When assessing your pond, the first thing one must do is to determine certain goals.
What is the primary purpose of my pond?
Determine if it is strictly ornamental if you want to fish, and if so what kind of fish.
Will my pond benefit from aeration/fountain?
The one universal factor that helps ponds and all bodies of water for that matter is aeration. Aeration provides dissolved oxygen and circulation. If you do nothing else aeration will provide the backbone for sustainability.
How do I determine how much aeration is needed?
Most ponds will benefit from being able to maintain 3-5 milligrams per liter of dissolved oxygen. This will provide the beneficial bacteria all the oxygen they need to biologically degrade organic material without causing any odors.
Certain species of fish, like trout will require higher levels of dissolved oxygen, a minimum of 6.0 mg/L. All aeration systems will provide the end user with the necessary calculations based on depth, size, volume and temperature. Or you can always call us and we will provide the sizing options suitable for your pond.
How do I determine the current health of my pond?
One must determine the quality of the water in my pond. It is essential to know the following parameters. PH, temperature, ortho-phosphate, nitrogen, and dissolved oxygen. If these parameters are known, it is extremely likely we can develop a program that will allow you to get the desired results at the minimum cost. If the pH is outside an acceptable range or dissolved oxygen is too low, one can spend a lot of time and money to never get the desired results.
How do I determine the pH and nutrient levels?
pH, is the easiest to determine. Simple test strips that are inexpensive to purchase and simple to use. Put the strip in the water and compare the color to the color chart provided with test strips. Nitrogen and Ortho-Phosphate test kits are simple to use as well, the kits we recommend consist of small ampules.
Collect a sample in a small jar, break the end off the ampule and the vacuum will draw a small amount of sample water into the ampule and within a few seconds the ampule will turn color. Compare the color of the ampule to the chart accompanying the test kit and that will indicate the level of that particular nutrient in mg/L (milligrams per liter)
What if the color is at the very top end of the range?
If the reading is at the top of the level range, get a fresh sample, dilute 50% with tap water and repeat the test. Just remember to multiply the results by two.
How do I determine dissolved oxygen levels?
Our background in water treatment started in industrial water treatment 32 years ago. When we went to a customer we carried Dissolved oxygen probes with us. Unfortunately quality probes cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars and the membranes at the end of the probe must be cleaned, maintained and replaced on a regular basis. Something we do not recommend for the typical homeowner. Rather than purchasing a probe, there are reagent test kits available. Not as simple or as inexpensive as the nutrient and pH tests kits but at a reasonable price. If your pond has aeration or you allow us to size the aerator for you, lack of dissolved oxygen will never be an issue. UN aerated ponds with high levels of nutrients and organic matter may be susceptible to low dissolved oxygen. If the pond has an odor or fish cannot cannot survive, then it is safe to say there is a problem.
How and when should I adjust pH?
If the pH of the pond is less than 6.0 this would mean the water is acidic (pH of 7.0 is considered neutral) Acid is an abundance of H+ ions that can be caused by several reasons. Sometimes the background water is acidic, Pine needles have a pH of 3.2 to 3.8. If there are a lot of pine needles getting into the pond you may have a problem. If the pond has a lot of decaying organic matter, biodegradation creates carbonic acids, lowering the pH of the water. To counter the acidic water we can provide you with or recommend the appropriate buffering product to neutralize the pH. If on the other hand the pond water is too basic, say pH above 8.5, we can provide you or recommend the necessary acidic product to neutralize the water.
How do I remove excess phosphate and why should I remove excess phosphate from my pond?
In simple layman’s terms, Phosphate is a macronutrient that is required for beneficial bacteria to produce enzymes to biodegrade organic material and keep water healthy. Too much phosphate and the pond has the potential to grow an overabundance of algae, submerged, and emergent plants. The same phosphate that the pond organisms need to thrive is the same phosphate used as fertilizer to make all manner of plants to grow. If the pond water contains too much phosphate, say more than 1 mg/L. then we have to add a compound to “bind up the phosphate and make it unavailable for algae and other undesirable plants. Our experts can provide you with a precise dosing of our Phos-X product to remove the unwanted phosphate.
