Sludge on the bottom of your dam is essentially organic muck (e.g. leaves, sticks, animal excrement) that piles up. This means you’ve essentially got a layer of fertiliser sitting on the floor of your dam. This might also be why you have algae and weed problems (they feed on this fertiliser).
The good news is, if you can find something to feed on the fertiliser (that isn’t a pest), you can get rid of the sludge. This is where “good” microbes come in. These “good” guys are the backbone to any healthy aquatic ecosystem. They already live in your dam and feed on the sludge, there just isn’t quite enough of them to make a dent in the forever-accumulating pile.
A natural method to reduce sludge
So the solution is to reducing sludge is simple—increase the population of “good” microbes in your dam. The more microbes there are, the more sludge they’ll eat.
This is the foundational logic to our ridiculously simple yet profoundly effective two-step method to reduce sludge:
1) Add oxygen. First, we encourage you to install an aerator in your dam to get more oxygen into your water (Read: How aeration works). “Good” microbes are aerobic (oxygen-loving). This means, the more oxygen there is in the water, the more “good” microbes will grow, resulting in less sludge.
2) Add a probiotic. Next, we encourage you to routinely feed your microbes a probiotic (e.g. Biostim). Once a month is generally enough to keep the population of “good” microbes healthy and abundant. Throw a handful in like you would feeding your chooks pellets. By feeding the microbes, you’ll ensure their populations remain healthy so they can continue to breakdown the sludge.
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