Using Bacterial Products to Treat Lakes and Ponds

March 5th, 2014

From our trusted partners at Aquafix; by President Kevin Ripp

After a long cold winter, the ice that covers our lakes and ponds begins to melt and the bright spring sun begins to warm the water. The slow moving aquatic ecosystem starts becoming more active and alive. Plants, algae, and other aquatic life look for their chance to grab hold of the available nutrients and take control of your lake or pond.

One acquatic resource that can be used to combat the rapid growth phase of the winter warm up and set your pond up well for the new season is bacterial products. Bacterial products work by digesting decaying matter and consuming nitrogen and phosphate. Digesting excess organic matter and consuming excess nutrients helps to balance your lake or pond and create a natural healthy environment. Creating a healthy aquatic environment and addressing the root cause of a lake or ponds problems also helps to limit the potential need for algae control treatments.

All ponds are different and all contain different levels of nitrate and phosphate, muck, sediment, decaying matter and runoff. Quality bacterial aquatic supplies are formulated using naturally occurring cultures selected from lakes and ponds. They are chosen for their ability to grow in a variety of environments. This gives the bacteria the best opportunity to survive and thrive.

Naturally occurring warm season bacteria products can be added in water temperatures as low as 55 degrees and up to 100 degrees. The products can be used as a maintenance tool to clarify water or to treat a specific problem like high nitrogen levels or muck buildup. Depending on the pond environment, we may use different types of aquatic resource management techniques, such as cultures.

For a small Koi pond, we may use a culture that does a superior job of removing forms of nitrogen from the water. This keeps the Koi happy and healthy.

before and after

For a larger natural pond with a lot of organic matter and muck along the shoreline we may use a bacterial pellet that sinks into the muck and degrades it. Muck may be comprised of dead plant matter, decaying leaves and grasses, and fish waste. Customers with muck can see it dissipate during the course of the summer. When sediments on the bottom are decomposed and bottom nutrients are fixated, the surface of the pond stays clearer and healthier. As the muck is degraded critical nutrients are used up and this improves the water quality and prevents foul odors.

In this process of natural pond management, enzymes are another aquatic resource management tool that provides complimentary benefits to that of the bacteria. Not only are enzymes effective in improving the performance of bacteria, but when algaecide treatments are needed, these enzymes speed the degradation of dead algae and help prevent the resulting nutrient load from releasing into the pond and causing future issues. The more thoroughly we can degrade something the slower its likely to return.

Overall, it is important to consider the potential for naturally occurring aquatic resource management products that incorporate bacteria to be useful means for keeping a pond clean and healthy while simultaneously protecting the environment.


Kevin Ripp is the President of Aquafix, a research and development laboratory that manufacturers biological solutions for lakes and ponds. As a trusted partner of SOLitude Lake Management, Aquafix harnesses the power of nature to limit chemical usage and restore balance in aquatic environments. 

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Since 1998, SOLitude Lake Management has been committed to providing full service lake and pond management services that improve water quality, preserve natural resources, and reduce our environmental footprint. Services are available throughout the Eastern United States. Fisheries management consulting and aquatic products are available nationwide. Learn more about SOLitude Lake Management and purchase products at


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