Beneficial bacteria are instrumental in keeping a water garden clean and balanced. Beneficial bacteria, like those found in The Pond Guy Nature's Defense, Muck Defense, and Seasonal Defense, live their life noshing on the excess nutrients in your pond, converting it into a harmless gas. They then divide via a cellular division, called binary fission, to keep the population going. Since they are so handy, you might be tempted to add a few extra to really make your pond shine. While too much beneficial bacteria is not necessarily bad, it will likely make your pocketbook a little lighter.
Invite too many to your dinner party and there might not be enough food to go around. The same thing goes for your microorganisms. Overcrowding beneficial bacteria causes them to compete for resources rather than growing big so they can reproduce. Weaker organisms follow Charles Darwin's theory and ultimately starve and die. This causes the overall bacteria population to drop, meaning you need to add more bacteria to replace what gets lost. After a while, costs for repopulating could really add up.
When Good Bacteria Goes Bad
Plants and fish will generally be safe if too much beneficial bacteria is added. Trouble occurs when there is a lot of organic buildups, numerous beneficial bacteria, and inadequate aeration. Like fish and other aquatic organisms, good bacteria need oxygen. In ponds with high nutrient loads, bacteria are able to rapidly reproduce since food is not a limiting resource. This population explosion depletes the dissolved oxygen levels in the pond. Introducing an aeration kit, the CrystalClear PondAir or KoiAir Aeration Kits, will infuse oxygen into the pond and circulate the water column. Adding aeration will not only make a great addition for the summer when your bacteria are active, but it will also help keep a hole open in the ice during winter.
The best bet for your pond and pocketbook is to stick to using the doses listed on the product labels for regular maintenance. After clean-outs or chemical treatments, we also recommend adding some Mircrobe-Lift PL Gel to jump-start the repopulation process. Beneficial bacteria is a useful tool for creating a balanced ecosystem, but it is only one piece of the pond. If you continually struggle with muck, poor water quality, or algae blooms, try to think about what the root of the problem might be; oftentimes, it is linked to one of these scenarios.