Bacteria are microscopic organisms that exist virtually everywhere on earth. They are plentiful in most ponds and are the primary food for everything living in the pond. As bacteria feed they break down waste which prevents the waste from depositing on the pond bottom. This feeding process changes waste into useful products for the pond ecosystem. Bacteria also consume nutrients like phosphorous and nitrogen. These are nutrients that are available in limited amounts in almost every pond, however an accumulation of them often leads to algae blooms and excessive plant growth. By competing for nitrogen and phosphorous, bacteria can limit the availability of these nutrients and help prevent plants from overtaking your pond. Since waste products often remain in the water column they can cloud water and make it more turbid. Bacteria actively feed on this suspended waste, and in turn clear the water. Although bacteria are found nearly everywhere their numbers are usually not high enough in ponds to be able to keep up with daily nutrient loading (for more information click here). By adding bacteria to your pond you help it “get ahead” of free nutrients and maintain a healthier ecosystem.
Enzymes are absolutely necessary for life as catalysts for chemical reactions. Their primary role is to break molecules apart into smaller chains of more readily digestible material that the bacteria can then consume. The proper water chemistry coupled with adequate dissolved oxygen levels are essential for enzymes to operate at peak efficiency. Getting your pond’s water tested and knowing its chemistry, along with a diffused aeration system is critical to maximizing your ponds ability to process wastes. (see article on aeration)
Maintaining a regular maintenance schedule of applying bacteria and enzymes is critical for keeping the bacteria “energized” and consuming the maximum amount of organic material. There are peristaltic metering systems available (see article on metering systems) that dispense the proper preset amount of liquid bacteria and enzymes daily into the water below the water’s surface. This is the best way and least labor intensive means of properly dosing your pond. This will insure that your pond maintains its peak efficiency in controlling organic wastes and nutrients.
If a pond has already progressed in the process of eutrophication, that is the aging and subsequent filling in of the pond with sediment, a highly concentrated form of bacteria is available in the form of muck or sludge pellets. These pellets are designed as a low maintenance way of managing the muck buildup in your pond. Our Orb-3 sludge pellets are fortified with specialized bacterial strains that are high volume consumers of muck and organic matter. They have a broad trace mineral base and an organic catalyst to increase productivity of the beneficial bacteria in each pellet. The pellet formulation is specially designed to drive the active ingredients down into the bottom sediments where it is most effective.