5 Tips for Treating Pond & Lake Algae

5 Tips for Treating Pond & Lake Algae

It can be frustrating to spend hours upon hours dosing the water with algaecides and raking out the algae-feeding plant matter, only to see it return weeks – if not days – later. Here are our top recommendations for battling the algae in ponds and lakes.

1. Treat Only Actively Growing Algae
When using algae control products in a pond or lake, the algae must be present and actively growing. Why? Because the chemicals need to make direct contact with the tiny organisms and absorb into their cells for them to be effective; if there are no living algae, the chemicals will land in the water and become diluted, therefore ineffective.

2. Treat When Weather Is Favorable
Algae can grow in cold temperatures – even frigid, depending on the species – but algaecides aren't so tolerant. The pond water must be warmer than 60°F for the chemicals to work. Apply algae treatment on a sunny, mild day when rain is not expected in the immediate forecast. This will allow the chemicals to absorb the algae adequately. As always, read the product label for instructions and specific temperature requirements.

3. Treat Only a Third at a Time
When temperatures heat up and the algae die off, that combination of warm water and decaying plant matter reduces the amount of oxygen available to fish and other living critters in the pond. Keep them in an oxygen-rich environment by treating the pond in small sections and waiting 7-10 days before moving to the next section. In addition, keep an aeration system or fountain running during treatment to continue circulating and oxygenating the water.

4. Read the Product Label
Different algaecides have different active ingredients, inert ingredients, and specifications, so always read your product's label for appropriate protective equipment and application rates. Pay special attention to warnings concerning water use and restrictions in ponds used for irrigation, drinking, and swimming, as well as in ponds that house certain types of fish such as Trout.

5. Follow Up with Airmax Ecosystem Pond Management Program
Algaecides are a great tool that can temporarily clear up pea soup water, but they do little to address the actual problem causing the algae – which is excessive nutrients and organics. By following up with proactive pond management practices, such as aeration and natural water treatments like MuckAway, you will reduce the accumulation of dead organic material, which will help to keep water clear season after season.