If you are struggling to keep your pond water clean and healthy, you may be overlooking a simple solution. Using certain types of beneficial bacteria for ponds can help reduce the amount of floating green organic matter and restore balance to your pond.
Of course, a certain amount of organic matter can be beneficial for a pond. When you start to see “green stuff” covering 20% of your pond water, however, this is when it can be smart to start thinking about reducing this floating material as it can affect water quality.
But first, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why organic matter can begin to grow out of control:
• Your pond has too much direct sunlight
• The temperature has spiked
• Your pond has too much nitrogen
• Your pond has too much phosphorus
• Your pond has too many fish
• There’s no agitation in your pond
These conditions can lead to an overgrowth of algae so let’s look at each issue independently.
Too Much Sunlight – With a small decorative pond or a koi pond, adding some free-floating plants can provide much-need shade for aquatic life and these can reduce the amount of direct sunlight. Planting a small tree can help, providing some much-needed shade. For larger ponds, you might also add some aquatic plants to provide areas of shade for your fish. Planting a few trees also can help provide some shade, and there are pond colorants that can be added to the water to block some sunlight.
Temperature Spikes – In general, the temperature of your pond water is always a matter of concern. When the water becomes too warm, the oxygen levels drop and this can harm your fish population. When the water temperature starts to go above about 75° F, it’s crucial that you keep an eye on the oxygen levels. These higher temperatures also can accelerate algae growth, which also affects oxygen levels.
Too Much Nitrogen – Nitrogen is one of the most abundant chemical elements on our planet, and it can enter your pond in several ways. Rainwater contains nitrogen as well as leaves and other debris that find their way into your pond. Even fish waste contains nitrogen. When nitrogen levels get too high, this can cause algae to grow and oxygen levels to drop. High nitrogen levels can be harmful to your aquatic life, as well as any livestock that might drink from your pond.
Too Much Phosphorus – When your pond has too much phosphorus, this definitely can accelerate the growth of that green organic matter. As with nitrogen, phosphorus can enter your pond via rainwater or runoff or even seep in from groundwater.
Too Many Fish – When you have too many fish, the oxygen levels in your pond will drop and there simply won’t be enough oxygen for all of your fish to breathe. Too many fish create an abundance of waste, as well, which can cause those nitrogen levels to rise and algae to grow.
Determining the correct type and amount of fish can be tricky and it depends on a number of factors, including the size and depth of your pond and your typical seasonal temperatures. We highly recommend that you work with a fish expert to ensure that your pond has the proper number of fish.
No Agitation/Aeration – A stagnant pond is an unhealthy pond, not to mention providing the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Agitation can help your pond in many ways. Not only will it keep the water healthy, but it also can help keep the temperature down in the summer and keep temperature levels a bit higher in the winter.
Those are the most common issues that can create the ideal breeding ground for algae. To avoid this, we recommend that you aerate your pond and spend some time raking out excess leaves and debris. Beyond that, using beneficial bacteria for ponds can be a huge help, and here are a few reasons why we recommend it.
1. It’s Easy – Pond maintenance can take up a lot of your time, but tossing in some beneficial bacteria can improve pond clarity and it just takes a few minutes about once a month to add this bacteria.
2. It’s Chemical-Free – Many types of beneficial bacteria for ponds are completely chemical-free, and this is always a great choice. Whenever you can add something natural as opposed to a synthetic chemical, you are making a healthier choice for your pond.
3. Bacteria Is Safe – Beneficial bacteria for ponds typically are safe for fish, livestock and all wildlife, including humans. So if your family enjoys a swim in the pond, using beneficial bacteria can be a safer choice. We recommend that you stick with products that are veterinarian-approved and listed as safe for fish, wildlife, pets, livestock and humans.
But what are beneficial bacteria for ponds and how can it help?
When you think of bacteria, you might associate these organisms with a negative connotation, such as bacteria that can cause illness. However, beneficial bacteria can restore balance to an ecosystem. Even humans will consume bacteria such as probiotics to improve our digestion or immune system. These probiotics reduce the harmful bacteria and restore bodily humor, and it’s much the same with beneficial bacteria for ponds.
The bacteria are tossed into the water and they immediately begin to eat away at excess nutrients and will work to improve water clarity. They eat away at sludge and muck and animal waste and help to restore the water to a healthier condition.
Monthly treatment with beneficial bacteria for ponds is highly recommended, although, in some areas of the country, treatment won’t be necessary during the coldest months of the year. Additionally, while adding beneficial bacteria monthly can keep problems at bay, if you already are having water issues, you might need to add some extra supplements as the monthly treatment might not be adequate to get the situation under control.
At Healthy Ponds, we can recommend treatments for a variety of common pond and lake issues. We also have many products that contain beneficial bacteria for ponds that are easy to use, safe and effective. You can get started by heading to our homepage and looking either under the Small Water Features section or the Ponds & Small Lakes section. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call, send an email or speak with us via live chat.