Preventing Pond Algae
The sound of water has always been associated with tranquility. Having a pond in your space will bring you a place to create a sanctuary of relaxation. And if you already have a pond in your space then you know the importance of taking care of it. Knowing the proper care and maintenance for your pond will mean years of enjoyment. This is especially true if you have fish in your pond, because if your pond’s ecosystem is out of balance it can affect the health of your fish and the plant life in the pond. Without care and maintenance your pond will be susceptible to the threat an algae infestation.
Algae is a single cell organism often called green algae, string or hair algae, or blanket weed. Your ponds algae is actually vital to the health of its ecosystem, but when algae gets out of control then that is when your pond may be in danger. Usually fish, such as Koi, eat algae and can usually keep the amount of algae in your pond under control. Unfortunately, if your pond isn’t well taken care of then what is usually beneficial will become detrimental.
Problems with algae occur because algae can grow at an incredibly fast rate. This can happen for several reasons. If you happen to have a large supply of fish in your pond they are creating a large amount of waste. Excess fish waste provides more food than necessary for algae and this causes them to reproduce quickly. The same thing will happen if you overfed your fish. The food becomes additional fuel for the algae and will encourage growth. To stop this from being a factor in algae infestation, be sure to keep the number of fish you have in your pond to a minimum and do not overfed them.
Something to consider if you don’t have a lot of fish and aren’t overfeeding them is the possibility that your pond is getting contaminated runoff after a rainstorm. Most yards and gardens are cared for using fertilizers and other chemicals. Debris, fertilizers, and other chemicals from your garden can be food for algae.
Unfortunately, an abundance of food isn’t the only thing that will encourage algae to grow. Like any other plant, algae need the sun to survive. If your pond is located in a very sunny spot this can aid the algae in growing. To minimize this being a cause for infestation ponds are best placed in partial sun where it is in shade for the majority of the day.
When algae get out of hand it will cause your pond to look like sludge. Algae, especially string algae, can clog your filters and other equipment. An infestation of algae can also suffocate your fish by depleting the oxygen in the water.
Thankfully there are ways to control pond algae. To naturally reduce the amount of algae present in your pond you can introduce two things to your pond. The first item that should be introduced are floating plants as well as submerged plants. Floating plants protect the water beneath from the sun restricting access by algae. The recommended amount is 50% so that you can take advantage of other means of assistance. Submerged plants also help the fight against algae because they often absorb the nutrients that fed algae before they can get to it.
The second thing that will reduce the threat of an algae infestation is the use of filters. If your filter is be able to move half of the water in your pond per hour this current will reduce the chance that algae will have more food than it needs and will, in effect, stop overpopulation. Part of the maintenance for your pond is taking care of your filter by keeping it clean. Filters should be cleaned once a year. When you service your filter it is also a good time to clean your pond. Regular cleaning will help keep the ecosystem of your pond in balance.
If your algae problem can’t be fixed using natural means then you may need to use your last resort; chemicals. Algaecides can work to well and kill almost all the ponds algae that, unfortunately, then become food for the remaining algae and your cycle of infestation will start all over again. Rather than using an algaecide to solve your problem, try using a microbial product. A microbial product added to your pond before an infestation can help stop it all together. Adding it will help maintain a healthy ecosystem.
When you know how to care for and maintain your pond you can rest assured knowing that your pond will be safe from algae infestation. You’ll be free to sit back in your tranquil space and enjoy the calming effects of the water. Enjoy the peaceful pastime of feeding your fish without having to worry.