The Good, the Bad & the Ugly Algae in Your Pond
Algae looks like a beard of green plants in the pond and must not be allowed to grow in excessive amounts. It can make the pond look like pea soup, but there are benefits and disadvantages of algae in your pond.
Advantages of Pond Algae:
- Fish, microorganisms feed off algae
- Absorbs ammonia nitrates & phosphates
- Fish can spawn on hair algae
- Provides shade
- During the day algae will provide oxygen.
Disadvantages of Pond Algae:
- Sucks oxygen in the evening
- Changes pH levels
- Can clog filters
- Steals light from and can suffocate aquatic plants
- Can make the pond look murky.
The different types of algae include suspended algae, blue-green algae, surface algae and the infamous hair algae.
- Suspended algae is characterized by green water and is beneficial as fish food.
- Blue-green algae is characterized by slime that breaks up with minor agitation and an aerator will help.
- Surface algae is the stuff ponders really want. It has short roots, is found floating on the top of your pond and is invariably food for most creatures of the deep.
- Hair algae, also known as string algae , is detrimental to your pond's ecosystem. It is characterized by slime and a neon green color that is clingy and sucks the life out of other plants.
To get rid of unbeneficial algae in your pond try these methods:
- A common method of algae control is Barley Straw Bales or Balls, which contain a mixture of barley straw with microorganisms that inhibit algae bloom. They are designed to be safe for fish and plants. They are either anchored to the bottom or left to float, depending on the kind you get. They are usually packaged in a mesh bag and provide food for your fish. Barley Bales are packaged in different sizes depending on the size of pond you have. They range from $27 for 2,000-or-less gallons of water, up to $105 for a 20,000-gallon pond.
- Algae can be controlled with other methods as well, like UV clarifiers or UV sterilizers , which are installed between the pump and the filter to eliminate up-to 99% of the pond's algae.
- Add snails or tadpoles. They eat the stuff.
- Get rid of old leaves, plants, etc. This should be a top-line defense.
- Check and clean-out filter.
- Add applicable plants like water lettuce, foxtail and water hyacinth.
- Use tarps or golf umbrellas to decrease light.
There are Algae Destroyer chemicals that use algaecide and keep the algae growth under control. This chemical comes in different forms and application methods.