Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment

Posted by: Bob VanOrman

Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 05/04/12 04:26 PM

Hi all,
It's been a while since my last post, mostly just reading everyone elses has to say. Good Stuff! Been reading and thinking alot about these Muck Eating Bacteria and thought I'd give it a try. I've read alot of articles and studies and the results thereof. I need to prove it to myself most of all to find out if it is "snake oil" as some here have called it, or does it do what it is suppose to do.

As a disclaimer and to make sure what my intentions are here, I work for no company nor am I promoting any products in any way. I am a pond/lake owner in Southwest Michigan who has been battling muck and weeds for years. I only want to learn and educate myself of any and all efforts of lake management. I Love doing the whole lake management thingy anyhow. If I can help others in this experiment then how much greater this world will be. Hallelujah!

Last year (2011) I ran my aeration system 24/7 May thru mid October without the addition of bacteria. I'm sure there are beneficial bacteria already down there, but I did not add any. Things I observed last year were:

1)The water quality was considerably clearer.
2)rotten egg smell disappeared.
3)weeds were fewer (milfoil, algae) although still a problem.
4)sandy area was exposed on the shoreline by the end of summer by 3-4 feet from the shores edge.

My hope this year (2012) is that by adding a special blend of bacteria the muck will be reduced much faster. Anerobic verses Aerobic bacteria is where I find it the most interesting and it makes alot of sense to me. Here is what I'm doing. I have a 14 acre lake that has been around since the early 60's and is surrounded by trees. The south side of the lake where I live has the deepest muck. I havn't officially measured it, but I have pounded 4x4x12' posts in the muck for building docks and things and never hit anything solid. Very deep muck to say the least.

This year April 1, 2012 I started aerating the south side of the lake just like the previous year with 4 aeration stations that consists of 2 disc diffusers on each station. The average depth in this location is 8 feet deep. The diffusors are approximately 150-200 feet from shore. This is all before adding any bacteria. As a gauge to monitor the muck digestion throughout the summer I have an old wooden broom stick that I painted the first 10" RED and the rest of the broom stick is painted white. From here on out I will refer this broom stick as the "muck gauge". This muck gauge is stationed at the end of my dock, which extends 50ft from shore, and was pounded into the muck. I pounded/pushed it all the way down where the muck level was even with the line where the RED paint meets the white paint. The Red portion of the muck gauge can be seen under the water fairly easy by standing on the end of the dock. The idea is that the more the white is exposed over time the shallower the muck gets. The muck gauge will stay in this position all summer long without being disturbed.
After allowing the aeration system to run for 4 weeks I added 1 pound of this specially formulated Muck Eating Bacteria to each aeration station totaling 4 pounds in all.

I have a video that I will post here on this thread that I recorded as I poured the bacteria directly onto the boil of each aeration station. You can see in the video the 4 aeration stations. The introduction date of the bacteria was April 29, 2012. I will continue to make observations throughout the summer months and post my findings and pictures of the Muck gauge as time progresses.

If anyone has questions or comments, please post. Be nice! I am highly interested in your thoughts and comments. I will be posting on this thread throughout the summer to update everyone as to the progress.

(I'll post the video once I figure out how)

Stay tuned for more...
Bob
Posted by: CoachB

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 05/04/12 05:38 PM

sounds like a great experiment. With all of the things that we see in the catalogs, I always wonder if they really work and will my pond look like the pictures. I look forward to you posts and findings. I am also trying some muck pellets this year and have just start aeration for the first time.
Posted by: all_wet

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 05/04/12 07:30 PM

Very interested in your experiment Bob! Just started aerating my 20+ year old pond this spring. Smell is gone, but not sure how the muck is doing.
Posted by: rmedgar

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 05/04/12 08:31 PM

Good post, Bob. This will be interesting to follow.
Posted by: ewest

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 05/04/12 09:18 PM

Thanks for the work and effort to share. I have studied the products and science some and have serious doubts about the effectiveness of such products in big waters 5+ acres. Most times they are cost prohibitive. I hope someone does develop a low cost product that works as advertised.
Posted by: Bill Cody

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 05/04/12 09:38 PM

Bob - good work so far. A lot of us are interesed in your updates. I assume you bought a specific brand of bacteria/microbes. Do you know if the blend has added enzymes or other enhancers? Can you share the brand name at this point?
Posted by: MuckDoctor

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 05/05/12 07:53 AM

Bob, interesting post! We have a test area (shallow end) of a 1 acre pond under aeration and pelletized "muck degrading" microbial blend product. Our clients problem was that the area had lost most of its depth due to organic sediments and started growing many weeds. We wanted to dredge it out, but couldn't get our equipment anywhere near the area. We have passed up many jobs like this in the past. So I started contacting any company that stated they could degrade organic material. We finally chose one that actually sent us some case studies. (no, we won't be sharing them on the forum) We started the "experiment" last month with 38" of muck in the small cove. We have a 2 head shallow water aerator with about 200' of hose running to the bottom diffusers. We are adding 10# of the product to the area effected by the sediments, not to the aeration column like you chose. Let's hope we both have success! This could mean a less expensive fix to a wide spread problem! I will try to update to this thread as the summer progresses-
Posted by: Bob VanOrman

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 05/05/12 09:02 AM

Bill Cody,
Thank you for question. The reason I didn't call out the specific brand of bacteria I purchased was I'm not sure if it was the right thing to do. Free advertizement and all. Also, I didn't want my posts deleted or edited by one of the moderators because of it. The main reason I have not posted the video I promised is that I am trying to edit out the audio parts that refer to the brand. Trying to do a little computer magic there and bleep out all references to the brand and company. Should have thought of that first before making the video I guess.

