Pond Bio Filter: Beneficial Bacteria For Your Pond
Your pond will actually need some bacteria to keep it healthy, this is commonly provided by a pond bio filter. Here are suggestions to keep your pond healthy using bio filters.
This type of bacteria actually grows as it breaks down other organic matter. The presence of this bacteria in your pond will break down non-toxic material that tends to attract organic matter that can be toxic. So while this bacteria isn't necessary to clean the pond, it does help the overall eco-system.
These types of bacteria work differently. They don't feed on organic elements, rather they feed on the chemical elements produced naturally in the pond, such as nitrogen. This is an important step in keeping the pond clean organically. As they feed, they also grow in numbers and help maintain the pond.
This is the process that the Autotrophic bacteria use. Ammonia that is found in the pond (left behind from the excrement of fish) is converted in to nitrogen, and then feeds the bacteria. Ammonia in the water can harm and eventually kill the life in the pond, so it's important that process happens.
The oxygen levels in your pond should be kept as high as possible. The positive bacteria in your pond need oxygen to survive. As the bacteria levels grow, the oxygen levels will decrease if you don't stay on top of this. One of the best ways to keep the levels high is to have lots of oxygen producing plants in the pond. Water plants look pretty, but they also serve several important purposes, and greatly help the eco-system survive. Plants are available in many different varieties and colors, so you have many options. The easiest plants are the free floating plants, such as water hyacinth. These look beautiful, smell great, and will reproduce easily. Just be sure to keep an eye on them, as they have a tendency to grow rapidly and can take over the pond.
A lot of people try to put algae eating fish, such as the Plecostomus. These fish eat algae to survive. If you've ever been to a pet store you've probably seen these guys stuck to the sides of the tanks. They are cleaning the algae. The problem with the Pleco is that they won't survive cold water temperatures. They are considered a tropical fish. If you decide to try this method of eco-filtration you will need to make sure you are bringing them indoors in to a tank every night, and during the colder months. Some people don't mind doing this, but if your pond is large they may be hard to spot and bring in.
To keep the process of bio-filtration system many companies make special bio-filters that release all the necessary compounds automatically. You can also purchase these compounds in liquid and powder form to add to your pond manually. This is probably the best idea for most people, it takes the guess work out and allows you to have a balanced pond and eco-system with very little effort.