ALGAE:

There are numerous kinds of algae that form in a pond.  They can be divided into two groups – suspended (tiny single-celled organisms responsible for green water), and filamentous (stringy strands such as blanket-weed and silkweed).  Neither group is associated with an unhealthy pond, although green water and big mats of stringy green strands can be distressing to a pond owner.

SUSPENDED algae are usually most prevalent in a pond during spring, when the nutrient level is high, plants are still small, and the water is warming up.  An algae bloom (green water) generally lasts until the submerged plants have proliferated, and the surface plants have multiplied enough to shade the pond (about 70% coverage).  Plants use nutrients as fertilizer, and once plants are well established, the nutrient level is lowered and the green water disappears. 

Alternatively, installing a UVC will reduce green water (see pages 18-19).  Whatever you do, resist the temptation to drain the pond.  Brand new water is only a temporary fix - it is very high in minerals and will quickly turn green.

It is common to use biological products or chemicals to treat green water.  Bear in mind that suspended algae consist of billions of single-celled plants that reproduce at an alarming rate.  Repeated dosages are required.

FILAMENTOUS algae are usually found in otherwise clear pond water.  Blanket-weed tends to form large floating, and partly submerged mats.  It can be easily removed from the pond with a net or stiff brush.  Silkweed is a dark green string algae, and tends to form in shallow water, anchoring itself to submerged plants, the stems of water lilies and rocks.
In sunlight, filamentous algae produce a lot of oxygen.  The oxygen is trapped in little bubbles between the tangles of algae.  This type of algae reproduces by not only dropping spores to the bottom of the pond, but by single filaments touching each other.

Mild algaecides are available (see pages 38-41) to control filamentous algae – any chemicals must be used according to directions, and with caution. 

The installation of an IonGen (see page 19) will remove all traces of string algae.  The clumps of dead algae must be removed from the pond to prevent pollution and oxygen depletion.  A biological filter is best installed together with an IonGen.  If available, add extra aeration to the pond water.

Cold temperatures do not kill algae - the cold merely drives algae into dormancy.

 

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