Tag Archives: pond bacteria

Featured Product – Winter Pond Treatment

What Is Winter Pond Treatment?

This weeks featured product is the Winter Pond Treatment.
Winter Pond Treatment is a revolutionary, biological pond treatment that has been designed to maintain a ponds condition during winter months. By keeping the bacteria levels topped up throughout winter, your pond will be in the best possible condition to fight off algae in the spring.

How Does Winter Pond Treatment Work?

Winter Pond is a natural, biological treatment that uses task-specific, low temperature patented bacteria to digest the organics that build up over winter. The bacteria used in the Winter Pond Treatment are exclusive to Envii and are capable of working as low as 4°C whereas other products stop working at 10°C.
The task-specific bacteria target the algae and begin to digest it. Once the algae has been digested, it travels through the pump and into the filtration system where it can be caught and washed away.

By keeping bacteria present throughout the winter months, they are ready to fight off algae in spring and stop water from turning green.

Don’t Just Take Our Word for It…

David Cooper – Helped clear our pond of unwanted algae and slime. No problems with delivery.

John Freddy – Fantastic product it does exactly what it says on the box it cleared the pond in no time. Thank you

Stephen Squires – It clean the ponds with in 48hrs very impressed will buy again

Why Is My Pond Green in Winter?

If your water has turned green during the winter months, this is due to the same planktonic algae that turned your pond green in Spring and Summer. Pond algae can grow down to around 8°C so depending on where you are in the UK and how harsh your winters are, there is a possibility that these algae have continued growing through the winter months. Winter Pond Treatment was designed to tackle this issue whilst providing protection through winter so that come Spring, your pond is still crystal clear.

Does Pond Algae Die in Winter?

Depending on the type of algae and the temperature then yes, algae can still grow in the winter. Algae can grow in temperatures as low as 8°C if there is sunlight and nutrients. Whilst these algae are not dangerous to your fish, it would be good practice to treat it throughout winter before it gets out of hand in spring.

There are a couple of things that you can do to minimise the possibility of algae growing. Treat your pond during winter with Winter Pond Treatment and depending on the temperature, avoid feeding your fish as it is unlikely the fish will eat this food and it will just rot and feed the algae.

How to Stop Ponds Freezing in Winter?

This is not a common question that is usually asked in the UK but it is one that needs answering. Luckily the weather in the UK doesn’t usually get cold enough to freeze over our ponds but it does occasionally happen. Many people will think that a pond freezing over is natural and will just leave it to not disturb the fish. However, when your pond is frozen it is trapping in some of the natural gasses that usually escape your ponds, for example carbon dioxide. These gasses can affect your fish, plants and aerobic bacteria.

It is best to prevent your pond from freezing rather than having to deal with a frozen pond. You can buy pond heaters, that can be expensive, or you could try putting something that floats in your pond such as a part filled plastic bottle or tennis ball as this will leave a gap that can’t be frozen.

If your pond freezes, don’t smash the ice! This sends shock waves through the water and can seriously damage your fish. If you find your pond has frozen, sit a pan of boiling water on top of the ice and let it melt slowly.

Should You Feed Pond Fish in The Winter?

As the winter months draw in, fish go into a semi-dormant state and you will start to notice them staying towards the bottom of the pond. When the temperature drops below 8°C you should consider switching to a wheatgerm feed for your fish. Wheatgerm is designed to be easier for fish to digest and provide them with slow releasing energy. When the temperature drops below 4°C it is advisable to stop feeding your fish. They won’t eat it which will result in the food breaking down and providing excess nutrients for any algae.

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Featured Product – Sludge Klear

What Is Sludge Klear?

This weeks featured product is Sludge Klear.
Sludge Klear is biological pond water treatment that targets the build-up of sludge found at the bottom of ponds.
As well as being used directly in the water to target sludge, Sludge Klear can be used as a biological filter starter for ponds by helping create the perfect biological balance in your filter.

How Does Sludge Klear Work?

Each Sludge Klear tablet is packed with over 100 billion task-specific, beneficial bacteria that have been specifically chosen to target sludge. The bacteria break down the sludge that sticks to your pond, digesting and loosening it to enable the filter to catch it. Once this has been caught in the filter, it can physically be washed away using a hosepipe.
Sludge Klear contains patented, low temperature bacteria that is capable of working down to 4°C  and can be used all year round. This allows for treatment in winter to reduce the amount of sludge and the effect of green water in spring.

