Ponds and lakes are more than just holes of water in the ground, they are a compilation of organic and inorganic parts which build a greater whole. These these larger systems are know as ecosystems and are essential to sustaining a naturally healthy pond or lake.
Ecosystems can be broken down into groups of parts based on their specific roles. Producers are responsible for creating nourishment which the consumer group feeds upon. Without these producers, the food chain would be incomplete and all life would perish.
The consumer group consists of three different types of consumers: primary, secondary, and tertiary. The primary consumers include algae, zooplankton, bacteria and detritus. Next in the food chain are secondary consumers, consisting of planktivorous fish, predaceous invertebrates, bottom dwelling organisms, sunfish and perch. The third and final group of consumers are tertiary consumers. These organisms include other carnivorous animals and larger fish.
Finally, all these consumers leave remains and residue which is the food for the final group in our lake ecosystem: the decomposers. This category is made of bacteria, fungi and microorganisms which break down any decaying or organic matter in the water.
It is important to make sure that any treatment of your pond or lake be made safely and responsibly, assuring the protection of all organisms in an ecosystem.