A few years ago we heard a statement from the Penn State Pond Management Course that made a lot of sense. They said, "the goal of any large pond owner comes down to one thing, and that's to slow the aging process of the pond down as much as possible."
What they meant by this is that all ponds age. They eventually begin to fill in with debris, or organic sediment and build up. Cycles occur, when a once pristine pond, may show signs of an algae or weed outbreak and as the seasons change, this plant material will die off and begin to break down in the pond.
Algae Isn't An Accident
This rotting vegetation begins to act like compost, and in the same way this nutrient rich material will feed plants in your garden, it ends up doing the same thing for pond plants too. And you may see a yearly cycle of algae blooms to show for it.
The aging process can also be accelerated when folks use certain chemicals in their ponds. Things like copper algaecides, which at times may seem to be necessary, end up doing two things. The dead plants die, sink, and rot, as they normally would, but coupled with that, the copper will end up killing off a lot of the naturally occurring beneficial bacteria that can be found in a pond.
Good Little Microbes Matter
These little microbes are actually Mother Nature's way of keeping a pond cleaner, and younger, and they can be remarkable at slowing the aging of a pond down. But they need certain things to work well.
The first being good robust oxygenation or aeration.
Most of these beneficial bacteria are aerobic and therefore, if a pond has low dissolved oxygen levels, a pond may fall behind and begin to get off balance, or show signs of unwanted growth, odors, and surface slime. Sometimes adding aeration alone will help bring things back into better shape as the resident bacteria begin to work better at cleaning the pond.
But sometimes, they need a little more help.
When Aeration Isn't Enough
If you've recently installed, or have had an aerator running for awhile, and you still aren't seeing improvements in the ponds condition, there's a chance that you may not have a lot of good bacteria left to work with in the pond. At least in the short term. This may be because of some prior algaecide use (as noted above) or some long running deficit in oxygen levels.
In any case, if you have aeration going and feel like you could be doing more to improve the pond, that's where supplemental beneficial bacteria come into play.
Over the years, we've had a chance to work with a lot of microbial pond products. Some turned out to be real winners and others ended up being duds, but in time we found a great combination of formulas that can really do wonders for almost any pond.
Often the end result is clearer water, less algae or other growth, less muck or sludge, no bad or off smelling odors, and a much happier pond owner!
Listed below you'll find several unique beneficial bacterial products for large ponds.
The Biosphere Pro offers a pond-wide cleaning system that works through a patented time release process that can treat a pond for a full month at a time. They are easy to dose correctly (by gallon volume) and very easy to apply.
Our Pond Biotix formulas are some of the most potent on the market and we've had these specially designed to work where other biological products may fail. The PB10x is a great pond wide cleaner, and the PBME is truly a remarkable muck eliminating blend of bacteria in pelletized form. Muck or sludge in particular can only be reduced in two ways. You can dredge it out (quick but expensive) or you can work on it with microbes.
So if you've been having a few problems with your pond and are looking to try and clean things up, or your not really interested in using chemicals for a variety of reasons, then check out the products below and if you have any questions at all, be sure to write to us and we'll be happy to help.