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oliver_black

Microbe Additive - Worthwhile?

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I have been thinking of giving my pool/pond one of those microbe additive treatments to significantly improve the clarity of the water and all those additional promised benefits... reduced algea, improved O2 capacity, sludge and waste clean-up, etc. Has anyone used this sort of treatment in their ponds? If so, what were results, costs, problems, etc., etc. What brand do you recommend?

Oliver

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We always sold those different treatments (such as Microbe Lift) in our store but I never personally used them. There were repeat customers who just swore by them. I was skeptical as to how they worked, ie, does the bacteria really survive on a store shelf for a year? It also seemed like any balanced pond would already have those bacteria in it.

I have wondered about the sludge removing ability, but good water changes and vacuuming can take care of that.

I will be curious to see if anyone else has used it and what they thought of it.

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We always sold those different treatments (such as Microbe Lift) in our store but I never personally used them. There were repeat customers who just swore by them. I was skeptical as to how they worked, ie, does the bacteria really survive on a store shelf for a year? It also seemed like any balanced pond would already have those bacteria in it.

I have wondered about the sludge removing ability, but good water changes and vacuuming can take care of that.

I will be curious to see if anyone else has used it and what they thought of it.

It is difficult and expensive to do a water change in a 20,000 gal pool, not to mention the risk of adding township-treated water.

So far I'm having trouble getting my pump system to operate... unless I spend big bucks I don't have.

oliver

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Oliver, I forgot you have the very, very large pond!! I have been trying to find some good, honest reviews online. Of course, most of the ones I find are plugging the product so I won't find any bad reviews there.

Like I said, there were people who just swore by it! Based on that, I would say you could give it a go. I'll continue to try to find honest reviews since I know it's not a cheap product, especially for that water volume you have.

How do you top it off? You mentioned not wanting to use city treated water. Are you treating that water with something, or hoping it won't have an effect in such a large volume of water?

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Oliver, I forgot you have the very, very large pond!! I have been trying to find some good, honest reviews online. Of course, most of the ones I find are plugging the product so I won't find any bad reviews there.

Yup... an honest opinion from Cousin Hiram!

Like I said, there were people who just swore by it! Based on that, I would say you could give it a go. I'll continue to try to find honest reviews since I know it's not a cheap product, especially for that water volume you have.

I appreciate that. I wonder if if those pool microbes are any different from those that are sometimes added to cesspool systems?

How do you top it off? You mentioned not wanting to use city treated water. Are you treating that water with something, or hoping it won't have an effect in such a large volume of water?

I depend on rainwater entirely. Before I put in those 4 fish a couple of years ago, I used to reduce the pool level down to half at least twice a year. Now, of course, I leave it alone. I expect the level drops by 9 inches or so maximum during the dry dog gays of August in my area. That still leaves an average pool depth of 3 1/2 to 4 fett, counting the 6 foot deep end.

Oliver

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The Microbelift products are well known among pond keepers, but I think most rely on them just to give their pond a boost after a long winter, or some issues that might have caused the filter to crash.

The way those sludge removers work is that they don't really remove sludge - they just clump it together into a bigger mass than just those tiny particles. Those bigger clumps then supposedly are being picked up by the filter much better than smaller masses. However, if there are a lot of rocks and things in the pond, that is where the clumps will settle, and deteriorate again into smaller particles.

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I think the idea with the clumping is that you immediately siphon or net them out, right? That would be difficult to do in such a large pool.

Oliver, do you use the pool's filtration system? I'm just thinking if there's a bottom drain, the clumps may just plug it right up. Our pond was designed to be a small pool basically, with the same filtration system, and the bottom drain is always getting plugged! Maybe netting the clumps out would be more effective.

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I think the idea with the clumping is that you immediately siphon or net them out, right? That would be difficult to do in such a large pool.

Oliver, do you use the pool's filtration system? I'm just thinking if there's a bottom drain, the clumps may just plug it right up. Our pond was designed to be a small pool basically, with the same filtration system, and the bottom drain is always getting plugged! Maybe netting the clumps out would be more effective.

Unfortunately, the pool's extensive filtration system has been broken and offline for at least 10 years. I really do not want to (or can) make the significant investment that would be required to fix it.... plus the cost of electricity to run it is substantial. I am trying to work out a way where the water in the pool will have aeration and motion. Another problem is filtration... as I understand it, using one of those Python-type gadgets requires the introduction of water from the regular chlorinated Township supply into the pool to provide the suction force. If I am wrong about that, please let me know.

oliver

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I used a whole bottle of Microbe-Lift (their product intended for aquariums) in an attempt to finish off the cycle in my 75 gallon tank. Four weeks later, I am still getting nitrite... I don't think it did me a bit of good. And it made my house and filters smell like rotten eggs. Perhaps their pond products are better.

