While a pond or lake can be a beautiful feature, no one loves the look of a pond with pea-green water or an abundance of floating organic matter. Beneficial bacteria can be used to slow the growth of this organic matter, and here’s how it works.
First, let’s just say, there are many different types of bacteria. In fact, there are millions of different types of bacteria. Some pose health risks to humans and animals, while others are beneficial.
For instance, no one wants to come into contact with Escherichia coli, better known simply as E.coli. Likewise, salmonella is another commonly known bacteria type that can be problematic for humans, to say the least.
However, while there are plenty of harmful types of bacteria, there are also many types of bacteria that can be beneficial. Lactobacillus acidophilus, for instance, is a bacterium that is found in our own bodies and some strains of this bacterium have been shown to boost our immune system and possibly help people with intestinal issues.
When it comes to ponds or lakes, beneficial bacteria can be a good addition as this bacterium eats away at sludge and many types of organic matter. An excessive amount of floating green organic matter and sludge can cause oxygen levels in a pond to drop. Not only does this look unattractive, but it can also lead to fish kills and make water unsuitable for humans, pets and livestock.
How Beneficial Bacteria Keep A Pond Clear
Ponds often become overrun with excess organic matter when the nitrogen and phosphorus levels are too high. Higher water temperatures also can accelerate the growth of excess organic matter and decrease water quality.
Beneficial bacteria will eat away at these excess nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, which cause the floating matter to die off and these bacteria also boost the speed of decomposition. Adding beneficial enzymes and bacteria to ponds and lakes is known as bioaugmentation.
As a fun side note, bioaugmentation also is the process used to treat water in wastewater treatment facilities, although the enzymes and bacteria used might not always be the same as the ones you’d find in pond and lake products.
At any rate, aside from its effectiveness keeping your pond clear, beneficial bacteria also is a great option because it can be so easy to use. For instance, let’s take a look at our AquaSphere®PRO product.
The AquaSphere®PRO is a small sphere made of water-soluble, biodegradable materials. Inside each sphere is our propriety mix of beneficial bacteria. When you toss a sphere into your pond, it immediately begins dispensing bacteria, reducing excess nutrients and breaking down organic matter.
To treat a pond, you simply need to toss in as many spheres as are needed based upon the approximate number of gallons of water in your pond or lake. AquaSphere®PRO will release bacteria and work to keep your pond clear for up to 30 days. At that point, you just toss in new spheres, as the old ones will have biodegraded.
In some cases, such as unforeseen temperature spikes or perhaps a large amount of rainfall, your pond might need extra help to keep the organic matter at bay. We have a few other natural products with beneficial bacteria that can help, such as Natural Blast. We always recommend that people keep a supply of Natural Blast on hand just in case, so that you can nip problems in the bud before they become out of control.
Other Steps To Take
- Aerate Your Pond – Agitation is always a smart idea. Stagnant water is a breeding ground for floating organic matter. Aerating the pond decreases the temperature and gets that water moving. Some aeration systems, such as a fountain also add to the beauty of your lake or pond.
- Cut It Up – Lake weed cutters can be very handy. These feature a long pole with sharp blades at one end. A durable rope or string is attached to the other end. You toss the cutter into the water, let it sink a bit and then pull back on the string and the blades cut away at aquatic plants. The cut portions will rise to the top and you can skim them out, which leads to the next step.
- Pond Rakes & Nets – A pond rake can be used to remove leaves, debris and some floating organic matter. Additionally, heavy-duty pond skimmer nets (which look much like the ones used in swimming pools) can be used to remove some debris, including those weeds we cut up with our lake weed cutter.
- Protect Your Pond With Beneficial Plants – While there are plenty of weeds you don’t want near your pond, there are beneficial plants that can support the pond bank and also prevent runoff from fertilizer from affecting your pond water. In general, we recommend using organic types of fertilizer or fertilizers that are low in phosphorus. These beneficial plants also will keep unwanted grass clippings from getting into your pond.
While keeping a pond clear does require some effort, at Healthy Ponds, we do all we can to make it as easy as possible. To determine which products might be the best fit for your pond or lake, go to https://healthyponds.com/treatment-plan/.