Why does this happen and how do I prevent it?
pH is a measure of whether water is acid, neutral or alkaline and is measured on a scale of 1 -7=acid 7=Neutral and 7- 14 =alkaline. Variances in pH can have dramatic affects on the health and wellbeing of your pond. Changes in pH are invisible so without regular testing, changes can have an effect before you even notice something is wrong.
pH is measured in a logarithmic scale which means for every unit of change in the scale the concentration changes tenfold e.g. pH6 is 10x more acidic than neutral pH7 and pH 4 is 1000x more acidic that pH7. So relatively small changes in pH are actually quite significant.
Ponds are an open environment and are therefore susceptible to environmental pollution which can affect the pH of your pond. For example, excessive rain can create low pH as rain tends to be slightly acidic due to pollutants in the air. It is important to be aware of the environment around your pond and consider regular testing after heavy rainfall. We would also not advise using collected rain water to fill your pond, or for making top ups for the same reasoning.
Biological factors can also effect the ponds pH – the natural breakdown of sludge and fish waste in the filter and pond releases acids into the pond water.
The pH in your pond may also be affected by the tap water in your area. If you are noticing frequent and significant low pH issues you may benefit from testing your tap water to see if regular pH treatment is necessary.
If you are keeping a pond with fish we would advise supporting your fish when water quality is bad, using Stress Away and Pond Guardian Pond Salt. These products will help to reduce the impact of the stress caused by water quality issues and prevent outbreaks of disease.
Use with any of the above