So how do I know what type of Healthy Pond product is right for my pond?
This is a common question for anyone considering using a natural bacterial treatment or more specifically any pond owner who is either using or wanting to use the Healthy Ponds line of products.
The first key to choosing the appropriate product, whether it’s for a small backyard pond, or a larger commercial or farm pond is to know the overall gallon size of the pond itself. You can use our pond calculator to figure this, and by inputting the length of the pond in feet, the width of the pond in feet, and the depth of the pond in feet, the calculator will provide the details you need.
Ideally when using the pond volume as a gauge, smaller ponds are fairly straightforward. If a pond is 2500 gallons for instance, then the small pond dispenser, and 2500 refills would suffice in most cases. At the very least, this serves as a minimum dosage level to work with.
Larger pond estimates can be rounded out as follows. For every quarter acre we assume there’s about 250,000 gallons in volume. So a 1/4 acre aquasphere pro would work in ponds up to 250,000 gallons, a 1/2 acre sphere in ponds up to 500,000 gallons, and a one acre aquasphere in ponds up to 1 million gallons. They key wording here is “up to”…as the spheres will likely be adequate for anything smaller than this gallon size.
There is one caveat (an important one) to dosage requirements when you’re using any type of beneficial bacteria product, and this also includes the healthy ponds systems as well.
As we noted above, if someone is treating a 2500 gallon pond, most likely they would use the 2500 dispenser and the 2500 refills to do this. Normally this would provide adequate results and would serve as the very minimum dosage required for management. However a number of ponds may have various factors that are contributing to this algae growth and these always need to be considered when your working on dosage calculations.
Let’s say this same 2500 gallon pond has a number of large fish in it and algae is presently growing. Since the recommended limit for fish stocking is about 10 gallons of water for every inch of goldfish and about 25 gallons of water for every inch of Koi, if we find ourselves heavily stocked with fish and near these limits, it’s very likely that this strong influence will require more than the recommended amount of bacteria to control any algae growth.
How much more is a matter of degree, but some degree of experimentation may be needed to find the balance between the adequate dosage to control algae growth and controlling the cost of such applications. At the very least we would probably recommend one 2500 dispenser and two of the 2500 packets in this single dispenser for a pond like this.
In another example, we’ve treated a 1/2 acre farm pond, which is surrounded on three sides by old oak trees and it’s also located at the bottom of a ridge with farm lots above it. These lots provide some degree of nutrient runoff from fertilization of crops and the trees around the pond deposit a number of leaves in the water throughout the year but especially in the fall.
When we first started treating this pond, we went with the logical set of using a 1/2 acre dosage. By the end of the first 30 days, it appeared we had some minor reduction in algae. Some of the algae turned from bright green to brown as well. Yet, overall there was no significant reduction.
In the second month of treatment, we went up to a 3/4 acre dosage using a 1/2 acre and 1/4 acre aquasphere together. In the following two weeks, we saw a decrease in the algae growth and more open water which was encouraging but by the end of the month, there was still some algae present.
In the third month we finally applied a 1 acre aquasphere pro and this did the trick. From that point on, and in a matter of days, the algae was eliminated completely and it would stay that way in the months that followed.
We’ve treated this pond now for over five years and since the nutrient influences (leaves and runoff) will not go away completely, we need to use a one acre sphere every month throughout the summer, from March through October. If the pond owner forgets to apply a new sphere, he’s reminded in a matter of days with new algae growth.
This pond represents a unique situation but it’s a good example of maintaining the balance in a pond which is what bacteria does. Every pond may be different but ultimately your goal is to provide a way to offset the nutrient influencers, whatever they may be, and in doing that you can often reduce or eliminate algae growth in a very safe manner.
One of the biggest mistakes a pond owner may innocently make is underdosing with a natural product. This simply cannot provide adequate results and it’s important when you’re working on rebalancing a pond, to take all the factors that may be contributing to algae growth into account.
If you have a high concentration of fish in a pond for it’s size, or prefer to feed them quite regularly, or you have a large pond with a lot of organic sedimentation at the bottom, or a good number a trees around it, or a large amount of runoff going into it, then these issues must be factored in.
In the end, working with natural algae control often has a very safe buffer against overdosing or using too much of the treatment product. The clearing of algae happens so gradually and well, “naturally”, that there is a wide margin of safety. This is directly opposite of using chemicals where the real risk lies in using too much of the product or treating too much of the pond at one time. So when you’re using a natural control, it’s best to never underdose and always use more than you think you may need for your pond’s management.
With bacteria specifically it’s also a good idea to check things like the pH of the water to make sure this is reasonable and not too high or low. Optimum results with bacteria are often obtained when the pH is right around 7.0 to 7.5. This is why we include free water testing strips with every order of Healthy Ponds as it’s just one more small thing that can help a pond owner get better results.