When you hear the word bacteria, the mind often fills with its negative associations, such as illnesses. But did you know that not all bacteria are bad?
There are what we call beneficial bacteria, which provides advantages to its environment. There are even good bacteria in our guts that work to keep a person healthy. Without these, the functions of our digestive system will fail.
The same can be true for bodies of water. These microorganisms naturally occur in rivers, lakes, and other bodies. While they may also be present in your pond, there might not be enough to sustain a healthy water environment.
A healthy balance of good bacteria in your pond helps keep it clean and healthy for the benefit of your fish as well.
How does this work, you ask? Read on to find out why you need to add beneficial bacteria to your pond.
Beneficial Bacteria Prevents Algae Bloom
Algae growth is the most common problem among pond owners. But they may not need to look farther than the level of good bacteria in their ponds for the solution.
It’s important noting that beneficial bacteria don’t target algae directly. They work by depriving the algae the nutrients they need to grow.
Algae feed on nitrates and phosphorus. They don’t need much of these food sources, so the growth can be astronomical if there are too much in the water.
Good bacteria prevent these compounds from becoming algae food by breaking them down. They use the process denitrification on nitrates to transform them into nitrogen gas. In that form, it leaves the pond system.
They also convert phosphorus into calcium iron phosphate and calcium phosphate. These are insoluble minerals and are not sources of nutrients for most types of algae.
The bacteria also tie up nitrogen and phosphorus in their cells. This then removes these compounds from the food web, taking them away from algae.
You’ll know when there are enough good bacteria in the pond when the algae disappear. If the treatment goes well, you won’t have to deal with algal blooms for a long time afterward.
Water Becomes Cleaner and Healthier
The presence of algae causes the pond water to turn green – or other colors, for that matter. Because beneficial bacteria restrict its growth, your pond water then maintains its clarity.
Good bacteria also “clean” in a way that it neutralizes harmful substances like ammonia and nitrites.
Both ammonia and nitrites come from fish waste. They are also both toxic to the fish and the environment.
The bacteria help by breaking them down, therefore reducing them to harmless substances. This results in a balanced and a healthier pond water.
The bacteria formulation you need depends on your maintenance needs. Certain strains target ammonia, nitrites, and phosphorus. Some strains clarify the pond water by breaking down waste while keeping the odors down. Other formulas are for maintenance.
There are also products that target the organic sludge at the bottom. For example, sludge remover pellets sink and deliver the bacteria treatment directly to the sludge. This may be the choice for larger ponds or even lakes.
Good Bacteria is Safe and Eco-Friendly
Beneficial bacteria are not the only solution to algal blooms. There are chemicals that can kill algae in an instant, but they pose risks to the ecosystem.
Algaecides can pull oxygen from the water fast. This will not only kill the algae as it intended but the fish and plants as well.
Incorrect dosage might also lead to an increase in ammonia and the loss of good bacteria. It’s easy to mess up the application of chemicals, which is why many prefer to use bacteria to clean up their ponds.
Bacteria are a safer solution to improve many pond conditions. They deal with the root causes of common problems and helps prevent them from recurring.
As they naturally occur in the environment, they don’t have the same risks as chemicals. They only contain organic enzymes and are free of pathogens.
These are also part of the food web. They are a food source for benthos and zooplankton, which are food for the fish and other aquatic life.
But remember that too much of a good thing may become harmful. With inadequate aeration, the bacteria may deplete the oxygen, which is bad for your fish. To be safe, only use what you need for the treatment.
Proper Application of Good Bacteria
Bacteria are living organisms, and as such, they need oxygen to survive. Your pond should have a natural aerator so that oxygen can go to the depths, not only on the surface. If there is none, install an aerator system before you introduce bacteria to your pond.
You can apply the formula directly to the pond or you can pre-mix it with pond water. Remember not to use tap water, especially if it has chlorine.
When mixing it with pond water, shake it well to distribute the bacteria evenly. Then, apply it on the perimeter of the pond.
You may also dump it near diffusers or a source of moving water. This allows for equal distribution of good bacteria across the pond.
The dose and frequency depend on a lot of factors. For example, the number of fish and exposure to sunlight affect how much to add to the dosage. Ponds in worse conditions might need up to double the dosage recommended for the amount of water.
Give us a call so we can assist you and walk you through the treatment and maintenance of your pond using bacteria.
Also, keep in mind that you need patience. Unlike chemicals, the effects of good bacteria work in gradual. If you don’t see improvements when you should, evaluate the condition and adjust.
Beneficial bacteria is not the sole solution to a murky pond water. It can only help so much, so you have to do your part as well. You have to give your pond proper aeration and cleaning.
Clean Your Pond Now
The cleanliness of your pond not only matters because of aesthetic reasons. Your fish’s health depends on it as well. Don’t worry because beneficial bacteria won’t harm your fish.
Enjoy a cleaner and healthier pond water by adding good bacteria now. Contact us if you need help choosing which of our products suits the job.