Pond Products FAQ’s2017-07-14T16:08:29+00:00

Pond Products FAQ’s

Basic and PL & PBL, there is a major difference: Basic is a spore-based product, the very least a pond owner can get away with, but will NEVER do with the PL and PBL products will. The purple bacteria is a live, vegetative bacteria, the Purple Sulfur Bacteria strains. These are very versatile and will meet a wide-range of pond situations in a wide variety of chemistries and fluctuations. Being live, they are able to adapt. Spores are just that, minimals. Since there are consumers that hate the smell of PL/PBL, we wanted to offer them something that will not smell (spore-based do not smell).

With HC and Golf, it is the market, not the product. Golf is a professional product, not for general homeowners, no matter the size of their ponds. With golf courses, we don’t have to be concerned about fish care, just the state of the pond. They are both bacteria, heterotrophs, and may be similar, but are targeted to different markets.

The Basic Beneficial Bacteria is the least of all our products. It is the spore-based bacteria we made so people with lakes or ponds containing a million gallons could afford to inoculate their systems with some type of bacteria, whereas the PL would be very costly to them. On the other hand, here is a run-down of PL versus spore-based bacteria products (which is what all the other products on the market consist of, by the way) and none of the deleterious effects is likely to occur in a million gallon water feature, but is very possible in a 3,000 gallon pond.

Goes to work on contact, where spores take up to 8 to 12 hours to activate

Degrades slow to degrade matter such as fats, greases, protein, and long chain fatty acids (from fish food) that build up in ponds and filter media, PL offers a significantly greater oxidation rate than spore based cultures for these compounds

Superior enzyme and bio surfactant production (vegatative vs spores)

Functions in aerobic, anaerobic and anonic path-ways, exceeds spore oxidation functions

Works better bio films and bio filters than spores – reduces maintenance

Contains no chemical inhibitors, spore formulation contain from 1,000 to 2000 ppm inhibitors, these may be harmful to marine life with over use
Contains no surfactants, spores contain for 1 to 5% – these are known to be harmful to marine life and fish, can be deadly to fish with over treatment

Controls hydrogen sulfide production, eliminats odor and toxic gas production form pond bottoms – spore can not control H2S

Assist in achieving the nitrification cycle – by removing repressive slow ot degrade organic matter that inhibits and slows nitrification


Microbe-Lift/PBL is a professional product and should not be sold/used by the home owner. It contains 80% PL, 10% Ensure and 10% TheraP. Now, if the customer is a homeowner and not a pond service person, they will get the same results from using these three products separately since they will be using more like 40% of the Ensure (for plants) and 40% TheraP (for fish health), not to mention 100% PL for a nice clean pond. (Service persons can get away with the PBL because they put more muscle into the weekly treatment for their customers.) Besides, as a retailer, you will notice the PBL has no bar code for resale.
If you have sufficient surface area per fish inch then there will not be a problem. If you have a waterfall and say, a spitter or aerator/bubbler, then you should be safe enough.

There is an oxygen meter out there that works on batteries, but the best judge of this will be your fish. If your fish seem stressed during the treatment, within the first day, especially if the water temperature is in the 80’sF, then all you need to do is add some Microbe-Lift/AquaXtreme and use your garden hose to add some fresh water. That’s only if the fish seem to be gasping at the surface of the water. Hot water conditions can do this, with or without Sludge Away, but using SA in hot weather is probably not a great idea. Use it when the water temps are in the 70’s and keep the pump/filter/waterfall running, just as you would normally do.

The biggest danger is over-stocking. The fish will use much more oxygen than these little microbes, right? We just don’t want to have too much competition in hot weather.

The Microbe-Lift/Ensure would be great for hydroponic.

1 oz. of Ensure per 40 gallons of water.

Yes they can. I use the Master Media Bag for mine. In fact, I heartily recommend using this method of containing them, rather than just distributing them into a pond where they can be visible on the bottom as they biodegrade. Some people choose to put it into the waterfall or the skimmer, but it will swell up, initially, and could block the skimmer. So, I hang mine over the side of the pond “near” the skimmer. I have bottom drains and want the pellets to remain in the pond, too.
MC+ contains everything MC does, plus Barley.

The MC and MC+ are both spore-based. That’s got pros and cons. The pros are that it doesn’t smell and is easy to store. The cons are that it cannot compete with the live bacteria in PL and no amount of pluses (+) can equal the accelerating power of Sludge Away when used in conjunction with PL. The live bacteria goes to work immediately and has the ability to “diversify” in ways the spores can’t even imagine. The PL bacteria will also build up (bio-film) and begin to de-nitrify (nitrate removal). When it comes to balancing the pond, PL is the one.

If you want the best in this pond, use Microbe-Lift/PL. And since it has no bottom drain, use Sludge Away to prevent buildup of bottom solids. Between those two products you will be able to maintain a good environment for the fish (and lilies).

The clay is collected and kiln dried. No irradiation or bleaching is done. Other than the drying it is just like it came from the source.
The key added benefit of the Xtreme over the Dechlorinator Plus is that it removes any ammonia that may be released in the breakdown of chloramines.

