also doubles as a holding environment for the test tubes so there is no need for extra equipment.
The results are displayed similar to other color-coded tests, and the pH is displayed as a wide range value (common for these kits), so may not be suitable for pond owners looking for very high pH resolution (o.o1/0.001). For most ponds, however, the results provided from this kit should be more than sufficient to provide accurate readings for the safety of your pond water. Ammonia and KH tests are especially useful for ponds with fish, and the tests are easy to conduct and will provide accurate results.
Overall, a very useful “all-in-one” pond water test kit which provides measurements for all important water substances. The tests are easy to conduct, instructions are clear, and results are accurate for determining water quality in a pond – highly recommended!
Tests: pH (wide range), GH, KH, Nitrite, Nitrate, Ammonia.
Best Pond Water Test Kit (And Ideal Water Quality Standards) :
courtesy to : pondinformer.com/best-pond-water-test-kit/
June 21, 2017
Should I test my Pond Water?
It’s always a good idea to have a pond water test kit on hand in case you suspect a problem with water quality. Tests are only usually necessary in mature ponds if there is a problem, but they can also be performed every 6-12 months for maximum peace of mind.
A change in water quality in a fish pond is a good time to use a water test kit
Other good times to test pond water would be:
1-New ponds which have not matured
2-After a water treatment (medicine, algaecide etc.,)
3-If you notice a change with water clarity
4-If pond fish become sick or die
Pond water test kits are a great way to quickly identify an imbalance that could be causing problems with your eco-system. Fish which have become sick, discoloured water, or unpleasant water odors, are all possible indicators of an imbalance occurring that a water test kit may help identity. Test kits may not be able to solve the problem by themselves, but they can accurately point you in the right direction of a possible solution based on the results.
Sometimes, however, there are no signs of a problem and we’re simply curious about the results! Knowing for certain that the hard work you’ve put into your pond is reflected by great water quality is always a welcome pat on the back. Testing pond water and learning about each result is also a great way for beginners to learn more about what makes contributes to healthy pond water.
Whatever your reason for testing, be it a new pond, a suspected problem, or just curiosity, there are several water test kits available to help provide the best results. Some test kits will only provide certain values, such as ammonia levels, whereas others will also give you indicators such as water kH and pH. If you’re sure the problem is ammonia spikes, you can be safe with a test kit that just tests for ammonia. If you’re not sure and want a full spectrum of results, you may need to purchase a few different kits or an “all-in-one” solution if one is available to you.
Accuracy is the most important aspect of a test kit, and you often get what you pay for in this regard. Some kits are more accurate than others, and you should not necessarily go for the cheapest option as the results may not be optimal. Below we’ve included what to look out for when testing, as well as recommend a few of the best pond water test kits currently available for the most accurate results.
Pond Water Analysis – Pond Water Quality Standards & Parameters
If you’ve not used a water test kit before it can be quite confusing what to look out for when checking results. In general, fish stocked ponds are typically more sensitive to certain substances than ponds without fish, so you will need to be more critical of measurements (i.e., ammonia). Below we have listed some important result readings that are commonly included in test kits, including examples of the optimal levels for fish ponds to make reading results easier.
1) Ammonia (Ideal level: Zero)
For ponds with fish, the optimal ammonia level in water is as close to zero as possible. Ammonia is a potent waste product which can build up quickly in heavily stocked fish ponds. Proper water filtration, a healthy beneficial bacteria population, and a good quality fish feed will all help bring ammonia levels down.
Even though the ideal level of ammonia is zero, this is not really achievable in reality. Fish will constantly be excreting ammonia, even more so in warmer weather where their metabolisms are higher and they require more food. There is a direct relationship between ammonia, temperature, and water pH, with rising temperature and pH making ammonia more dangerous to fish. This is a complex scientific area of interest, and beyond the scope of this article. With that said, most water test kits will make this relationship much easier to identity when reading water test results. Most test kits which provide ammonia results will give you a range of ammonia measurements and what they regard as a “safe range”. This is usually color-coded and so long as your water is within this parameter is should be considered safe and healthy for fish keeping.
