When we think of the word bacteria, the mind fills with negative associations – such as illness. Did you know that not all bacteria are bad?
There are what is called beneficial bacteria, which provides benefits to its environment. There are even good bacteria in our guts that help to keep us healthy, and without these, the functions of our digestive system will malfunction.
The same can be true in bodies of water. These microorganisms naturally occur in lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water. They may be present in your pond, but there may not be enough to sustain a healthy environment.
A healthy balance of good bacteria for the pond
will help keep it clean and healthy for the benefit of your fish too. So how does this work? Read on to learn why you should add beneficial bacteria to your water.
Beneficial Bacteria to Prevent Algae Bloom
Controlling algae growth in a pond is a common issue for pond owners, but they may not need to look further than the level of good bacteria in their ponds to find the solution to their problem
Beneficial bacteria do not target algae directly. Instead they deprive the algae the nutrients they need to grow.
Algae feed on phosphorus and nitrates. They don’t require much of these food sources, so the growth can become out of control if there are too much in the water.
Good bacteria stops these compounds from becoming algae food by breaking them down. They use a process called denitrification on nitrates to transform them into nitrogen gas. Then it leaves the pond system in that form.
They also convert phosphorus into calcium phosphate and iron phosphate. These insoluble minerals are not sources of nutrients for most types of algae. The bacteria also tie up phosphorus and nitrogen in their cells, which removes these compounds from the food web, taking them away from the algae.
You will know when you have enough good bacteria in your pond when the algae disappears. You won’t have to deal with the algae blooms for a while if the treatment goes well.
Cleaner and Healthier Water
The presence of algae will cause the water to turn green, or other colors for that matter. Since beneficial bacteria restricts its growth, your water will maintain its clarity. This will be part of a good pond management protocol.
Good bacteria is also “clean” in a sense that it neutralizes toxic substances like nitrites and ammonia. Nitrites and ammonia come from fish waste, and they are both toxic to the fish and the environment.
The bacteria helps by breaking them down and reducing them to harmless substances. The result is a healthier, and balanced pond water.
The formula of bacteria you need depends on your pond maintenance needs. Specific strains will target nitrites, ammonia, and phosphorus. Some strains clarify the water by breaking down the waste and keeping the odors down. Others are for maintenance.
There are also products available that target organic sludge at the bottom of the pond. Just an example, sludge remover pellets sink to the bottom and deliver the treatment directly to the sludge. This might be a good choice if you have a larger pond or a lake. With the advancement of technology, it is now an affordable option for pond in remote locations to install a solar fountain for farm ponds, where this wasn’t an affordable option in years past.