The role of beneficial bacteria in maintaining a
Bacteria fulfil so many vital roles in shaping life
on earth that we are still discovering new ways in which
they affect the world we live in.
- Bacteria are both man's ally and enemy,
performing beneficial roles such as breaking down
waste and making antibiotics while others invade
living organisms causing diseases such as
tuberculosis and even anthrax.
- It is not long after being introduced to koi
keeping that we soon discover the two types of role
that bacteria can play in our hobby.
- Those that cause diseases such as ulcers,
septicaemia and fin rot and the beneficial bacteria
that colonise filters to help keep our water quality
- We are all probably guilty to a certain degree
of dumbing-down the impact that bacteria have on a
- We are happy to give bacteria the credit of
managing the nitrogen cycle in our ponds, breaking
ammonia down into nitrite and then into nitrate -
but nothing much else on top of that.
- This is because ammonia is a direct threat to
our koi and we have test kits readily available that
can measure how well our filter are coping with the
breakdown of ammonia into nitrite.
- Food items that bacteria breakdown can be
divided into 2 groups - those that are organic (i.e.
contain carbon and are the product of life) and
those that are inorganic (such as simple compounds
containing nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorous etc).
- Mud ponds will readily accumulate organic matter
in a silty, soft pond bottom - and these bacteria
proliferate in such an environment, exploiting the
settled organic matter.
bacteria pond organisms
koi water "organic matter" ammonia filter compounds
"heterotrophic bacteria" environment colonise "hard
surfaces" breakdown food click link to see full
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