• Archives

  • Categories

  • Pages

What is the real difference between Aerobic and Anaerobic bacteria? – Pond & Lake Q & A

What is the real difference between Aerobic and Anaerobic bacteria?

What is the real difference between Aerobic and Anaerobic bacteria? Bill – Mount Orab, OH

Know Their Role

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear that you have bacteria in your pond? You probably think that your pond is dirty, or it may cause disease or get you sick. The truth is while some bacteria are associated with negative effects, bacteria are present in any functioning ecosystem diligently working behind the scenes to maintain a healthy and balanced environment. If you properly maintain your pond you will create an environment that promotes the presence of beneficial bacteria.

There are two different types of bacteria to focus on; aerobic and anaerobic. Your anaerobic bacteria are those that exist in areas of your pond that lack oxygen. These bacteria work slowly to digest organic debris and release a smelly gas as a byproduct. Aerobic bacteria thrive in oxygen rich environments and digest debris at an accelerated rate in comparison to their anaerobic counterparts that results in the expulsion of an odorless gas. In a self contained pond with little to no aeration you would expect to find aerobic bacteria near the surface where there is a higher level of dissolved oxygen and a lot more anaerobic bacteria at the bottom of the pond where there is a very low amount, if any, oxygen. Due to the fact that these anaerobic bacteria are slow to digest debris, any leaves, plants, and fish waste that gather at the bottom faster than they can be decomposed, hence the accumulation of muck.

To help break down organic debris at a rapid rate and keep your pond clean and healthy you will want to ensure that your pond is populated with aerobic bacteria throughout. To do this you want to circulate the contents you your pond while infusing oxygen into the water column. If your pond is 6 feet or shallower this can be accomplished with a Fountain. Ponds deeper than 6 feet will see better results with a Bottom Plate Aeration System. With these units in place you now have an oxygen rich playground just waiting to be filled with beneficial (aerobic) bacteria. PondClear™ and MuckAway™ are perfect types of bacteria products you can implement into your pond. PondClear™ is in a water soluble packet that will release at the surface of the pond and travel throughout to find and digest any organic debris before they have a chance to settle to the bottom. MuckAway™ is a pellet that will sink directly to the bottom of the pond to help speed up the decomposition of any debris that have accumulated over time. The fact that you can directly place MuckAway™ pellets in specific areas that need a little extra attention makes them the perfect solution for treating sections of lake front property and beach areas.

Aerating your pond provides the perfect environment for “good” bacteria and will keep the “bad” bacteria at bay. Cleaning out or preventing mass amounts of organic debris from your pond will help keep your bacteria ahead of schedule and keep the pond cleaner for your recreational use. If you take care of your bacteria they will take care of your pond… and you.

Pond Talk: What do you do to encourage the “good” bacteria growth in your pond?

PondClear™

When should I start using my DefensePAC®? – Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A

Dyed Pond

When should I start using my DefensePAC®? – Sherry in Ohio

Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your… Barley?
You’ve bought the products; you’ve read the blogs; now it’s time to get your feet wet. Whether you are starting your water garden up for the first time this season or your pond is operating through the Winter/Spring transition, it’s time to break out the barley.

Some Like It Hot, Some Like It Cold
For those of you pond guys and gals who experience freezing temperatures, you are probably waiting for the ice to melt to start up the pumps and filters in your water garden. When that glorious day comes, take some time and install new filter media, vacuum the bottom of the pond, and clean up the rocks and walls with you Oxy-Lift™ Defense®. Now that your water garden is up and running, it is time for some Seasonal Defense®, a natural bacteria that incorporates barley and is designed to work in cooler temperatures. This bacteria will jump start your biological filters and devour organic debris, allowing you to gain control of your pond earlier in the season. As we progress into late spring and the water temperatures begin to rise above 50ºF, you can switch over to your Nature’s Defense®.

Don’t Get Lost In The Mix
So, now we know Nature’s Defense® performs best in warmer temperatures, while Seasonal Defense® goes to work for you when it’s cold. When do you break out the Muck Defense® and Clarity Defense® to really get the party started? Clarity Defense® should be used whenever your water garden is open. It will work in any temperature, locking up suspended nutrients, resulting in clearer water and increasing the effectiveness of all natural bacteria. You can start using your Muck Defense® the same time you begin applications of Nature’s Defense®. While Nature’s Defense® is working on the organics floating in the water column, Muck Defense® will be at the bottom of the pond, eating away at sunken debris.