Ways to reduce ammonia:
2) Nitrites (Ideal value: Zero)
A substance created during the nitrogen cycle where beneficial bacteria break down ammonia. Nitrites, just like ammonia, are harmful to pond fish and the eco-system in high concentrations. Ideal levels in pond water is the same as ammonia at zero, but this is very difficult to achieve in practice. Getting the concentration of nitrites as close to zero as possible is ideal, and having a value slightly above should be considered normal for most ponds.
Although pond test kits will differ in values, a maximum acceptable level of nitrite in pond water for fish ponds is around 0.2mg per liter of water. Just like ammonia, certain events can cause spikes in the substance for a short period, so you should not worry too much unless nitrite levels remain higher than this for an extended period of time.
Nitrite is created during the natural nitrogen cycle and is a by-product of the breakdown of ammonia. Therefore, the best ways to reduce nitrite levels are to simply reduce overall ammonia and waste levels in the pond.
Ways to reduce Nitrites:
3) pH (Ideal value: 6.8-7.8)
Water pH, or “potential of hydrogen”, is a measurement scale to determine the acidity or basicity of a solution. pH as a scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 7.0 being neutral. Any reading below neutral 7.0 is considered to be acidic, and any reading above 7.0 is considered alkaline. In terms of pond water, a pH range of 6 to 8.5 is generally considered safe for a ponds eco-system. The problem with pH is it has a direct affect on the toxicity of ammonia in water, which is increased hugely as pH increases above neutral 7.0.
Due to this, a more ideal pH range for ponds with fish, such as koi, would be from 6.8 to 7.8. This range would provide the least stress to pond fish and the healthiest environment. pH values above 8.5 should be considered dangerous to fish, and will cause large amounts of stress if pH increases further or remains this high.
High pH readings are a cause for concern, with the most common culprit being cement or mortar embankments leeching lime into pond water. As well as this, blocks, plant pots, or ornaments next to the pond could also be leeching lime so these need to be checked. Small pH fluctuations should be considered normal, however, so unless the pH of your water is above the acceptable range for more than a few days (or spikes suddenly), you should not worry too much.
4) KH (Ideal value: 125-200PPM or 6-10°)
Another important, but often overlooked, water parameter which directly affects the pH of the pond is the KH value. KH is the measure of dissolved bicarbonate and carbonate ions in pond water which work as buffers, preventing pH dropping too low or changing too suddenly. Low levels of KH will reduce beneficial nitrifying bacteria which break down ammonia, and will also increase the chance of sudden pH swings which are very dangerous to fish. One of the best ways to keep a stable pH level in your pond is to ensure you have a stable KH value.
When using a test kit the results for KH may be expressed in PPM (parts per million) or DH (degrees of hardness). If the test result is given in DH and you want to know the PPM value you can multiply the DH value by 17.9 to get the value in PPM. As a general guideline, if the value is above 125 ppm (7 dh) and below 200 ppm (11 dh), you have a good KH range.
To reduce KH if your values are high you can simply add more tap water, distilled water, or RO water to the pond. If values are too low, adding sodium bicarbonate and re-testing after a few hours until a value above 125 ppm is achieved is recommended.
5) GH (Ideal value: 50-150 PPM)
General hardness, or GH, is a measurement used to show the total amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in water. Depending on your country and region, you may have naturally soft or hard water coming from your mains supply. Typically in hard water areas ponds will have a higher GH value than in soft water areas, as extra minerals find their way into the pond during water changes. Ideal range for fish ponds would be around 50-150 ppm, although since GH is not a critical aspect of water chemistry and does not really affect the eco-system in any major way, it does not really need to be adjusted. Unless you have show koi or are a koi breeder (and even then it’s debatable), you really don’t need to worry about GH as it should have no ill effects on your pond or fish in day-to-day life.
