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Have a 1/4 acre pond with nothing in it, pH is consistently in the low 10’s. Will stocking 8 lbs of fatheads and the waste they will create lower the ph ?
Assuming I want pH and the mid sevens, what is the average pH for other ponds?
Also I live in the area with a lot of limestone.
Basically wanting a lower pH before I stock with bass and bluegill.
Am I missing an easy fix?

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Good question.

My thoughts are 'no,' adding fatheads won't help the pH, but I really don't know the answer.


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A pH of 10+ in the Ozarks is rare! Usually pH runs in the low 6 range due to pine, cedar, and generally infertile soils. Limestone can't raise pH beyond 8.4 for Calcite, and again, most of the Ozarks is Dolomite limestone, that max's out at 8.2. I am wondering what is causing the high pH. Fish poo and leaf litter may eventually lower the pH some, but not for years to come. Does the happen to be a lot of algal growth in the water? FWIW, I don't concern myself as with what the pH is, but more with the hardness and alkalinity. If both hardness and alkalinity are calcium carbonate driven, pH will always be around the upper 7 to very low 8 range....Several gallons of Muriatic acid, or about 200 pounds per acre foot of Aluminum Sulfate will lower pH...I don't know for how long though.



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I think Rainman is essentially correct. pH of consistently low 10 in MO pounds is very rare. I question the accuracy of the pH testing method. How were the samples tested for pH?

If you want to know all about pH and how it is influenced by alkalinity, iron pyrite, alkali water in arid regions, humic - tannin drainage, phytoplankton, sunlight, turbidity and seasons then read the excellent article in PBoss magazine pg 42 Sep-Oct 2022 by Dr. Boyd. In certain conditions pH of pond water can change if not tested promptly at collection. If pH is tested by a laboratory the sample should be kept in the dark, and tested asap after collection to avoid pH changes. pH of water in a jar can change over time.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/16/23 09:35 PM.

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Not sure if it matters, but I am in northwest Arkansas, probably the same type of lime stone and cedar growing. Could it be from a lack of organic material? The Pond is pretty bare, it just had its first natural bloom, I haven’t fertilized.
I was under the impression that the more organic matter that built up in the pond would help lower the pH as it decays

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Again - what method was used to test the pH? I doubt the pH is above 10? Do you know the alkalinity? If you DYI tested the pH yourself, I suggest that you go to the nearest stream or pond (preferably ditch or stream) and test the pH with the same method. What is the result. Readings should be very close to the same.


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It is extremely rare to have a 10pH in a pond. Can you test alkalinity?
















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I used the electronic tester pen, the same one I use for my hydroponic room.

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Originally Posted by Ozarkprepper
I used the electronic tester pen, the same one I use for my hydroponic room.

When was the last time it was calibrated? What time of day did you do the test?


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pH of 10+ can be fatal to fish. Send a sample to a lab. Here's who I use: http://soiltesting.tamu.edu/files/waterweb1.pdf

Use the $40 choice and have them email you the results, then share them here and we can all discuss.


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Calibrate your pH tester pen. Verify with the testing lab that the pH will be stable once you send it to the lab. pH can can change over time depending on conditions. Our PBoss magazine chemist Dr. Boyd says if samples are sent to a laboratory they should be held in the dark and analyzed asap to avoid pH changes.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 02/23/23 07:56 PM.

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Originally Posted by Ozarkprepper
Not sure if it matters, but I am in northwest Arkansas, probably the same type of lime stone and cedar growing. Could it be from a lack of organic material? The Pond is pretty bare, it just had its first natural bloom, I haven’t fertilized.
I was under the impression that the more organic matter that built up in the pond would help lower the pH as it decays


IIRC, Calcite Limestone has a max pH of 8.4 and Dolomite Limestone has a max pH of 8.2....it is not limestone that could cause a pH over 10. I'd first get a lab test done. I keep 5 new pH pens because they fail so quickly



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Ya, I better look into that.
I just used my tester pen on bottled water and it was reading 10.6.

The problem is clearly my tester pen.

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Originally Posted by Ozarkprepper
Ya, I better look into that.
I just used my tester pen on bottled water and it was reading 10.6.

The problem is clearly my tester pen.

That's the problem, always check for calibration before use. Saves a lot of headaches that way.

I went for a ME degree after I was working and in the materials class I was in the teacher gave out coupons of steel and had the class try to determine the type of steel by testing it. One of the tests was a rockwell test. I sat back and let the other kids go first (I was in my 40's). When it was my time to use it I looked for the calibration coupons to check the machine. None to be found. I asked the prof about the calibration coupons. I passed that test everybody else flunked. LOL


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