POND TALK: How do you use your DefensePAC® to kick off the season? Which DefensePAC® products do you feel go to work the best for you?

How do I control floating and bottom-growing algae in my lake? – Pond & Lake Q & A

No Algae Here!

Pond & Lake Q & A

Q: How do I control floating and bottom-growing algae in my lake? – Tom in New York

A: Whether it’s floating or submerged, algae can turn a lake into a green mess in no time. It’s unsightly, it’s sometimes stinky and in extreme cases, it can cause a fish kill. The good news is that algae can be controlled no matter what time of year. It starts with controlling the population and ends with a long-term management plan.

Before we dive in, it’s important to understand the difference between algae and weeds. The term “algae” refers to a wide range of single and multi-celled organisms that live in the water and metabolize carbon dioxide into oxygen via photosynthesis, just like plants. They differ from plants or weeds in that they don’t have true leaves, roots or stems.

In lakes and ponds, the most common varieties of algae include: Green floating algae that creates a “pea soup” appearance; Chara or Stonewort, which are a bottom-growing, seaweed-looking type that can be mistaken for weeds, and string or filamentous algae, which are actually long strings of algae connected together.

Sometimes, pond and lake owners may mistake duckweed for floating algae, but if you look very closely, you’ll find that it’s actually duckweed or watermeal. Check out this blog entry to learn more about controlling this invasive weed.

Population Check

If your pond is coated in pea soup or the bottom is carpeted in Chara or string algae, you can knock back the population with a chemical herbicide like Algae Defense® . It provides quick results and it’s formulated to get a pond under control – especially during the hot summer months. Do not use if your pond or lake is stocked with koi or goldfish. If your pond has trout, check your carbonate hardness with a water hardness test kit, like the Laguna Quick Dip Multi-Test Strips, and make sure the carbonate hardness is above 50 parts per million (ppm) before using Algae Defense®.

Long-Term Strategy

Algae Defense® by Pond Logic® will solve a crisis, but to keep your pond or lake looking clean and clear, you’ll need to be proactive and develop a plan to manage the algae. The most successful approach centers on cutting off the algae’s food supply – nutrients.

Nutrients can come from a wide variety of sources, like grass clippings, twigs, trees, fish waste, yard and farm fertilizers and runoff. As these nutrients break down, they produce ammonia, which triggers the nitrogen cycle. Nitrifying bacteria surround the ammonia, turning it into nitrites and then into nitrates (nutrients) – which then feed the algae.

So, how do you reduce the nutrients in your pond?
Try these tips:

  • Buffer before fertilizing: To prevent inadvertently fertilizing the algae, leave a buffer area around the pond. You can also try using organic or low-phosphorus fertilizers.
  • Aerate, aerate, aerate: Because that muck at the bottom of the pond feeds the algae, you should prevent the buildup with proper aeration.
  • Reduce the muck: Use natural bacteria like MuckAway™ by Pond Logic® to breakdown up to 5-inches of organic muck per year. You can also rake your pond using a Pond & Beach Rake to remove dead vegetation, leaves and other organics that will eventually decompose on the bottom.
  • Reduce sunlight: Like all photosynthetic organisms, algae requires sunlight to thrive. Adding pond dye can help provide shade. If possible, consider adding some non-invasive aquatic plants to your pond. The plants, which also consume nitrates, will also be a source of competition for food.
  • Add beneficial bacteria: You may also consider adding some additional beneficial bacteria, like PondClear™ by Pond Logic®, to your pond or lake. The bacteria gobble through nitrates, breaking down fish waste, leaves and other organics that accumulate in the pond, naturally improving the water clarity.

That green gunk can be controlled in your pond or lake. It just takes a little planning and some proactive management. When you see the results, it’ll be worth it!

POND TALK: When was your worst algae bloom and how did you control it?

What’s the difference between PondClear and MuckAwa? – 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; MuckAway™ 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° 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
Airmax® Aeration Systems
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™ Pond Dye or Black DyeMond™ Pond Dye.

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, MuckAway™ . These pellets accelerate the decomposition of “muck”. Depending on the amount of nutrient intake your pond receives, MuckAway™ 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 MuckAway™. MuckAway™ 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 PondClear™, 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)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 142 other followers