One question I get asked a lot in the fall of every year is, “should I continue to use beneficial bacteria in my pond even though it’s getting cold?”
It’s a great question and one that I’ll cover in the video below as well as the short article a bit farther down the page.
There’s absolutely no question that beneficial bacteria is great for a pond’s health. And for most bacteria products, it’s safe to assume you could use them in at least 2 out of the 4 seasons that many of us experience.
But as the weather cools off in the fall, and particular into the winter, you’ll want to make note of the blend of bacteria you’re using and make sure it’s an “all season” or cold temperature bacteria. If it isn’t it simply won’t work very well and you’ll be wasting your time and money.
Most bacterial formulas on the pond market today will work adequately down to about 50 degrees. Some will slow down a bit higher than this, but 50 degrees is usually the cut off line for standard bacteria.
Cold water formulas on the other hand will continue to work down to about freezing or just above it. And this gives you the opportunity to continue keeping the pond in balance, and it helps to insure that good water quality is maintained.
For our purposes, at least in most cases, algae will go away when the weather cools, and ideally fish show should down on their eating (you should stop feeding them altogether at around 45 to 50 degrees F. by the way) so the bacteria use, wouldn’t be used to help with algae problems…but it’s still useful for keeping ammonia and nitrites in check, and it will help keep any organic nutrients down as well.
All in all, as good bacteria always does, it will help to keep a pond’s system more in balance and clean, and in many cases, for those ponds that remain active through the winter, it will help get a bit of start as the weather warms up in the spring.
Note: Our PondBiotix products, other than the polar blend bacteria and mdc formula, are warm water formulas. In contrast, our Biosphere Pro bacteria as well as the 2500 system are all season products that will work down to 34 degrees F.