water quality in ponds water chemistry



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Water chemistry for ponds lakes and streams

At this stage of the planning process we need a general idea of the water chemistry of your habitat. We do not need to have a professional lab analysis until we get to the final design. If you go to your local aquarium or pond shop, you will find a number of inexpensive test kits that will suit our purposes for describing your general water chemistry. Lately we have been using a very quick and convenient test kit from Jungle Laboratories called the "Quick Dip Pond Test Kit". (a new window will open. Let the window completely load before scrolling.) These are very handy litmus paper type strips our biologists can carry in their shirt pockets as long as they remain dry. We have provided a link to Jungle Labs for your convenience. There are other kits available; we use this one because of its convenience and comprehensive results. Be sure to follow all instructions carefully when testing your water!


At this stage we would like to see the following data: pH, Total Alkalinity, Hardness, Nitrate, and Nitrite. There are other values we will want to see later, but this is a good start. Later, in a professional analysis we will look at total phosphates, orthophosphates, several species of nitrogen and other few other elements depending on the location of the pond.


For new pond construction you will want to provide us with information for your water source and for what you anticipate the pond/lake substrate to be. For existing ponds there are several places we like to see water chemistry data from:
1. the stream where it enters the pond or lake.
2. just below the surface in the center of the pond.
3. from a handful of mud along the shore of the pond.
4. from a handful of mud taken from the deep part of the pond.

There are also two different times of day we like to see the water tests performed: at sunrise and at sunset. The fluctuation in chemistry between these two times tells us a great deal about your habitat. We also like to see air and water temperatures (water temperatures from each location) when the testing occurs, along with a description of the days weather: cloudy, sunny, windy or calm.

When you take mud samples, be sure to test immediately or else place the mud in an air tight plastic bag. If you need any further clarification as to how to test your water chemistry, please give us a call. the better you do this work makes our designs and management plans the best they can be.

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Spring Creek Aquatic Concepts
Lake Placid, NY   Portland, OR   Bend, OR

(971) 266 4669

© 1999 - Spring Creek Aquatic Concepts
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