What is nitrate?
Nitrate is produced by the beneficial bacteria in the pond and filters as they break down the fish’s toxic waste products (ammonia and nitrite). Nitrate is not toxic to pond fish, but excessively high levels can affect their reproduction.
Why test for nitrate?
Nitrate is a plant nutrient. The more nitrate is present the greater the potential for plant growth. If insufficient plants are present then algae will begin to dominate in the pond. Ponds with high levels of nitrate frequently have problems with algae and blanket weed.
What do I do if the nitrate level is wrong?
Maintenance of a zero level of nitrate in a pond is extremely difficult. Most domestic water supplies have a low level of nitrate. The key to maintenance of low nitrates is regular water changes to dilute the build up of nitrate. Also, increasing the higher plant life in the pond should use up nitrate. This will lower the amount of nitrate available to algae.
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