Due to the very nature of algae, you find it in most bodies of water body which in fact, is a good sign that suggests good health of a pond. But, when the amount reaches unsustainable levels, you need to take action. If algae get out of control, it makes the pond water murky and clogs filters and pumps. Special attention needs to be paid during the spring (March – May) season.
The types of algae that you can spot in your pond could be –
1. String or Filamentous Algae
Since the string algae have the tendency to forming long threads around rocks, plants and other objects or dense mats, they are commonly referred to as blanket weed.
2. Suspended Algae
The suspended algae are at work to turn your crystal clear water into the murky green. When the algae cover extensive region, it resembles a pea soup and you will be unable to spot your vibrant, colorful fishes that lie just a few inches below the water surface.
Reason behind Algal Bloom
Primarily, there are three reasons due to which algae grow quickly and cover the water body in no time and those are –
1. High Content of Phosphates & Nitrates:
Dead and decay leaves, fish excreta, fish food waste or minerals from tap water are rich in nitrates, phosphates, and ammonia. These serve as the food for algae.
2. Stagnant Water
The continuous run off of nutrient fertilizer in the stagnant river body results in the algal bloom.
3. High Temperature and Excessive Sunlight
The presence of too much light into the pond paves way for algae. Shallow ponds or insufficient plant cover are the reasons that allows too much penetration of sunlight.
Algae Control in Ponds
The presence of algae is the bane for any pond keeper because it results in loss of fish life and depletes precious oxygen. But, with a few simple and precautionary steps, you can control algae in a pond and maintain the tranquility of the garden.
1. Maintain the Ecosystem by Adding Floating Plants
To achieve a fine balance naturally, cover at least half of the water surface with floating plants like water lettuce, azolla, water hyacinth or duckweed. Apart from these, you can even add lotus or lilies. These plants multiply quickly and work as shade for the life beneath. The submerged plant like hornwort keeps the water cool and blocks excessive sunlight and keeps the algal growth at a bare minimum. Adding plants is a necessity because they compete with algae for dissolved nutrients.
2. Love Fishes? Do NOT cram them in one pond
Who doesn’t love to see fish roaming around in crystal clear water? But, ensure that you do not add them in excess in one pond. More fishes would mean more waste (through excreta and food) which would result in the fast algae bloom.
3. Keep Debris at Bay
For algae control, regularly clean the water surface with a pond vacuum, net or with AquaClear Pellets. Because when these dead leaves, debris, and sludge break down, they result in the growth of algae.