Algae is the number one complaint of Pond owners. Weather its a green film or in the from of string algae, this invasive plant can take over the beauty of your pond and cause maintenance headaches. If Algae dominates it will rob the pond of oxygen, as well as the sights colorful fish and rock work on the pond floor. Fortunately there are steps you can take to control algae in your pond. Please understand that some algae is ok, in fact its the main food source for the life that exists within the ecosystem. However, to avoid a string algae bloom the key is to get ahead of the problem before it gets out of control.
So how does Algae form? Algae is created by photosynthesis, which combine water and carbon dioxide to form sugars for energy and growth. At night when the sun is not present algae respires and steals oxygen from the water. This process along with decaying leaves and other debris cause sediment build-up. This creates increased nitrogen levels in the pond which promotes algae growth. To keep it simple, when oxygen is replaced with too much nitrogen and phosphorous is creates an unbalanced ecosystem, and evasive algae is more prone to rear its ugly head.
There are two main types of pond algae. Green Water Algae forms a fuzzy like substance on pond edges and rocks, almost appearing like a green film. Green Water algae is ok as it serves as nutrients for other important life within the pond ecosystem.
String Algae is the second type which grows in long strands, adheres to rocks and waterfalls. They eventually tangle together, forming thick, unsightly mats that spread and grow rapidly.
How to eliminate or prevent algae?
The following are some tried-and-true methods that will not only help you treat algae, but also help prevent it.
Adding Aquatic Plants
Plant aquatic plants in your pond to absorb algae forming nutrients. As a living organism, algae draws nutrients from the water in order to live. Add some more appealing plants, such as lily pads, cattails, or watercress, to your pond that will suck up all of those nutrients and stop algae from being able to grow. This can help keep your water clear and make your pond look more interesting.
Water treatments are an excellent option where algae problems already exist. Green water and string algae can be controlled using water treatments such as Beneficial Bacteria, Clean for Ponds, Maintain For Ponds from Aquascape. Reapplication is necessary for maximum effectiveness, but be sure to follow dosage instructions.
Devices such as Ionizers which release zinc and copper ions into the water as it passes throughout the system can be effective in preventing string algae. Similar to Ionizers, UV light systems can be installed, which water passes through UV light and diminishes the growth of string algae.
When it comes to controlling algae, balance is best.
No pond is ever totally free of algae, but in a balanced environment, algae can be kept in check. Understanding how it grows is a good start, followed by an appropriate treatment for the type of algae present. UV clarifiers, water treatments, and other algae eliminators are effective methods for treating and preventing algae proliferation. But don’t ignore Mother Nature; the addition of plants should be part of the long-term solution.