"Understanding Your Home"   by  Building Inspector Mark Visser
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Pond chemicals. Pond water test kits. Pond store
The best advice I can give you is to buy a good detailed pond, fish and plant guide. Try to stay away from books published by pond products manufacturers. Find a local pond store for expert advice and always carefully read the application instructions on the product labels. Once you have the water balanced you can start adding a few fish. Observe them for a few days and when everything looks OK add some more fish. Check with your local garden centre or pond store what type of fish food you need.
There are chemicals that are used to increase and decrease the pH level to precise levels for the safest water conditions for fish and plants. Ammonia can also pose a problem in garden ponds and it needs to be eliminated.

If possible, buy all your fish, plants and chemicals at one retail outlet. Look for a place that has one or more 'live' ponds set up and ask what products they are using.

Not all products can be applied all season long. Read application instructions on the product label carefully. Never forget that you are working with chemicals. One wrong application can ruin a pond.

Pond chemicals. Pond water test kits. Pond store


Pond Chemicals and Pond Test Kits
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Pond chemicals. Pond water test kits. Pond store
Do things right and in the right order. If you are new to backyard ponds the biggest advice for you is to get the right chemical balances for the pond water BEFORE you add the fish. That's right, you first get the water balanced and up to the recommended temperature, then add fish. Also, if you want to add gravel or top up on gravel and/or pebbles, now is the right time to do it because the water will turn cloudy from residue on the pebbles. Give the filter some time to remove any impurities. Remember, if you use tap water to fill up your pond that municipal water contains chlorine and it will take a few days before it will dissipate. If you can not wait that long then you will have to use pond chemicals to clean the water.
There is a wide variety of pond chemicals available and each one of them is designed for a specific purpose. Some promote plant or algae growth while others increase or decrease PH levels. Correct PH levels ensure a healthy environment for both fish and plants. Still others, fight the build-up of ammonia. Use a high quality thermometer to check water temperature, which should be ideally between 20 and 25 degrees C (between 65 and 75 degrees F)
Check the chart below for some of the water test kits that are available. When in doubt, talk to an expert at your local pond store.

Pond chemicals
Must have PH
Nice to have Alkalinity
Most likely not needed Chlorine

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