How do I remove excess nitrogen and why is it important?
Excess nitrogen can have devastating effects on a pond. If the nitrogen is in the form of ammonia, as little as 2 mg/L can be harmful to fish, amphibians, birds and reptiles. Nitrogen is also a macronutrient essential for the production of amino acids and proteins. The best way to remove excess nitrogen in the warmer months (water temperature above 60 degrees F) is to stimulate the nitrification process. Without getting too technical, this requires adding a special blend of organisms (ammonia remover product) that convert ammonia to nitrate and then nitrate to nitrite. In nitrite form, the nitrogen is far less harmful to the water column. Nitrification also requires sufficient alkalinity as 7.14 mg/L of alkalinity will be consumed for each milligram of ammonia nitrified. Nitrification is a strictly aerobic process and consumes 3 times the amount of dissolved oxygen per pound of ammonia as for degradation of one pound of carbon based material. If the temperatures are below 60 degrees, we can provide our nitrex product that will chemically remove the excess ammonia nitrogen. Our technical staff will determine which method is best and provide the necessary recommendations.
Why must nitrifiers be kept refrigerated?
Nitrifiers are among the most finicky of all commercial organisms we handle. In our 33 years of experience, we have never come across a viable nitrification product that is not stored refrigerated until use. Many people have claimed to “stabilize” nitrifying organisms at room temperature and I have yet to see any of them actually work as advertised. Once produced, if the organisms are not properly stored, the viability is straight downward until after a week or two, the product has no viability. Our nitrifiers will be shipped in insulated containers with cold packs and be viable when they arrive.
Will pond dye harm flora and fauna of the pond?
The dye we select will not harm any flora or fauna in the pond. The color will enhance the appearance and the colorant will help block sunlight to unwanted plant life in the pond.
How do I prevent or remove algae from the pond?
There are several ways to remove algae from the pond. The simplest answer is, if there is no nutrients in the water (nitrogen & phosphate) algae will not grow. However, due to numerous natural occurrences, decaying organic matter, rainwater run-off, septic seepage, these nutrient compounds often appear in the pond. If the only concern is for the ponds appearance, and there is no concern for local flora and fauna, and the pond water is 100% contained, a simple copper sulfate product like Mizzen will suffice. It is inexpensive and will kill all aquatic plants and bacteria. Unfortunately the dead material will accumulate on the bottom as there will be nothing to degrade it. The copper ions left behind by the copper sulfate can be deadly to fish and other aquatic life. If you are like the other 96% of pond owners, a biologically sterile pond is not the intended outcome. If the desire is for a non sterilized pond, we have several tools at our disposal. First priority is to check for excess nutrients. If the levels are too high, remove using Phos-X and/or Ammonia Remover. Second, add our Formula 95 plus with Flumioxazin. This product will disrupt the production of carotene in the algae. Without carotene, UV light will slowly destroy the algae’s chlorophyll and the plant will slowly die. The beneficial bacterial will then begin to digest the dead organic material. The formula 95 product will not harm and flora or fauna in your pond.
How do I remove floating plants like duckweed, Water meal, water hyacinth, and water lettuce from the pond?
Just like the algae, Formula 95 Plus will systematically kill these plants and provide a clear beautiful body of water.
How do I remove submerged plants like milfoil, Hydrilla, and Curly pond weeds?
For submerged weeds, we recommend several products. If environmental sensitivity is not an issue we recommend a diquat based product.
How do I remove years of organic sedimentation in my pond?
One can always dredge the bottom at considerable expense. However, Novozyme's biologicals have developed the most effective product for in-situ removal of organic sedimentation commonly known as muck. Their unique product called Bio Spikes are scattered around the pond. They sink to the bottom and imbed themselves in the two muck. Then billions of beneficial bacteria begin digesting the organic material. Usually, it took years for the sediments to build up, and short of dredging it will take quite some time to remove. Under typical conditions, this product will remove 3 to 6 inches of muck per year. This product is the most effective on the market, our experts will provide you with the proper dose rate