Ponds have sludge, that’s a fact! No matter how often you clean the pond, there will always be a layer of organic matter sat at the bottom.
What Is Pond Sludge?
Pond sludge is made up of the organic materials that are found in and around your pond. Ranging from fish food, faeces and plant debris, all this matter falls to the bottom of your pond and starts to rot. This sludge then becomes impenetrable to oxygen and goes into an anaerobic state, causing the bacteria to produce Hydrogen Sulphide. As many of you will know, Hydrogen Sulphide smells like rotten eggs (you may have come across this smell after disturbing the bottom of your pond or cleaning out your filters). As Hydrogen Sulphide is toxic, it will eventually start to kill off other living things in your pond, starting with the important aerobic bacteria. The lack of bacteria will then lead to your pond plants and fish suffering, deteriorating and eventually dying. As more and more of your pond life dies it adds to your layer of pond sludge and creates a vicious cycle.
However, pond sludge is not the end of the world and if you have sludge in your pond, don’t worry, it is easy to treat and we will come back to this.
How Do I Prevent Pond Sludge?
Preventing and minimising the amount of sludge is easy enough to do and will keep your pond running efficiently. Be sure to remove any floating debris as and when you see it. Take care when cutting your lawn as lawn cuttings can easily find their way into the pond and quickly sink to the bottom. Finally, use aquatic cloth liners or aquatic gravel in submerged plants to keep the fish from digging them up. Koi especially, find digging up plants very amusing!
How to Remove Pond Sludge?
So, you have done all you can to prevent this layer of sludge from forming, but the inevitable has happened and you have acquired pond sludge.
There are two things you can do at this point. You can either physically remove the pond sludge using your hands or a pond vacuum. These will get rid of the physical matter but will remove some of the helpful, aerobic bacteria and leave behind some of the harmful Hydrogen Sulphide.
The second thing you can do is to add extra, beneficial bacteria into the pond to “attack” the pond sludge, break it down and digest it whilst topping up the aerobic bacteria in your pond. Envii Sludge Klear contains a unique blend of bacteria and enzymes that break down and digest the pond sludge. Sludge Klear can be used as a treatment product and maintenance product to keep your bacteria levels high and sludge levels low all year round.