Whether you have a small decorative water garden or a large pond, adding beneficial pond bacteria can be an easy way to maintain water quality and clarity. At Healthy Ponds, we have several all-natural products that can reduce or eliminate many common pond issues, but when should you use beneficial bacteria? Let’s take a look.
Why Beneficial Bacteria?
A pond ecosystem is a delicate thing and can be thrown out of balance easily. A spike in temperature, a large rain event, a preponderance of pond weeds or perhaps an overabundance of pond fish all can alter the quality of the water.
Warmer water temperatures reduce the oxygen levels in ponds and heavy rains can introduce elements such as nitrogen and phosphorus into your pond in the form of runoff. When aquatic weeds overgrow, this also affects oxygen levels, and an overstocked pond can become bogged down with fish waste.
All of these excess nutrients, from runoff and waste, can reduce your water quality leading to the rapid accumulation of floating organic matter, a heavy sludge layer and even terrible odors.
Beneficial bacteria for ponds consume excess nutrients in your pond water, and this can reduce the floating organic matter as well as reduce the amount of pond muck or pond sludge at the bottom of your pond.
Monthly Bacteria Treatments
In general, we recommend adding beneficial pond bacteria every month to just about any type of water feature. We have pond care products suitable for everything from bird baths to small lakes and everything in between.
One of our most popular monthly pond maintenance treatments is the AquaSpherePRO®. This is a biodegradable sphere filled with beneficial bacteria. You simply toss the sphere or spheres into your pond and the spheres immediately begin releasing beneficial bacteria for 30 days. After 30 days have passed, simply toss in new spheres.
In general, we recommend adding monthly treatments of AquaSpherePRO® throughout the year. If your pond water temperature drops below 45 degrees for a consistent period of time, you can stop treatment.
For instance, here in our home state of Minnesota, we recommend monthly bacteria treatment from April 1 to November 1. However, these dates are general guidelines and can vary based on weather conditions.
We do recommend that you toss in a sphere once your water temperature drops, as this ensures that your pond will have some beneficial bacteria on hand once water temperatures begin to climb.
While monthly beneficial pond bacteria treatments are helpful, when the warm summer months arrive, your pond water may need additional doses of beneficial bacteria. Our Natural Blast® product should be added at the start of your warm season to give your water a boost of beneficial bacteria.
We also recommend adding Natural Blast® anytime there is a sudden spike in temperature or perhaps a large rain event. Be sure to add Natural Blast® whenever you see floating green organic matter beginning to form on the surface of your pond. Natural Blast® should be used in conjunction with AquaSpherePRO® for optimum results.\
How Much Beneficial Bacteria Should I Add?
With beneficial bacteria, you cannot overtreat your pond water. To get started, you will need to calculate the approximate number of gallons of water in your pond, and you can use our handy pond size calculator at https://healthyponds.com/pond-calculator/.
While using our pond size calculator can give you add an idea of how much bacteria to add to your pond, keep in mind that you cannot overtreat with beneficial bacteria. Therefore, if you use our pond calculator and determine that you have about 200,000 gallons in your pond, you should select the AquaSpherePRO® that treats up to 250,000 gallons. It’s always better to overtreat than undertreat, and excess beneficial bacteria will not harm your pond or any fish in your pond.
Solving Common Pond Water Issues
If your pond water smells, which is a common issue, we recommend using Natural Blast® for 30 days. You should treat with the recommended amount of Natural Blast on Day 1, Day 15 and Day 30. If this doesn’t solve the problem, continue to treat every two weeks until the smell dissipates. From there, keeping up with monthly AquaSpherePRO® treatments can help prevent odors in the future.
If your pond has a heavy sludge layer, monthly treatments with AquaSpherePRO® can help. In some cases, you also might want to treat with Natural Blast® as well. If you have a small pond or a koi pond, a pond vacuum also can be used to remove the sludge. Large ponds may need dredging if the problem is severe. Skimming out leaves and debris and monthly beneficial pond bacteria treatment can prevent a sludge layer from forming in the future.
For a heavily matted, stagnant pond, we do recommend that you treat the water with our product, Rush®. This product improves water quality in stagnant ponds by eliminating heavily matted, floating organic matter on the surface of the pond.
Rush® works by enhancing the nutrient-consumption activity in the water, as well as increasing oxygenation in the water. This accelerates the decomposition of floating organic matter. Rush® can be an excellent option for pond owners who either don’t wish to use chemicals in their pond or are prohibited by law from using pond chemicals.
Our Beneficial Bacteria Is All-Natural & Safe
Both AquaSpherePRO® and Natural Blast® are veterinarian-approved and safe for fish, wildlife, livestock, pets and people. However, if you have a pond stocked with fish, we do recommend testing the oxygen levels in your pond before adding Natural Blast®, especially in a stagnant pond or a pond with high levels of floating organic matter.
If the water is stagnant and heavily mater, you do need to ensure that there is a source of aeration before treatment with microbials. We highly recommend that all ponds, whether they are stocked with fish or not, have an aeration system in place. Aerators can prevent water from becoming stagnant, keep water temperatures lower and more efficiently distribute beneficial bacteria throughout your pond.
What About Pond Dye?
Once the water quality in your pond has improved, we often recommend adding pond dye. Our natural pond dyes can enhance the look of your pond water, but they also can block some UV light, which can help keep water temperatures a bit lower during those hot summer months.
Our pond dye also is safe for fish, wildlife, livestock, pets and people. With pond dye, we do recommend wearing old clothing and gloves as the dye can stain your hands and clothing. Pond dye should only be added once you’ve mitigated any water issues, such as floating green organic matter or a heavy sludge layer.
Get Started With Beneficial Bacteria
At Healthy Ponds, we have beneficial pond bacteria products for any size water feature. We also offer free personalized water treatment plans, so if you are having any water quality issues, head to https://healthyponds.com/free-pond-plan/ and one of our experts will provide you with solutions for your pond or water feature problems.