AquaSphere's & Blast
By Dayleen Van Ryswyk aka "The Koi Lady"
If you have been here to Okanagan Koi, you'll probably have noticed on your tours past the ponds, that we have a white ball in the bottom of each pond. You'll probably also have noticed how clean the ponds are. If you've read some of the other articles I have written, then you'll know that we don't vacuum our ponds. We also don't spend too terribly much time maintaining them either.
We are firm believers in having adequate filtration for the fish load of our ponds. Under filtered ponds tend to be the common denominator when it comes to pond issues. As does having too many fish, feeding too much, not enough plants, no UV, improperly cleaning your filters and not doing small and regular water changes (evaporation never counts)
We came across this product, probably 8-9 years ago when we first purchased it from a wholesaler. I had originally brought it in, because we have some big ponds, and it gets quite expensive to treat them all season. We love Microbe-Lift products, they work well but when you have 9 ponds plus display tanks, it's expensive! So when we saw this product, we brought in some to test on our Greek pond that is 27 thousand gallons. Long story short, we never got a chance to try it. We had some people come in, very much at the end of their rope with algae issues, and they had large swim ponds which would have been expensive to treat with Microbe-Lift. I sold the product to them, with the promise that they come back and tell me what they thought.
Well, they came back and raved about how after 3 weeks, the floating algae was gone, and they could swim in the pond again. Of course they wanted more, which I didn't have, and my supplier was out. I tried in vain to get more and the supplier stopped carrying it. Several years went by and I decided to try again. After some online searching, I found the product again. Better than finding a wholesaler, I found the manufacturer woohoo!
That was about 4 or 5 years ago, and we have been loyal customers and dealers of their product, ever since. What we like about the Bioverse AquaSphere's and Blast, is that they are all natural products. You can't overdose them, you can't hurt your fish or aquatic critters, it doesn't change your water chemistry or throw anything off. On top of that, they are economical to use and they work!
So, what is it and what the heck do they do?
It was first designed for golf courses and lake size ponds, where you'd never find it again once tossing it in. Though the ball looks like it's made of plastic, it isn't. It's made of corn starch. So it's 100% biodegradable. The ball, as we call it, gets tossed into the pond bottom once a month. Inside the ball, are a couple pouches, inside the pouches are a non-pathogenic enzyme that eats up the debris on the pond bottom. There is also a food source for the enzyme, so as soon as it hits the water, it can get to work, cleaning up the pond.
Usually with products that digest debris (similar to the stuff you put in septic tanks) you have to wait for colonies of the good bacteria to build up, before much happens. And you usually have to add product weekly, in order for it to do that. That isn't the case with the AquaSphere ball, and that's another reason why we like it so much. We are just too busy to remember to dose 9 ponds every few days or week with a bunch of different things.
The first time we got to try the ball out, was in our Greek pond. It was early spring and there was debris on the pond bottom from winter, including pine needles. The water was also quite murky. So we tossed the 50,000 gallon ball into the pond and walked away. I didn't think it would work, because it was still really cold, but we tried it anyway. You could see the water clear up more and more every day, until after about 7-10 days, you could read a dime on the bottom 8 feet down.
To be honest, I really didn't stop and check it out too much. I just walked by, looked through the gate and thought it looked pretty good. It really wasn't until about 3 weeks later, that Eduard asked me if I'd checked out the Greek pond? I said yeah, it looks good to which he said No, have you LOOKED at it To be honest, I hadn't really. So, I went over and stood beside it and looked in. I was shocked!!
Not only was the water crystal clear, but the debris that was around the ball, was gone. Approximately a 6 foot radius around the ball was free of debris, except pine needles. So, we learned that proximity to the ball makes a big difference on digesting the mulm. The next month's ball got tossed into a new section of the pond, and the same thing happened. That took us into May and then we decided to try the Blast packets as well. The Blast, we added weekly, in addition to the ball.
The Blast is a super concentration of the product in the ball. It was created to help kick start the process in spring, or for use when things went off. Typically, for when we get that sudden temperature swing and it turns your pond green or murky. If you add the Blast weekly, then it snaps it out of that much faster. In the spring it's great, because the water is usually out of whack anyway, and this helps get a hold of things before everything really falls apart. After a few doses of the Blast with the ball, you could read the writing on the pond liner! All there was for debris were the pine needles.
As I've said in some of the other articles, we don't use chemicals in our ponds. We have some very expensive Koi and we care about them. The last thing we want to do is burn their skin, gills and eyes with chemicals. These are ponds and not swimming pools. You will have algae, and that's a good thing! It's when things are out of balance, that algae takes over and turns everything upside down.
The ball and Blast eat the debris, which would otherwise be food for bad bacteria and algae. It helps keep your oxygen levels up and the water balanced, which makes your fish happy and you as well, because it's less work and looks great!
If you haven't tried them, then you should! Please remember that this is not a silver bullet! If you don't maintain your pond and insist on over-feeding your fish, and don't have adequate filtration, don't expect this to be your magic pill.
We LOVE the product and we sell out of it several times a year, so once you have success like us, you'll want to buy a year's supply at a time.
We start tossing in a ball in March when the water is over 40F degrees OR 4C. Then once a month after that. We don't remove the old ball, we just toss in a new one. At the end of the season, we pull all the old ones out, toss in our last one around October and leave it in all winter. The difference in the pond come spring, is like night and day with ponds that don't have them.
Trust me, you'll be hooked
We carry the 2 pack that will treat ponds from 500 gallons up to 12,000 gallons. We also have 50K, 250K and 500K balls. The Blast comes in 5pk pouches that will treat 2500 gallons for 5 weeks, and 3lb box of 12 pouches that treat 125K gallons each! If you have big ponds, you can cut the big pouches open, and spoon out what you need. That makes it go really far, plus we can get you pails that hold 60 pouches and treat 7.5 million gallons..WOW!