Advice From a Tampa Bay Store – Pond Maintenance Using Beneficial Bacteria

Pond maintenance is not the easiest task. Between keeping your water balanced, cleaning out disgusting sludge, and controlling algae blooms, pond care can become quite a hassle. What if I told you there was a way to simplify this grueling job with the use of something simple; Bacteria! To most people this word means it’s time to break out the bleach and start scrubbing. Bacteria are not something you would willingly allow to grow or thrive in your house. However, when it comes to your pond there are some types of bacteria that prove helpful rather than harmful. These are called Beneficial Bacteria.

As shocking as this concept might seem, Beneficial Bacteria are essential helpers in maintaining a pond and pond filter. But what are they? They are microorganisms that naturally occur in every water garden, stream and pond. They are about 1/1000th of a cm! How’s that for small? They reproduce asexually. These tiny little workers create more of themselves by budding off of one another. This process takes about 10 minutes. That means they can colonize extremely quickly. Imagine having 144 babies in one day!

How will something invisible to the naked eye help in your pond? Beneficial Bacteria happen to love pond fish waste and other organic debris. They munch on it day and night, converting deadly Ammonia into Nitrites. These Nitrites then become Nitrates which play a principle part in pond filtration. The Nitrates are absorbed by your aquatic plants which in turn give off oxygen into your pond. This Nitrogen Cycle, as it’s called, also helps to reduce Phosphorus and other problem nutrients in your pond.

This cycle also gets rid of algae. Algae feeds on nutrients in the water from decaying matter i.e. leaves, fish waste, leftover fish food, and dead bugs. Beneficial Bacteria eat the same nutrients in the water that Algae does. By adding it in the pond you are actually STARVING Algae, creating clear and beautiful water. Clever little devils! But that’s not all our small friends do. They break down the sludge on the bottom of your pond and eliminate foul odors.

That does it. By now you are thinking Beneficial Bacteria are amazing things greatly needed in pond maintenance. But what options do you have when buying this wonder product? Well, it comes in four main types: barley straw, liquid, blocks, and powder!

Barley straw! This combination of Barley and bacteria creates a powerful force. The Barley straw cleans ponds, using the natural power of lavender, while the bacteria kill Algae. It reduces bulky barley bales and saves on cost. However, this is the slowest acting form of Beneficial Bacteria.

Liquid! This form is a convenient way to introduce the enzymes. It is commonly sold by in a container by the 8 fl oz or 16 fl oz. It mixes instantly with water and disperses quite fast. It is also more time efficient to apply than the powder form since it can be poured directly into the water with out having to dilute it. However, liquid can prove to be messy and a hassle to store.

Blocks! This form is pre-dosed, making application accurate every time; Always helpful for those of us with measuring issues. They also take up less space and have a longer shelf life than liquid. This allows the Beneficial Bacteria to be stored for longer periods of time.

Powder! Powder is the most common and widely available form. It is in a dry granular state and easily dissolves in water. It is easy to use and makes for fast clean-up in case of spills. To add the dry bacteria just take a bucket of your pond water and mix the recommended amount until the powder is dissolved. Then pour it around the perimeter.

Like any other living thing, Beneficial Bacteria need a house; someplace cozy to raise a nice family. In other words, they need a surface of some kind to attach to. There are products specifically designed to house the bacteria. The most common is a Biological Filter.

A Biological Filter is the Taj Mahal in the world of bacterium. It is by far the best filter for producing clear water and aiding in the maintenance of your pond. The reason being the enormous amount of surface space it provides for the Beneficial Bacteria. A Biofilter usually consists of three or more layers of special density foam or Filter media. The foam is a porous pad designed for bacteria growth. The Filter media is made from layers of diffusions banded wire cloth, which is pleated to maximize filter area, (Do not use hose water when cleaning out your filter media mats! Chlorine and Ammonia are fatal to the Beneficial Bacteria. Simply rinse the mats in a bucket of your pond water to clean them.) Under the filtering pads, Bio-balls or lava rock is placed. Bio-balls are plastic bio-media designed to create a large surface area on a relatively small ball. This allows even more bacteria to put up base. No doubt these filters are wonderful homes.

If you do not have a Biological filter I highly recommend one for simple pond maintenance. However, if this is not possible there are other less expensive houses for our friends. The main thing to keep in mind is surface area. For example, adding the bacteria into a fish tank, with nothing more than a pump and mechanical filter in it, results will be minimal. The bacteria will have no where to live. Their surroundings need to resemble that of nature.

There is a simple solution for this. Rocks and Gravel! You need a layer AT MOST two inches thick of gravel in your pond. This allows space for colonization to make plenty of waste eating families. A word of caution is at hand: Do not put more than two inches of gravel in your pond no matter how deep the water is! If there is more than two inches noxious gases can occur. Pond owners using Beneficial Bacteria who have streams leading from their fall to their ponds find it easier to maintain clear water in your pond. This is because the enzymes (bacteria) deal with a small volume of water in the stream with the normal amount of rocks/gravel. This allows them to filter every gallon of water thoroughly.

Sometimes gravel is not enough. If you have a larger pond without a Biological Filter the aid of other products may be easy pond maintenance needed. Barley bales and pads or Aqua mats are extremely useful as well. The Barley provides the dual action of lavender and bacteria mentioned before. Aqua mats are polymers designed to house the bacteria and simulate wet lands found in a natural ecosystem.

Now that you know your options and how to provide sufficient housing, it’s time to decide which form of Beneficial Bacteria will work best for you! Every form has its advantages. Then, purchase your bacteria which can be found at most Pond or Aquatic Garden retail stores. Bacteria need oxygen to survive so, the more plants you have the better the colonies will thrive. Aerators might be needed for larger ponds. Make sure to test your water PH level to ensure optimum results. PH levels should be between 7.5 and 8.0. Also check the water temperature. It needs to be above 60ÚF or 15ÚC. Our Micro-buddies are sensitive to cold water.

Now although the bacteria may seem like magic, allow time for it to work. It may take seven to ten days to start seeing results and up to twenty-five through thirty days for complete results. After all, it takes time to settle in after a big move! Maintaining your pond with the help of Beneficial Bacteria will cut the time you spend cleaning it in half.

Previous post 5 Tips to Find the Best Online MBA Program
Next post A Few Tips: Ink and Toner Fast Leaves You Quite Satisfied With Business Needs