Looking for a good bacteria that really works in ponds for my spring start up and through out the summer, any suggestion. Let me know what you use......
I use SAT that I bought at my local pond store for $50 it is 2 pounds and does 28,000 gallons but the experation date is coming up so I dont think the stuff lasts very long. Everything is more exspensive at the local pond store so Im going with the stuff the sell at petsmart.
Microblift has some good spring start up bacteria.
The good thing about outdoor ponds is that they easily acquire the beneficial bacteria that are best fitted for the local environment from that environment. Dirt washing into your pond, bugs carried by critters that visit your pond, dust blown into the pond by the wind, and bacteria dormant for the winter that have been activated by spring all populate your pond with beneficial bacteria perfectly adapted to your pond.
The main characteristic of the beneficial bacteria that you can buy is that they are easy to grow in culture. They may be totally inappropriate for your pond. The overwhelming majority of species of beneficial bacteria will not grow in culture and thus cannot be sold.
In fact, you really have to work to keep beneficial bacteria from taking over your pond. You can scrub and disinfect the pond liner. You can pour a variety of chemicals in your pond. This all takes effort. Leave it alone and your pond will be fine and you will be richer.
Sharon I notice you are in Florida. Totally different ponding down there because you do always have bacteria but up here in the cold the bacteria is killed off or goes dormant. We aren't talking about chemicals, at least I'm not, we are talking about actual bacteria you add to your pond and media to jumpstart after a long winter's nap. I also use my aquarium filters to jumpstart my ponds but not everyone has that option....
I'm from Wisconsin, and the lakes, ponds, streams and rivers there do not need to have bacteria added to them in the spring. And though the soil freezes several feet deep, you don't have to add nitrifying bacteria to the topsoil in the spring. When the ground thaws, the bugs go back to work. The naturally-occurring bacteria in any given ecosystem will survive the normal weather of that ecosystem. If I were to send you some of my filter media (and the bacteria survived the trip) they would not thrive in your pond even in midsummer. And most of your pond bacteria would die here.
It's interesting that the few species of nitrifying bacteria that you can purchase are not the most abundant types in natural ecosystems. They are just the types that are easiest to grow in the laboratory. But any healthy soil and any outdoor water (from a rain barrel or watering tank to an ocean) will have nitrifying bacteria in it. Unless you can keep all dirt and wildlife out of your pond the bacteria will find their way in.
As far a a source for bacteria goes, don't forget your fish tank.
Grab the filters and squeeze em out into your pond, maybe drop them into the pond filter too for a while.
I totally get what you are saying Sharon, obviously bacteria will get going on it's own. I just know that when I've used a microblift pl or seeded from my cold water aquariums and inside tanks things seem to clean up quicker and the water quality is better. My pond was bare bottom liner so it isn't all that natural as a real mud pond and since my ponding season is so short I try to get things going as quick as possible;) I'm have tempted to move to Florida just so I could pond year round!!! Sounds like heaven;)
I hear all kinds of discussions on bacteria for your pond and what is needed. Yes bacteria that will convert the ammonia to nitrate and nitrate to nitrite will grow all by itself. Yes it is very important to a pond. But this is just a some part of the different bacterias that a good pond will need. Are you going to get the other bacterias that a pond needs come in a bottle? No. Your pond will over time grow all the different bacterias that your ponds needs to be healthy. With that being said some of the things in bottled bacteria can serve a very good purpose. Mostly what your are going to find in the better bottles are bacterias to break the debri in the pond down so that the natural bacteria can get it up. As Sharon said the lakes and ponds that occur in nature don't need bacteria added to them. But nature doesn't worry about how long it takes to break down debri because nature is trying to fill in every pond or lake until it becomes a wetlands or swamp. As much as we all would like to think that we have a natural pond we are far from it.
Most of the bottled bacteria's are designed for one type of pond. That is a garden pond with rock on the bottom as the majority of the garden ponds are built like that. And if you have a rock and gravel pond then you should be using one of these products as it is very difficult to remove this debri in the rocks and gravel. If you have a bare bottom pond then you may or may not want to use one of these products.