Sludge Klear can be used to solve sludge problems or as a regular treatment for protection and because it is safe for fish, it’s perfect for use in garden ponds, Koi ponds and natural ponds.

Don’t Just Take Our Word for It…

Alex Whittle – Simple to use and very effective treatment.

Lorraine Pratt – We discovered a neglected pond in our garden, overgrown and filled with sludge and…… It is now clear thanks to our hard work and your product.

Dlh – Absolutely great cleared our pond. Best thing we have tried AND we have tried lots

What Is Pond Sludge?

Pond sludge is the thick brown layer of muck and grime found at the bottom of your pond. This grime gives off the smell of rotten eggs or hydrogen sulphide when disturbed. It is formed from a build-up of sediment that sink to the bottom of the pond and begin to rot. This build-up can be made up of things like excess fish food, fish waste & debris such as leaves and twigs. For the most part, pond sludge is impenetrable to oxygen and as a result this sludge will begin smothering the good, aerobic bacteria and algae whilst producing bad, anaerobic bacteria.

Do Pond Sludge Removers Work?

There is regular debate around whether sludge removers work. This depends on the type of sludge remover in question. If you are looking at chemical sludge removers then yes, they may work, but your pond has millions of living organisms in there; whilst the chemicals might not be strong enough to harm your fish, they will certainly be harming the good bacteria and algae that your pond needs.

On the other hand, natural, bacterial pond sludge removers are completely safe for all living organisms found in your pond and produce safer, better results than chemicals. Bacterial sludge removers penetrate the sludge and break down the anaerobic bacteria which allows the sludge to pass through to your filters. Please be prepared to have to clean your filters every couple of days!

What Eats Pond Sludge?

Add some bottom feeding fish to your pond! You could try adding a couple of Tench or a few Gudgeon as these are both bottom feeders, but they don’t feed on the sludge itself. They might disturb the sludge when looking for food but they won’t intentionally eat the sludge.

The best thing for eating pond sludge is bacteria and enzymes. The bacteria found in Sludge Klear is designed to break down the sludge at the bottom of your pond and enable it to pass through your filter.

You could always attack it from both angles by introducing bottom feeding fish and bacteria. The fish will disturb the sludge, making it easier for the enzymes and bacteria to digest.

Is Pond Sludge Good for The Garden?

We have been asked on a couple of occasions if the sludge found at the bottom of your pond can be used as a compost in your garden. Short answer, yes it can. The sludge in your pond has absorbed many of the excess, useful nutrients in your pond and can be used to pass these on to your garden plants.

Ideally there shouldn’t be a thick enough layer of sludge in your pond to need to use it in the garden, so keep your sludge down with Sludge Klear.

If you only have a thin layer of sludge we would advise you to just use Sludge Klear and keep the layer thin. If your layer of sludge is thick, remove some by hand and place it in your compost bin. After removing some of the sludge by hand, we recommend using Sludge Klear to digest any of the remaining sludge and improve the condition of your pond. Be careful when removing the sludge if you have a pond liner as they can be very costly to replace or repair if you rip them.

Featured Product – Pond Klear

What Is Pond Klear?

This weeks featured product is Pond Klear.
Pond Klear is a biological, bacterial pond algae treatment product that is 100% safe for all fish, wildlife, pets and humans. Pond klear clears pond water, removes green algae and restores the biological balance back into a pond.

How Does Pond Klear Work?

By using beneficial bacteria, Pond Klear naturally breaks down the microscopic algae particles that cause green water. These particles are then clumped together, get pushed into the water column and get sucked through the pump and into the filter box, allowing you to physically wash away the algae from the filters.
Continued, frequent treatment will keep pond water clear all year and provide a healthy environment for fish and wildlife to live in.
Pond’s that have a pump and filtration system should expect to see results within two weeks whereas pond without will see results between 4-6 weeks.

Don’t Just Take Our Word for It…

Alan Epsom – I am very pleased with this I did notice a difference the following day thank you

Mrs H. – Only recently added to the pond but seems to be working ok

Johnny – Excellent product which cleared my pond within one day. I would certainly recommend Envil Pond Klear!!!

