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So here’s a great question on pond bacteria.
Dry pond bacteria to be exact, and it’s timely, in the sense that many people simply won’t use it as much, or as frequently as they might during the spring and summer.
The question is “How long can you store dry bacteria and still have it be good?”
Keep in mind that the answer to this will depend somewhat on the brand of the bacteria (I can only generally speak for our own) and the conditions in which you keep it.
Overall though we expect our bacteria to be good for at least two years from the date of formulation. It would probably go longer than this with no appreciable drop in performance, but the two year limit is probably a good rule of thumb to follow. From an insider’s perspective I can tell you that we don’t usually have bacteria sitting around long on the shelves at PAS. It’s normally a month or less out of formulation when it goes out to our customers so they’re insured of getting a pretty fresh batch and they can expect at least another 23 months of effective use.
I can’t really say that properly stored bacteria liquids are much shorter than this. I haven’t found them to be a problem either but ideally it’s probably a good idea to store any form of bacteria in a cool, dry, place and keep it away from high heat or freezing tempertures.
For other bacteria brands on the market, it would be advisable to contact the manufacturer directly with any questions on longevity, if such information is not listed on the label.
Perhaps more important than any shelf life you might find on pond bacteria is to make sure that it’s appropriate for the seasonal conditions of when you apply it. As I’ve mentioned before, most commerical bacteria is more suited to warm water conditions. Once the water temperature drops below 50 degrees F. it will quit working. So for fall and winter use be sure to look for a good cold water pond bacteria and you’ll get the best results.
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