Picking the right product for the right application can be confusing. There is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to treating lakes and ponds. The many solutions can be even more confusing when treatments include all natural or biological products. These products (which contain ingredients like enzymes, beneficial bacteria, micronutrients, or fungi) can be tricky to use at first but can be easily simplified with a quick breakdown so an educated decision on what to use can be made.
Biological products can be separated into two categories. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria-based products. Packed in with the helpful bacteria is a variety of additional ingredients—like trace minerals and vitamins—that stimulate the bacterial cultures within the product as well as pre-existing cultures in the environment. Biocatalysts are primarily enzyme-based products. They also contain a variety of additional ingredients like benign fungi or micronutrients to facilitate reactions in and on algae or aquatic plants.
Probiotic products come in several forms: liquids (Water Column Clarifier), dry powders (Polar Blend, Nature’s Blend, Summer Slam) and pellets (MD Pellets). Liquid and dry powder probiotic formulations are best for treating soluble nutrients and suspended organic matter in the water column. They are easily applied to lakes and ponds by spraying, pouring, or tossing the products over the surface of the water. Pellet probiotic formulations (MD Pellets) are best for directly targeting the muck layer on the bottom of lakes and ponds that contains nutrients and organic matter. They are easily applied by broadcasting over the targeted area in the lake or pond.
All the probiotic products can be used as a standalone treatment or immediately following an herbicide/algaecide treatment to replenish the microbial community. They also all contribute to reducing nutrients, improving water quality, and enhancing water clarity. However, each probiotic product’s unique qualities should be considered when deciding which product is the best for any application. For example, MD Pellets would be a better fit for treating a specific area of muck on a shoreline of a lake. Summer Slam would be a better fit for improving water quality in a small warm water pond that has a sandy bottom.
Biocatalyst products also come in two forms: liquids (PondZilla Pro, CattZilla) and dry powders (AquaSticker). Biocatalyst products are primarily designed for use with herbicides and algaecides in treatments for aquatic plants and algae. They are used to enhance chemical uptake into aquatic plants and algal cells, speed the breakdown of the dead vegetation, and reduce the toxicity of herbicide and algaecide treatments.
All the formulations can be dissolved in a spray tank with chemicals and applied at the same time. Each biocatalyst’s unique formulation and properties make them the best fit for particular applications. For example, the enzymes in PondZilla Pro do a better job at penetrating filamentous algae or submerged aquatic plants and the enzymes in CattZilla to a better job at penetrating cattails or emergent aquatic plants.