Best Pond Water Test Kit Reviews 2018
courtesy to : pondinformer.com/best-pond-water-test-kit/
US - Best Pond Water Test Kit
One of the best pond water test kits for accurate ammonia results is the API Pond Master water kit. This testing kit provides readings for ammonia, PH, nitrite, and also phosphate content in water. Unlike some other tests, this is a liquid based analysis which can help provide more precise measurements if used correctly compared to regularly test strips. Liquid water tests are generally preferred by koi owners, especially for show koi, as getting very accurate ammonia readings is very important for optimal fish health.
The test kit comes with 6 small testing bottles for each different substance, including dual tests for both ammonia and phosphate. Included is clear instructions, glass test tubes for mixing, and detailed color charts so you can match up your results easily.
One of the most important tests for fish is ammonia, and luckily this water test kit provides very accurate measurements. It also gives a good idea of nitrite and phosphate to a fairly high degree accuracy. The pH test is a “wide range” test, however, so will not have the pin-point results of a dedicated pH tester device. It provides a pH range of 5.0-9.0, displayed in increments of 0.5, so if you’re looking for 0.1/0.001 accuracy, this test may not be suitable.
With that said, this pond test kit is one of the easiest to use for a beginner and also provides very good all-round results. Ammonia, Nitrite, and Phosphate are important and results are easy to read, and the wide range pH test should be more than sufficient for most types of ponds.
Tests: Ammonia, pH (wide range), Nitrite, and Phosphate.
Another water test kit from API Pond Care which works great alongside their Master Pond kit (above) to provide a more detailed range of measurements. If you have already tested for ammonia with another kit, but still would like to know more about your ponds water quality, these test strips can provide accurate results for nitrates, KH, and GH.
Although not as important as testing for ammonia in a fish pond, KH in particular can still have an affect on the toxicity of ammonia itself. If your ammonia test has come back fairly high, you may want to test your pond water for KH as this could be causing the increase. A stable KH value is essential to fish ponds as low/high values can cause spikes in pH, which have a direct effect on the potency of ammonia. General hardness (GH) may also be a useful test for koi owners, but it’s not something that often needs adjusting.
The strips also provide results for both nitrites and nitrates, with high values likely indicating high levels of ammonia.
The test strips are very easy to use and read, and all you have to do is dip them into a sample of your pond water and wait for results. The measurements are useful and accurate within the kit’s range, although both KH and GH results stop at a maximum of 180 ppm. This is what we consider around the “upper” limit of ideal values, but a higher reading would have been nice for more accurate results. If your results show the maximum of 180 ppm, you may want to consider lowing your values to a more ideal range (as listed above) to be on the safe side.
Overall, a good and cost-effective test for water KH and GH, which would be best combined with an ammonia test for a broader range of results.
Tests: pH (wide range), Nitrites, Nitrates, KH, and GH.
If you’re looking for the most accurate possible pH measurement for your pond, an electronic pH tester is the way to go! Unlike regular color-coded water test kits, electronic readings can provide results to a very high degree of accuracy. Jellas’ pH tester is a good choice for getting super accurate pH readings, with a 0.01 resolution of pH. This means you’ll receive a pH measurement to two decimal placers, making it more accurate than more common 0.1 resolution testers.
The device is easy to use and requires no prior knowledge. Simply remove the protective cap and drop the reader head into a sample of pond water. Switch the device on and wait 2 minutes for a stable reading. Once you have a reading you need to press the “hold” button to lock the result in before you remove it.
The device also comes with a solution of phosphate and borax which you need to use for initial calibration. This simply involves dipping the tester into each solution for a reading which is used for accurate calibration.
Overall, a very good choice for pond owners looking for the most accurate pH value possible. It does not test for anything other than pH, however, so is best combined with other test kits for a full range of measurements.
