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  • tds meter reading

    I have just purchased a TDS meter so i dipped it straight into the pond to see the result and have got a very scary result of 930mg/l .
    Has anyone got some ideas on how to decrease this reading
  • #2

    what it the reading in your tap water?


    • #3

      my tap water reading is 370


      • #4

        Andy: Before any useful suggestions can be made, I think we need to know about your maintenance procedures and stocking levels..... How many gallons? How many/size of fish? Exposed to leaf drop from trees etc? Size & frequency of water changes? Describe filter system.


        • #5

          hi mike

          Thanks for offering some feed back

          The pond is 9500 gallons (british).It has two seperate filter systems in which the first vortexs have been converted to take answers,the next two vortexs on each system contains jap present the pond has 18 koi and some babies from last years spawnings .I will however be having a clear out in the spring and the pond will then contain 14.The average size is probably 25 inches the smallest being 21.5in and the largest 29.5in most are in the middle .

          i am currently doing a modification to the system in which i will be pumping out of the last filter on one of the systems with a 16000 liter pump over a three tower shower unit containing 60 kg of bakki media and then returning it to the first filter of the same system.

          the pond has zero ammonia, usually a touch of nitrite(0.0658mg/l) and nitrate is currently around 40mg/l, ph is at 7.5.


          • #6

            Do you run a constant 24/7 trickle of water in from your well/city water?
            or do you have a regular routine where you clean, drain water and replace?
            Dick Benbow


            • #7

              Oops Forgot

              Sorry forgot about maintainance each of the six vortexs is pulled daily and the first ones have a more vigorus regime in which they are cleaned weekly of all sediment by way of a long pull and sweeping everything towards the drain or totally emptying and washing out.The filters are cleaned twice a year each in the spring and in the autumn.I also vacumn but being a bloke not often enough!


              • #8

                You seem to have plenty of filtration, but you are not indicating water changes beyond what is needed to replace water dumped from the vortexes. I do not know how much water that is, but I expect it is relatively small amounts compared to the pond volume and inputs. The nitrate level is nothing to be worried about per se, but indicates a build-up of organics.

                If you are not doing regular water changes, I'd recommend that you start regimen of weekly changes, but at least alternate weeks, especially during warm periods when you are feeding regularly. Start with a 10% water change and gradually increase to, say, 30% until you get the TDS level where you want. Then you may be able to edge back to a 10% water change per week. I do 50% per week, which is relatively extreme. There is a thread on water changes that I'll find & bring up for you, if I can find it.


                • #9


                  It looks like you have a decent size pond there and keep it well maintained. I see you mention a Bakki shower in your posts, so I guess you've been reading a lot of Mike Snaden's information as well?

                  I dont run an RO plant, but do use a TDS to measure the difference between my tap water and the pond water, the difference being 'other' dissolved organics. I try and maintain a 20-30 TDS difference, which to me means my pond is very clean. But as Mike and Dick have indicated, to keep this low level I like many people always have a trickle of water going into the pond. This overflows to waste, helping to keep the TDS difference low.

                  I have 10,000 gallons and trickle in 400-500 gallons per day of purified water. My starting TDS is 260, pond is usually 280/290, even in the Summer when feeding heavier.

                  If you were to carry out some large water changes and trickle in purified water at say 5% per day, I'm sure you'd see the 930 reading start to drop down to nearer your tap water. May take a while, but it will get there with your current filter maintenance continued.
                  Regards, Bob
                  ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º>
                  <º}}}}>< <º}}}}><


                  • #10

                    Isn’t it funny, we can have a thread here showing a TDS meter is a useful tool, yet over at NI, it’s a worthless piece of kit!

                    Sorry Jim!


                    • #11

                      Their argument is that TDS does not tell you anything about the specifics of what is going on in the pond. It's a nebulous number which is influenced by a variety of parameters and reactions. All true.

                      However, nearly all of those parameters and reactions which influence TDS move TDS in the same direction - up. Thus, it can be argued that TDS is a quick, easy and inexpensive test which gives you a glimpse of the forest, without focusing on any of the trees. Admittedly, the TDS number can only "speak to you" after you develop some appreciation of how TDS relates to other parameters in your system and under your typical management.

                      I use TDS to tell me how "old" the water is and it appears that Bob Hart's approach is similar in intent. I have a lot of small ponds and find it necessary to change water intermittently rather than continuously (it's a long story). Frankly, I keep lousy records, have a lousy memory, do not measure flow rates, and start/stop the water exchange process very haphazardly. In a matter of seconds, a TDS meter can summarize what I have done to the pond over the preceding month and tell me if I have been keeping up with the water exchanges.

                      Maurice and those using RO have a very different application for the TDS meter.

                      -steve hopkins


                      • #12

                        Thanks for the advice i change roughly 100-200 gallons daily but my other option might be to purchase a ROunit i suppose i will now try and increase water changes, but for the last 8 months i have been battling against blanket weed.
                        So i have tried to keep the changes lower,as i have read hopefully the bakki shower will help beat this problem.


                        • #13

                          Andy: Interesting about the algae problem. I wish you had a 12 month record of pond parameters (or even just nitrate/nitrite readings) you could share correlated with the algae growth. Eight months is a long time to go. There are so many factors involved in algae growth that I do not believe reliable advice can be given to solve a particular case ... just all the same stuff that works a lot of the time, but not always. I'm wondering if your small daily water replacements are helping the algae growth ... a fresh supply of micro-nutrients and calcium without a significant reduction in nitrogen. And, I'm wondering what happened about 9 months ago to bring on the algae. ... not really on topic, I guess.


                          • #14

                            algae growth

                            I believe a lot of people had problems with blanket weed last year,mine would grow up to six feet in a 24 hour period so i had one hell of a battle .
                            Blocked up bottom drains etc
                            My pond has two electronic controllers but they were of no use and tried several chemicals.It happened with the heavy feeding of summer.
                            I have now won the battle with the EA product (very impressive).
                            Very soon the Bakki Tower will be up and running so i am hoping this will do as people have reported and drop my nitrates and control the weed for me.
                            The ammonia and nitrite readings are allways ok.Whenever i test with as i said before zero ammonia and a touch of nitrite.
                            The fish are also in good health and enjoy eating as much as i put in.
                            Have done a large water change today during maintainance so i will take a TDS reading in the morning.


                            • #15

                              With readings that far apart, water changes are the way to go.

                              Get within 30/40 between suppply and pond water, then if you're still not happy, the only way to go is RO.


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