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What’s the difference between PondClear and MuckAway? – Pond & Lake Q & A

Pond clarity results with MuckAway and PondClear

Pond & Lake Q & A

Q: What’s the difference between PondClear and MuckAway? – Barry in Oklahoma

A: We can summarize the difference between the two in one sentence: PondClear works to remove excess nutrients from the surface down; Muck Away works to remove excess nutrients from the bottom up. Seems simple – or is it?

In general, water clarity problems occur when excess amounts of rotting vegetation, leaves, twigs and fish waste accumulate in the pond or lake. These tiny particles are either suspended in the water column, or they settle to the bottom of the pond.

PondClear packets, which are made of beneficial bacteria, are designed to break down waste and suspended organics in the water column. Imagine thousands of hungry bacteria, which multiply every 20 to 40 minutes, swimming through your pond or lake and gobbling through the excess nutrients. After just a few weeks of use, chemical-free PondClear will begin to clear up your water and dissipate any lingering odors.

PondClear comes in easy-to-use, pre-measured water-soluble packets that you simply toss into your pond or lake every two weeks. One pail of PondClear will treat a quarter-acre pond for up to six months. It’s safe for use around horses, livestock, birds, fish, pets and wildlife.

MuckAway pellets, which are also made of beneficial bacteria, are designed to sink to the bottom of a pond or lake to digest the detritus, which are their natural food source. As the bacteria start to work, the muck will begin to break down, noxious odors will dissipate and the water clarity will improve. It’s great for spot-treating troublesome areas, like beaches and shorelines.

When used as directed, MuckAway will break down up to 5 inches of muck per year. One pail of MuckAway will treat up to 16,000 square feet of pond. It’s safe for use around horses, livestock, birds, fish, pets and wildlife, too.

Whether you use PondClear or MuckAway, be sure to use when water temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If you use an algaecide or herbicide treatment, wait at least three days before adding the beneficial bacteria.

POND TALK: What successes have you had with beneficial bacteria in your pond or lake?

Controlling Mucky Bottoms – Pond & Lake Q & A

Kids covered in muck.

Pond & Lake Q & A

Q: Over the years my pond has accumulated a lot of muck on the bottom of the pond. We used to go swimming in the pond, but the kids don’t like stepping into the muck. I would like to clean it up. What can I do? – Kate of Illinois

A: For anyone who has ever gone swimming in a natural pond, you know what it’s like to step into it and feel that gooey muck between your toes. So what causes muck? What is muck’s purpose? How do you get rid of it? Hopefully the following will help you answer these questions so you can continue to enjoy your wonderful pond.

What Causes Muck?
Muck is caused from dying or decaying organics such as dead algae, twigs, grass clippings, fish waste, leaves, etc. Once these organics enter your pond, they begin to decompose and over time become muck.

What is Muck’s Purpose?
Muck undoubtedly is a food source. “A food source for what?”, you may ask. Muck contains high levels of nutrients that feed algae and aquatic weeds. As the muck layer grows, so will your problems with these aquatic nuisances. Muck can also be a breeding ground for leeches as they love to grow in the muck.

How Do I Get Rid of Muck?
There are a couple of things you can do to help not only get rid of the muck that is already there, but also help slow down accumulation.

All-Natural MuckAway: MuckAway Pellets contain an aerobic natural bacteria that work to break down organic muck. This aerobic bacteria will turn muck into an odorless gas and will allow it to escape out of the water column unnoticed. MuckAway works so well that it can break down up to 5 inches of muck per year! It is also great at maintaining beach areas, shorelines and lake front properties.

Pond & Beach Rake: Raking your pond with a Pond & Beach Rake is another way to help remove muck that is already present. It is also great at removing floating twigs and leaves in pond that would otherwise fall to the bottom.

Airmax Aeration: Aerobic bacteria performs far better in ponds that contain a high level of oxygen. By adding an Airmax Aeration System you can ensure that your pond contains the highest level of oxygen. Aeration also works great to clear your water column of sediments, reduce the chances of fish kill, and eliminate thermoclines (temperature at the pond’s surface is different than the temperature at the pond’s bottom).

Doing all of these things above will help you enjoy your pond to the fullest without having to play in the muck.

Be Proactive for Long Term Algae Control – Pond & Lake Q & A

Picture of a Pond with an Abundance of Algae.

