Biological Approches

The Pond and Lake Connection specializes in natural,biological solutions for ponds and lakes. Typically a number of biological approaches are used together for a successful management plan :

  • Aeration
  • Beneficial Bacteria and Muck Degraders
  • Triploid Grass Carp
  • Aquatic Plantings
  • Skimming
  • Manual and Mechanical Removal

Aeration

There are three different types of aeration that can be used :

Surface Aerators :

Surface aerators function by moving a large volume of water (800 – 1300 gpm.) a maximum of 3-4 feet into the air, thereby increasing gas transfer within the pond, inducing circulation and improving water quality. As a result of the massive amount of water being pumped into the air and splashing back down onto the water surface, a wave action radiates outward from the unit towards the pond or lake perimeter. Surface aerators are extremely effective in ponds which are less than 10 feet deep. The size, shape and depth of your water body will influence the size and quantity of surface aerators you need. A surface aeration system may be as simple as one unit or may involve several units strategically located around the water body.

Sub-Surface Aerators :

As you might expect, subsurface aeration systems are entirely different from surface aerators or fountains. Rather than pumping water into the air to increase gas transfer and induce circulation, subsurface aeration systems pump air into the water. Diffusers are placed on the bottom of the water body. Compressed air is pumped through underwater airlines to the diffusers, bubbles out of the diffusers, and rises through the water column to the surface. As the air rises, the bubbles expand, entrain the surrounding water molecules and “pump” them towards the surface, producing a gentle boiling of water and bubbles at the surface. These systems are extremely effective in destratifying a water body.

Aerating Fountains:

Aerating Fountains come in many sizes and styles to fit the needs of your pond or lake. Aerating Fountains both beautify your body of water with an elegant display pattern and provide valuable oxygen and agitation to promote a healthy pond or lake. The aerating fountains have outstanding oxygen transfer rates, aesthetically pleasing patterns and low overall operating costs.

Beneficial Bacteria and Muck Degraders

Pond bacteria and muck degraders use a combination of specific strains of bacteria and bacterial enzymes that reduce sludge, control foul odors, and digest the excess nutrients which may cause problematic algae growth.These naturally occurring soil and water bacteria work to clean the entire water column and sludge layer by digesting organic wastes and contaminants. This bacteria is environmentally friendly. It is NOT an algaecide or pesticide, so it does not require a permit or license to apply it.

Triploid Grass Carp

Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodonidella) are commonly stocked in ponds that are overrun with aquatic vegetation. They feed on certain plants and can vastly reduce the amount of vegetation in some ponds. Grass Carp are considered an invasive species, so states generally require three things from people wishing to stock them. The inflow and outflow of the lake or pond must be screened to keep the fish within the waterbody. The fish also needs to be certified as Triploid, which means they have been produced to have an extra set of chromosomes and are rendered sterile. Lastly, states require a permit to be completed and reviewed to ensure the first two requirements are met before the fish can be stocked. Triploid grass carp are a good option for long term management.

Aquatic Plantings:

Native aquatic plants are beneficial to pond and lake ecosystems for several reasons. They actively use nutrients that could otherwise be used by undesirable plants (invasive aquatics) and algae. Plants also provide a substrate for fish and aquatic invertebrates to deposit eggs and provide cover for larval and juvenile fish.

Generally, four native plants are recommended because they are both functional and aesthetic. Common arrowhead, pickerel weed, and native hardy water lilies grow slowly and will not “take over” the lake.

They generally only grow around the edges or where the water level is shallow enough for them to reach the surface. Here they can provide the added benefit of bank stabilization. The fluctuation of water levels caused by dam manipulation and natural processes (spring rain events and summer evaporation) will not harm or impede their growth.

Pond and Lake Skimming

The Pro Skimmer System consists of an in-water floating collection unit that connects by hose to an onshore filtration unit. The heart of the Pro Skimmer System is its in-water floating collection unit, a special skimmer that has been designed to extract only those weeds and organic debris that float on the surface of the water. The in-water floating collection unit creates a powerful vortex of water that draws in floating weeds and debris. The uniquely designed stainless steel pump generates a powerful flow in which water, weeds and debris are collected and pumped through a hose to the on-shore filtration unit. The weeds and debris remain behind on shore in the filtration unit while the clear, filtered, aerated water flows through the return hoses and back into your lake or pond.

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After

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Manual and Mechanical Removal

Manual removal control can be an option. This method works well if weed and algae density is mall and localized. Target areas can be pulled by hand or with a rake. The success of this method will depend on whether roots systems of plants are fully removed. Many invasive plants will regrow from plant fragments so all plant material must be removed completely for this method to be successful. This slow and labor intensive method is not optimal for long term control.

Mechanical Removal can also be an option in larger bodies of water with dense infestations. Mechanical harvesters are used to remove nuisance plant material, however harvesters remove only the plant growth they can reach, which limits the control area to the top 6-8’ of the water column. Mechanical harvesting will produce many fragments, from which the invasive species can easily root. This process is will immediately control the existing growth but will have no long term impact and may actually compound future problems. Mechanical removal is also non-selective. Desirable plants, fish and other aquatic organisms will be effected by this control technique. Another factor to consider is the disposal of the collected plant material. Ideally, this should be placed in an area where is can be left to dry and composted.