Pond Nitrogen Cycle :
90 % of your work in ponds maintenance depend on the Nitrogen Cycle So Please read , educate your self and watch video for this important subject ..
UNDERSTANDING YOUR POND’S NITROGEN CYCLE
June 6, 2013-General Water Gardening
You’ve got a pond and you know it’s important to include a good balance of aquatic plants and fish in your water garden. You also know some basic maintenance is important too, like removing decaying leaves in the fall or cleaning the pond in the spring. But you may not fully understand why these things are important to maintain water quality and clarity.
Fortunately, you don’t need a degree in environmental science to understand the cycle of nature that can influence the health of your pond.
The nitrogen cycle might be one of the most important cycles on earth because it’s the building block of all organic life forms. This is an important cycle to know and understand because it can help answer a lot of unanswered questions you might have regarding fish health and the water quality of your pond.
The Process :
The nitrification process or nitrogen cycle is a biological process that changes ammonia (NH3) to nitrite (NO2), and then to nitrate (NO3). The amazing part of this cycle is it can start at multiple points and has the ability to go backward and forward in the cycle, allowing for a variety of complex biological processes to occur.
Unfortunately, the nitrogen cycle makes most of us scratch our heads, so it’s our goal to help you understand this critical, biological cycle.
But, be careful, a little knowledge goes a long way. Some new pond owners worry about the many forms of nitrogen in the pond and start altering the water chemistry in hopes of creating the perfect aquatic environment or ecosystem. If the pond is designed and built properly and you clean the debris out of your skimmer on a regular basis, add bacteria, and trim dead aquatic plants you’ll have no problems and you will have allowed this complex cycle to hum along as it was designed to … in perfect balance.
Nitrate Producer – The Air, the Rain, the Pond
Basic nitrogen gas (N2) makes up approximately 78 percent of our atmosphere. This form of nitrogen is inert and cannot be used by plants and animals. It makes its way into the pond via the rainwater and takes a great deal of energy to convert it to a form that is usable to plants. Nitrogen gas returns to the atmosphere when it leaves the pond through the evaporation of pond water.
Ammonia Eater – Ammonia Nitrification
The large amount of surface area both on the surface of the biological filter media, as well as the rocks and gravel inside the pond allows for the colonization of beneficial bacteria that are responsible for the nitrification process, changing ammonia to less toxic forms of nitrite and the usable form of nitrate. Regular addition of beneficial bacteria such as Aquascape Beneficial Bacteria for Ponds helps support the reduction of ammonia.
Nitrate Eater – Aquatic Plants’ Nitrate
Nitrate is either absorbed by aquatic plants or, in anaerobic conditions; it goes through the process of de-nitrification, which changes the nitrate back to nitrogen gas. Although uncommon in ornamental ponds, nitrate can also be removed by small frequent water changes if unusually high levels are detected in the water.
Nitrate Producer – Rain and Lightning
Nitrates can also be added to your pond by way of atmospheric fixation. This occurs during lightning storms when nitrogen gas is broken up, allowing it to combine with oxygen-forming nitrogen oxide which is dissolved in rainwater. This is why our lawns become so green following a lightning a storm – it not only receives water, but also a burst of nitrate (fertilizer). This is also why ponds can turn murky or have an algae bloom after a storm. If you add some liquid bacteria such as Aquascape Beneficial Bacteria for Ponds immediately after the storm, you can counteract the influx of nutrients.
Ammonia Producer – Fertilizer Runoff
Be conscious of the amount of fertilizer you use around your pond. During a heavy rain or over-irrigation, the fertilizer, which is made of ammonia and phosphorus, could wash into your pond creating an algae bloom, water quality problems, or even killing fish and invertebrates.
Ammonia Producer – Dead Plant and Animal Debris
Organic debris like leaves, lawn clippings, and dead fish or insects will break down, forming ammonia as a byproduct, starting the cycle of de-nitrification again. Reduce the amount of plant debris in your pond by using a skimmer filtration system and removing plant leaves and debris before it enters the pond. The use of protective netting helps reduce leaf litter from entering the pond in the fall.
Ammonia Producer – Fish Food and the Resulting Waste
Most of our ponds have fish in them. When the fish are fed, the result is a combination of un-eaten fish food and fish waste. Both contribute to the ammonia level in the pond. Don’t feed your fish more than they can eat in a few minutes. A high-quality fish food is also very important. Aquascape Premium Fish Foods contain probiotics that help fish utilize more food, thereby reducing fish waste and actually help break down waste and other organics found normally in the pond environment.
Ammonia Eater – Oxygen
The waterfall in your pond creates oxygen necessary for efficient nitrification. This oxygen is also necessary for the survival of your fish.
As the spring season rolls out across the country, hopefully you can don your new-found knowledge of the nitrogen cycle and feel better equipped to keep your water garden in tip-top shape. Your fish and plants will thank you for it!
For information about our improved IonGen™ System (EPA Registered) and how it can help balance your pond, watch our short video.
Understanding the Nitrogen Cycle
A healthy, well-balanced ecosystem in a pond is the perfect environment for plants and fish to thrive. Creating and maintaining this ecosystem is easy once you have a good understanding of the basics. In this article we will discuss the nitrogen cycle and why it is important to all aquatic life in a pond.
