If you own a pond, you probably hear people say that you need to use pond bacteria or pond enzymes to keep the water clean. Bacteria and enzymes often are used interchangeably, but they shouldn’t be as they are not the same. It’s important that pond owners know the difference, as well as learning something about the fragile ecological balance existing in their pond.
A pond might simply look like a beautiful water feature, but it’s actually a bustling ecosystem filled with all sorts of tiny organisms such as fish, waterfowl, plant life, frogs, insects and more. Understanding your pond’s unique ecosystem can help you better understand how to keep your pond as healthy as possible. Bacteria also exist naturally in your pond and you might add additional beneficial bacteria to help keep the water balanced.
What Is Bacteria?
Bacteria (or bacterium in the singular form) are single-celled organisms. There are many different types of bacteria; some are harmful to an ecosystem, while others can be beneficial. For instance, certain types of bacteria can be harmful or deadly to fish as well as pets and humans.
On the other hand, some types of bacteria can be very beneficial for ponds and safe for wildlife, pets and humans. These bacteria can eat away at sludge and reduce the excess nutrients that support the growth of green organic matter, restoring a pond to a healthier state.
What Is A Pond Enzyme?
An enzyme is simply a substance that all living organisms produce in order to spark a certain chemical reaction. For instance, in the human body, some enzymes help us digest our food, transforming that food into energy or nutrients. In a pond, when living bacteria are released into the pond water, they produce enzymes. These enzymes react with the organic material, breaking it down so that the bacteria can use it to live, grow and multiply. This process helps to reduce the excess organic material in your pond.
You might wonder what happens once the bacteria consume the organic material. After all, it cannot simply disappear. Most of it is simply released as carbon dioxide and water, and very little actual bacteria waste will go into your pond.
How Much Bacteria Does A Pond Need?
It really depends on the current state of the water. If your water has a very small layer of sludge and almost no floating organic matter, an infusion of bacteria might be all that is needed to keep the water healthy.
We have a product, the AquaSpherePRO®, that can be tossed in your pond once a month. This might be all you need to keep the water clear. The AquaSpherePRO® is a biodegradable sphere filled with beneficial bacteria. Our bacteria, when released into your pond, produce enzymes which help speed the process of breaking down the sludge and excess organic nutrients.
If your area experiences a series of major rainfall events or a sudden temperature spike, this can create conditions in your pond that accelerate the growth of organic matter. You may need additional bacterial support to help mitigate this growth. We have several other bacteria products that you can add to the water along with the AquaSpherePRO® to restore the water to a healthy state. Natural Blast, for example, is one of our products that may provide the extra support that your pond water needs.
These products also can be used if your pond is already in rough shape, such as a pond that is pea green in color, creating noxious odors or perhaps most of the surface is covered with organic floating material if left untreated. These issues can cause oxygen levels in your water to drop and lead to fish kills.
What Other Steps Can I Take?
Beneficial bacteria can be a great solution for many pond issues, but there are other ways to keep your pond water as healthy as possible. One option is installing a bottom-diffusion aerator and a pond filter, which agitates your water and filters out sludge. A fountain also can be added to further agitate the water. Both of these systems also can reduce the temperature of the water, which can prevent the growth of organic matter.
Raking out your pond and creating a plant barrier around the edge of your pond also can help keep pond water healthy. A plant barrier can prevent erosion and also soak up some of the runoff that enters the pond. Keeping your lawn healthy also can help, as a healthy lawn can absorb more water, thus keeping run-off out of your pond. Run-off often contains fertilizers and chemicals that can harm pond water.
What Products Do I Need?
At Healthy Ponds, we have a wide range of products that can help with pond issues. Many of these products contain specially formulated mixes of beneficial bacteria that produce those pond enzymes. Our natural bacteria products are veterinarian-approved and safe for fish, wildlife, pets and people. To determine which products you need, head to our homepage and click on the Start Your Treatment tab. We also encourage you to contact us at any time if you need pond treatment advice or have questions about any of our pond treatment products.