How to Keep Pond Water Clear?

To keep your pond water clear, you need to help it from day one. Dirty pond water can be caused by several things, from pond sludge, to pond algae, if these are not kept on top of, it is easy for your ponds water clarity to quickly deteriorate.

If you have a new pond, we recommend testing your water with a test kit and then if needed, an application of Pond Equaliser to balance your water parameters. When your water parameters are where they should be, treat your pond with Pond Klear and Sludge Klear to introduce the beneficial aerobic bacteria you need.

Providing you keep on top with your bacterial treatments, remove any debris from your pond, don’t overfeed your fish or overstock your pond with too many fish and ensure you filters are kept as clean as possible then your pond should be crystal clear throughout the year.

What Causes Pond Algae?

Unfortunately, pond algae or green water needs very little to thrive in your pond. Sun, nutrients and the lack of movement in the water provide the perfect growing conditions for algae. These algae are small single cell algae that multiple quickly and soon give your pond that “pea soup” look.

The algae that causes green water is almost microscopic and as a result can’t be filtered out of your pond.

When to Treat Pond Algae?

Most people believe pond algae begins growing in the summer as this is the time it becomes obviously present in your pond. However, the growth of the algae actually starts in spring. Fish start to become more active and start producing more waste as the temperature picks up. Although the sun is not very hot, the daylight hours have increased and are providing the algae with the perfect growing conditions.

Ideally you should be treating your pond throughout the year the keep algae at bay, but if you have missed the winter, make sure you start treating or preventing algae in Spring.

Can Pond Algae Kill Fish?

Although green water can look dangerous it is unlikely to harm your fish. Green water is caused by very small, single cell algae that multiply and eventually cause a green tint to your water. Unlike blanket weed that is very dense, the algae cells that cause green water are so small that they can pass through your finest filter. As they are so small they pose very little threat to your fish with regards to trapping them and don’t pose any health problems to your fish.

Whilst the algae cells may not be dangerous to your fish, the fact that you have green water suggests you have an imbalance in your pond which can be very dangerous to your fish. Use Pond Equaliser to stabilise your water parameters and then treat your green water with Pond Klear or Pond Klear Xtra depending on the size and condition of your pond.

 

 

 

 

The Do’s & Don’ts For Ponds

Pond keeping can be a mind field when it comes to knowing what you can and can’t do to achieve algae free, crystal clear water. One ‘expert’ will tell you to do this, another ‘expert’ will tell you to do that and suddenly it all becomes a very confusing, tangled web of conflicting information.

We are not claiming to be experts but we do know a lot about bacteria and how it thrives in ponds. Therefore, we have compiled a list of do’s and don’ts to help you create the perfect water conditions in your pond, keep algae at bay and maintain a balanced eco system.

DO treat your pond with a bacterial product on a regular basis.
Beneficial, aerobic bacteria is the foundation to any ponds eco system, it keeps algae at bay by eliminating any excess nutrients in the pond, prevents sludge from becoming anaerobic and releasing toxic hydrogen sulphide into the pond and helps prevent fish illnesses.
Bacteria needs to be topped up regularly. As with any living organism, it only has a certain lifespan and once it has died, it needs replacing.

DO use a hosepipe to wash your filters.
This is a very conflicting point within the pond industry but at Envii we recommend using a hosepipe to wash filters. The chlorine that is found in tap water is only present as a trace element and the amount that is left behind on the filters is so small that it will have a very insignificant effect on the bacteria that is present in the pond.
By using pond water to wash your filters, you will remove a lot more of the bacteria that is present in the pond and then have to replace the pond water with tap water.

DO check your water parameters on a regular basis.
Although your water may look clear, it may not be the quality, healthy water that your fish need. Check your water parameters every couple of weeks to ensure your pH, KH, ammonia and other levels are where they should be. If you don’t know what your water parameters should be, have a read of our Water Parameters post. Water parameters can change rapidly and can have severe consequences on your fish.
If you find that your water parameters are not where they should be, use Pond Equaliser to instantly stabilise them and create the perfect water conditions for your fish.

