Should Beneficial Bacteria Be Used In The Fall?

It may seem a bit early to say this for some folks around the country but summer is coming to a close. Where did it go?!?

I’ll be right up front. I enjoy summertime. Yes we’re kept incredibly busy and it gets to be crazy around here sometimes, but I’m not sure I would have it any other way.

When I was a younger man, I enjoyed (or seemed to enjoy) winter more. And I realize it’s mostly a perspective, but in recent years, I’ve tried to hang onto summer as long as I can.

Hence the wardrobe change in the most recent video:)

The shirt somehow eases the discomfort I have in talking about colder weather but it’s important to cover some topics concerning fall and winter pond preparation so the next few videos will do just that.

Today, I discuss one of the more common questions we get coming into the fall. And that is, should one continue to use beneficial bacteria even though the weather is cooling off and a lot of algae is going away?

It’s a good question.

I’ll let the video cover much of this topic, but I do want to mention something relating to algae control.

If you use chemicals to deal with algae issues ( 🙁 ), it’s certainly true that you shouldn’t need to use them much longer. Most algae types and other unwanted growth will subside when the weather cools off.

Bacteria however isn’t and shouldn’t be considered an algae control perse’. It, more than anything, is a pond cleanser or a rejuvenator that helps keep organic loads in check, or brings them into line if they are overloaded.

A by-product of all of this good work is a cleaner pond in general, and one that will more likely not have as much of an issue with unwanted growths.

It should always be remembered that bacteria does so much more than simply help keep algae at bay. Contrary to some emails we get, it’s not a chemical and should never be confused with an algaecide or herbicide. We tend to suggest limiting the use of both of these things whenever possible.

Watch the video below to get my take on bacteria for fall prep.

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15 Responses to Should Beneficial Bacteria Be Used In The Fall?

  1. Rene September 15, 2009 at 5:20 am #

    Hello Mark this video was much more enjoyable it came though with very little interfearance I hope you had something to do about this thank you Rene

  2. andy trykowski September 15, 2009 at 8:52 am #

    Mark

    Is the bio sphere going to work for me and the fish till we freeze over

    Andy Trykowski

  3. Oscar D. Jackson September 15, 2009 at 10:17 am #

    Enjoyed and appreciate your comments regarding “Beneficial Bacteria.” Looking forward to hearing more and utilization of “Beneficial Bateria” for the first time this winter.

    (Oscar)
    Oscar D. Jackson, D.D.S.
    President – Bainbridge Fish Farm, Inc.

  4. Sarah Oliver September 15, 2009 at 1:10 pm #

    Mark, My water plants are dying down and I always worry about the fish having no place to hide and get protection from the sun. Thanks for the B. bacteria info!

  5. Buckey53 September 15, 2009 at 2:09 pm #

    Hi Mark,
    Is it normal to have a cover of black organics covering the bottom of the pond on the rocks.
    you have to scrape the stone in order to get it off.
    I use the bacteria and the dry algacide and drain the bottom of the pond regularly to remove any dead spots of water in the pond. water is clear and fish are happy. 80% plants for cover.Thanks Bill

  6. puckster September 15, 2009 at 3:34 pm #

    Hi Mark In your video you said something about shut down the pond, is it ok to shut down? Does that mean water movement such as fountin and falls seems like you would need movement for air in water
    Can you just leave the pond alone for winter? What is the water temp when you stop feeding? As you can see im a new pond owner ive several issues with my pond. I think im getting the hang of it now. Thanks

  7. Mark September 15, 2009 at 6:46 pm #

    Hi Rene…good to hear. Usually youtube will provide a fairly good playing of the video.

    Hi Andy…yes, the biospheres are all season and will work down to 34 degrees so you should be fine up until ice up…and you’ll get some carry over into the spring usually too.

    Hi Sarah…maybe you can put a few shelters in the pond for the fish. I’ll see if we can do a video or update on this topic soon.

    Hi Bill…sounds like your doing a lot of things right. I’d forgo draining the pond regularly if you can. Assuming the bacteria is doing it’s job it should help control this black gunk if it’s allowed time to do so. And a little bit is ok to have, you just don’t want it building up too much. Do your best to keep debris out, don’t overfeed the fish, and overall just try to keep accumulation to a minimum.

    Hi Puckster….yes you can shut the pond down over winter. Some folks do, some don’t. In northern areas if the pond is shallow, most folks shut these ponds down and take their fish inside. Others may leave everything running.

    Before our fall series is done here I’ll probably put up a post where others can share their experiences on fall and winter pond management. This would be good information to share and learn from. Stay tuned for that.

  8. Brian September 15, 2009 at 11:07 pm #

    Thank You
    You’ve been very helpfull.
    Whats the best way to move My fish from the pond to my garage?

  9. Elaine September 16, 2009 at 6:38 pm #

    Mark,
    Would it be harm ful to use the larger bio sphere in my pond? Or would that be to much? Also, is it a good idea to have a vac for the pond to get the sludge off the bottom, and would that make it easier to keep the pond clearer?

  10. Stan September 16, 2009 at 11:19 pm #

    At what water temperature do you quit feeding goldfish?

  11. Cathy September 17, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    Hi Mark, I have a bog system that really keeps my water clean, but there are two trees near by that the leaves fall into my pond and I get alot of algae buildup. I use your 2500 beneficial bacteria dispenser which controls the algae. I also use Microlift autumn/winter bacterial in the fall. Do these two products work against each other Or should I us your product in the spring/summer months and microlift in winter

  12. Mark September 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm #

    Hi Brian & Stan…if you’ll give me a week or two we’ll have a video or article on fall fish care coming up soon.

    Hi Elaine…it depends on your gallon size of course but you can effectively use 2x the pond size in dosage and be just fine.

    Hi Cathy…those two products are both good and work fine together. You may not need to use both but it can’t hurt anything. The ML autumn prep is a cold weather formula so it won’t work during summer. The 2500 is all season so it works in any condition down to 34 degrees and in the summer heat.

  13. Diane September 30, 2009 at 2:55 am #

    Hi Mark, I just wanted to thank you for all your great videos on pond care tips. I have had my pond for 10 years and have some of the original koi. They stay in the pond all winter (Southern Ontario) Canada. I shut down my water fall, and add a pond de-icer and air stones with pumps but I have never used beneficial all season bacteria in the fall. (just in the spring) I am going to try it this year and hopefully will start out better in the spring. There is always something to learn and I am grateful. Thanks Diane

  14. Buckey53 September 30, 2009 at 3:24 am #

    Thanks Mark,
    I run all my pumps and aerators in the winter.
    I didn’t have to use the heater but have it for back up in case I need it. The water fall built up with ice and was cool looking with water running under the ice. The aretors 4 diffusers was plenty to keep escape holes in the ice. I was luckey and haven’t lost one fish
    over the winter. I feed them once a day now and when the water hits 50 degrees they will not be fed until spring. Then I feed them cherios to start. then regular food when it gets warm.
    Thanks again
    Bill

  15. Dale Snyder October 11, 2009 at 3:34 pm #

    Mark,
    I received some of your videos by e-mail from a friend and have gotten some great info from them. I take care of 3 ponds in our condo complex and would like to receive more of your videos if possible. Thank you in advance.
    W Dale Snyder

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