Is Bacteria Beneficial?
“Ew, that water probably has bacteria in it. Bacterial infections are the worst.” We’ve all heard something like this involving germs. Bacteria get such a bad rap when they can be either good or bad. It depends on the type. We’re around them all the time anyway. They’re everywhere, inside and out.
Even in your pond.
Pond bacteria is beneficial. It’s a sort of relationship. Ponds give bacteria a place to live and bacteria keep ponds clear of algae and toxic compounds. It’s like sea anemones and clownfish (“Finding Nemo”)!
Bacteria play an important role in ponds. Without them, it’s more difficult for the pond ecosystem to be as healthy as it can be. They’re necessary for a healthy pond ecosystem because they help maintain it.
What Does Pond Bacteria Do?
How will they help my pond? By breaking down the sludge and waste. This means waste from plants, animals, and anything else. Your pond can look cleaner and clearer with pond bacteria. They also keep your fish safe and healthy.
Want to learn about caring for pond fish? Download our Guide to Your Pond Fish
How do they protect fish?
By breaking down nitrates. Nitrates are dangerous in high concentrations. High enough levels can even start affecting your fish. Too much nitrate means too little oxygen, so it’s a good idea to check on your fish periodically.
If the fish are staying near the surface and they look like they’re gasping, the nitrate levels may be too high. You can find a nitrate level testing kit online. Aquatic plants can deal with some of the nitrates, but they can’t handle it alone.
Do I Need Beneficial Bacteria?
There are two main ways to figure out if bacteria will need to be added. The first way is to test the water with an easily purchasable kit. It can teach you about the quality of the water. If the concentration of nitrates is too high, consider adding some pond bacteria to help lower them.
You can also watch your fish. As mentioned earlier, if they’re staying near the surface and look like they’re gasping, your water needs help. If your fish ever start acting weird, odds are that the pond water isn’t right.
This is how you can fix it.
If I Need Bacteria
There’re different types of beneficial bacteria that can be put into a pond. Make sure it’s meant for ponds as septic tanks also require bacteria. Mixing those two up won’t be good.
Here at Premier Ponds, we use Aquascape’s bacteria. The beneficial bacteria colonize on the rocks in the pond and the biofall-balls in the biological filter. Add bacteria regularly to your pond to help maintain a strong biological balance.
Premier Ponds is Beneficial Too
Having worked with water features since 2001, we’ve learned quite a bit about them. We want to share that knowledge. We’re here if you need any questions or help!