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What is the difference between adding bacteria and adding enzymes? | Pond & Lakes Q & A

What is the difference between adding bacteria and adding enzymes?

What is the difference between adding bacteria and adding enzymes?
Mario – Albany, NY

When searching for natural water treatments for your pond and lake you may have noticed products advertising beneficial bacteria and some labeled as enzymes, both claiming to produce the same results, a reduction in muck! So just what is the difference between adding bacteria and adding an enzyme?

Bacteria are commonly associated with illness or filth and many people wonder why pond owners are crazy enough to want to add bacteria to our ponds. Bacteria come in a wide variety of flavors and they each have their own unique agenda. Aerobic bacteria used in natural pond treatments like Pond Logic® PondClear™and MuckAway™ are the powerhouses behind digesting and removing the organic debris that muck up your pond. While they have little interest in you or your pets, they thrive on material like decomposing plant matter and fish waste, breaking it down into nothing but a natural odorless gas byproduct.

There is always a trace of beneficial bacteria in a natural pond ecosystem. However, there are typically more types of organic waste being introduced to your pond via plants, fish, wildlife and runoff than there are bacteria to digest it. It is this imbalance that causes organic waste to accumulate over time. Applying beneficial bacteria treatments to your pond is a natural way to keep your pond balanced and clean. Enzymes are the catalyst which allows bacteria to break down and digest the debris in your pond. While they don’t actually eradicate waste material from your pond on their own, they take some of the work load off of your bacteria’s proverbial shoulders by saving them the time of having to “prepare” their meal. As beneficial aerobic bacteria are actually capable of creating these enzymes on their own, products that consist of only enzymes can be considered a support tool to help enhance pre-existing pond bacteria, however they will not directly decompose the accumulated muck in your pond.

Adding natural water treatments that contain beneficial aerobic bacteria can keep your pond healthy, balanced and clean throughout the season. Running an aeration system in tandem with your bacteria treatments infuses your pond with oxygen, which is prized by your fish and aerobic bacteria. Maintaining your pond with aeration and natural water treatments that contain natural bacteria is considered a proactive treatment that will provide a quicker path to desired results of a clean and healthy pond.

Pond Talk: Have you used an enzyme product as part of your pond maintenance? Did you notice a difference?

Get clear water naturally with PondClear™ Natural Bacteria!

8 Responses

  1. How do I make my own beneficial bacteria/enzymes?

    • Hi Jason – Bacteria are already present in your pond. Though adding additional bacteria to your pond will provide benefits faster & help replenish natural bacteria loss, you can encourage their reproduction by keeping the water well circulated through the use of aeration. The more oxygen present at the bottom of the pond the more efficient and numerous the beneficial bacteria will be.

  2. My pond was not totally frozen over any during winter months due to the pump running and a de-icer for gases to escape. When it did thaw, it was clear enough I could see the fish hovering on the bottom. More cold weather, another round of ice on the pond, and now the water is so dark I cannot see the fish. What caused the sudden change in 2 to 3 weeks? I don’t want to chemically treat, but wondered if it is algae or just minimal movement of the fish stirring up the muck. I do not feed during winter months and will start Koi feeding (spring-fall blend) when water temp is going to stay above 39 degrees……do you agree with this thought process? This is what I have done in the past and only lost only 2 Koi last spring before startup. One was a large, 16-18″ Koi and the other just 7-8″.

    • Hi Sandy,

      It sounds like you are on track and I would continue what you’ve done in the past. It’s possible the cloudy water is just debris that has been sitrred up or a build up of algae. Is the water itself cloudy or does the pond just look dark. In our pond here the water is clear but all the algae in the pond is causing a dark appearance from the reflection in the water.

  3. Will pond clear, clear up the water in my pond if I have ducks in there?

    • Hi Margie,

      Pond Clear will clear up any kind of decaying matter in the pond, even if there are ducks in there as long as it is organic material clouding up the water and not sand or clay.

  4. I am in New York and we have had a brutal winter. My pond was frozen over and we had a few warm days recetnly and all the ice melted, fish havering on bottom and look well. The pond had a sudden algae explosion, should I treat it as we are going to have more cold weather soon? Temps are in the 30’s now. I leave the waterfall running throughout the winter to aerate the pond.

    • Hi Ed,

      Nice to hear from you again and I’m glad all the fish are present and accounted for. It’s not uncommon to have algae growth over the winter months as algae is still receiving what it needs, nutrients and sunlight. Algae actually acts as a great filter as well. If there are large floating masses that could be removed by hand you may want to take advantage and remove some of the algae. With cold temperatures and more winter weather on the way it may be best to avoid chemical treatment for the time being as your filtration and natural bacteria are not in full operation. Even if the algae died there would not be anything to remove the nutrients released, ultimetly causing even more algae to flourish. Best for now to sit tight and wait for warmer weather.

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