When we think of the word bacteria, the mind fills with negative associations – such as illness. Did you know that not all bacteria are bad? There are what is called beneficial bacteria, which provides benefits to its environment. There are also good bacteria in our guts that help to keep us healthy, and without these, our digestive system would malfunction.
The same can be true in bodies of water. These microorganisms naturally occur in lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water. They may be present in your pond, but there may not be enough to sustain a healthy environment. A healthy balance of good bacteria in your pond will help keep it clean and healthy for the benefit of your fish too. So how does this work? Read on to learn why you should add beneficial bacteria to your water.
Beneficial Bacteria to Prevent Algae Bloom
Algae growth is a common issue for pond owners, but they may not need to look further than the level of good bacteria in their ponds to find the solution to their problem. Beneficial bacteria do not target algae directly. Instead they deprive the algae the nutrients they need to grow.
Algae feed on phosphorus and nitrates. They don’t require much of these food sources, so the growth can become out of control if there are too much in the water. Good bacteria stops these compounds from becoming algae food by breaking them down. They use a process called denitrification on nitrates to transform them into nitrogen gas. Then it leaves the pond system in that form. They also convert phosphorus into calcium phosphate and iron phosphate.
These insoluble minerals are not sources of nutrients for most types of algae. The bacteria also tie up phosphorus and nitrogen in their cells, which removes these compounds from the food web, taking them away from the algae. You will know when you have enough good bacteria in your pond when the algae disappears. You won’t have to deal with the algae blooms for a while if the treatment goes well.
Cleaner and Healthier Water
The presence of algae will cause the water to turn green, or other colors for that matter. Since beneficial bacteria restricts its growth, your water will maintain its clarity. Good bacteria is also “clean” in a sense that it neutralizes toxic substances like nitrites and ammonia.
Nitrites and ammonia come from fish waste, and they are both toxic to the fish and the environment. The bacteria helps by breaking them down and reducing them to harmless substances. The result is a healthier, and balanced pond water. The formula of bacteria you need depends on your pond maintenance needs. Specific strains will target nitrites, ammonia, and phosphorus. Some strains clarify the water by breaking down the waste and keeping the odors down. Others are for maintenance.
There are also products available the target organic sludge at the bottom of the pond. Just an example, sludge remover pellets sink to the bottom and deliver the treatment directly to the sludge. This might be a good choice if you have a larger pond or a lake.
Beneficial Bacteria is Eco-Friendly and Safe
Good bacteria are not the only solution to algae. There chemicals that can instantly kill algae, but they can be harmful to the ecosystem. Algaecides can extract oxygen from the water quickly. Not only will this kill the algae as it’s supposed to do but the fish and plants too. The wrong dosage might also lead to a loss of good bacteria and an increase in ammonia. Many prefer to use good bacteria to clean up their ponds because it’s easy to mess up the application of chemicals.
Bacteria is a safe solution to improve your water conditions. They handle the root causes of common problems and helps to prevent them from recurring. They don’t have the same risks as the chemicals since they naturally occur in the environment. They are free of pathogens and only contain organic enzymes. Remember that too much of a good thing can be harmful too. Bacteria may deplete the oxygen with inadequate aeration, which is harmful to your fish. To be on the safe side, use only what you need for the treatment.
The Proper Application of Good Bacteria
Bacteria is a living organism, and they need oxygen to survive. If your pond does not have a natural aerator so that the oxygen can spread throughout the water, not just the surface, then install an aerator system before you treat your pond with bacteria. You can pre-mix the formula with some pond water, or apply the formula directly to the pond. Do not use tap water, especially if it contains chlorine. If you mix it with pond water, make sure to shake it well to disperse the bacteria evenly. Then, apply your mixture along the perimeter of the pond. You can also pour it near diffusers or another source of moving water. This will allow for equal distribution of the bacteria across the pond.
The dosage and the frequency of treatments depend on a lot of factors. For example, the amount of exposure to sunlight, and quantity of fish affect the amount of each dosage. Ponds with more severe conditions might need to increase or even double the dosage recommended for the volume of water. Give us a call so that we can walk you through the treatment and maintenance of your water using beneficial bacteria. Also, keep in mind that you will need to have patience. Unlike chemicals, the effects of beneficial bacterial work gradually. Evaluate the condition and adjust if you do not see improvements when you should. Good bacteria is not the sold solution to a murky pond. You have to do your part because it can only help so much. Give your pond proper aeration and cleaning.
Clean Your Pond
The cleanliness of your pond is not just for aesthetic reasons. The health of your fish depends on it as well. Don’t worry, good bacteria will not harm your fish. Add good bacteria now, and enjoy a cleaner and healthier pond. Contact us if we can assist you in choosing which of our products will best suit the job!