Biological Filters & Good Bacteria
Simply put biological filters use naturally occurring good bacteria to convert harmful chemicals into less toxic & usable compounds creating a natural cycle & ecosystem that aids in water quality & health.
Many types of biological filters exist but all use similar methods. The filter usually contains some type of porous substrate with a large surface area including gravel, lava, ribbed plastic balls, beads, or synthetic mats. These substrates become the home to millions of good bacteria. As water is circulated thru the filter media the bacteria convert the harmful chemicals into less toxic components and return the filtered water back into the pond. It is important to match the filter capacity to the volume of water in your pond. Undersized filters will not sufficiently filter the pond & become clogged with debris and require excessive cleaning and maintenance. The biological filter is only one component in creating a well balanced natural ecosystem. Circulating water, plants and fish, rocks and gravel, and the addition of good bacteria all work as a cooperating team, efficiently & naturally maintaining the pond.
Water Temperature Directly Effects The Population Of Bacteria. At temperatures below 45-50 degrees very little biological activity is occurring in the pond and your biological filter is not yet established. For this reason we recommend you “jump start” your pond when the water temperatures consistently reach 50-55 degrees in the spring. By introducing large doses of good bacteria (aerobic) in the spring you quickly establish a large population of bacteria that would otherwise not be there in such beneficial numbers. At this time of year many aquatic plants are awaking and do not provide shade and are not consuming nutrients as they do when actively growing. It may take 2-6 weeks to establish bacteria numbers that actually start helping water quality. Do not get discouraged if an algae bloom occurs at this time. Most ponds will go thru this stage as the pond begins to balance itself. At this time do not empty and refill your pond in an attempt to have clean water. Doing this will only put your pond back to square one and is not the solution. Patience is the key to success as the pond wakes up from its winter nap. Most pond or pet supply stores with water garden supplies should carry liquid bacteria. This bacteria solution contains live bacteria and is used too seed your biological filter and should be labeled as such. We have had success with Aquascape Designs AquaClearerTM We suggest researching the Aquatic Nitrogen Cycle for more information on this subject.
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