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Tetra pond water balance

Has anyone used this product and with what result?  We are trying to lower the PH level in the pond from 9 to around 7 - 7.5, hoping that this product will make a difference.

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  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336

    GD, I think it will make things worse, not better.  The blurb says "The treatment increases the kH levels and prevents the water from becoming too soft. This results in a more stable pH value and prevents any loss of fish."  I didn't know what kH levels were so googled it: "If you are aiming to lower your pH, you need to lower this value in order to do it."

    This person seems to know their stuff:

    https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/understanding-ph-kh-gh-in-home-aqauriums.113548/

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,557

    Completely agree Bob.
    pH and water hardness are not the same. Water hardness is determined by the environment - i.e. dissolved minerals, rocks in the pond or over which water is flowing.
    pH relates to the amount of free hydrogen ions and determines its acidity/alkalinity

    Rainwater is slightly acidic, so when it falls on limestone (which is alkaline) it slowly dissolves it (The Grand Canyon being an example) so the water contains dissolved limestone which makes it hard - increases KH and raises the pH toward alkaline
    I think image

    So it really needs to be sorted at the source of the problem.

    As an afterthought - if you want to lower the pH, have you considered peat? I used to use it when I bred tetras many years ago and it worked fine in the aquarium, just to lower the pH though
    I don;t think it would affect water hardness

    Last edited: 18 July 2017 17:14:56

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336

    One of the things mentioned is that CO2 helps to get rid of some of the Calcium.  I remember doing this at school by blowing bubbles into lime-water using a straw and it turned milky as the dissolved Calcium precipitated out of the solution.  I wonder if getting a pond air pump would help?  That in combination with peat (or a peat filter?) would probably do the business.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336

    GD's main problem is that she has had to use well water for the pond which has a very high pH and a lot of dissolved minerals, DHR.  I think it's going to be a tricky one to solve until rainwater (which is naturally slightly acidic) balances things out over time.  I'm not sure tap water is an option for GD.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,557

    I came across this article that may give some insight. It's for aquaria, but the same principles apply

    http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/features/articles/frequently-asked-questions-on-lowering-hardness

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Gosh, all that science reading was like being back at school - you may remember that we don't intend to keep fish in our pond, although the water balance will still need to be almost as accurate.  The pond is approx. 15,000 litres - and we measured the PH again today and it is now up to 9.3 after torrential rain (which I hoped would lower the reading). We have removed concrete blocks from pond and also painted with a sealant the bare cement we had used which was holding a line of large pebbles in place.  After that activity we refilled the pond (with well water which has a PH of 7.5).  We now feel that we need to add something to the pond water to bring the PH down to an acceptable level - but what should we use. 

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,557

    Plants - lots of them.
    There's also no food for the plants stm so I would also consider adding a barrow or 2 of soil from a part of your garden that's not been used for a long time, dig down a spade depth and use the stuff below that.
    Most of the plants I added 2 weeks after filling the pond died - the was no food for them.

    You want to get the algae bloom and get some life going on in there - once it's starts to become an eco system of its own it'll balance

    Last edited: 18 July 2017 21:21:03

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Pete, we also put plenty of oxygenators into the pond after the initial water had cleared - approx 3 or 4 weeks after filling the pond.  They either got eaten by ducks or died - but we have added other plants since and some seem to be tolerating the PH9 but others have struggled and some have died.  We have water boatmen and snails which seem to be able to tolerate the high PH.  A part of me says wait until after the winter - the water may balance out naturally, but another part of me says get the water sorted now, so the remaining plants have a chance to perk up.

    I think we will try the vinegar remedy first - see if it makes a difference to the balance, although I wonder how many times we will have to repeat the process ......I will let you all know how we get on and I want to thank each of you who have come up with ideas and helpful advice for us to try.

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,557

    GD - seriously - don't put vinegar in your pond. I'll cause a massive pH spike and you'll be adding gallons of vinegar to your pond. It's not the route I'd take.
    Your pond will mature and be fine. Let nature do her work.
    Soil has excellent buffering properties (i.e. will help stabilize the pH) and will help your pond mature much more quickly.

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336

    Morning GD!  The fact that your well water is nearly neutral at pH 7.5 but rises rapidly once in the pond leads me to think that your well water may be very soft and not have much in the way of dissolved minerals.  If that is the case, it is picking up the alkalinity from the pond or rocks and you are doing the right thing by sealing any concrete.  If you use some well water with hand soap, is there a scum left on the surface or does all of the soap dissolve and your hands still feel a bit slippery when rinsed?  If the latter, your water is soft and adding the tetra pond balance might indeed help as it is the dissolved minerals that contains which 'buffer' against rapid changes in pH (as Pete just mentioned), despite me saying the opposite in my first response when I thought your well water was very alkaline.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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