Now, if it's ok to post that kind of information I will be happy to do so. There are no enzymes added this go round. The enzymes I understand help break down the cellulose plant matter better, which is what my muck consists of mainly.
Posted by: Bluegillerkiller

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 05/05/12 09:08 AM

Why would you not share the studies..? Obviously if they gave them too you and were good results they'd wanna share them..
Posted by: Bluegillerkiller

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 05/05/12 09:11 AM

And bob I'd say your in the clear.. It's not like your pushing products or slamming a product.. What your doin is exactly what this site is all about.. providing good information..
Posted by: Bob VanOrman

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 05/05/12 10:08 AM

The article that was the most convincing to me was a project that was done on a large lake near me called Indian Lake. This lake is directly east of me about 40-50 miles here in southwest Michigan. I've been fishing on this lake before as a kid. The article claims 1.3 feet of muck was digested the first season and is very detailed. Only a portion of the lake was done, which was the southern bay of 88 acres. Anyhow, here is the link to the PDF file:
Link

Bob
Posted by: Bob VanOrman

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 05/08/12 03:01 PM

Video of bacteria being introduced into the lake:

Video

More to follow...
Bob
Posted by: Bob-O

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 05/28/12 10:57 AM

Hi Bob, it's been one month since you added the bacteria. Have you seen any results this soon, did you think you might? In the video you mentioned the product as CFLO, is this the correct product that you used? I see the company has several products with C-Flo in the name such as C-Flo 09 and 05(iirc). Thanks for sharing your experiment with us and best wishes to you and your project. Bob-O
Posted by: Bob VanOrman

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 05/30/12 04:44 PM

Hi Bob-O,
The product in the video is indeed CFLO. Not the C-Flo 09 or 05 variety. Honestly I have not seen any changes yet. My areation system has been running 24/7 for the past 2 months now with the bacteria being added on April 29, 2012.

Your name is very familiar to me. My son-in-law calls me Bob-O also. haha!

Happy trails,
Bob
Posted by: SK63

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 05/30/12 06:07 PM

For the last 4 years,I've been using heavy amounts of bacteria in my 30+ year old pond, have seen some results but nothing mind boggling, it still needs to be dredged out and I still don't have the money, lol. This year, I'm using more enzymes than bacteria, will see how that seemed to have worked at years end.
Posted by: Bob-O

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 05/30/12 07:20 PM

Hey Bob Van-O, know the definition of a son-in-law? Somebody that's not good enough for your daughter but makes excellent grandchildren. Bob-O PS Backhand him if he slips up and calls ya BoBo !!
Posted by: sleepyweasel

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 05/30/12 07:27 PM

This is an excellent post and a very interesting subject. Been thinkin' on bacteria myself lately.

I haven't added any bacteria to my pond yet, though I am considering a concoction of Rid-X and Roebic mixed with some warm mucky water.
What I have noticed is that the neighbors dog comes over for a swim several times a day and usually swims on the north end of my pond. Where the dog swims, I've noticed that the muck and algae that was on the rocks in the pond is now nearly non-existent in this area. I'm not sure if this if from the dog stirring up and adding oxygen to the bottom in this area when it enters and leaves the water or if it's just displaced everything out further into deeper water where I don't notice it. At any rate, the rocks in this area are cleaner than anywhere else in the pond.
Dan
Posted by: SK63

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 05/30/12 07:52 PM

Originally Posted By: sleepyweasel
This is an excellent post and a very interesting subject. Been thinkin' on bacteria myself lately.

I haven't added any bacteria to my pond yet, though I am considering a concoction of Rid-X and Roebic mixed with some warm mucky water.
What I have noticed is that the neighbors dog comes over for a swim several times a day and usually swims on the north end of my pond. Where the dog swims, I've noticed that the muck and algae that was on the rocks in the pond is now nearly non-existent in this area. I'm not sure if this if from the dog stirring up and adding oxygen to the bottom in this area when it enters and leaves the water or if it's just displaced everything out further into deeper water where I don't notice it. At any rate, the rocks in this area are cleaner than anywhere else in the pond.
Dan


That's probably close to raking, which I think the best results can be achieved. I raked a small area several years ago and saw very quick results
Posted by: RC51

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 07/06/12 11:43 AM

Not sure where we are on this post but thought I would put my 2 cents in. I used this product this year also. Started in April myself. I have put 2, 1 pound bags of this in my pond now. I waited about 6 weeks between before second dose. Here is what I have noticed.

It does seem to be working. My pond around the shoreling is where I am seeing it the most. My pond has gone from a black muck to a more sandy color muck. How much muck is it eating away?? It's really hard to tell. I know the one area I got out in the muck was about up to my ankle in my rubber boots and now it's about just over the shoe part. So I think it has taken a couple of inches away at this point. I don't airate 24/7 though only 12 hours a night. I think too like other have said. If you did this and used your air along with it and went around your pond and drug an anchor or a heavy rake in the muck it would sure help this process along I bet. Anyway just what I have seen with this product so far. Seems to work pretty good. Next time I am up at the land I will try and take some pictures of the shore and deeper spots. You can easily tell the difference where the cflo is slowly working it's way out deeper and deeper.

P.S. Keep in mind this is no quick cure! I bet I have at least 2 to 3 more years of treating before I see good results. But hey 2 inches or so a year nothing wrong with that in my book. I'll try and keep you all posted.
Posted by: Slivers

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 09/25/12 03:50 PM

Bob,

Our small lake is in south central Michigan.

What are your results so far?
Can you see the white part of the muck gauge so far?

I hear all these testimonials about how these bacteria really work but it's always from companies that want to sell me their very, very expensive bacteria.

So I bought a pound and I'm starting my own tests.

I'd sure like to hear some more results.

I'd also like to find out what the scientific name of the bacteria is that they are marketing.
Posted by: gallop

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 09/25/12 05:09 PM

If you have a 14 acre lake with an ave depth of 8 ft you have roughly 36.5 million
Gallons of h2o. For comparison sake you are adding 4 lbs of bacteria to approx
320 million "pounds" of water. Add to this the fact that your pond already contains a gazillion of these bacteria ( I counted) and I have to believe it is the aeration and mechanical disturbance in conjunction with the already present bacteria that is accounting for your muck breakdown

I read an article that I can't find now about how much life is in "muck" and the numbers are mind boggling. By aeration and mech disturbance you are providing them with a more favorable work environment. Like opening a bacterial Starbucks.


The enzymes are interesting, but keep in mind that enzymes are proteins and have
A limited life span before they break down themselves.

