Pond Algae Control Explained
When looking at the topic of pond algae control, the amount of information available may seem daunting to a new pond owner with an algae problem. There are many types of algae, each caused by various environmental conditions that can exist in a pond ecosystem. In this article, we'll try to simply the problem down to the most common causes and cures.
First Things First - Proper Filtration and Maintenance
Pond algae can show up for a number of different reasons. However, some of the common reasons are due to a less-than-healthy pond ecosystem. For that reason it's always a good practice to make sure the basics are covered. These include keeping good water quality through proper filtration, pumping, temperature, and chemical balance. To learn more about these topics, please see our page on water garden care.
Common Types of Algae
When it comes to pond algae control, the most common types of pond algae that cause problems for pond owners are string algae (a.k.a. hair algae or blanket weed), or single celled green algae that cause green water (a.k.a. an algae bloom). Although both are algae, they are actually quite different in nature, each requiring different remedies.
String algae is characterized by its long, 'stringy' nature and its ability to clog drains, pumps and filters in your pond. It thrives in warm water, and through photosynthesis from the sun, produces oxygen which gets trapped inside the algae mass causing it to float, covering the surface like a blanket. It is for this reason that string algae is also called blanket weed. Although blanket weed can be scooped out of the pond from time to time, most pond owners try to get rid of it at the source. This includes making sure your pond is healthy and your biological filtration system is working properly. Since temperature is definitely a factor, be sure your pond water has enough depth and shade to help keep the temperature down in hot weather. There are also other treatments available such as barley straw, or more elaborate equipment such as electronic hair algae controllers and ultrasonic algae controllers. To read more about string algae and the common cures, please have a look at our page dedicated to pond string algae.
Green Pond Water (aka. Algae Bloom)
Green water is a very common problem that many pond owners face, and often times the cure isn't as complicated as one may think. Green water is caused by millions of single cell spores of green algae that can collectively reduce the visibility of your pond water to near zero. Green algae can reproduce at an alarming rate when fueled by nutrients in the water and direct sunlight. One of the quickest ways to prevent algae from breeding as easily is to reduce the amount of sun exposure to the pond. This can be achieved by locating your pond in a shady area of your landscape, or by creating shade on the water through the use of floating pond plants. Plants also have the added benefit of using up nutrients in the water that would otherwise be consumed by Algae. There is also equipment than can help combat the problem. A UV clarifier can be installed which uses UV light to kill the single-celled algae in the pond. For more info on UV clarifiers, please see the products below. To read more about green pond water and how to effectively treat it, please see our page dedicated to green pond water.
UV Clarifiers to Combat Green Water
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