Can Beneficial Pond Bacteria Help With An Algae Problem?

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Written By Mark Washburn

Mark has 20 years of experience as a professional pond management consultant.

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Algae is becoming such a common problem in ponds these days and the culprit is pretty easy to identify.  Excessive nutrients in the form of phosphorus and nitrogen are also commonplace now in the environment.  One point of evidence for this is the often reported “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico.  This “dead” area is devoid of oxygen, caused by algae blooms…much of which is supported by nutrient-rich, agricultural runoff from the upper midwest.

The thing is, you don’t have to have a river as large as the Mississippi, or a waterbody as big as the Gulf, to have issues with excessive nutrients.  Many ponds suffer from a similar issue, although the concentration of nutrients is less, and they aren’t technically dead…the high nutrients will often feed unwanted algae and weed growth.

Pond Chemicals Are Commonly Used

Dealing with these unwanted plants has traditionally been through the use of various chemicals.  From algaecides to aquatic herbicides.  In some cases, these treatments are necessary and may be the only way to control the plants.  In many instances though, it makes more sense to work in a more holistic, targeted fashion that will leave no negative after-effects.

Why Aeration And Microbes Are Better

The way we have done this for several decades now is to combine good aeration and, if need be, some supplemental beneficial pond bacteria.  This approach actually targets the root of the problem and why algae are blooming so well in the first place!  As these nutrients are reduced and balanced out, algae will often regress.  In the video below, you can see how over the period of one month, the algae, which had been gradually increasing, was eventually stopped and began to regress as the nutrient levels were reduced.

What’s really important to note here is the microbes are not actually killing the algae.  They simply make the pond less hospitable to excessive growth.  The other great benefit to these helpful little bugs is they work to clean up the organic “debris” left from a dead plant.  Left alone this organic matter would decay and become a very rich source of future algae or weed growth.  By reducing that with microbes, the pond actually becomes cleaner over time, and less prone to unwanted blooms.  This approach represents one of the most natural algae control methods available!

Beneficial Pond Bacteria Is Safe

Commercial beneficial bacteria products are safe to use with fish, pets, wildlife, and people.  Similar formulas are used in equine and livestock drinking tanks, bird baths, zoo exhibits, and other applications where safety is paramount.

To learn more about how to use beneficial pond bacteria in your pond or lake, reach out to the folks at Pond Algae Solutions for help.

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