I think that in a small landscape pond these additions are significant, but have a hard time
Seeing this in a large bow

I am always willing to admit I am wrong, and I am looking forward to further results. Thank you for posting this experiment and I don't mean to sound disparaging
Posted by: loretta

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 09/25/12 08:34 PM

My original pond was close to 20 years old with a lot of muck before I started adding bacteria. The pond bottom was black and you would sink down about a foot if you tried to enter the pond. After 1 season of adding bacteria without aeration the pond bottom along the shore a couple of feet in went from black to looking almost like new fresh clay. The next season I added aeration to the formula and the cleared area went further in about a foot (but not a foot deeper).

I re-dug my pond 2 years ago to start fresh and have aerated and added bacteria since then, I have no muck at all (yet). I'll update as time passes. My pond is still young and small at 1/4 S.A., 1:3' slope, 13' deep and I aerate 24/7. If you don't aerate then the more efficient aerobic bacteria (vs. anaerobic bacteria) won't survive and the muck in the deeper areas won't get digested.
Posted by: Peepaw

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 09/25/12 09:33 PM

As I understand this, the bacteria is only, and most effective on Organic material. Our lake has a great deal of sediment buildup/muck that is simply dirt and sand from farming. The bacteria isn't an option for us to remove any tangible amount of sediment buildup. Muck is not all created equal.
Posted by: Bob VanOrman

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 09/28/12 09:39 AM

Hi all,
Well, I had the air bubblers system going 24/7 all summer long. What I have seen and experienced is about 5-6 inches of muck actually has been digested. I expected at least 12 inches! Although I am seeing more sandy areas along the shores edge, which is great.

Here's an a story you may find very interesting. Usually every day I walk out on my dock to just take it all in. It was the middle of August on one of those beautiful sunrise mornings I was walking out to the end of the dock to have a sit. I noticed in about 2 feet of water this white thingy sticking out of the muck. I fished it out with a fishing net and discovered that it was a white ceramic coffee cup. It did not match anything we have in the house. It was old looking. I walk that dock every day and never saw it before. So this proves to me that it's working, but just not to the extent of what I expected.

Here's what I know now! I have discovered that there is heavy layers of fibrous material throughout the depth of the muck. This summer was hot and the water level in the lake was getting very low. The shores edge had receded by about 6 feet and my pontoon boat motor was hitting bottom. I had an idea! It was one of those moments where you say to your buddy... "Here, hold my beer and watch this"! So I backed the pontoon boat into the slip area where the boat motor is facing the shore and tied the boat off to the dock. I gave the boat motor the gas to blow out some of the muck in the boat dock area and make it deeper. What I saw was these huge chunks of fibrous material blowing up from the bottom. Never saw that before either! Later, I grabbed hold of these chunks of fibrous material and pulled them out. What this stuff looked like was particle board, (like what you buy at the lumber yard) that had been water damaged and all swelled up. Only thicker! It was then I thought about when I purchased the bacteria back in the early spring of this year (2012). The recommendation at that time was to add this enzyme product that breaks down cellulose along with the bacteria. Well, I didn't buy the enzyme product. What I was looking at with these chunks that came up from the bottom was years of decayed plants. These chunks were probably 95% cellulose and 5% other black stuff. I believe this fibrous material has slowed down the digestion process. So with all that said I am lead to believe I need to try again next year with the same experiment, but with the addition of the enzyme that was recommended to me. I would be interested in your comments, thoughts, recommendations here.

It's been fun and I'm encouraged by all the interest here in my experiment. I will continue next spring with another regiment of muck digestion. October is almost here and I'll be shutting down my air bubbler system September 30.

Pond Boss is the best,
Bob
Posted by: Hobart

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 10/21/12 08:28 PM

I've been using the Lake Clear bacteria from the C-FLO people for two summers now in my one acre pond. It has done a great job of eliminating the filamentous algae from my pond. I also installed three bottom aerators and run them 24/7 May through October.

I am now working on the heavy muck layer. I find that the muck pellets which sink to the bottom seem to work best on the high muck areas. I've tried several types.

Removing organic material is a multi-year project. What's required most is patience and a willingness to continue these expensive treatments even when progress seems kind of slow.
Posted by: Hobart

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 10/21/12 08:29 PM

If anyone has multi-year experience with muck digesting pellets, I'd really like to understand how that's going. Thanks!
Posted by: palmerdad

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 06/10/13 11:41 PM

Hello. I'm a fellow pond owner up here in Northern Michigan (Traverse City area) 3 years ago we moved into a house with a natural pond. The first Summer the pond stunk (literally) and had huge algae growth. I was too busy that first Summer to do much about it though.

Two Summers ago I tried to do some manual removal of muck in my 20x40 foot spring fed pond. I would estimate that the pond should be 8-10' deep but was only 4 or so feet deep. I used a diaphragm pump and it worked well (unlike the trash pump I tried before it) but I underestimated the amount of time it took and amount of muck in the pond. (Being spring fed my pond is very cold and even in waders it was hard to stay in there for too long.) At the end of a few days with the rented pump I ended with perhaps 5 cubic yards of good dirt for the garden but this was only a small dent in the pond's accumulation. I introduced rainbow trout at the end of that Summer (2011) and they've done very well since (although the frog population hasn't fared as well!)

In 2012 (last year) I added a diy aerator system (single disk, weighted tubing, and an air pump on shore)that has run 24/7 ever since. Being spring fed and having constant year round in flow and out flow I don't know if I need the aerator but I really want to tackle the muck and deepen the pond. I also used the muck away pellets last year and did notice a difference. For starters there was much less algae bloom growth (perhaps due to the aerator?) The area around the shore went from black to tan and I could see the bottom around the shore for the first time. I also noticed less smell from the pond than in previous years. I continued the aerating and muck away treatments through the winter. I have yet to do a stick test in the middle to see if the 4' depth has improved any.

This Summer I'm contemplating switching to the CFlo and enzyme treatment to see if I think it is better, worse, or any different than the muck away pellets that I'm almost out of. I'd be interested in seeing this post continuing and seeing what results (or lack of) that you've been seeing and what changes (if any) you are trying this year.
Posted by: John Monroe

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 06/11/13 06:43 AM

Just a thought. If raking seems to improve muck elimination then would that seem to suggest that composting is taking place by adding dissolved oxygen and mixing like the composting that takes place for gardening? And would adding KOI carp that grooms the bottom also aid in the mixing of the bottom muck. To test this thought out the next time I go kayaking I know of an area where the carp are very thick and so I will test the bottom for muck. The down side of the large number of carp is the water is very muddy.
Posted by: Bill Cody

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 06/11/13 09:06 AM

Mixing sediments to aerate them significantly speeds decay of those sediments. Aerobic digestion (oxygenated) is a lot faster than anaerobic decay (no oxygen).
Posted by: Cecil Baird1

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 06/11/13 12:07 PM

Color me skeptical. We humans are very good at seeing things subjectively if we want to. And how many other factors could be at play? How much bacteria can you add that isn't already there? How much more likely is it the native bacteria is more likely to work in conjunction with aeration (aerobic decomposition) than adding some exotic strains?

