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Pond Chemicals Use Guidelines

  • Pond Chemicals should only be used in the Koi pond

    to cure known health problem, never as a matter of routine. Medications can never replace good management, and there are no miracle cures.
  • Calculate your pond gallonage accurately in advance, overdosing can kill; underdosing fails to work.

  • Always follow the instructions on the container of any pond remedy. The dose level of a medication is based on its concentration, which does not appear on the bottle, and will vary with the brand. For example, malachite green and formalin are both availble in variable formulations, so using some brands at the generic dose would not be appropriate.

  • Test the water to ensure that all parameters are normal before introducing a medication. If ammonia or nitrite is already polluting the water, a chemical will make matters worse. A pond treatment used in a pond in which the pH has fluctuated could kill all the Koi. Re-test the water following treatment to ensure that the filter is still biologically effective.

  • Switch off the UV whenever pond chemicals are used, as it can weaken their effectiveness.

  • Ensure oxygen is adequate before using any pond medication. The dissolved oxygen level will become lower as the water temperature rises, and chemicals will lower this even more. It is advisable not to treat the pond on a hot day.

  • The argument for switching off the pond filtration system while using a medication is a negative one. The presumption is that it will prevent loss of filtration biology due to the action of the chemicals. However, consequences of a die-back in the filter due to the reduction in oxygen supply could well equal any loss attributable to the chemical. Filter media will all vary in this respect, as some, more than others, will have the structure to best protect the organisms during the presence of a chemical. Bypassing the biological filter during a treatment is yet another possibility, but this too can only work in the short term. If sequential treatments are required, the filter will be bypassed for so long that some die-back will be inevitable. Some stages in the life-cycle of certain parasites may well be in the filtration system anyway, although this depends on the organism and the way the filter is designed.

  • Aways measure a pond treatment into a watering-can (kept exclusively for pond use) that has been pre-filled with pond water. Then distribute evenly all around the pond.

  • Many of the products used in fish health are toxic to humans. Disposable gloves and protective clothing are recommended; the eyes, too, are vulnerable. Those with asthma or who are concerned about resiratory problems should wear a mask, particularly when dealing with powder products, or when formalin is in use.

  • Store all the pond chemicals used in Koi keeping with lids secured, away from children and pets, and in a location where it is cool, dry, and dark.

  • Many pond chemicals can become either toxic or ineffective with age, so check the shelf-life with the namufactures. Test kits, too, can give a false reading if out of date.

  • Allow time for pond chemicals to break down before repeating a treatment, or using an alternative product- with most pond chemicals this takes from three to seven days. Never mix products without checking safe combinations.

Whenever you use a chemical in a pond, it must be applied properly and all warnings and precautions concerning use must be understood and observed. Fortunately, all of this information is on the label for most chemicals approved for use in ponds. Anyone who uses a chemical in a pond should always thoroughly read and understand the chemical label before purchasing and applying it.

The following information is essential in computing the amount of chemical to apply to a pond: the pond water volume, the chemical formulation, and the effective concentration of the chemical needed in the pond water to correct the problem.

Know the water volume of your pond before a treatment is needed. You can lose valuable time if the determination must be made after a problem has arisen.

Chemical Formulations

Chemical formulations vary in the amount of active ingredients present. The active ingredients actually are the chemicals which kill the pest or correct the undesirable water quality problem. Inert ingredients are added to improve the convenience, safety and handling of the chemical.

For a particular chemical, the application rate is based upon the amount of active ingredient in the chemical formulation. Fortunately, the amount of active ingredients contained in the chemical formulation and the application rate are printed on most product labels. This is one reason why it is important to read the information printed on the label.

SymptomWhat It Is
Green Water / Pea SoupAlgae Bloom
Smells Like Rotten EggsAccumulation of Sludge
Small Floating DebrisFilter Needs Cleaning / Insufficient Mechanical Filtration / Use Coagulator
White Hazy WaterBacterial Bloom
White FoamProtein Buildup / Spawning
Brown Cloudy WaterOften Rain RunOff / Dirt in Water / Use Coagulator
pH Tests High (over 8.0)Pond Too Alkaline
pH Tests Low (under 7.0)Pond Too Acidic
Ammonia Tests PositiveInadequate Biological Filtration / Nitrosomas Bacteria Not Established
Nitrite Tests PositiveInadequate Biological Filtration / Nitrobacter Bacteria Not Established
Algae Clumping on TopBlanket Algae
Algae Strands Growing on RocksString Algae

Signs of Stress

  • Loss of Appetite
  • Clamped Fins
  • Lying Listless on Bottom of Pond
  • Scratching or Rubbing themselves on Rocks or other Items
  • Gasping at the Surface is usually caused by a lack of oxygen in your water or your Koi is stressed.
  • To help reduce the stress levels of your Koi Fish you can use Stress Coat, Stress Coat is also a must for the first year of your pond life.

Miscellaneous Conversion Factors

1 Acre-Foot 43,560 Cubic Feet
1 Acre-Foot 325,580 Gallons
1 Acre-Foot of Water 2,718,144 Pounds
1 Cubic-Foot of Water 62.4 Pounds
1 Gallon of Water 8.34 Pounds
1 Gallon of Water 3,785 Grams
1 Liter of Water 1,000 Grams
1 Fluid ounce 29.57 Grams
1 Fluid ounce 1,043 Ounces

Helpful Formulas for Determining Volume

  1. Volume of a square or rectangular container= length x width x depth
  2. Volume of a circular contaier= 3.14 x radius (squared) x depth
  3. Volume of a pond = surface acres x average depth = acre-feet

Resources: Dallas Koi

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Every fish pond owner needs to use some kind of a quality water dechlorinator to remove chlorine and chloramines from new water that is added back into the pond. Chlorine is one of the biggest killers of Koi Fish.

We have several full function water conditioners on the market that provide dechlorination along with other benefits, which makes water changes very simple and minimizes the need for several different products. Generally these types of water conditioners are only used when making partial or full water changes.

MicrobeLift Ammonia Remover

MicrobeLift Ammonia Remover
  • Removes Ammonia
  • Removes Chlorine
  • Removes Chloramines
  • Works immediately and will not interrupt biological filtration.
  • Non-toxic to humans, pets and aquatic life.
  • 32 oz Bottle Treats 2,880 Gallons of Water and 1 Gallon Treats 11,520 Gallons

koi sales

What are Ammonia, Nitrites, pH, KH, GH and DO?

  1. Ammonia is a waste product of fish and also comes from the brake down of organic waste. It can seriously burn the gills of fish and cause death.
  2. Nitrites come from the break down of ammonia by ‘beneficial bacteria’. It can cause severe damage and/or death to your fish.
  3. pH is a measure of how acid or basic a substance is. Below 7 is acidic, higher is alkaline.
  4. KH is a measure of carbonate (CO32-) and bicarbonate (HCO3) ions dissolved in the water and represent the main buffering or pH stabilizing capacity of pond water. It helps keep the pH from crashing.
  5. GH or general hardness, is a measure of the calcium and magnesium ions dissolved in the water.
  6. DO is dissolved oxygen. Koi must have sufficient DO in the water to be able to breath and the beneficial bacteria in the filter need it to multiply. The larger the koi the higher the total demand for oxygen.

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