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#290502 - 05/04/12 04:26 PM Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment
Bob VanOrman Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 78
Loc: Coloma, Michigan
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
_________________________
Have a day that you truly deserve!

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#290509 - 05/04/12 05:38 PM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: Bob VanOrman]
CoachB Offline
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Registered: 02/18/09
Posts: 563
Loc: Southeast Michigan
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.
_________________________
Brian
Retired Coach

Just another day in paradise!



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#290512 - 05/04/12 07:30 PM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: CoachB]
all_wet Offline


Registered: 01/16/12
Posts: 12
Loc: Michigan
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.

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#290515 - 05/04/12 08:31 PM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: all_wet]
rmedgar Offline
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Hall of Fame 2014

Lunker

Registered: 03/12/04
Posts: 2435
Loc: S. Mississippi
Good post, Bob. This will be interesting to follow.
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#290518 - 05/04/12 09:18 PM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: rmedgar]
ewest Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 19534
Loc: Miss.
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.
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#290522 - 05/04/12 09:38 PM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: ewest]
Bill Cody Online   content
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12469
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
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?


Edited by Bill Cody (05/04/12 09:38 PM)
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#290569 - 05/05/12 07:53 AM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: Bill Cody]
MuckDoctor Offline


Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 8
Loc: GA
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-
_________________________
Mike Hynes
www.airmaxeco.com
www.muckdoctor.com

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#290576 - 05/05/12 09:02 AM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: MuckDoctor]
Bob VanOrman Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 78
Loc: Coloma, Michigan
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.
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#290577 - 05/05/12 09:08 AM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: MuckDoctor]
Bluegillerkiller Offline
Hall of Fame
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Registered: 09/08/09
Posts: 3536
Loc: Illinois, St. louis area
Why would you not share the studies..? Obviously if they gave them too you and were good results they'd wanna share them..
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I believe in catch and release. I catch then release to the grease..

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.


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#290578 - 05/05/12 09:11 AM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: Bluegillerkiller]
Bluegillerkiller Offline
Hall of Fame
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Registered: 09/08/09
Posts: 3536
Loc: Illinois, St. louis area
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..
_________________________
I believe in catch and release. I catch then release to the grease..

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.


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#290581 - 05/05/12 10:08 AM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: Bluegillerkiller]
Bob VanOrman Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 78
Loc: Coloma, Michigan
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

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#290985 - 05/08/12 03:01 PM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: Bluegillerkiller]
Bob VanOrman Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 78
Loc: Coloma, Michigan
Video of bacteria being introduced into the lake:

Video

More to follow...
Bob
_________________________
Have a day that you truly deserve!

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#293630 - 05/28/12 10:57 AM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: Bob VanOrman]
Bob-O Offline
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Field Correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/24/06
Posts: 2325
Loc: Butler In. Very NE corner
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
_________________________
Do nature a favor, spay/neuter your pets and any weird friends or relatives.

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#293919 - 05/30/12 04:44 PM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: Bob VanOrman]
Bob VanOrman Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 78
Loc: Coloma, Michigan
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
_________________________
Have a day that you truly deserve!

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#293932 - 05/30/12 06:07 PM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: Bob VanOrman]
SK63 Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 171
Loc: Midwest
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.


Edited by SK63 (05/30/12 07:19 PM)

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#293942 - 05/30/12 07:20 PM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: Bob VanOrman]
Bob-O Offline
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Field Correspondent
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Registered: 01/24/06
Posts: 2325
Loc: Butler In. Very NE corner
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 !!
_________________________
Do nature a favor, spay/neuter your pets and any weird friends or relatives.

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#293943 - 05/30/12 07:27 PM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: Bob VanOrman]
sleepyweasel Offline


Registered: 04/19/12
Posts: 85
Loc: Northwest Ohio
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

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#293947 - 05/30/12 07:52 PM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: sleepyweasel]
SK63 Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 171
Loc: Midwest
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

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#298326 - 07/06/12 11:43 AM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: Bob VanOrman]
RC51 Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4237
Loc: Arkansas
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.


Edited by RC51 (07/06/12 11:48 AM)
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#307468 - 09/25/12 03:50 PM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: Bob VanOrman]
Slivers Offline


Registered: 09/25/12
Posts: 1
Loc: Porter County, Indiana
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.

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#307483 - 09/25/12 05:09 PM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: Bob VanOrman]
gallop Offline
Lunker

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 396
Loc: Gainesville, Fl
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

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#307508 - 09/25/12 08:34 PM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: Bob VanOrman]
loretta Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 561
Loc: MI
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.
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#307521 - 09/25/12 09:33 PM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: Bob VanOrman]
Peepaw Offline


Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 389
Loc: Illinois
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.


Edited by Peepaw (09/25/12 09:34 PM)

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#307811 - 09/28/12 09:39 AM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: Bob VanOrman]
Bob VanOrman Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 78
Loc: Coloma, Michigan
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
_________________________
Have a day that you truly deserve!

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#309648 - 10/21/12 08:28 PM Re: Muck Eating Bacteria Experiment [Re: Bob VanOrman]
Hobart Offline


Registered: 06/20/10
Posts: 12
Loc: NY
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.

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