When used with aeration I'd be more inclined to believe the aeration did 99.9 percent of the beneficial results with native bacteria which is already there and adapted to the pond. But hey that's my opinion and you know what they say about opinions.

I once used some bacteria and was astonished to see my filamentous algae disappear. For a time I was a true believer. Over time with this particular trout pond I have noticed this occurs every spring about the same time without adding bacteria. This occurs when water temps warm up a little and Chara (another form of algae but looks more like a plant) becomes established and out competes the FA. Haven't added bacteria in years, and the same phenomenon takes place every year in the spring, after a previous fall drain down when the Chara is dried out. Once the Chara reestablishes itself in the spring - boom the FA is gone. Happening right now.
Posted by: Cecil Baird1

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 06/11/13 12:17 PM

Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Mixing sediments to aerate them significantly speeds decay of those sediments. Aerobic digestion (oxygenated) is a lot faster than anaerobic decay (no oxygen).


Exactly! That is why some septic tanks use aeration and sewage treatment plants uses massive amounts of surface aeration.
Posted by: Greyhound

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 09/10/13 05:54 PM

Any updates Bob?
Posted by: Smith Creek Fish

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 09/10/13 08:18 PM

I, like most, was skeptical about pond bacteria years ago. ***Disclaimer*** I own a fish hatchery and a pond and lake management business and have our own line of bacteria products. I have had the luxury of experimenting with all kinds of beneficial bacteria using other people's money. Some of these pond and lake projects are 6 year "experiments" . What I learned mostly is that the bacteria will work, but it takes time and it takes the correct dosage. A decade of building up muck may take a couple years to get back to normal, especially in the north east where water temps are not in the bacteria optimal operating range for very long. Some ponds were black muck right up to the edge and now they are rocks and tan color non-organic silt. As for the muck pellets, we use a 1oz. about the size of a golf ball. Getting rid of weeds and adding aeration greatly increases the effectiveness. The weeds and especially stuff like blanketing charra prevent O2 from getting to the muck and almost render the pellet useless. Get some Grass Carp first if you have a lot of weeds. We also designed a pelleted corn gluten pellet that has sucrose and bicarb additives that supercharge the bacteria.
Posted by: Greyhound

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 09/11/13 11:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Smith Creek Fish
I, like most, was skeptical about pond bacteria years ago. ***Disclaimer*** I own a fish hatchery and a pond and lake management business and have our own line of bacteria products. I have had the luxury of experimenting with all kinds of beneficial bacteria using other people's money. Some of these pond and lake projects are 6 year "experiments" . What I learned mostly is that the bacteria will work, but it takes time and it takes the correct dosage. A decade of building up muck may take a couple years to get back to normal, especially in the north east where water temps are not in the bacteria optimal operating range for very long. Some ponds were black muck right up to the edge and now they are rocks and tan color non-organic silt. As for the muck pellets, we use a 1oz. about the size of a golf ball. Getting rid of weeds and adding aeration greatly increases the effectiveness. The weeds and especially stuff like blanketing charra prevent O2 from getting to the muck and almost render the pellet useless. Get some Grass Carp first if you have a lot of weeds. We also designed a pelleted corn gluten pellet that has sucrose and bicarb additives that supercharge the bacteria.


Thanks for the information! You are welcome to PM me and tell me wat you think is effective.
Posted by: Bob VanOrman

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 11/04/13 08:44 AM

I have to say that the bacteria did not make a noticeable difference after 2 years. Aeration is the key in my opinion. My theory is that the bacteria are already there and I think some here have eluded to that. I just need to cultivate the bacteria that are already there by aeration. The key word there was cultivate! The bacteria that I am after is the kind that live in the presence of oxygen, which are 30 times more aggressive of muck removal than the Anaerobic version. Aeration, Aeration, Aeration!

I would not recommend adding bacteria for muck removal... Sorry if I'm the Debbie Downer here for anyone in the bacteria selling business!

Bob
Posted by: Cecil Baird1

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 11/04/13 09:07 AM

Bob,

I couldn't agree more. I think much of the credit that goes to adding bacteria should go to aeration which eliminates anoxic conditions where aerobic bacteria can get to work.

I also question the idea of adding exotic strains of bacteria that aren't adapted to a particular pond, as are the bacteria that are already present. And furthermore bacteria like any other organism has a carrying capacity -- so more is not necessarily better.
Posted by: Bill Cody

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 11/04/13 12:12 PM

Bacteria are most beneficial IMO when algaecides have been recently used because many algaecides also kill bacteria. Thus reseeding the pond with beneficial decomposing strains of bacteria makes sense to me.
Posted by: RC51

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 11/04/13 02:12 PM

Well don't want to buck the system here but it has worked for me. Along with my air of course. If you don't have air in your pond dont bother even using any kind of bacteria. The last 2 years out of 3 I have used a differenct product and I have seen results. Course I can't sit here and say would I or wouldn't I have had the same results without using it cause I don't know?? I do have an area of my pond though that has gone from 6 or so inches of muck to about 1.5 inches. So something is working. I think a combination of the 2 is the best. Just don't over do it. I only use 2 one pound bags for my 1 acre pond. 1 in June and 1 in August.

Like I said though I have had air running all 3 years also so I can't sit here and tell you that it's all the bacterias doing cause I am sure that it's NOT!!

RC

RC
Posted by: canyoncreek

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 03/25/15 03:27 PM

There has been interest about this on the BP forum lately. I see several fellow Michigan pond owners doing experiments with various enzymes and bacteria in summer of 2012.

Bob VanOrman, Slivers, CoachB? Loretta? Any progress to report since then?

