What is Algae Anyway?
Pond algae is one of the most common problems pond owners face while maintaining a pond, lake, or water feature and it's a completely normal part of a ponds ecosystem. It forms a big and diverse group of eukaryotic organisms that love sunlight, warmth, and high-nutrient bodies of water like your pond. Like plants, algae uses photosynthesis to convert light into energy. It doesn't have a root system like traditional plants and often grows floating on the waters surface, across submerged surfaces, or in the water column. In abundance, algae will mat on the surface or spread throughout the water column shading your pond, preventing plant growth & reducing oxygen content. If left unchecked it can deplete your pond of oxygen killing fish and other organisms.
Algae does have benefits and some algae in your pond is necessary for a healthy and balanced pond ecosystem. It contributes to your pond ecosystem as a food source for infusoria, small fish (like baby fry) and insects; it also provides places for micro-organisms to live or hide, and it does absorb excess nutrients in the water.
What Causes Algae Blooms?
An algae bloom is the result of rapid reproduction and the increase in the population of algae in a body of water. Blooms are typically caused by an increase of nutrients in the water and/or direct sunlight allowing the organisms to grow excessively and rapidly. Fertilizer run-off or over-feeding fish are examples of how excess nutrients enter your pond and contribute to an algae bloom. Other contributing factors include water temperatures and how much competition for nutrients are active in the pond. For example, suspended algae will often bloom in the early spring while the water temperatures remain low enough that fish and other organisms have yet to become active, resulting in green pea soup water.
Learn more about fixing 'Pea Soup' pond water.
Discover how to treat different types of algae.
Learn about solutions for treating green algae.
Floating, Submersible, and Marginal Pond Plants To The Rescue
Pond plants play a critical role in maintaining a sustained and balanced pond ecosystem and are a primary competitor to algae for nutrients and sunlight. Adding a variety of plants to your water garden increases the amount of competition for nutrients in the pond, decreases the amount of direct sunlight to the pond, and improves the overall water quality and aesthetics of your water garden.
Floating Plants, such as Water Hyacinth and Water Lettuce, grow at the water surface and dangle their roots into the water. Floating pond plants generally don't need to be anchored unless you want them to stay in a specific area. Water Hyacinth is an amazing filter, capable of absorbing suspended particles and inorganic substances like heavy metals. It's been used to mitigate waterway pollution, as a filter in the pre-treatment of drinking water, and to filter sewage and wastewater.
Discover different types of pond plants for algae control.
Find hardy marginal pond plants great for filtration.
Find tropical marginal pond plants great for filtering water.
Preventative Water Treatments
Water treatments are a fast quick solution but also temporary unless used in conjuction with other algae reducing methods such as other treatments, water filtering, and pond plants. Water treatments should be used carefully and as directed.
Learn how to test your pond water.
Learn how to maintain a balanced pond ecosystem.
A guide on different water treatment types.
Barley extract and bales are used as natural inhibitors to algae growth in your pond and water feature. Using barley in conjuction with other treatments and solid pond maintenance practices will help keep harmful levels of algae at bay.
Discover the benefits of barley to treat algae problems.
Learn about different types of lake treatments.
Biological filter media is a necessity in any aquatic system that aims to reduce algae and/or clean water of debris and toxins. Filter media adds large amounts of surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize while also catching larger particles preventing their return into your water.
Find out about different types of pond filtration.
Discover Bog Filters and their benefits.
Learn the differences in chemical and natural treatments.