Understanding Pond Algae
In ponds, we see algae occur virtually in every form. Suspended algae causing green water, string algae along rocks and streams, brown algae on the sides and bottom, and even algae literally bubbling to the surface on warm summer days. Fixing your algae problem is easy, but understanding what's going on here is even more important.
Filtration is not enough. Algae cells are very small. Consider the size of a human hair, about 300 micron. Now consider algae - averaging from 30-90 microns in size. Most filters cannot filter out algae, so trying to get them removed by filtration is futile.
do algae eat? Nothing; algae make their own food. The chlorophyll
traps sunlight to use as energy for food production. Then the alga
takes carbon dioxide from the pond water and water to make food. They do, however thrive in ponds that are rich in nitrate and in elevated levels of phosphate.
Can we starve them to death? Kind of.... If we were to provide enough shade blocking sunlight which is an ingredient of photosynthesis, and if we were to rob the water of nutrients like nitrate and phosphate, then we might be able to get the little buggers under control.
Then why is it so hard to control algae? Simple. Exponential growth. They reproduce fast, real fast. So we really need to be proactive first.
Ok, I'm drinking from the firehose, and am in information overload.... What do I do.... I have a pond that is overgrown with algae, I can't see the bottom anymore, and its starting to stink.
Here's the answer, and it has worked for so many of our customers, we confidently will tell you our secret, but you have to follow our advice for it to really work right.
So to summarize, kill the algae with a granular algaecide, add aeration, add a uv light, maintain with barley and more granular algaecide, and you're golden.
- Aeration. That's right, aeration. Algae will grow to such a level in your pond that they can literally starve your fish of oxygen causing a massive dieoff literally overnight. Oxygen also helps pro biotic or beneficial bacteria to colonize, therefore consuming the nutrients that they need. It also stirs up the water enough that the skimmer does a more effective job of cleaning.
- UV Light. We have seen ponds go from green to clean in literally a matter of days by the use of adding a uv light. This will clean the water column, but not the stringy stuff from the sides.
- Barley. Barley will decompose releasing hydrogen peroxide which kills algae at levels that are totally safe for your koi and other fish living in your pond.
- Granular algaecide. We encourage a granular algaecide with a peroxating agent. This is safe as it actually produces oxygen as it kills algae. To use this, simply shut off your pump, let your waterfall drain, and broadcast it as directed by the manufacturer. Let it sit for about 15 mins, and turn your filters back on. You should see results in 48 hours on average.
- Liquid Algaecides. While they are effective, if you don't really know how many gallons your pond is, don't use it. That's right, don't. (unless it has a peroxiding agent - like Green Clean FX,- therfore not depleting the oxygen levels) We have seen too many ponds get wiped out because pond owners overdosed their pond. We're talking total fish kill.
For more information, call us! We're glad to help.