Vasteras70, this is a good read for you!
Posted by: Bob-O

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 08/10/15 07:52 PM

Bump, Bump. Anyone?
Posted by: cb100

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 08/10/15 10:36 PM

I just discovered a product that is an enzyme and bacteria product.you can brew the product with a quart of the product a quart of molasses and four and a half gallons of water. You can keep brewing the product with what you make.so the price is very reasonable.I have started to treat my pond and I have placed some measuring sticks in the muck and it appears to be digesting some of the muck.I haven't been able to get any aeration setup yet.
Posted by: john kelsey

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 08/11/15 07:33 AM

What is the name of the product?
Posted by: Bob-O

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 08/11/15 08:50 AM

Cool CB, this is such an interesting topic I'm glad someone has more info. Name of product+1. How did you find this product? Do you know what the molasses does?
Posted by: RC51

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 08/11/15 09:46 AM

This subject could go on and on that's for sure! In 2010 I used Muck Away one year.... Did not much care for it... I switched to a product called C-Flo in 2011. Been using 2 bags of it ever year now. I have seen it work first hand for me along with my air. Although I do, do a couple other things to help this process along.

1. I use air and C-flo combination now for 4 years.

2. I walk around in my pond a lot along the shore in my waiters (why) you may ask? Well I believe it helps break the muck up and stir things up some. Gets things working.

3. I will take a rake a heavy garden type rake drill a hole in the top of the handle and drag it behind my boat around my pond. (In the spring mind you before my chara sets in) I believe this helps dig into the first few inches of the muck and once again gets things activated and moving.

I know by doing these things I have lost at least anywhere from 6 to 12 inches of muck over the last 4 years depending where you are in the pond.

Here is what I can see from it.

1. Pond seems to be much clearer cleaner and no stink.
2. I still have some but not near as much algae in the spring.
3. My fish seem to be very happy and look better than ever!
4. I can actually feel rocks and bottom under my feet when I walk around my pond now. They are still about 3 inches under muck but at least I can feel the now compared to when I first started.

Others are skeptical and that's fine, that's what this is about talking things out and what you think does or don't work.

This is what I can tell you.

Ben. Bacteria by itself is not no quick fix. It takes work and a combination of the things I am doing to help it along.

Now here is the question that I don't know? How much muck would I have lost if I just used air and walked around my pond and pulled the rake behind my boat and never use any B. Bacteria? I don't know cause I started using it right away and never looked back as my process worked so well for me.....

RC
Posted by: Bob-O

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 08/11/15 10:56 AM

Good info RC, thanks.
Does anyone know at what temp(water) the bacteria works best?
Posted by: RC51

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 08/11/15 11:03 AM

Yes your water temp really needs to be about 55. Closer to 60 or higher is best. At least with the product I am using.

RC
Posted by: Bob-O

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 08/11/15 01:04 PM

Thamks RC
Posted by: palmerdad

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 12/13/15 10:56 PM

Pond update from my post in '13. I ran out of bacteria supplement last year ('14) and got lazy and didn't get any more. By the end of this Summer ('15) the muck is definitely worse and I'm having algae blooms. Have been running the air 24/7 for the last couple of years. I know the diffuser is dirty and what used to be small bubbles are now big ones but it's a small pond (20'x40') and other than that the only change has been the stopping of bacteria additive. My hope and plan is to somehow try and tackle the muck (again) with a pump or small DIY type dragline and then start up bacteria and air again.
Posted by: bz

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 12/14/15 12:56 AM

I haven't been around for a while but I'm still managing my pond. Two summers ago I decided I would seriously try some bacteria in my 1 acre pond. The pond was 11 years old and surrounded by trees. So the muck on the bottom was getting deeper. I decided to conduct the best experiment I could easily do to measure weather the muck was disappearing. I put a rod down in the pond with a marker to measure the muck level. I use Muck Away pellets and follow the manufacturer's dosing recommendation. They claim it will digest 5 inches of muck per season and that's about what I have measured each season over the past two years. During this test I have not changed any other variables. I have always had aeration in the pond and I am running this the same as always. The only change has been the addition of the pellets. I also noticed another benefit. My pond has two sections. In one section I have always turned the aeration off in the winter because the family likes to skate on this part of the pond. Her in MN my pond is iced over from mid November to Mid April. I restart that aerator in mid March each year. Each spring when I restart the aeration in that part of the pond I do it very carefully because it stirs up a lot of hydrogen sulfide when I start it up. Last spring (the first spring after the start of my bacteria test), I noticed that I had no rotten egg smell at all coming up with my aeration when it was first started. I think this may be the added bacteria doing its job. I will see if this holds true again this coming spring when I start it up again. So far I'm happy, I've lost 10 inches of muck in two years and much less danger in the spring when starting up the aeration. I'm sold.
Posted by: snrub

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 02/07/16 08:31 PM

One thing I do to stir up any muck that is within ten feet or so of the shoreline is I mix a small portion of sinking catfish food in with my floating fish food (about 10% sinking). I hand feed all around the shore line. I use the CC to root around in the muck for the sinking food.

I scatter the food all along the shoreline normally, but occasionally I will stay in one spot and watch the fish feed. As they clean it up will throw out some more. After a few minutes of feeding in one spot I can see the CC rooting all around the bottom looking for that feed that hit the bottom. In fact I have some CC that really do not like to come to the surface to feed.

If you have CC it is just one way to let them do the work instead of wading around the pond or raking it yourself. The CC do a good job of finding and cleaning up the feed. They stir up the bottom in the process.
Posted by: Turtlemtn

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 02/08/16 01:16 PM

I haven't seen any discussion of the reason for muck accumulation. It's a pzzle to me. Muck is organic matter with probably a bit of silt mixed in.
1. Why isn't the organic matter consumed by the organisms in the pond or lake?
2. If bacteria are the answer, why aren't they the answer before the problem becomes a problem?
3. If you apply a type of bacteria to the muck that are specially selected because of their muck consuming properties, why is the muck still there, and why do you have to apply more bacteria a month or a year later?
4. Why don't the bacteria thrive rather than disappear? If aeration helps reduce the muck, it must be because the muck is oxygen deficient.
5. But how did that part of the BOW become oxygen deficient in the first place?
6. Was it oxygen deficient before the muck accumulated, or is the presence of the muck the reason it's O2 deficient? My guess is, it's the latter. For unusual reasons, organic matter is deposited on the bottom of the pond faster than the detritus eating organisms that are there can handle it. They were in balance with the conditions that preceded this unusual event, and can't adjust as fast as the detritus is accumulating. The unusual event may be a heavy leaf fall or a sudden plant off or some such thing. The detritus creates its own micro environment that is hostile to the organisms present in the BOW and it just lies there until another unusual event adds more detritus to it, and the volume of muck grows.

