What is the deal with ponds and beneficial bacteria?
Beautiful ponds and beneficial bacteria go hand and hand! Beneficial bacteria helps keep algae at bay. Bacteria is very important to have in a pond. We recommend 3/4" gravel in the bottom of ponds to provide a place for beneficial bacteria to colonize. While bacteria occurs naturally in a pond, it is difficult for it to keep up with an enclosed ecosystem. Things like fish load, uneaten fish food and organic debris disrupt the balance of the ecosystem and can cause unwanted algae. The regular addition of beneficial bacteria on a regular basis helps prevent this. You may have purchased a variety of pond treatments and aren't sure what is what. Beneficial bacteria is completely safe for fish and animals, just be sure to use as directed.
Dry or Liquid?
Liquid bacteria jump starts the ecosystem as it works more quickly. However, dry bacteria offers different strains of bacteria which provides a diversity to increase overall stability of the whole system. Good bacteria along with aeration, fish and plants create the balanced ecosystem that is a beautiful pond.
CFU - (Colony Forming Unit)
There are countless strains of bacteria and there are different strains in different products. Some products have a higher concentration of bacteria than others. For instance, the dry beneficial bacteria from Aquscape has a 3.0 billion CFU per ounce potency. The cold water strains have about 1.5 billion CFU.
There are strains of beneficial bacteria that will die once the water goes below a certain temperature. Cold water bacteria can be added down to the water temperatures at 35 degrees. Regular bacteria can only be used down to about 55 degrees. Temperature is a big reason why we see algae blooms in the springtime. Just as different trees and flowers bloom at different times, the various biological elements of the pond "wake up" at separate times too. The plant life and the bacteria come to life just slightly after the algae. This is why we see algae blooms in the early spring - the other plant hasn't gotten to work yet and gives the algae a head start.
It is the algaecide that you want to be careful with! Algaecide can harm fish and animals if not used correctly. It also kills beneficial bacteria- disrupting the eco system we are trying to balance!
Want a beautiful pond that is easy to maintain?
Ponds and beneficial bacteria go together! Add bacteria:
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Tim Trammell has been building, designing, servicing and maintaining pond in the Oklahoma City Metro area for over 20 years. His company Continental Ponds, is Oklahoma's first Master Certified Aquascape Contractor and is an national award winning pond and water feature builder.