You are here Home » Why is Testing Source Water Important to your Fish?
Water Chem

Why is Testing Source Water Important to your Fish?

We all need to top up or exchange water in aquaponic or aquaculture systems either to replace evaporation and transpiration or to dilute chemical issues with our culture water.  So, it makes sense that we check out the chemistry of source water we are introducing to the system. [heading] testing source water [/heading] I know that sounds fair and reasonable and even obvious to most people keeping fish and plant systems, but not everyone does it. The beauty of checking out your source water is, you can use the testing kits you have for your system already and you can compare the differences and estimate how the water chemistry in your system might change or react to the water you are adding to it. A word of caution though;’ if your source water is rain catchment it will not always be the same, especially after heavy rain events.  Also your tap water will change from time to time as well, so checking all your source water regularly ensures you are not inadvertently adding something that may negatively impact on your system. Also, understanding the water you are topping up or exchanging with, may also reduce the need for chemical buffers provided your exchange is high enough. Take for example my rain water in the picture above.  This is stored in a few IBCs behind the garden shed and is connected by gravity to top up My Fish Farm.  The basic are it has a high alkalinity and a reasonably high pH.  At times that pH can be in the high 9’s.  So when I add this as top up water I generally don’t have to buffer the system. The picture above is my fish water.  At that time of day the pH. was a little lower than I usually like it, so adding the top up water which is a full point higher in pH will bring that up or at least buffer it without the need for hydroxides and other alkaline buffers. The temperature between the two is very similar.  Which is really only  concern if you are doing large exchanges in the system.  Your storage, if kept in he shade can sometimes be used to bring the culture water down if you are struggling with higher than normal water temps.  It worked for us a month ago when temperatures hit upper sub-lethal limits. On the other hand, your pH in the source water could be quite low, which sometimes happens inland.  You may want to adjust it before you put it in your system so you are not contributing to the pH going lower than your fish like it. If you are not using your water for drinking, your source water is a great place to treat quality issues before you use it.  For example the pH can be severely adjusted up or down without any risk to your fish, buffers can be added and even nutrients (though watch no sunlight gets in there). Next time you have your testing gear out, check your source water, you may be surprised by what you find. Regards Paul…

Register and Learn More!

Joining Earthan Edge membership is easy and gives you full access to all of the previously published aquaponic and aquaculture articles, along with any we publish in the future.  You will have unrestricted access to our calculators and tools, aquaponic and aquaculture designs, hints and tips on managing water chemistry and engineering your own home or boutique aquaponic or aquaculture farm.  You will also enjoy discussing your project with like minded people on our members forum.

1 Month
$ 29
$29 / Month
3 Months
$ 59
19.70 / Month
6 Months
$ 99
$16.50 / Month
Best Value
12 Months
$ 149
$12.50 / Month

Lost Password


Skip to toolbar