So we can look at the problem of muck in two parts: how to prevent it in the first place, and what to do about it once it's a problem.

Some steps that may help to prevent it:

Remove heavy accumulations of organic matter as soon as practicable.

Keep as wide a variety of detritus eating critters in your pond as practicable.

Rather than avoiding or removing critters that stir up muck, keep some in your BOW. Choose those that are least offensive or that provide some additional benefit.

Some steps that may help to remove it:

During periods when your BOW is spilling, stir up the muck and flush out as much as possible.

Investigate the various detritus eating organisms and see what your pond might not have that it probably should have, e.g., micro organisms, crustaceans, worms, snails, clams, fish.

Continue to experiment with aeration and commercially available bio agents.

Share what you learn with others.
Posted by: RER

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 02/08/16 02:19 PM

don't tilapia eat detritus?
Posted by: Bill Cody

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 02/08/16 03:33 PM

Supposedly tilapia eat settled organic detritus according to Rainman our forum resident tilapia expert. Rex says tilapia eat organics to get the bacteria growing on the organics. I've seen tilapia ingest bottom organics in a fish tank. IMO tilapia will eat algae before they eat dead bottom organic materials. Dead organic materials are probably an alternative food source for tilapia especially when algae are abscent.

Turtlemtn answers most of his own questions IMO correctly, so I will not answer them again.
Posted by: Rainman

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 02/08/16 05:08 PM

The Tilapia will "farm" detritus by forcing oxygenated water onto and under detritus to promote aerobic bacterial growth. The tilapia get nutrition from the bacteria growing and decomposing the detritus.

Turtlemtn, "Muck" builds up as you "guessed"...from a heavy influx that existing bacterial colonies can not consume. The muck comes in, like a fall leaf dump, and cover the bottom and existing aerobic bacteria. Water under the new leaf quickly becomes devoid of oxygen (anoxic) as the aerobic bacteria consumes the oxygen....once the O2 is gone, your "beneficial bacteria" die. Since water can't circulate under the leaf litter, anaerobic bacteria form. Anaerobic bacteria does consume detritus, but at a rate about 1000 times or more slower than aerobic bacteria does. Anaerobic bacteria also produces hydrogen sulfide gasses that can be poisonous to the fish and aerobic bacteria and is noticed by the "sewage" smells produced.
Posted by: Turtlemtn

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 02/08/16 05:51 PM

Rainman,

That's a detailed explanation of what I was guessing at. And what I've been thinking is that fish and crayfish that stir up the muck may be performing a needed service. Someone already told how he urges CC to stir up the muck. So perhaps the pond owners with muck problems should take a second look at the species they've shunned because they stir up the mud, and maybe even some of those who don't have muck problems yet should too. It seems that detritus is much easier to deal with before it becomes muck. Keeping a variety of detritus eaters in your pond can only help in that regard.

Bill,

I was sort of working it out as I went along. I figured it would serve some purpose to offer the ideas I had, even if they were wrong. Someone with the right answers would likely set things straight.
Posted by: Rainman

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 02/08/16 06:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Turtlemtn
Rainman,

That's a detailed explanation of what I was guessing at. And what I've been thinking is that fish and crayfish that stir up the muck may be performing a needed service. Someone already told how he urges CC to stir up the muck. So perhaps the pond owners with muck problems should take a second look at the species they've shunned because they stir up the mud, and maybe even some of those who don't have muck problems yet should too. It seems that detritus is much easier to deal with before it becomes muck. Keeping a variety of detritus eaters in your pond can only help in that regard.

Bill,

I was sort of working it out as I went along. I figured it would serve some purpose to offer the ideas I had, even if they were wrong. Someone with the right answers would likely set things straight.


Turtlemtn, the critters you mentioned will help, yet they can not go where the water is anoxic. In a way, the critters mentioned can help push detritus even deeper into the pond, depending on shape and depth of the bottom. This would slow detritus decomposition since in an unaerated pond, the muck will never get oxygen, of be disturbed.

If you want to reduce, slow, or even eliminate muck buildup due to organics, a pond with a well designed basin using a bottom draw discharge system, and effective, well designed aeration system is your best bet.

Beneficial bacteria (Commercial blend additives) has a place in pond management, yet the best bacteria's for any given body of water are ubiquitous, so adding bacteria that may not be able to survive or thrive can be an expensive waste....
Posted by: Bill D.

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 02/08/16 07:30 PM

FWIW when I built my pond I considered muck prevention a priority on my checklist and I would recommend that to anyone building a new pond. The pond was full October 2013 and I installed bottom aeration as soon as I could in May 2014. Right or wrong, the old "Ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" was my thinking... smile Now the pond is a little older and I'm looking at stocking scuds, crawfish, and grass shrimp, if I can catch some. I have a few CC wandering around as well keeping things stirred up a bit but mostly cause I like to eat them! grin
Posted by: Turtlemtn

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 02/08/16 09:05 PM

Sounds like you're covering all the bases Bill. The way you designed your pond, there probably won't be much need for cleaning. But the crustaceans you plan to stock will still provide great forage for the fish.

Rainman,

The pond I bought has a water release system that could probably have been easily modified to sweep sediment and detritus out the bottom, but it was designed to provide a constant supply of water to a trough for livestock. Fish were an afterthought, or no thought at all. The way it's working keeps the water level very low. Maybe I can at least correct that.
Posted by: Rainman

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 02/08/16 10:55 PM

An auto start, bottom draw siphon is always a fairly inexpensive and highly effective retrofit in any pond, when done properly.
Posted by: Journeyman

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 07/25/18 12:46 PM

Bump;

Great discussion on this topic...

Any new input based on recent years experience, products?
Posted by: Jimtom

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 04/29/19 04:00 PM

OK, I'm new hear and I'd like to see this topic and it's experiments keep going.