DO ask for technical advice.
Nobody wants to buy a product that they think is going to solve their problem, only to find out that they have purchased the wrong product or not used it correctly. We provide expert advice not only for our products, but for any other pond query either by email or phone. So, take advantage of us and give us a call!

DO treat your pond with a bacterial product all year.
We hear from more and more people every week who had a crystal-clear pond in winter that suddenly went green in spring. Algae won’t grow below 8°C which is why ponds look good during winter. However, bacteria also die when it gets below a certain temperature and with a lack of algae to feed on, come spring their numbers have decreased drastically. The depleted number of bacteria, coupled with the rise in temperature in spring quickly results in an algae bloom that will turn your water green.
Treat your pond with Winter Pond Treatment during the colder months to keep bacteria present in the pond and prevent an algae bloom in spring.

DO keep your pumps and filters running all year.
A lot of pond owners decide that once the temperature drops, the pumps should be turned off as the pond can no longer be enjoyed. However, by turning the pumps off, you will be creating problems that will not show themselves until spring. During winter, a lot of debris falls in to ponds and starts to break down. If this debris is not cleared out, it releases excess nutrients into the water that algae will feed on when spring arrives.
Keep your pump and filter running to remove any of this debris and keep the water moving.

DON’T empty your pond and start again.
One common misconception when a pond is struggling with algae or green water is to empty all the water out, clean the pond and refill it. However, this is possibly the worst thing to do in this situation. By removing all the water, you also remove any of the beneficial bacteria that was in the pond. When the pond is refilled it is filled with what is technically sterile water that contains chlorine, toxic heavy metals and little to no bacteria. Initially, the pond appears to be in a very good condition as the sterile water stays clear for a few weeks but then quickly turns green due to the lack of bacteria available to fight off any algae spores.
If for some reason you do have to empty your pond, introduce a bacterial product as soon as you have refilled to introduce bacteria into the pond straight away.

DON’T remove blanket weed whilst it is still alive
The most obvious thing to do when you see blanket weed appearing in your pond is to pull it out and throw it away. If you have ever done this, you will know that within days, the blanket weed reappears and you begin the cycle again.
If you remove blanket weed when it is still alive (green) the strands tear and release new spores back into the water.
Ensure that any blanket weed you remove has been killed first by using Blanketweed Klear. For more information on blanket weed, read our post on How to Get Rid of Blanket Weed.

DON’T change your filters
If your filters are getting dirty when using a bacterial product, it is because your pond is dirty. You should only clean the filters, not change them.
Bacteria anchor themselves on to the filters and digest any algae or sludge that gets caught. If you change the filters, you remove all the beneficial bacteria that has been added to the filters.
If you have to change your filters, be sure to apply a bacterial product directly to the new filters.

DON’T introduce plants without leaching out fertiliser
When buying plants to add into your ponds, the easiest place to buy them from is the local garden centre. However, these plants are grown in fertilisers that aim to speed up the growing process to allow the garden centres to sell them quicker. If these plants are added straight into the pond, the fertiliser leaches out and in to the pond, harming the beneficial bacteria.
Before adding plants to the pond, put them in a bucket of water for 7-10 days and change the water every day. This will leach out the fertiliser and they will then be safe to add to the pond. For more information on pond plants, read our post Should I Keep Aquatic Plants.

DON’T feed fish during winter
As the temperature starts to drop in autumn, you should consider changing over to a high protein food for your fish. When winter begins, stop feeding your fish all together. Fish don’t feed throughout winter, so the food that is thrown into the pond will break down and release nutrients into the pond to feed any algae spores when the temperatures rise.

DON’T allow your pond to freeze over completely during winter
You should avoid letting your pond freeze over during winter at all costs. If the pond does freeze over completely, it will create an air tight seal that will not allow any oxygen to enter the pond or any toxic gases to leave the pond. If this continues for an extended period, it may result in fish death. For more tips on caring for your pond in winter read our Preparing Pond for Winter post.

DON’T overstock the pond
It is very easy to overstock a pond, after all, who wants a clear pond and only two fish to look at. However, if a pond contains too many fish it can have a big effect on the water quality in the pond. Fish produce a lot of waste; this waste gives off ammonia which can in turn raise the pH in the pond and lead to illness or death among the fish.
As a rule of thumb it is recommended that a pond has 55cm of fish per 1,000 litres. The average fish size in UK ponds is around 6 inches so this would equate to 3-4 fish per 1,000  litres.

