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The role of beneficial bacteria in maintaining a healthy pond.

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 balanced.
  • We are all probably guilty to a certain degree of dumbing-down the impact that bacteria have on a koi pond.
  • 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 articleicle

 

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