Q: I’ve treated my pond for algae with one of you Algae Defense, it works great although I have to do it almost monthly. Do you offer anything that would offer longer lasting results? – Jacob of Michigan

A: Algae Defense is meant to be used as a reset button providing quick results. Algae Defense is a great tool to get your pond under control especially during those hot summer months. The disadvantage is that the results are generally only short-term, because it only addresses the result of a problem and not the actual problem itself. To get the long-term results you’re looking for, you will have to take a different approach.

Think of it this way, you only use chemicals, when weeds and algae become a problem. This is a “reactive” approach. You need to think of your pond’s health proactively. Being “proactive” means treating for the problem not just the result of the problem.

Algae and pondweed growth are promoted by two basic things, sunlight and nutrients.

Sunlight can only be controlled by shade trees, surface structure and/or plants or by adding a pond dye such as Nature’s Blue or Black DyeMond.

Nutrients: Nutrients can come from many things such as, grass clippings, twigs, trees, fish waste, yard and farm fertilizers, runoff, etc. The majority of nutrients, especially those that have come from organics decomposing, are found at the bottom of your pond in what is known as black “muck”. The rest of the nutrients are free floating in your waters column sometimes causing murkiness.

Nutrients can be greatly reduced by eliminating “point source problems” such as:

#1 - Leave a buffer area around the pond when you fertilize. Use fertilizers low in phosphorus and/or organic ones.

#2 – Rake your pond using a Pond & Beach Rake removing dead vegetation, leaves and other organics that will eventually decompose on the bottom.

#3 - The next best thing is to introduce an aeration system to your pond and following our proven 4-Step System.

Want to get rid of the Muck FAST? Use all natural, Pond-Clear Pellets. These pellets accelerate the decomposition of “muck”. Depending on the amount of nutrient intake your pond receives, Pond-Clear Pellets can eat up to 5 inches of “muck” per year.

What is This Black Mucky Stuff on the Bottom of My Pond & How Do I Get Rid of It? – Pond & Lake Q & A

Muck Boots Stepping in Muck

Q: What is this black mucky stuff on the bottom of my pond and how do I get rid of it? - Several Customers

A: Over time, organics such as leaves, aquatic weeds or twigs fall into the pond and settle on the bottom. These organics slowly begin to decay and will create a mucky layer on the bottom of your pond. As time passes, this muck layer will get thicker and thicker. Before you know it, you’ll step into your pond and sink a foot down in muck. Muck is also a food source for algae and pond weeds. As the muck layer grows, so will your problems with algae and pond weeds. So how do we combat muck? Below are a few suggestions:

The best way to combat muck is to use a beneficial, natural bacteria called Pond-Clear. Pond-Clear is an aerobic bacteria that instantly activates when put into water and will eat away the muck at an accelerated rate. When used with aeration, you can see up to 3-5″ dissipate per year.

Just remember, any organic matter that goes into your pond will create more muck. The more muck, the more food source for algae and pond weeds. Finding ways to reduce the amount of organics going into your pond is a must. For instance, cutting your grass away from the pond, instead of directly in it or removing twigs and tree branches that have fallen into the pond using a Pond & Beach Rake.

One more way to reduce muck is to use a bottom bubbler aeration system. Aerobic bacteria, like Pond-Clear, will break down muck at an even faster rate when there is saturated oxygen levels in your pond’s water. Aeration also has many other benefits besides breaking down muck, such as clearing the water column of sediments, reducing the chances of fish kills or turnover and eliminating a pond’s thermocline. (Read more about the benefits of aeration here)

Controlling Leeches – Pond & Lake Q & A

Picture of a Leech

Q: How do you get rid of leeches?
- Richard of Waterbury Center, VT

A: The “muck” at the bottom of your pond is a great breeding ground for leeches. So the absolute best way to get rid of them would be to get rid of the “muck”. Pond-Clear Natural Bacteria is the best way to do this. Pond-Clear will eat up to 5″ of “muck” per year!

Another thing you can do in the short term is trap them. To do so, do the following:

1.) Start with a coffee can with a plastic lid.

2.) Poke holes in the sides of the can with a nail. Holes should be 1/8 to 1/4 inch in size. The nail holes should leave a sharp burr on the inside of the can (approximately 50 holes).

3.) Put about 1/4 cup of raw meat in the can (ground beef, liver, chicken or turkey giblets are recommended).

4.) Put the lid on the can and submerge it completely in your pond. A rock placed on top of the can will prevent it from falling over and will help prevent snapping turtles from tampering with it.

5.) Check the trap a couple of times a week and remove the leeches. Keep the trap in the pond until the leech numbers decrease, or you no longer catch any leeches in the trap.

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