5-Step Plan for Algae Control in Water Gardens
String algae. It seems to just grow and grow, leaving a tangled mess in streams and water gardens. Like other types of algae, string algae thrives on sunlight and excess nutrients like fish waste and decomposing organic matter in the water. Here is a five-step plan designed to get string algae under control.
- Add Plants: Water lilies, water hyacinth, water lettuce and other floating aquatic plants look much nicer than algae. These ornamental plants will also feed on excess nutrients in the pond, so plant away! A simple rule of thumb is to have 60 percent of your pond covered with submerged, floating and marginal (bog) plants.
- Ration Fish Food: Those fish food pellets are necessary to feed koi and goldfish, but keep in mind that fish food adds nutrients to the water in two ways: as wasted food that the fish don’t eat, and as waste after the fish digest it. Monitor how much the fish are actually eating and cut back if possible. A general rule is to feed what can be consumed within a 5 minute period.
- Boost Filtration: If your filtration system isn’t powerful enough to handle the pond’s total fish load, you’ll wind up with excessive algae growth and, in worst-case scenarios, lethal levels of ammonia – neither of which are pleasant. Many filters on the market are rated for ponds containing no fish or minimal fish, so get a filter that is rated for at least two times the water volume of your pond to handle all that extra waste.
- Turn Up Aeration: Beneficial bacteria, like those found in the EcoPack™, naturally break down fish waste, but they need oxygen to thrive and reproduce. By adding a PondAir™ or KoiAir™ Aeration System, you’ll boost the oxygen in the water, increase bacteria levels and reduce the nutrient load.
- Use ClarityMax™: ClarityMax™ is a multi-purpose natural treatment, (also included in the EcoPack™) formulated to remove algae stains and prevent debris buildup on and around waterfalls, streams, rocks in the pond and filtration systems.
Even well maintained ponds can sometimes have an algae outbreak. Sprinkle on some AlgaeOff® for a quick fix when needed. String algae may seem like a never-ending battle, but it can be managed with these tried-and-true methods. Good luck!