Do's & Don'ts Infographic

How To Get Rid Of Blanket Weed

What Is Blanket Weed?

If you have not yet come across this nuisance, congratulations! Blanket weed or long string algae is one of the most well-known (and hated) pond weeds in the UK. It is a long thin alga that has no leaves, stems or roots and forms large, dense pillows of green weed that float around the top of your pond and attach themselves to the side walls. Blanketweed thrives in ornamental ponds with pumps due to the exposure to sunlight, flowing water and abundant nutrients available.

Is Blanketweed Dangerous?

Short answer, yes it can be dangerous to your pond and its habitants.
Blanket weed needs the same nutrients to grow as all your other aquatic plants. It can grow very quickly and will easily outperform and outgrow your other marginal or floating plants as well as killing off any submerged plants due to blocking out any natural light.

As well as competing with your plants, blanket weed will compete with fish for vital oxygen which could lead to your fish dying through lack of oxygen. Not only can the blanket weed deprive fish of much needed oxygen, fish can sometimes swim into the blanketweed, get stuck and then not be able to free themselves and eventually dye.

How to Remove Blanketweed

It is not advisable to remove living blanket weed as this will cause the weed to release spores into the pond which will in turn, create more blanketweed. We suggest treating your pond firstly with Pond Equaliser to get your ponds water quality perfect and then using Blanketweed Klear. Blanketweed klear is easy to use, simply scatter it on the blanket weed, wait for it to die and then scoop out the dead weed and either throw it into your garden waste bin or composting bin. Blanket weed is full of nitrogen which is good for composting.

Preventing Blanketweed

After you have removed the blanket weed from your pond you will want to do everything possible to prevent it from returning in the future. Be sure to have lots of aquatic plants that will absorb excess nutrients in the pond. Keep your fish stock in line with the size of your pond, too many fish can lead to excess waste being produced which can create even more excess nutrients. Check your water quality regularly with a test kit and keep your pH, KH & GH levels balanced.

What Are The Ideal Water Parameters For Ponds?

They are often overlooked, but having the correct water parameters is one of the most important factors to a successful, healthy pond. Providing your parameters are correct, your fish will be healthy, aerobic bacteria will be able to thrive and do its job properly and any pond plants that you may have will be able to contribute to the condition of your pond.

Correct Oxygen Levels in Ponds

The maximum amount of dissolved oxygen that can physically be held in water is 18.0mg/L. The minimum that you should let that figure get to is 6.0mg/L, anything lower than this and your fish will start to suffer. Some fish will be able to tolerate lower oxygen levels than this but it is advisable to try and keep the minimum at 6.0mg/L. Cold water can hold almost twice as much oxygen than warm water so keep a close eye on your oxygen levels throughout the summer months.

There are a couple of things you can do to maximise oxygen levels in your pond. Keep plenty of oxygenating plants, install a waterfall as this will bring in oxygen with the water and if needed, install an air stone or fountain to inject further oxygen.

If you need to make a partial water change for something, it is important to test your oxygen levels as tap water naturally has very low levels of oxygen in it.

What Should Pond pH Be?

Ph levels in ponds are very important but first we are going to have a quick chemistry re-cap on what pH is. Ph is a numeric scale that is used to determine the acidity or alkalinity of a substance, in this case pond water. The scale ranges from 1-14 with 7 being neutral, 1 being the most acidic and 14 being the most basic, or highest alkaline level. Battery acid has a pH of 1.0 whilst Lye (used in household drain cleaners) has a pH of 13.5, both can be just as dangerous as the other and give you a good indication as to why keeping a balanced pH level I so important.

Now that we have gone over what pH is, lets cover why it affects your pond, what it should be and how to change your pH level. A fish’s natural pH level is 7.4 so it is best practice to keep your pond as close to this level as possible. Fish can tolerate slight fluctuations in the acidity or alkalinity of the water but only down to about 6.8 and up to 8.2. When testing your pond’s pH level, be sure to test it twice in the same day, once first thing in the morning and once late in the day, preferably evening and preferably during similar weather conditions. The reason for testing twice is the algae that will be lurking in your pond. Algae is only active during daylight hours and when it is active it absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide found in your pond causing your pH to read high. If your pH level looks a bit too high or low, you need to gradually bring it back down, you can do this by using Pond Equaliser.

