Are you struggling with Algae? Read this to find the best treatment for your pond. With a bit of knowledge Algae will go from frustrating pea soup to another interesting life form in your healthy and balanced pond.
So what is Algae?
Algae is a single celled aquatic plant which comes in many different forms from string algae to seaweed. It can live anywhere in the world due to its incredible adaptability.
Having some algae in your pond is actually really good as it sucks up excess nutrients early in the year. The beneficial bacteria in your biofalls, wetland or on your rocks and gravel start waking up a little later and take over the natural cleaning process.
You can see good levels of algae, or biofilm, growing on your rocks and gravel, naturally cleaning the water. Sometimes it can tinge your vision so use a clear drinking glass to have a look at the colour of your water. We’re looking for clear water, if it’s green, brown or smelly, have a look at Maintain, Clear or Clean for getting to the bottom of those problems.
Treating the Root Cause
Too much Algae can become unsightly, floating on the water and clogging up our plants. It feeds on the silt and rotting matter at the bottom of your pond which comes from plant debris, fish waste or uneaten fish food. By manually removing this waste with a drain and clean every 1-2 years, we are physically removing their food source meaning your pond is unable to sustain large amounts of algae. To cause the least disruption to the lifecycles in your pond, drain and cleans are best carried out during the colder months, generally between October and March, whilst pond life is at it’s most dormant.
Now that we have removed the food source for the algae, we can start maintaining our lovely clean pond to slow down the build up of algae. Adding water treatments manually or with a Auto-doser is the best way for healthy and balanced water quality. These treatments outcompete the algae’s food supply. We like to use Beneficial Bacteria or Clear for the majority of ponds. However, if you debris such as leaf litter or fish, something that breaks down organics like Clean is more suitable. Adding water treatments is completely safe for wildlife and fish and is something we recommend for all ponds.
Blooms will still happen but they will be short lived. Manually scoop out and perhaps increase the treatment for the next week or so.
If you want a more persistent control, you can add an IonGen. These alter the pH of the water slightly and so are not recommended for those with fish or who want it as a wildlife pond. The gently released copper ions will keep a stronger hand on algae throughout the year.
I want lower Maintenance
Find out more about Ion Gens or Auto Dosers, by getting in touch with DU Waterscapes via their Contact Form. You can find this at the bottom of each page.
Want to know more?
Grab a cup of tea and watch this 12 minute video from Aquascape’s own “Pond Professor” all about Algae. Alternatively, download the PDF at the top of the page to read about it more. They do mention some algaecides but these are not legal in the UK.