Do I Have To Use Beneficial Bacteria In The Winter?

Sometimes in talking to a pond owner who’s kept their water feature open all winter, it comes as a surprise to them that algae can grow, even in the coldest conditions.

As I always do, if they ask how it should be treated, I suggest using a good quality pond bacteria, and one that is specifically designed for cold water, and see if that helps the cause of cleansing.  Sometimes it does, but you can be sure that any warm water bacteria will not.

The normal tools, like your biofilter will simply not be operating normally in cold weather so other than perhaps filtering physical debris, it’s not going to do much for the water quality as it would in the warmer months. ┬áMany people may simply decide to bypass the filter or shut the flow of water down altogether, and that’s fine.

Keep in mind, it’s not that the cold weather kills off these good microbes, it’s just that they go dormant.

So the question comes up, “do I really need to add any bacteria over the winter?”

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Pond Muck Reduction And Cleaning

Ponds, simply due to their structure of being a big depression in the ground, are catch-all’s for a lot of things. Unfortunately a lot of this accumulation is organic debris that will eventually break down into a messy muck or sludge.

It’s been said that one of the pond owner’s main goals, if not THE main goal is to slow this process of “filling in” down as much as possible. Once this muck starts to rot and stink, it’s built up to the point where the pond’s natural assimilation processes just aren’t able to keep up with it any longer.

What’s unfortunate is that this mucky compost doesn’t just affect the bottom of the pond. And while it’s true that it serves as a really easy place for weed seeds to get established and rooted, it also releases so many nutrients that algae will often form below and above the water’s surface.

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How To Get The Most Out Of Pond Bacteria

This is a rather lengthy article that talks in depth about how to get the best results when using a beneficial bacteria product in your pond or water garden. It’s worth taking the time to read but if you want a condensed version of the main points please watch the video below.

Of all the possible remedies that exist for restoring a pond to a better condition, there are few if any that have the power and benefits that beneficial bacteria can offer. These helpful little microbes that have existed in ponds, well, since the beginning of time or shortly thereafter, are little cleaning powerhouses.

The term “cleaning” is fairly accurate because beneficial bacteria help to reduce or clear up a number of things. Ammonia, which is deadly to fish, is broken down into harmless substances by bacteria. So are nitrites, which have their own degree of toxicity. Then there’s the nitrates and phosphates. These two types of nutrients are prime feeders of algae, and while they’re not necessarily bad, if they are high in number, your chance of having an algae bloom is pretty good.

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