It is crucial to keep your pH as neutral as possible. High alkaline levels in the water will increase the toxicity of any ammonia that exists in your pond, leading to possible Ammonia poisoning.

What are KH Levels?

KH is the measure of carbonate hardness in your pond and carbonate hardness is the amount of calcium carbonate in your pond. Calcium carbonates are very important as they feed the nitrifying bacteria that remove harmful ammonia and nitrates from your pond water. These bacteria are part of your ponds bio-filter, without this, your pond would be under great threat and would rely heavily on your mechanical filtration system. KH levels should be around 125ppm but they can fluctuate safely by about 20ppm either way.

Unfortunately, as with low pH levels and low oxygen levels, the effects of low KH levels can’t be seen by eye. You may notice that your ponds condition will deteriorate, Ammonia and Nitrate levels will rise and your pond will become more susceptible to pH swings which will ultimately lead to a pH crash!

Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates

Ammonia is released into your pond when your fish excrete waste. The nitrifying bacteria that are fed by calcium carbonate then break down the ammonia and turn it into Nitrite. Nitrite is then broken down further, to its final state, Nitrate. Nitrate is the final by-product of Ammonia. All three of these can be dangerous to your fish and should be monitored carefully. Ideally you should be removing any Ammonia in your pond to avoid it damaging your fish or breaking down further. Ammonia can cause Ammonia poisoning that can lead to death, Nitrites and Nitrates are not as dangerous but if your fish already have Ammonia poisoning they will be weak and susceptible to the irreversible effects of Nitrates.

Ammonia levels should be kept as low as possible, ideally at 0ppm but they can be okay at 0.5ppm if your pH level is neutral. Remember, the higher your pH, the more toxic Ammonia becomes so it is best practice to keep the level low. Likewise, Nitrites should be kept as low as possible around 0.25ppm but ideally at zero. Finally, Nitrate levels should be around 20-60ppm.

To summarise, water parameters are one of the most important things to monitor in your pond and they should be as follows;

Oxygen – Minimum of 6.0mg/Litre

pH – Keep your pH level as neutral as possible, around 7/7.5

KH – Keep your level between 95ppm and 150ppm

Ammonia – Should be at zero but can go up to 0.5ppm depending on the pH level

Nitrite – Like Ammonia, it should be as low as possible

Nitrate – Can be in-between 20 and 60ppm

You can stabilise pH, KH and ammonia levels with Pond Equaliser and stabilise Nitrate levels with Nitrate Klear.

Why Do Ponds Go Green In The Spring?

Ponds turn green in early spring. That’s pretty much gospel among pond keepers; it’s just the way things are.

Why does it happen?

Basically, there are two types of bacteria in a pond – aerobic (good) and anaerobic (bad).  These two types of bacteria are in a constant battle to digest the organic debris that ends up in the pond (twigs, leaves, fish food etc). When the anaerobic (bad) bacteria digests it, it takes a lot longer and produces gases like nitrogen and phosphorus which, in turn, act as a food source for algae. When we add aerobic (good) bacteria to the pond, they overcome to the anaerobic (bad) bacteria and digest the organic debris a lot quicker and don’t create any harmful gases. This is why, when you use bacterial pond treatments you are getting to the source of the problem; rather than just eating the algae, you are starving it of its food source.

The problem is that anaerobic (bad) bacteria can digest organic matter as low as 6°C, whereas aerobic (good) bacteria treatments traditionally work around 10-12°C. This means that all winter your pond is losing the battle against algae and when spring comes, the algae starts to feed.

It’s all about to change

Envii Winter Pond Treatment is a new type of aerobic bacteria treatment.  It works as low as 4°C which means that you can win the battle of the bacteria all year round.  Its task-specific bacteria digest the organic debris meaning that when you come back to pond in spring, it will stay clear. Then continue to treat with Envii Pond Klear and your pond will never go green again!

This is the first pond treatment designed to work all through the winter!

For more information on Envii Winter Pond Treatment, click here.