I have a 1/8 acre bean shaped pond that has about 2 feet of muck. Due to foreclosure, lack of care, and them damn cotton woods that they let grow around it. I just girdled 2 of them today with plans to dominate the rest in the near future. I understand that 2 feet of muck most likely requires manual removal but to be honest with you and myself, I doubt that's ever going to happen. I've got an aggressive fountain running at one end and a 2 ring bubbler running at the other. The fountain needs to go for electricity bill reasons but it has done a decent job of reducing muck when it was the sole apparatus in the middle of the pond. I've got my 1st hatching of bluegill from 5 that were released 2 summers ago, so that's a good sign. It was a swampy frog pond when we moved in and got the fountain going 2 years ago. Killed off the duckweed last summer and hope to keep the algae at bay. I'm with the crowd that thinks stiring it up and keeping the oxygen in there is the way to go. So... will I regret putting in some catfish to help work it up a bit?
Posted by: canyoncreek

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 04/29/19 04:32 PM

It sounds to me like the prop wash of the pontoon boat does more to remove muck, lift it up, stir it, get oxygen under it than any enzyme tablet on the top of the muck.

Is there study of mechanical agitators combined with aeration?

My brother in law was amazed at how a couple years of fountain induced surface agitation could not do much for the bottom of the pond even in the shallows, but one summer of bottom aeration and he has nice sandy bottoms in the shallows.

But someone out there surely must have a way to get the right enzymes, bacteria and superfuel their growth and have them help with the process of breaking down or consuming the organics at the bottom?
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 04/29/19 05:32 PM

My little pond is a near perfect bowl. Deep in the middle (11' when full) steep sides and very little shallow area. My aeration system is elevated 22" but I removed the bottom plate when I installed it. Since turning it back on this year, my water has remained turbid, with a visibility of around 16". When checking temps, there is only 3 degrees variance from top to bottom (a definite need to monitor closely as temps continue rise), so I believe the system is drawing detritus up from the bottom as well as providing needed O2 across all the bottom's surface.

If I understand everything that's been posted previously, this condition should provide enough O2 to accelerate muck decomposition....is that correct?
Posted by: Bill Cody

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 04/29/19 07:43 PM

Yes - If you can maintain 3F difference or less between top to bottom you are getting real good DO on the bottom for good muck digestion.
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 04/29/19 09:06 PM

Thanks Bill. Now if I can only maintain that variance without over heating the pond. I've reduced run time to 3 hours over the weekend, and have started running from 7a-10a as of this morning because my surface temp is already crowding 80f, and the variance is still holding. I have pond dye arriving tomorrow to try help with shading and to hopefully reduce some FA.
Posted by: RC51

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 04/30/19 08:34 AM

You can also try this at your own risk of course. This may not be the best practice but I do it from time to time. With your air running in your pond. I have a 15 foot steel rake that's about 3 feet wide at the bottom looks like a large garden rake. I will get in my small boat with a trolling motor and have one person troll around the pond slowly as I drag the rake on the bottom of my pond and we will make a few passes that way specially in the area of most concern. Course my pond is only 10 foot deep max so this is not as hard. It mixes up that bottom pretty good though and gets things moving. I also use a certain bacteria product that I believe works well along with air. So here are my steps.

1. Get air, correct air going in your pond. That should be priority 1.
2. If you can stir up that bottom a bit. I do this twice a year.
3. If you believe it will help. Use some beneficial bacteria to help the muck reducing process get going!(There is a lot of controversy on the subject of beneficial bacteria) I wont mention any products here in this post, but if your interested in what I use IM me and I will let you know. Keep in mind any of this takes some time it does NOT happen over a few months. Maybe more like a couple of years and I am still doing it. lol but since 2010 I believe I have lost about 8 to 10 inches of muck maybe a little more out deep, I haven't checked lately. And of course if you have more cash to use you can buy more product to help. I only use this product twice a year, but it can be used more for sure. Some of it does depend on your budget that's for sure!

RC
Posted by: cb100

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 04/30/19 12:03 PM

Has anyone tried taking a pump with a pipe on the discharge hose and pumping surface water down into the muck to put more oxygen down into the muck. I have observed a substantial algae bloom when I mix up some of the muck.
Posted by: Quarter Acre

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 04/30/19 12:14 PM

cb, I think you would have to leave the pump/s on fairly continuously to see any real effects and, at that point, wouldn't the common aeration system do the same thing, maybe better?

A pump system, like you describe, would certainly stir the muck up and redistribute it throughout the pond leaving rich nutrients in oxygenated waters. The algae would take advantage of this newly available fertilizer.

Not that I have any real experience in the matter...just my thoughts.
Posted by: cb100

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 04/30/19 12:39 PM

I was wondering whether rather than trying to fertilize using the nutrients in the muck to create an algae bloom would be a good thing. I also am running an aerator
Posted by: cb100

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 04/30/19 12:44 PM

I don't know why my post doesn't want to post maybe this will bump both of them
Posted by: palmerdad

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 08/11/19 10:25 PM

A couple of years ago I got curious about using some sort of prop or blower to push muck around. I saw a product that attached to your dock and did just that but it seemed pretty expensive. That's when I realized that the blower they were using strongly resembled a Kasco deicer like they use in harbors and marinas in the winter. I found someone that was selling a used one and bought it. I mounted it in a square wire metal milk crate and attached a pole onto the crate to act as a handle. I took it out to the dock at my folks house and plugged it in aiming it horizontally. The thing was so strong that it blasted it self out of the water! I learned that I basically had to rest it on my leg to keep it aimed where I want it. If you're not careful it will dig a hole in the lake floor blowing sand rocks and everything. We were able to easily blow a couple of inches of muck out away from the shore and dock. I don't know where it went, perhaps out into deeper water, or maybe just into the water column where it was easily digested. The ground stayed pretty clean for 2 or 3 years until we repeated it again this Spring. The whole process took less than 15 minutes each time and we were only limited by the length of the power cord. (I had someone holding the connecting points of the extension cords on the dock to keep it out of the water for safety.) I also used this device in my own smaller pond and in no time I had a swirling milk shake of muck in the water column. (there were no fish in the pond at the time) but without a place to go it all settled back down. And oh the smell that was released! Wow! I have to think the stirring helped stimulate bacteria and I repeated it several times. Ultimately the muck was just too deep and I suspected there was a lot of inorganic matter as well so we rented an excavator and dredged. Still using aeration with a bottom bubbler and some added bacteria now to try and keep the bottom from getting so full of muck again.
Posted by: cb100

