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Algae FAQ


1. What stimulates algae growth?
Factors that directly affect algal growth include available forms of nitrogen and phosphorus, sunlight, and temperature.

2. What level of phosphorus does it take to stimulate algae growth?
Depending on geographical location, environmental conditions, water column characteristics, etc., surface water concentrations ranging from 4 - 20 ug/L can trigger an algae bloom.

3. How do algae affect DO (dissolved oxygen) levels in the water column?
Periodic Oxygen depletion, resulting from algae respiration and decomposition, can occur during algae blooms.
During the day algae take up carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the water column through photosynthesis. This can cause DO levels to increase. During the night, algae take up oxygen and release carbon dioxide into the water column.This can cause DO levels to decrease. Algae, suspended below the surface, cannot photosynthesize and, as a result, they decompose. The decomposition process consumes dissolved oxygen, and, as a result, DO levels in the water column can decrease.

4. Will EC-504 harm turf?
No, EC-504 also improves the water quality of irrigation ponds by breaking down ammonia salts and other contaminants before they reach the turf. EC-504 enhance turf health. The microbes used in EC-504 are natural soil and water bacteria that are an essential part of the mechanism for the efficient transport of nutrients from the soil into the turf roots.

5. Is EC-504 safe for fish?
Yes. By removing ammonia and nitrite from the water, EC-504 enhances the aquatic environment for fish and other wildlife.

6. What is thermal Stratification?
Typically, when pond water is warm and in full sun, oxygen is consumed faster than is replenished. This can result in thermal stratification in the water column. That is to say, the warmer, oxygen rich upper layers of water are suspended on top of the cooler oxygen deficient lower layers. When this occurs, conditions within the pond environment change.
a) Beneficial aerobic bacteria become inactive and anaerobic bacteria take over.

b) The rate, at which the biodegradable component(s) in the bottom sludge layer is degraded, is significantly reduced.

c) Sludge accumulation increases.

d) Nutrient levels, in the bottom sludge layer begin to climb resulting in algae bloom, excessive scum accumulations and plant growth and higher ammonia and hydrogen sulfide levels.

e) Biological oxygen demand increases and dissolved oxygen levels decrease.

7. Will EC-504 work within the pond bottom and sludge layer?
Yes. EC-504 provides the correct biomass for the entire pond, including the sludge layer. The sludge layer can be the largest contributor of nutrients to the pond for two reasons. (1) As organic matter, i.e. leaves, grass clippings, fecal matter from fish, frogs, birds, etc., degrades on the pond bottom, it releases nitrogen and phosphorus (2) The bacterial populations in the sludge layer can be damaged by herbicides, algaecides and pesticides flushed into the pond during rainstorms. EC-504 will repopulate the sludge layer and degrade nitrogen and phosphorous. This not only reduces the sludge layer volume but also reduces the nutrients that algae need as an energy source.

8. How does EC-504 control odor?
The microbes in EC-504 attack the cause of the pond odour, ammonia and slow decaying organic matter. By accelerating and stabilizing the natural nitrogen conversion reactions, EC-504 greatly reduces or eliminates the release of ambient ammonia. Rapid digestion of accumulated organic matter eliminates foul odour.

9. How does EC-504 clarify water?
EC-504 reduces the algae population and digests floating and suspended organic matter that clouds the water column.

10. Will EC-504 clear a pond of existing algae?
Yes, however, EC-504’s mode of action is to “starve” the algae by out-competing for a primary nutrient, nitrogen. Therefore, it is most effective when used as a preventive maintenance program, before algae commence blooming.

11. Is EC-504 compatible with algaecides or pesticides?
No, algaecides kill biomass and, as a result, fewer nutrients are digested and the potential for long-term algae problems increases. It is important to note that the copper used in algaecides and herbicides accumulates in bottom sludge causing an ever-increasing toxicity problem for natural microbes.

12. Is EC-504 an algaecide?
No, EC-504 is not an algaecide. EC-504 is designed to digest the algae’s primary growth nutrient, nitrogen. It will not kill living biomass. EC-504 will help to re-establish a healthy, balanced aquatic ecosystem. EC-504 is non-toxic, non-corrosive, and all natural and will not harm animals, plants, birds, fish or humans.

13. What about aeration?
EC-504 bacteria utilize dissolved oxygen in their digestive processes. Typically, this does not affect the dissolved oxygen concentration in a well-aerated pond. Aeration will reduce or prevent thermal stratification and enhance the effectiveness of EC-504, as well as benefit all aquatic life present in the pond. It is recommended that all ponds, with inadequate dissolved oxygen levels, be aerated.

14. Are permits or applicator’s licenses necessary?
Typically, no. EC-504 is not regulated and a permit or applicator’s license is not required.

15. How is EC-504 used?
EC-504 is a pond management program, not a one time, quick-fix chemical addition. As such, it requires initial preparation and continued attention in order to provide optimum results. An initial heavy dose is required to rapidly populate the pond with the necessary cultures. Seasonal golf courses require only one initiation dose, while year round courses should be done twice. The initial dose is applied at a rate of 3 lb./acre-foot of water.

16. What is the purpose of the maintenance dose?
EC-504 is a preventative maintenance product. Accordingly, an application every two to three weeks will ensure that biomass levels remain sufficient to handle nutrient inflows. Water outflow, irrigation, leaching and inter-species competition, with less desirable microbes, can reduce biomass. Typically, each treatment environment has a unique set of characteristics that impact microbial activity and, as a result, the time window to achieve the desire results will vary from pond to pond.

17. What is  filamentous algae?
Typically, filamentous algae grows on the bottom of shallow ponds and on rocks and aquatic plants. Sometimes, filamentous algae floats to the surface forming large mats. There are numerous species of filamentous algae and, in some ponds, several species can be present at the same time.

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