Algae are simple plants that can be classified as either microalgae or macroalgae. They can be found almost everywhere on earth and has many benefits to our ecosystem, such as helping produce the air we breathe. It can also be cultivated to produce fuel, feed, and food. However, for pond owners, algae can be a big problem because they can grow very fast and controlling them can be troublesome.
One of the main concerns that pond owners have about algae is that it ruins its appearance. Instead of seeing crystal clear water, algae can cause pond water to become murky green. It can also severely affect the quality of the water when there is too much of them. Further, rapid growth of algae can even result to fish kills and irrigation problems.
If algae control is a problem for you, here’s a quick guide that will tell you what causes algae and what you can do to get rid of them.
How algae grows
Algae only needs sunlight, water, carbon dioxide and some inorganic nutrients to grow. Algae, therefore, proliferates when there is an excess of sunlight or nutrients and when oxygen levels are low.
Algae gets nutrients from a variety of sources such as fish and animal waste, fish food, dead or decaying vegetation, as well as fertilizer run-off from nearby farms.
Algae grows through photosynthesis just like other plants. It uses sunlight and carbon dioxide and releases oxygen. This is why ponds in direct sunlight risk having algae problems especially during the summer.
At night, algae consumes oxygen in order to grow. However, when high levels of waste in the pond remain stagnant, oxygen is needed to break down the waste. This causes oxygen levels to decrease, resulting to algae control problems.
How to control algae
Basically, when you encounter algae control issues, it only means that your pond is out of balance and that one or more of the three causes of algae growth is the culprit. A quick fix would be to use a form of algaecide but this is only considered a short term solution. Long term solutions include nutrient control, sunlight reduction and oxygenation.
Nutrient control can be done manually by removing floating debris and algae with the use of a rake or brush. Mechanical and biological filtration through the use of pond filters to remove fish waste is likewise an option.
In order to reduce sunlight on your pond, adding aquatic plants that will provide shade to the pond’s surface can help. Floating plants, such as water lilies also offer shade. Some floating plants even help absorb the nutrients. Another option is to add a dye or colorant to the water, which limits the amount of sunlight that penetrates through the water.
Using a pond aerator helps circulate water, making your pond well oxygenated. Oxygenation involves incorporating beneficial pond bacteria into the water, which helps break down organic waste faster.
For an all-natural solution to algae, Natural Golf Solution offers a lake and pond maintenance and cleaning product called Liquid Live Micro Organisms (LLMO) specifically designed for golf courses. LLMO is an effective long term solution that can remove algae as fast as two weeks. It is the fastest, safest and most cost effective system truly designed for environmentally conscious customers. Not only does it remove algae, it also reduces odor, decomposes sludge, increases water clarity, reduces fish kills and improves wildlife habitat.