A pond is a living environment not meant to have crystal clear water, clear water with a hint of green can be the healthiest environment for plants and fish. When the sun shine’s and there is moisture in abundance and nutrients are present, algae will grow. Green water is caused by photosynthesis due to sun light. The sun causes the microscopic algae to grow causing green water.
When we can’t slow this process or the algae becomes out of control it becomes a problem. So let’s look at a few steps you can take to keep the algae away and your pond environment thriving without the use of chemicals.
If you haven’t built your pond yet, your choice of placement can be the key to algae control. An area with full sun is an invitation for algae growth. Try to choose a location that has partial sun and shade throughout the day and algae will be a much smaller issue.
Choose a strong enough pump to give good water circulation this also helps to lessen the chance of algae bloom and fish do love a good current to swim in. If you already have an existing pump that is not moving the water enough, the addition of a second pump could be the answer.
Having a UV Sterilizer will remove most of your algae problems as long as it is the correct size for your pond and is in working order. 8 to 10 Watts of UV per 1000 gallons of water is an average recommendation. A UV sterilizer breaks down the cell walls of the algae as it pass over the light if not killing it causing it to “flocculate” or breakdown and clump. If you have a UV and an algae problem you need to check and ensure your bulb still has life. Most UV bulbs are made to last 1 year, removing the bulb and storing it safely during the winter months can add an extra year to its life.
A good filter is important to a pond, it does not help with algae control but helps clear the algae clumps caused by “flocculation”. Filters make a difference helping clear murky water created by fish waste and decomposing debris. When dealing with algae it is important to clean your filter regularly, especially in the hot summer months.
Adding an Aerator air pump to the deepest part of your pond can assist in algae control. Aeration will help reduce the presence of algae in a pond but it will not kill existing algae.
Surface water plants help to keep the suns penetrating raise off the surface of the water reducing algae.
Some of my favorites are water lettuce, hyacinths and fairy moss.
If string algae is present in your pond, manual labor with a dollar store toilet brush will work well on the worst of it. String algae can be rolled like spaghetti on these brush and the sides of the pond can be gently brushed to loosen attached algae as well. Removal of the algae is important as the smallest of pieces can spread. Decaying algae debris sinking to the bottom of the pond should be vacuumed up if possible.
All natural Barley straw has been used to combat string algae for many years. Small mesh wrapped bundles can be purchased to treat your pond. The straw needs to be placed where the water can flow through the bundle, e.g. the base of a waterfall or fountain and will cause a slight yellowing of the water. It take s approx. 2 weeks to begin working and up to 6 weeks to fix the problem. The bundle should be removed from the pond once it begins to breakdown. Welcome to the world of Natural & Organic Concentrated Barley Straw Extract a liquid that acts in 1 to 5 days and does not need to be cleaned up after use. Start using the barley extract when water temperature hits 10* Celsius/50*Fahrenheit in spring, treating weekly for the first 4 weeks, then changing to a maintenance dose every 3 rd . week for the rest of the pond season.
Having a water feature or pond is enough to raise your spirits and lift your soul. Enjoy!