What Are Beneficial Mircobes?

 

Holistic pond management provides the basis for Inspired By Nature’s all natural pond management. Holistic management is the process of determining the underlying causes of pond problems and developing best management practices to solve the problems.  Bottom diffused aeration provides effective means of managing the pond’s ecosystem.  Another component, microbial application, proves to be effective in controlling water quality problems.  At the same time, it holds the potential to increase fish production within the pond.

What exactly are “Beneficial Microbes”?

Microbes or bacteria are small, single-celled organisms that occur in practically all conditions imaginable.  Many are aerobic, requiring oxygen to survive.  However, a number of bacteria are capable of surviving in the absence of oxygen.  Although variously shaped, they are typically round or rod shaped.  These organisms are so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye. In fact, approximately 8,700,000 round rod-shaped bacteria cells could be contained in the period at the end of this sentence.  With few exceptions, microbes’ primary role is that of decomposers, consuming organic muck and dead material and allowing it to be used within the system.  In fact, without bacterial decomposition, your pond would fill with dead material very quickly.

Like all other living organisms, bacteria need to eat to survive.  To feed, per say, bacteria absorb nutrients that are available within their surrounding area. To facilitate this decomposition, bacteria actually release enzymes that allow for the breakdown of tissue (animal or plant) externally. As the dead tissue breaks down, their components are absorbed and made available for the growth of the bacteria, which are then followed by assimilation of this material into the cell.

Another aspect of microbial growth is that of a boom and bust growth pattern.  Somewhat similar to an algal bloom, microbe populations tend to grow and reproduce very rapidly, and are then subject to a crash in the population as their food sources are depleted. Implications…following initial introductions of the microbes, microbe growth will be very rapid, producing an exponential growth of the population.  Under these conditions, the microbial population can double from every 20 minutes to up to every 8 hours.  The result, rapid growth and rapid consumption of both reactive nutrients and organic sludge.  Microbes, like your fish, consume oxygen.  Therefore, an aeration system may be necessary as a result of the rapid respiration that results from the initial microbial growth in older ponds.

Role of Beneficial Microbes in Your Pond

Research has shown the importance of microbes within aquatic ecosystems.  Refered to as “The Microbial Loop,” this process emphasizes the role that bacteria play in transferring energy within aquatic systems.  Traditional food chain theory emphasizes the role that primary producers(algae), primary consumers(zooplankton), and secondary consumers (small fish).  In the background, however, are the decomposers.  Although sometimes overlooked, these organisms play a critical role in any food web.

Typically, microbes are seen only for the role they play in decomposition, allowing for the recycling of nutrients, making them available for future plant and animal growth.  However, they also play an important role in transferring energy to the primary consumers such as the zooplankton.  The result, utililization of energy from the decomposition of organic decay in addition to that of photosynthesis by primary producers.

Within every pond there are billions upon billions of microbes. In fact, there are microbial populations established in nearly every aquatic environment.  The key, however, lies in the diversity of the microbes that are present.

Each microbe plays a slightly different role or niche, that allows for efficient decomposition of organic matter within the system.  In addition to the microbes, enzymes are added to the mix.  The enzymes enhance the natural role of bacteria, allowing for more rapid mobilization of the nutrients within organic matter (sludge).

Now, this may seem somewhat contradictory to our goal of managing excessive nutrients.  Why would I want to mobilize nutrients that are tied up in the sludge at the bottom of my pond? Number one, efficient decomposition of this sludge will permit you to actually increase the depth of the pond.  Number two, the decomposition of the material will allow those nutrients that are piling up in your pond bottom to become available for fish growth.  In addition, fewer nutrients are available for algae growth in the water column.

As previously stated, algae are the base of the aquatic food chain.  This large food source is consumable by small organisms such as daphnia and copepods, which are in turn consumed by small fish.  However, bacteria can also play an important role in this food web.  Many of the small filter-feeding organisms that consume algae are also able to consume bacteria. This can be especially important in situations where filamentous or other algae inedible to zooplankton are present.  This has the potential of converting inedible food sources into fish biomass via microbial consumption.  At the same time, a transformation of nuisance algae into more consumable bacteria shows improvements in water quality as well as holding the potential for increasing fish growth.

When used with Inspired By Nature’s other holistic management approaches such as periphytic filtration and bottom diffused aeration, microbial enhancements can produce outstanding results in water clarity and reduction of organic sludge.  At the same time, we can also enhance fisheries by providing an edible food source for many of the zooplankton and protozoans within the pond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Tilapia are NOT Equal

IBN sells ONLY Pure Blue Tilapia NOT hybrid Tilapia. When you buy Blue Tilapia from IBN you get:

  • 6" plus fish that are Brood Stock - ready to reproduce
  • Blue Tilapia live longer 
  • Begin eating plant material right away

Why Stocking "Tilapia" is not the same

  • Smaller Sized Fish are not ready to reproduce
  • Stocked Later in Season
  • Die Earlier in Season

 

By stocking smaller Tilapia you will NOT have the same amount of overall consumption! Don't fall into the trap of buying smaller fish. 

 

Key to Natural Pond Management

Nutrients are key in natural pond management. Our management techniques identify nutrient problems, develop means of reducing nutrient input, and provide long term control of residual nutrients. In doing so, we are taking the excessive nutrients responsible for nuisance plant growth and converting them into more manageable plant and animal growth.  Using an array of tools such as Beneficial Microbes and Bottom Aeration, Inspired By Nature, Inc. provides safe, low maintenance, and affordable solutions for your pond or lake.

To inquire or order any of our products or services please contact us at 419-669-4084

Tilapia

In 2010, we introduced Blue Tilapia as a tool to help manage ponds naturally. Since that time we have seen incredible results! Tilapia are NOT a magic bullet but when used at proper stocking rates they can be a very effective. Tilapia alone are not going to solve all of your pond troubles! Read more about Tilapia here

Schooner Farms

Sustainable, Non-Conventional Farming, inspired by nature! In 2009 we added another segment ot our business - Schooner Farms. Visit us at www.schoonerberries.com

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