Pond and Lake Water Quality
Ponds are a lot like vegetable gardens. The vegetables like to have a rich soil with a balanced pH and ample nutrients for growth. So do ponds. If the pH is skewed, or if nutrients are limited, you tend to get poor growth of fish. Luckily, you can manage ponds just like vegetable gardens by liming to fix pH and fertilizing to add nutrients. This will improve the productivity of ponds that are limited by one or the other.
You do not measure water pH to see if you have a problem. You need to measure alkalinity, which is the buffering capacity of water. If alkalinity is fine, pH is usually fine. However, if alkalinity is low, pH can swing between high and low in a 24-hour period.
Although fertilization can increase productivity, it is not necessary in many ponds because the pond is naturally fertile or fishing harvest is too low. A fertilizer program is costly, time-consuming, and increases the risks of problems with low oxygen. This can lead to fish kills. You should give careful consideration to whether or not to begin a fertilization program because, once you start, you must continue it year after year.
To maintain your pond’s water quality in optimal condition for fish, read more about pH and alkalinity, fertilization, and dissolved oxygen.