Tests: pH (0.01 resolution of accuracy)
UK - Best Pond Water Test Kit :
Another great choice of electronic pH tester with a 0.01 resolution of accuracy. Essentials electronic pH meter is useful for pond owners who require more than just a wide range value for pH results. This device provides pH result accuracy to 2 decimal points, and is incredibly easy to use. Simply add a sample of pond water to a cup, insert the pH meter and stir and wait for a reading. Results usually arrive in under 20 seconds and are displayed on the bright LED screen.
The results are fast to display, and are provided to a high degree of accuracy. Recommended for pond owners who would like more accurate pH measurements, but best combined with regular test kits for ammonia and KH which can have an affect on pH.
Tests: pH (0.01 resolution of accuracy)
Pond Water Test Kits: Selection and Proper Use
By John Olson, Graystone Industries
Published on January 1, 2011
Thank you to Ecological Labs, Eastern Nishikigoi, Industrial Test Systems, Mars FishCare, and Tetra Pond for providing the photos.
Those of us in the business understand that in spite of our best efforts a customer’s pond paradise may turn into a nightmare if they do not perform some basic maintenance tasks. To make sure our customers’ ponds remain a welcome retreat from an otherwise stressful world we educate them about proper feeding amounts, how to flush the filter or rinse the pads, how to keep away predators, proper circulation, and basic plant and fish care tips.
With all the great things we do for our customers there is one piece of valuable ammo we often fail to arm them with. A simple water test kit is not only an added sale and a precursor to additional treatment purchases but it can be the first line of defense in a customer’s battle for water quality and a healthy pond.
With so very many choices in test kits, parameters tested, and testing procedures available it is no wonder that some pond retailers and installers are reluctant to make a recommendation to their customers.
Below we will discuss some of the pond water tests performed, the types of kits available, and how we can better educate our customers on their proper uses.
What tests should be regularly performed on a backyard pond or water garden?
Over a dozen different tests are routinely done in the water garden industry in order to ensure the best possible water quality. With tests measuring everything from Alkalinity to Salinity it can be a bit overwhelming to know which tests are needed most.
Fortunately, most water quality experts agree on a handful of tests that every industry professional and pond owner should perform.
AMMONIA – Ammonia is formed when fish waste and other organic debris (leaves, grass, dead fish, or frogs, etc) begin to decompose. This decomposition releases toxic Ammonia into the pond water. A test reading of Zero Ammonia is best but not always possible.
NITRITE – Nitrifying bacteria work on the Ammonia and break it down to Nitrite. Nitrite is also highly toxic to your pond fish and the ideal reading should again be Zero.
NITRATE – Eventually Nitrite is broken down further into Nitrate, which is less toxic to your pond fish although still bad enough in higher concentrations. Ideal reading would be zero. NOTE: Many industry experts suggest testing for both Nitrite and Nitrate in your pond but others believe testing for Nitrite is sufficient.
Norm Meck, former president and 20-year member of the San Diego Koi club, feels that testing for Nitrite is vital due to its high toxicity and danger to the fish. Nitrate, Norm indicates, is far less toxic to pond fish and is also reduced when the pond is treated for Nitrite.
pH – Testing the pH of your pond is critical according to many experts. The ideal pH reading in your pond is debatable by many but is often considered to be 7.0 – 7.5 although pH will vary throughout the day.
According to Freddie Combas, owner of Florida Water Gardens and veteran pond builder, pH will be lowest in the morning and highest in the evening. Someone who tests their pond early morning for pH and again in the evening may see a huge variance in readings. It is important to find an average reading and not be alarmed by a wide swing in the readings during the day.
KH – Carbonate Hardness = Total Alkalinity which is different than pH. Carbonate Hardness is the ability of the pond water to stabilize the pH in the system. According to Dave Jones, owner of The Pond Professional in Woodstock GA, KH should be at least 100 PPM. Ideal KH readings are between 100-200 PPM.
