It is important to keep on top of the water quality in your pond and understand your water chemistry... today, following a filter clean yesterday, my ammonia (nh3/ nh4) / nitrite (no2) levels in my quarantine tank were elevated to an unacceptable level. the nitrite (no2) level was high therefore telling me that the nitrosomonas and nitrobacteria were too few. a combination of dropping ambient temperatures and cleaning the k1 media seems to have caused this recent spike. you can tell that there is an issue by also testing for nitrates (no3). nitrates are the waste left over after the nitrifying bacteria processes the ammonia / nitrites. if the nitrates are low and the other two high it's a key sign that the bacteria isn't doing it's job!! too much nitrate and you will soon find that the algae growth with cover everything resulting in green water, therefore you have to find that healthy balance. now you can either increase the surface area of the bacteria media, or add bacteria to hope the existing media will reduce the levels.
so what levels are acceptable/ unacceptable?
nh3 - acceptable - 0mg/l
nh3 - unacceptable = 0.5mg/l (10% water change)
nh3 - toxic = 1 mg/l ( change 25% water)
nh3 - highly toxic = 2+ mg/l (change 50% of the water)
no2 - acceptable = 0 mg/l
no2 - unacceptable = 0.5mg/l (10% water change)
no2 - toxic = 1 mg/l ( change 25% water)
no2 - highly toxic = 2+ mg/l (change 50% of the water)
there are obviously a lot more water parameters to be aware of; ph being another key one. i will try to show these tests in later posts!
like and comment below if you found this helpful!