The nitrogen cycle in a Koi pond is responsible for biological filtration to keep the water at safe levels to support aquatic life including fish and plants. Without an established ecosystem, high levels of ammonia and nitrites can put fish into danger.
Once a pond is installed, nitrogen from the atmosphere enters the pond through rainfall, wind and runoff. Leaves, twigs and other debris may also enter the pond. In mature Koi ponds, fish waste and uneaten fish food will also add to the debris and it will start to decay overtime with the help of beneficial bacteria or microorganisms called nitrosomonas and nitrobacter. As the debris breaks down it releases ammonia into the water. Nitrosomonas will reduce the ammonia and oxygen levels in the pond by consuming them and produce nitrites. Nitrites are also harmful to Koi so another organism called nitrobacter will reduce the nitrites in the water and convert them to harmless nitrates. The nitrates are then reduced by water changes or consumed by aquatic plants and algae.
NEW POND, NEW BACTERIA
Nature takes time to establish a healthy population of beneficial bacteria, nirosomonas and nitrobacter, so when a pond is first started, you may want to wait four to six weeks before adding fish as the ammonia and nitrites levels will be high.
To help increase the number of beneficial microorganisms, seed your filter media with PL Geland add Nature's Defense® to the water. Boosting dissolved oxygen levels in the pond can also be helpful with a simple aeration kit.
MAINTAIN BACTERIA LEVELS
In the early spring when established ponds are waking up after a long winter, a similar cycling process will take place. Some nitrosomonas and nitrobacter will survive in your filtration media and gravel and begin to colonize, but it's a good idea to give them a boost. Seasonal Defense® is formulated for use in cooler temperatures – making it perfect for early spring applications. Since those microorganisms live in your filtration media, avoid washing it unless water flow is restricted.
CYCLED AND READY FOR FISH
Prepare your water before adding fish into your pond to keep them safe. Throughout the first four to six weeks, monitor ammonia and nitrite levels using a master test kit. Once the test indicates that your levels are safe, the pond is ready for fish. Start by adding only a few small fish at first to see how well they do before adding more.
Pro Tip: Keep in mind as the fish grow they will produce more waste, so to keep your water safe, have no more than 1 inch of fish for every square foot of surface area.
Above is courtesy to : pondaquariumproblemsolver.co.uk/howto/blagdon/understanding-the-pond-environment/
Nitrogen Removal Basics
Filtration, Filtration, Filtration - The Nitrogen cycle and bacteria in an aquarium filter
The Nitrogen Cycle
Water Gardens 101 - Nitrogen Cycle
Optimize the Cycle of Life in Your Pond
courtesy to : www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?articleid=317
Other websites :
An established pond with healthy biological filtration is essentially a self-sustaining system. But because many man-made ponds contain a much higher fish-to-water ratio than found in nature, they often need human intervention to keep them healthy.
When beneficial nitrifying bacteria are not present in sufficient levels, the pond water will test high in deadly ammonia and/or nitrite. Often, the best remedy is the use of biological conditioners to supplement the natural filtration taking place. To get the pond back in balance so the normal cycle can take place, you may also need to boost the level of nitrifying bacteria on a regular basis.
A mechanical filter traps solids from the water, keeping water clear - not to be confused with clean. The mechanical filter must be temporarily removed at intervals so that trapped debris can be rinsed out. A biological filter is designed to house the bacteria that helps keep your pond clean - which is not to be confused with clear. The biological filter assists nature to establish an ecosystem that recycles fish waste.
Bacterial additives can help clarify water and eliminate odors. They can also help break down any organic material that settles on the bottom, thus reducing maintenance. Bacterial additives are well-complemented by the use of carbon filter media which can be easily inserted into most filters. Carbon removes additional chemical pollutants, colors, and odors from the water.
Whichever filter and bacterial additive you choose, we recommend these steps to optimize their performance:
1. Bacterial additives: Add and repeat as necessary
The good bacteria strains are present in most ponds, but sometimes are not at the levels necessary to take care of the amount of waste produced. Because not all of the bacteria you introduce will find a safe home and survive, one-shot applications will not work. You need to make repeat applications at recommended intervals to refresh and maintain the higher levels necessary. Follow the manufacturers' recommendations carefully.
2. Aerate to boost metabolism
Maintaining high levels of dissolved oxygen throughout your pond is critical. The metabolism of your bacterial additive and, therefore, its overall effectiveness, is approximately 10 times greater if high levels of oxygen are present. Installing a good aerator in your pond expels toxic gasses and increases oxygen content. CO2 and other gas molecules are attracted to the bubble stream of the aerator, attach themselves, and are discharged on the water's surface. This action will free up room in the water for additional oxygen molecules, which are absorbed on the bubbling surface.
Pond aeration can yield many additional benefits:
Prevents stagnation - Without aeration, ponds can become stagnant, developing low oxygen and may even encourage the buildup of harmful chemicals like hydrogen sulfide and undesirable odor. This situation promotes the growth of algae and odors. Aeration recirculates the water throughout the pond to reduce or eliminate stratification.
Redistributes nutrients - In addition to the redistribution of oxygen, aeration distributes nutrients throughout the pond, necessary for phytoplankton growth.
Reduces ice formation - In mild winters, aeration can prevent total freeze-over, keeping the surface open for gas exchange.
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Equipment and supplies used in water ponds maintenance :