bacteria and enzymes


Old 06-30-13, 08:53 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
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bacteria and enzymes

This may not exactly be on topic, but I have been unable to find any information elsewhere. I have a half acre pond with 2 feet of organic debris in the bottom of it from years of accumulated leaves. Clearly dredging is an expensive option. My search on the Internet revealed a number of companies which are selling products that consists basically of bacteria and some enzymes which allegedly digest this organic debris over time.

I am wondering if anyone has had any experience with these products? Are they really effective? They certainly are expensive!

I have also seen advertised in the septic tank literature, and on the shelves of home stores, products which also contain gazillions of bacteria and enzymes. These products are designed to digest the muck that we flushed down our toilets. Does anyone know if the bacteria in these far, far less expensive products are essentially similar to the bacteria and enzymes in the far more expensive products offered by the pond people?

I did notice that the enzymes in the septic tank products seem focused on digesting cellulose and fats from household wastes (toilet paper and cooking grease). Are the enzymes in the septic tank products much different from the enzymes in the pond products?

Presumably the zillions of bacteria and enzymes which are sold to put into our palms are harmless to docs and fish and farm animals and dogs and birds. Are the bacteria in the septic tank products any different?
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Old 06-30-13, 10:51 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 18,561
I have tried several different biological additives in my pond and found that they did very little. The ones that contained a flocullant made some small clear patches but they were short lived. Basically I think mud ponds soon reach a point of equilibrium where they are supporting as much bacteria as they can. They will naturally reproduce until until food, space or oxygen limits their growth. You can add more but it's like adding water to an already full glass.

I got the biggest benefit from aeration. Aerobic bacteria can digest waste considerably (I've read 20x) faster than anaerobic so getting oxygen in the water is very beneficial. My pond had 2-3 feet of muck and with aeration the depth has increased about a foot as the muck layer was digested. I saw the biggest benefit in the first couple years but I still see further albeit gradual improvement.

My pond is about 3/4 acre and I have a 1/4 hp rotary vane compressor feeding a diffuser that's down about 8'. It's a bit undersized but still had a tremendous affect on the pond. If this pump ever dies I'll probably replace it with a 1/3 or 1/2 hp model.

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