Thanks everyone for your inputs, Mine is a liner pond 1000+ gals., I built it last year, my problem is this fuzzy green stuff stuck to everything and major string alage. The water was clear and the nitraies and amonia were fine for the whole season just the alage was a problem. I have a large filter and plan to add a second one this spring. I have (5) 9" goldfish which in turn they gave me a hundred+ or so of babies I have all them in my basement over winter with my big ones..
Here are a few pics of that fuzzy stuff on the sides and bottom of my pond that I'm dealing with, that's what I thought bacteria was for. I really don't know, i don't want to alagicide if I don't have to..
I'm up here in the frozen north too (Shell Lake). I dosed my pond with the recommended amounts of microbe-lift last year and still ended up with the string and carpet algae.
I gave my bf some filter media from my pond to use in his minnow tank this winter and will retrieve it for pond use to help get the pond started. But, I'm too, stuck trying to figure out what to do with the algae. The pond opened up today and I already have a nice crop of string algae growing (water temp is 32!!). I'll keep looking for something that works to get rid of the green stuff. But so far the only thing I have that works is a scrub brush for the carpet stuff and a nice forked branch to twirl the string algae up.
*sigh* I'll let you know if I find the miraculous cure this year!
I had string algae my first spring but then added a small hay bale to the water just after first thaw the 2nd year and fixed that problem. The 2nd year I had a breakout of suspended algae though. I added a large filter, did a late season water change and still had the same problem. Eventually I added 3 marsh marigold plants and haven't had string algae or suspended green algae since. It seems the marsh marigold is one of the earliest plants to sprout each spring and uses the excess nutrients otherwise used by the algae. The early season yellow flowers are nice too.
I thought the carpet algae was a good thing?? I like the look of the carpet algae but the string algae has to go.
I had lots of carpet algae in midwinter when the water was cool, but it went away as the water warmed up. (FL midwinter is a lot like northern early spring.) Algae blooms seem to be a spring event. I think it might be because the algae starts growing at a temperature at which the critters that eat algae are still pretty sluggish. When it gets warmer the algae gets eaten.
I have asked several companies to show me proof that beneficial bacteria works and none have been able to answer the question, so I think this is another means to get you to purchase their products
IME with both ponds and aquariums there is a cycle that it goes through. Best obseved by what type of algae is developing and how much. When ever I get to see this cycle I always fail to time it so i end up with just a general idea of time. Never seemed to matter what I did or did not do it still arrived at a balance which I think is more related to the disolved nutients rather than temps as long as above freezing obviously. seems it takes around 8 weeks to arrive at a stability.
I think the best advice is "let it be"??
QUOTE: I think the best advice is "let it be"
When I clean the pond in the spring, I put a chunk of the old filter in the Skippy under the new filter batting. I've never had to use store bought microbes.
Many consider bacteria for sale to be "snake oil"
That algae is good, normal and fine. It is contributing to your clear water. It is a pond not a swimming pool and removing all algae is a lesson in frustration.
Bacteria will not kill algae.
Nature is best when left alone, that is true.
Which is precisely WHY you should use a beneficial bacteria in your pond.
People who use it see a distinct difference in the presence of string algae. When you don't use it, it can get out of control.
Algae, though is a normally occurring thing in nature. Are we supposed to just let it go? Throw the pond into a toxic anaerobic environment that can kill fish in a single day on hot days of summer?
Of course not.
Despite what buy or sell says (bacteria will not kill bacteria) demonstrates his ignorance.
Bacteria kills algae by consuming all of its nutrients before it has a chance to get to them. The algae, in a sense, starves to death.
There are many less expensive alternatives to the over priced Microbe Lift. They're all over the market.
The original poster has a legitimate concern and should ignore the advice from all of these nay sayers. They just got tired of paying for bacteria and that is how they now rationalize not having it.
If you really need to control the string algae there is a simple and very inexpensive solution. Pour Hydrogen Peroxide (from your local drug store or discount chain)straight from the bottle onto the algae. You do not need to stir or otherwise disturb the water. Contact is what is needed. The algae will die in a short time. It will not hurt the fish or plants although you shouldn't pour the HP directly on the fish unless it has an injury.
For really large amounts of algae you can collect it with a toilet bowl brush. It makes great mulch for your plants.