Tag Archives: pond treatments

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.

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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

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. 

Customer Stories – Adrian Rodgers

Here’s a great review we recieved about Pond Klear from Amazon Customer, Adrian Rodgers –

“For as many years as I can recall our well stocked fish pond has turned green in spring and we haven’t seen a fish until almost autumn. We’ve tried plants (much to the delight of our grass carp), as many chemical remedies to reduce the algae bloom as there are on the market and traditional barley hay. It’s safe to say that we have never known what eventually gets on top of the problem, it just clears one day.

This year however is different. We introduced your product in early April during which, luckily for us, there was a really cold spell which, presumably delayed the onset of our annual algal bloom problem. Your product states that it works at cold temperatures but nevertheless given our 10 year experience of green water and the multiple products used I must say not much success was anticipated. I’m delighted to state that I was completely wrong. I followed up with a second dose a week later and at about 1 month from dose 1 I’ve added a third. We’re now mid May and the pond is delightfully clear despite the warmer weather and long daylight hours. We no longer have to wait until feeding time for a glimpse of a fish mouth!

Further, the slurry I remove from the filter box no longer sends a whiffy bad eggs aroma up my nose when I lift the lid and I suppose this is a further effect of your product.

An excellent product which I will buy again.

Regards

Adrian Rodgers, delighted customer.”

Click here to buy Envii Pond Klear 

Customer Stories – Wolfhound Mum

“Wolfhound Mum” bought a bottle of Pond Klear on Amazon. Here’s what she wrote about her experience

“After having problems with both my UV lights, the water in my pond had become really bad, not only green, but the debris suspended in the water made it impossible to see all but the largest fish (& then only when near the surface). I bought this on a whim, not really convinced it would work, it seemed too good to be true. Wow… This stuff is amazing. I used double the dose as recommended for the 1st application on a Wednesday night & by Friday morn’ not only could I see all my fish, I could see the bottom of the pond. The fact it was harmless to dogs was essential as even though my pond is raised, our wolfhounds use it as a large drinking bowl. They are all fine but probably scare the heck out of my previously sight impaired fish. Can’t recommend enough. I would not have been able to see these fish just 4 days ago.”

Click here to buy from our website .

 

 

 

How To Clean A Pond Without A Filter

We’re constantly being asked –  Will Envii Pond Klear work on a pond without a filter?

The short answer is that it does work on ponds without filters.

Here’s the longer answer…

The bacteria in Pond Klear eat the organic matter (i.e. twigs, bird poo, fish food etc) that decays causing algae and sludge. However, it would be a tall order for them to eat all of the algae and sludge created so they also detach it from any surfaces and clump it together allowing it to be caught in the filter.

So Pond Klear WILL work in a pond without a filter but it won’t work anywhere near as quickly.

Because of this we generally recommend that people use Pond Klear Xtra and Sludge Klear in a pond without a filter. These products together have a far higher concentration of bacteria and work in tandem to eat the organic matter. While it is more expensive, you are guaranteed results.

It’s also worth physically cleaning your pond as best you can by removing anything from the surface. This will give the bacteria less to do and make it work quicker.

For more information on the Envii Pond Range, click here.

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