In the present study, the species composition and potential metabolic activities of bacterial communities of reed Phragmites australis (Cav.) (Trin. ex Steudel) periphyton from Lake Velencei were studied by cultivation-based and metabolic fingerprinting methods. Serially diluted spring biofilm samples were used to test the community-level physiological profiling (CLPP) using BIOLOG microplates, and for plating onto different media. On the basis of their morphological, biochemical, and physiological test results, 173 strains were clustered by numerical analysis. Representatives of amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) groups were identified by their 16S rDNA sequence comparison. Based on the results of the CLPP investigations, regional differences were detected among the utilized substrate numbers and types, parallel with the increase in incubation time. The phenotypic test results of the strains showed considerable variability with respect to the sampling sites and the media used for cultivation. The most frequently isolated strains were identified as members of genera Agrobacterium, Pseudomonas (P. anguilliseptica, P. marginalis, P. alcaligenes, P. fragi) with aerobic or facultative anaerobic respiratory metabolism, and the species Aeromonas sobria and A. veronii with strong facultative fermentative metabolism. Other strains were identified as Gram-positive Arthrobacter, Bacillus, and Kocuria species. The rarely isolated strains were members of beta-Proteobacteria (Acidovorax, Delftia, Hydrogenophaga, and Rhodoferax), gamma-Proteobacteria (Psychrobacter and Shewanella), low G + C Gram-positives (Brevibacillus, Paenibacillus, and Exiguobacterium) and high G + C Gram-positives (Aureobacterium and Microbacterium).