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I've never used the microbe additives, but they do seem a bit questionable. I think that even if you added some, without any circulation the additives won't be distributed enough to do much good.

That's a huge pond to filter... Do you have any plans for how to get some circulation/filtration going? If you post some photos and/or preliminary ideas, we might be able to help out (I like helping with this kind of thing). Most of the regular pond filters seem a bit small for your pond, as if they would get clogged with debris. I'm thinking that a 50-gallon barrel is sufficiently large (you might be able to buy used pickle barrels meant for composting or rain water collection), though I haven't quite figured out how to make it into an effective filter.

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There is SO much information out on the web that cannot be referred to here on Koko's for pond and pond maintenance.

Ponds like fish tanks need water changes, need filtration or they will become stagnant pools of muck. It would be close to a night mare to keep a pond that size clean without proper filtration. Retro bottom drains can be added, settlement, lots of options, but none of them are cheap, some options are cheaper than others.

Yes there are all kinds of filters that can be made with 55 gallon barrels. There are great DIY ideas out there on the net. Moving bed filters, sand/gravel filters all come to mind. However unless the stocking level is and stays VERY light the recommended volume of filtration for 20,000 gallons is 2000 gallons. There are are all kinds of commercial filters out there that can filter that size pond. It's just gonna cost money no matter how you do it. Pool pumps and filters are not recommended for fish ponds. They work on pools, but are not make to filter out the crud/crap that fish produce. Pool pumps are notorious electricity hogs vs a pond pump. Water changes are necessary for the fish as well. All toilets (your pond/pool/fish tank are all fish toilets) need to be flushed occasionally :goldfish:

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Microbe lift works. But I would strongly suggest you put in a filtration system. The external pump (1hp) that I ran on my pond only used about as much electricity as a light bulb, very energy effecient. The microbe lift isn't going to do you much good if there isn't any place for the little organizims to live, they generally hang out in your filtration media. You can make your own filter, and filter media. You should check out DYI filters on google, or koivet.com is a good place to get some ideas. I think you'd be wasting your money on the microbe lift since you do not have filtration.

Acupunk, I don't know what your set up is, I was just wondering if you didn't have enough filtration or maybe too many fish for your filter to handle? From experience when I would set up my hospital tank, 100 gallons, I would set up a filter and would still have to do more water changes than I desired. I think that part of it was the fish load was too much for the filter I had set up, even after seeding it with the microbe lift. It was a pain. I have read that the smaller the tank the harder it is to keep the water perameters in check. I don't know if that is true maybe someone here can shed some light in on it?

Scott

pondless for the past two years :(

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Acupunk, I don't know what your set up is, I was just wondering if you didn't have enough filtration or maybe too many fish for your filter to handle? From experience when I would set up my hospital tank, 100 gallons, I would set up a filter and would still have to do more water changes than I desired. I think that part of it was the fish load was too much for the filter I had set up, even after seeding it with the microbe lift. It was a pain. I have read that the smaller the tank the harder it is to keep the water perameters in check. I don't know if that is true maybe someone here can shed some light in on it?

My tank is now cycled (my post to this thread was from about six weeks ago). I have six fish in a 75 gallon tank with 1025 gph filtration and nearly 3 liters of ceramic biomedia. A lack of filtration or too much biomass was not the problem. I don't doubt that the Microbe Lift pond products work, I just am not convinced that their aquarium products do.

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Microbe lift works. But I would strongly suggest you put in a filtration system. The external pump (1hp) that I ran on my pond only used about as much electricity as a light bulb, very energy effecient. The microbe lift isn't going to do you much good if there isn't any place for the little organizims to live, they generally hang out in your filtration media. You can make your own filter, and filter media. You should check out DYI filters on google, or koivet.com is a good place to get some ideas. I think you'd be wasting your money on the microbe lift since you do not have filtration.

Scott

pondless for the past two years :(

I have just constructed a DIY prototype filter and will give it a test as soon as I get my mail-order waders. The waders will enable me to go into the pool/pond to properly locate the filter pump, fountain spray and filter tank. If the prototype works adequately, I will build a bigger, better, more carefully constructed one (or more).

oliver

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