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  • Raymond Menard

Get the muck outta here

Reducing and preventing sludge build-up in your pond can be challenging

Just about everyone has taken a step into apparently shallow water only to sink to their thighs in brown goo. That brown goo is muck or sludge, formed over time as organic nutrients accumulate in your pond. If it is knee deep near the shore you can safely assume there is even more in the deeper areas. Not only does it look (and feel) disgusting it can actually have a negative impact on your water quality.

As organic nutrients decompose they use up some of the oxygen that is dissolved in your water. As more and more organics build up there is more and more oxygen demand. Eventually, if no steps are taken, your pond can end up with oxygen levels that are low or nonexistent at the pond bottom.

When sediments are deprived of oxygen, nutrients like phosphorous are released into the water column and trigger algae growth. When the aerobic bacteria that are essential to nutrient break down are deprived of oxygen they are replaced by anaerobic ones that decompose organics more slowly and produce foul smelling gasses like hydrogen sulphide and methane. Rainbow trout need oxygen levels of 5 mg/l or higher to survive. As the sludge layer consumes more of the available oxygen at the depths, it limits fish habitat to nearer the surface and creates the risk of a pond turn over which often results in fish kills.

Muck or sludge accumulation can lead to more serious problems in your pond.

Reducing and preventing muck accumulation always starts with a properly sized aeration system. Unfortunately, in many older ponds or in ponds with nutrient rich water sources (i.e. pasture runoff) aeration alone isn't always enough to reduce with existing sludge or to prevent future sludge accumulation.

In these situations we recommend a monthly application of MD Pellets.

MD Pellets

A slow-release probiotic pellet designed to directly target the muck layer at the bottom of ponds, MD Pellets sink to the bottom and penetrate the sludge layer to deliver essential bio-stimulants and select bacterial cultures that speed the breakdown of organic debris and muck. This results in a reduction of the available internal nutrients on the bottom of waterbodies leading to improved water quality and clarity.

The MD Pellets can be applied over the entire water body or to specific areas such as shorelines. The pellets also excel at degrading dead floating vegetation or tussocks when used in conjunction with PondZilla Pro. For the best results, broadcast the MD Pellets evenly over the targeted area.

To learn more about the science behind MD Pellets, visit our partner, Naturalake Biosciences' website.

MD Pellets are just one of the highly effective treatment products that Smoky Trout Farm keeps in stock. Contact us to find out if it is tight for your pond.

#bioaugmentation #pondmanagement #algaeblooms #eutrophication

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