This is important as a few people said that we should put a warning on the Dechlorinator Plus labels telling the user to monitor ammonia levels when using the Dechlorinator Plus with chloramines.

If you have chloramines in your water source, you will want to use AquaXtreme instead of Dechlorinator+. If you don’t know, check with your city water company. Most cities are now adding chloramines to water because it is more stable than chlorine alone. Chloramine is a bond of chlorine and ammonia. If you break the chlorine bond you would be left with ammonia.

The pH Decrease doesn’t use any oxygen, so it would be safe to use in 89F water. I have concerns about the fish in 89F water, however, and just wanted to mention it, just in case. It has nothing to do with the pH Decrease. In general, fish will be pretty stressed by this time (above 85F) and you need to stop feeding entirely, in case you weren’t aware, by the time it reaches 90. Please don’t try to kill any algae in there at that temperature either. You’ve got a lot of fish and no bottom drain to circulate the water. Hopefully the bottom-most water will be cooler. By the way, koi are fine in pH between 6.5 and 8.5, so you shouldn’t have to do much adjusting on the pH. Use the pH Buffer Stabilizer to maintain a stable environment for the fish.
MICROBE-LIFT is beneficial to sick fish in many ways. All products were formulated specifically to reduce stress and some are to treat sick fish. The bacteria in MICROBE-LIFT products will target organic debris in the pond or aquarium and have been proven safe for use with fish, plants and other wildlife. (Use the MICROBE-LIFT chemical treatments, such as ML/Ich-Out, ML/ Protectant, ML/Restore, etc, to promote healing in sick fish.)
No. Plants have benefited from use of MICROBE-LIFT products in the pond and aquarium. Certain products, such as MICROBE-LIFT/ENSURE and ML/BLOOM & GROW are formulated especially for healthy plant growth.
The biological filter will benefit from a bacterial inoculation to get it jump started in spring. The bacteria in MICROBE-LIFT also do many targeted chores in the pond or aquarium, some of which are in areas that do not traverse the filter, such as bogs or the bottom of ponds with no bottom drain. The answer to this would be yes, you cannot have too much “good guy” bacteria in the pond or aquarium. Any excess of the beneficial bacteria will simply die off when the food supply is gone. We recommend the maintenance dosages to preserve the optimum numbers and distribution of bacteria for the best results under the changing conditions of your pond or aquarium.
Unlike chemicals, the live bacterium will not harm the pond/ aquarium or inhabitants.
MICROBE-LIFT products can be administered together. They are perfectly compatible with each other. Simply follow the directions for usage on the side of the box for each product you use. They are doing different jobs in the pond or aquarium.
Yes, we recommend that you turn off the UV light for a 48-72-hour period after the initial application and for 24-48 hours after each subsequent application. This is when the organisms are growing most rapidly and when they are the most sensitive to the UV light.
Concrete and cement ponds have residual lime and acids in them. The lime may leach out of the concrete for years adversely affecting the bacteria’s results if not properly washed and prepared at time of installation.
It reduces ammonia levels, nitrogen levels, reduces noxious odors caused by urine, fecal matter, algae, overfeeding, etc., reduces hydrogen sulfide odors, improves dissolved oxygen, reduces buildup of bird droppings and organic sediment. Also reduces nitrate nitrogen levels and most potential sources of fish toxicity.
Introducing a live bacterial culture to a pond is like introducing any other life form, such as fish. Your pond should be adequately aerated, especially in warm weather, to provide the oxygen needed by your fish and aerobic bacteria. Oxygen uptake by the bacteria will be higher if there is a significant buildup of organic waste in the pond or aquarium. You should begin to see results in 7-10 days and in 25-30 days you should see complete results. Unlike chemical products which work almost immediately when added to a pond, but become diluted, the active bacteria in MICROBE-LIFT multiply to provide the populations necessary to give the desired effect. Some time is naturally required for this growth to occur. When you plant grass seed you wouldn’t expect to mow it right away, would you?
MICROBE-LIFT should be used as is and not tampered with. The bacteria are grown in the container, and by attempting to dilute it could upset the balance of equilibrium in the bottle and jeopardize the remainder by shortening the shelf life.
These products establish a balance of nutrients in the pond/ aquarium, remove ammonia, nitrogen and other organic waste, which in turn produces cleaner water and a healthier environment for the inhabitants of the pond/ aquarium. It will reduce the manual maintenance requirements of the owner and increase the pleasure of having a pond or aquarium. As one dealer put it, “It cuts your pond maintenance in half.”
MICROBE-LIFT/PL & Special Blend have been called an ecosystem in a bottle. By establishing and maintaining a healthy balance in the pond/ aquarium, and by removing soluble and particulate organic waste matter, the water will obtain clarity otherwise not available. Any small or microscopic debris in the pond or aquarium will add to turbidity, clouding of the pond/ aquarium and detracting from the overall appearance. With MICROBE-LIFT at work, this is removed by the bacterial action.