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Originally ritten by one of Aquatic Biologists, Inc staff
biologists for publication in Pond Keeper Magazine (now Pond &
Bacteria are the base for the animal
food chain within a pond or lake. Bacteria consume (decompose)
waste products and assimilate nutrients by converting this material
to other bacteria through the process of growing, reproducing, and
multiplying. Bacteria then become the food source for other aquatic
organisms such as zoo-flagellates, ciliates, and rotifers, which in
turn become food for fish, insects, invertebrates, and other
organisms. These living organisms compete for the nutrients
(nitrogen and phosphorus) necessary for the growth of algae.
Depending on the type of product and the species in it, bacteria
can reduce organic sediment (muck) from the lake bottom, improve
water clarity, reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus
available for algae growth, and aid in the improvement of overall
Life on earth, as we know it, would
not exist without enzymes, just as life would not exist without
oxygen or water. Enzymes are organic proteins made from amino
acids. An enzyme is formed by stringing together 100 or even a
1,000 amino acids in a very specific and unique order. The chain of
amino acids then folds into a unique shape that allows the enzyme
to act as a catalyst to carry out specific chemical reactions.
Although enzymes catalyze (enhance)
the chemical reaction by breaking molecules apart and putting
molecules together. Enzymes are not consumed in the process.
Enzymes perform the vital function of controlling the metabolic
processes in which nutrients are converted into energy and fresh
cell material. In nature, enzymes control the build up and
decomposition of essential matter in vegetable and animal
The efficiency of any enzyme or
bacteria depends on the amount of wastes available, the abundance
of dissolved oxygen accessible to the organisms, water chemistry
(ex. pH), and the type or strains of bacteria present to do the
job. In eutrophic (aging) ponds and lakes where aquatic plants and
algae are a problem, there is normally an abundance of organic
Bioaugmentation product prices vary
depending on quality, concentration, dilution, and product
effectiveness. It is important to carefully determine the total
amount of product needed for season long maintenance.
After reviewing what bacteria and
enzymes are, it is time to choose what product line to best fit
your needs. Protect yourself, by investing your time researching
the product you are contemplating purchasing before you invest your
money. Below, you will find several things to look for when
choosing your bioaugmentation products.
and autotrophic are terms used to describe certain bacteria which
are normally used in bioaugmentation products. It is generally wise
to have all three bacteria types present within your bacterial
The Eight Major Enzyme Groups
Enzymes are available in a wide
range of concentrations. What works for a 12' diameter garden pond
will not work for a 10-acre lake and vise versa. As a general rule
of thumb the smaller the pond, the less concentrated the
enzyme product should be .
A well-formulated and effective enzyme product should contain
thousands of enzyme types from eight major groups. These enzyme
groups aid in the digestion of leaf litter, dead algae cells, grass
clippings, dead plant matter, goose manure, and other organic
materials. Enzymes may be used alone, or in combination with
augmented (added) microbial bacteria populations. When used in a
combination, enzymes dramatically encourage both the naturally
occurring and augmented bacterial populations to flourish and
digest organic materials.
Bacteria and enzymes will normally work more effectively within
a friendly lake or pond environment. There are seven requirements
listed below to have when using bacteria products for success.
Without these requirements present, you may have little or no
results, no matter what concentration of bacteria you apply.
All bioaugmentation products work
best when a regular weekly maintenance schedule is followed through
the spring, summer, and fall. One to two week maintenance is
generally recommended with the majority of products. The reason for
this regular maintenance is that within a two-week time span, most
bacteria will have "degenerated" to a "species" less apt to
regenerate quickly and into one that is essentially "taking the
easy way out". In other words, all augmented bacteria "interbreed"
producing a bacterial strain that expends the least amount of
energy required for survival.
Finally, bioaugmentation can be
complex, but with a little research and some simple water tests,
the right bioaugmentation products can greatly improve the overall
health and management of your lake or pond.
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