When most people who maintain a pond hear the word bacteria, they are filled with terror, as there is a slew of harmful bacteria that will wreak havoc on the quality of an outdoor body of water. Despite the presence of harmful bacteria, several forms of beneficial bacteria help to keep water clear and improve the overall health of any plants or fish that may be present. The following is a look at what forms of bacteria are helpful and ways to increase their presence.

Aerobic Bacteria

Bacteria that rely on oxygen to replicate are known as aerobic. These tiny, microscopic organisms consume contaminants in the water and use them as food, which helps to reduce the occurrence of cloudy water by reducing the number of floating particles, which also helps to prevent accidental ingestion by fish. Bacteria may reduce the oxygen level in the water, so it is important to monitor it on a regular basis to ensure fish and plants have what is needed to thrive.

Anaerobic Bacteria

The counterpart of aerobic bacteria are those organisms that do not require oxygen to function. While they are helpful at maintaining oxygen levels, they are often less efficient than those classified as aerobic and provide 1/4 of the cleaning ability in the same amount of time. Anaerobic bacteria are also slightly more challenging to maintain and should not be relied upon as the primary form of water filtration.

Cyanobacteria

Cyanobacteria, or blue algae, may seem like a problem for a pond, but in fact, it is an essential part of any water-based ecosystem. These bacteria are a crucial source of food for fish and other water-based organisms, and the provide a vast array of beneficial cleaning tasks and help to clarify water. Adding beneficial algae is typically easy, as it will flourish as long as the water is not treated with an algaecide product.

Maintaining healthy water in a pond isn’t easy, but with a little research and the right balance of bacteria, it is possible. To learn more about the benefits of bacteria and the various ways to keep a pond healthy, be sure to check out cbmyers.kinja.com.