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 08/11/19 11:39 PM

Well it's been a while since my last post. I'm going to try the pump and pipe. My pond is 46 years old with about 5 feet of muck we then had a fire that destroyed all the vegetation for miles around after that I got about 3 feet of sediment at one end of the pond. My hope is that by pumping water down into the muck it will soften the lower part of the muck. I have been sucking the muck out of the pond with a trash pump and sending it to an above ground pool let it settle and drain the water to my bait fish pond and then drain the muck to a pit to make garden soil. I have aeration so I hope that it will bring up some muck to be consumed in the water column.
Posted by: 4CornersPuddle

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 08/11/19 11:45 PM

palmerdad, thanks for bumping this thread. I've had a "light bulb moment" as a result of re reading the entire piece.

In spring of 2017 I ran two old 9.9 Evinrudes on small boats in my 1/4 acre pond. I was repairing and tuning the motors. The planing round and round stirred up all sorts of mud. What I didn't realize until just now is that stirring the bottom also released lots of fertilizer so to speak in the form of bottom muck.

That summer we had an outrageous FA and elodea explosion, unlike any other of the 10 years we've owned the pond. The Elodea reached the surface on most of the pond; the FA was an incredible nuisance. Now I can see that stirring up all those nutrients probably led to the vegetation's excessive growth.

These past two years I have not run an outboard in the pond, not even one time. We have had a manageable amount of FA and elodea instead of the weed bonanza of 2017. Today was the first day this year that I had to get out and rake any debris. And, that is mainly because the cottonwood bud scales have fallen along with the cotton and were floating around with the small amount of FA present.

Guess I won't be racing around the pond no more. Ha! It was a lot of fun while it lasted.
Posted by: liquidsquid

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 08/13/19 04:27 PM

A couple of observations and learnings from reading this site:

1. Beneficial bacteria are only helpful on getting started on the muck removal, you need to also provide oxygen for them to get and keep them working. It is a speed boost to the natural process of bacterial growth.

2. If you get your muck digesting quickly with O2, you will also need a means to remove the excess nutrients that will be created in your water column. If you have no means to do so, you are building up fertilizer in your water. The plants will use it for you. Think algae blooms and weed growth. You are doing the process of turning your muck into viable life again. Tilapia, water exchange, bottom draw, grass carp, are examples of managing this accumulating nutrient source, as in the case of fish, they will accumulate it in biomass. Remove that biomass to the dinner table.

3. Moving O2 with an aeration system is one of the most efficient ways to get O2 into a water column and move water, but you need a strong flow to work it down into the muck. If you have too much flow, you will have a boiling cauldron of fish and debris. With a more reasonably sized system, the O2 laden water will work into the top layer of muck, and over time may be one of the best ways as it will work on muck at a manageable rate. Best to start with aeration before the muck starts though as the process is slow. Plenty of threads here with more details.

4. Bottom draw system. It will pull O2 water down through the entire muck layer, and then dispose the nutrient rich water outside of the pond basin as the muck breaks down or is sucked through. The drawback is you need flow-through of water for it to work. No flow-through, no different than any other stagnant pond. Another advantage is any anaerobic bad stuff is put somewhere other than in your pond when it starts up, so no toxic compounds to skunk your fish. At least in your pond. Where it goes, you must be careful.

5. For a smaller pond, you can create an under-gravel filter system. A large version of what aquariums used to use. This allows an aeration system to pull water up through a pipe which is attached to a network of buried pipes full of holes under sand and gravel. Easy to build yourself but could be expensive. This system efficiently pulls O2 water down through the muck and gravel, and the gravel surface provides the surface to host beneficial bacteria that scrubs the water. It works like a bottom draw but can be run all the time. You could also combine it with a bottom draw siphon pipe for the best of both worlds when you have enough flow-through.

These systems need to run as frequently as possible to keep the aerobic bacteria alive that is working the muck. Let it stop for too long, and most of the good bacteria will die. Death rate likely depends on a huge variety of factors, but I have the same problem in aquarium filters if I lose power in my house for more than 12 hours. Rather than 8 hours and 16 hours off, create a schedule of 4 hours on, 8 hours off, or even finer time periods so the bacteria can "breathe".

I am trying the under-gravel filter in a larger garden pond, and so far, very happy with the results. It is keeping the water sparkling clear, making the goldfish easy targets for herons. So far, no algae problems despite flooding rain washing in topsoil.
Posted by: cb100

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 08/19/19 12:17 AM

Well since no one seems to have tried it. I took a 1" clear water pump a piece of flexible hose a piece of 1" pvc pipe and a 90 capped the end drilled a hole in the cap and 8 more in the pipe 4 three inches above the cap and 4 more 12 inches above the cap. Then hooked it up to the pump. Set the intake about 2 feet below the surface then proceeded to move around the pond pumping surface water down into the muck. I would shove the pipe down till I hit solid bottom then pull the pipe up about 3 inches and pump water down until I have a cloud of dark grey or black water coming to the surface.My pump seems to be adding some air in the discharge. So I held it under water so I can see the bubble pattern. When I push the pipe into the muck I get about 5 times the bubbles from the disturbed h2s.The clouds of muck and organic debris creates a nice bloom. Before I did this experiment I had about 4-5 foot visibility after a few hours I get a nice green bloom with about 24 inches of visibility.
Posted by: cb100

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 08/19/19 12:30 AM

I'm using a multi pronged approach I take a trash pump and send the discharge to a pool about 35 feet above the pond and I take the intake with a flexible hose on it and suck up the muck off the bottom.I then let it settle and drain the clear water to my bait fish pond. I also added aeration last year. I will see how good it works.diving down I can feel holes and troughs were I pumped the water down. So it is letting some aerated water get down to the bottom at least for a short time. I can feel the softened areas when I dredge afterwards. Long slow process but I don't have to drain the pond down and kill my fish.
Posted by: Dave Davidson1

Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment - 08/19/19 06:11 AM

It will be slow but should work out.