PHOSPHATES – Phosphates are usually introduced into a pond thru fish waste and are a nutrient that algae require to flourish. Algae, like other plants, require many nutrients to grow so the presence of Phosphates alone does not ensure an algae problem is imminent. A reading of Zero PPM is ideal although many ponds can have much higher concentrations with no algae issues present.
What types of test kits are available and how do they work?
All test kits use a chemical reaction between the sample pond water and a reagent, which causes a color change to show results. The results are compared to known parameters allowing the user to obtain an accurate reading. Test kits for ponds and water gardens fall into three types.
1. Photometers – These handy meters are highly accurate but often expensive. Readings are very quick and some meters can be used for many different tests. Advances in technology bring constant improvements to available meters but some experts find that the units require frequent recalibration.
2. Liquid Test Kits – Using small vials, the pond owner takes samples of the pond water. Liquid reagents are added to the samples and a short time later the water turns color. The color is compared to the included charts providing an accurate reading of the water sample. Liquid kits show a high level of accuracy as they give you many points of reference when the color samples are between shade points in the charts.
3. Dry Test Strips – Test strips are handy and quick. With the reagents already applied the strip is dipped in pond water and a short time later a color shift will occur, which is compared to the provided charts just like in the liquid kits. Test strips are less mess, very easy to use and often include multiple parameters tested for on each strip. They are a great way to let you see if the readings are going up or down.
How often should I test my pond and at what time of day?
Carolyn Weise, consumer relations manager and in-house pond expert for Ecological Laboratories Inc., believes that new ponds should be tested at least once per week. This will establish a baseline for their particular pond. Established ponds with any type of known problem may need to be tested daily and treated until the issue is resolved.
Carolyn also indicates that testing should be continued through the winter with water samples taken inside to warm before testing.
The time of day for testing varies among experts in our industry with many of them preferring to test at midday when possible. What everyone agrees upon is to test at the same time each day. Consistency is the key to achieving accurate results and establishing a baseline for your pond.
How long are test kits good for?
As indicated above, pond test kits rely on chemicals known as reagents in order to provide accurate testing results. Those reagents do not last forever and must be replaced. Each reagent may have a different chemical type and last a different length of time.
Gary Jones, of Mars Fishcare in PA, strongly recommends not using any kit past its expiration date. The dates posted on kits are not “sell by dates” but are the best indicators of when the reagents used will cease to provide accurate results.
Gary maintains that consumers can best protect themselves by checking the expiration dates on kits when purchased and by buying replacement reagents upon their expirations. Additionally he mentions that retailers sometimes fail to consider the expiration date when they stock new kits in front of existing ones.
Proper stock rotation will ensure customers receive the best possible results from their kits and retailers will continue to enjoy repeat sales of the water treatments needed for their customers’ ponds.
NOTE: Keeping your liquid or dry strip kits out of the sun and away from moisture will help ensure they remain potent till the expiration date. Test kits that do not contain expiration dates should have their reagents replaced no more than one year from purchase.
Summation and Safety Note
The pond lifestyle is attracting more and more advocates. With increased pond ownership we must ensure that each and every experience in ponding is a pleasant one. The recommendation and use of pond water test kits will help our customers take more responsibility in the upkeep and healthy water quality of their ponds.
As our industry promotes ponds and water gardens as a family activity it should be noted that pond test kits use reagents that are chemicals. These chemicals, and all others, should be kept safely out of reach of younger ponders. That way we can all enjoy our ponds!
Other websites :
How to Test the Water Quality in a Koi & Goldfish Pond
Three Kinds of Test Kits for Water And How to Choose
Testing Your Pond Water
How to Test the Water Quality in a Koi & Goldfish Pond
Testing your Pond Water's PH
Pond Water Quality Test
Ph water testing for pond
Ponds problems :
Equipment and supplies used in water ponds maintenance :
Ponds problems :
Equipment and supplies used in water ponds maintenance :