Is a high pH bad for my Phoenix pond?
Pretty much everything you read regarding pH for backyard ponds is focused on a perfectly controlled environment for the fish. Here in the Arizona desert, with our hard, alkali water sources, attempting to keep the water in your backyard pond at a neutral pH is impossible. People will drive themselves crazy with this effort, when in fact the fish can handle a wide variety of water conditions. Yes, even Koi. We are not, however, talking about raising show Koi, but merely pet fish.
But I tested the pH!
Just like a blood test is simply a snapshot of a small moment in your life, if you test your pH in the morning, and then again in the evening, you will get two different readings! This phenomenon is due to photosynthesis activity by plants and algae, just like your blood test is dependent on when you last ate, and what you consumed. Obviously, who can spend the time adjusting for that, right?
What's the right pH for a Phoenix pond?
We have seen fish do well in pH values ranging from 7.2 all the way up to the mid 9's. The fish do not like rapid swings in pH; however, they have the ability to acclimate to our high, and naturally fluctuating, pH environment just fine.
Should I try to adjust the pH in a Phoenix pond?
We never recommend attempting to adjust your pond pH with acidifiers, as the rapid pH swing is a potential fish killer. Buffers are a different story. Buffers can help control pH swings and are probably (theoretically) helpful to fish health and happiness, although we have no proof of this. Most of our clients just leave it to Mother Nature and she seems to do OK with it on her own. :-)
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Barbi Holdeman, co-owner of The Pond Gnome, enjoys sharing their 20+ years of education & experience with you! She writes about Phoenix Ecosystem Pond Installation, Pond Maintenance, Wildlife around the Pond, Koi and Goldfish in the Pond, and the Pond Lifestyle. If you enjoy what she writes, please share it!