Algae and aquatic weeds can run amok in a pond or lake causing oxygen levels to drop and endangering your fish. Additionally, these algae can cause excessive odors and detract from the look of your water, which you certainly would prefer to be beautiful, clear and natural. Pond algae control products can help, as well as using a few other strategies.
The Dreaded Algal Bloom: How It Occurs
Several factors can lead to an algal bloom, which is a rapid acceleration in the growth of algae in a pond or lake. An excess of certain nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen can cause algae to grow quickly. Let’s take a look at each of these nutrients.
Nitrogen is something that all animals and plants need, but excessive amounts of this nutrient can be dangerous. For instance, when too much nitrogen enters a stream, lake, pond or another water source, this can cause nitrates to form. Nitrates facilitate the growth of aquatic plants and algae, and excessive nitrates in the water not only are dangerous for your fish, but it also can harm humans and other animals, such as your pets or livestock.
There are several common sources of nitrogen that can create problems in a pond, lake or another water source, including groundwater. Farms use nitrogen in fertilizer and animal waste, or manure, also has a high level of nitrogen. Areas prone to air pollution also can encounter issues with nitrogen levels.
If you own a farm or live near a farm, water runoff can be contaminated with high levels of nitrogen. This can seep into the groundwater and when it rains, this nitrogen-rich water can end up in your pond or lake.
This isn’t just an issue for private citizens with a pond or lake on their property. Huge bodies of water, such as Lake Erie, the Gulf of Mexico and large rivers can be affected by the runoff from farms. Fortunately, a smaller lake or pond can be much easier to remediate than a large body of water. Of course, on the flip side, the water quality issues in these very large bodies of water will affect the general population and local wildlife in a much more substantial way.
Phosphorus is much the same. Our bodies, all animals and plant life all need some amount of phosphorus to survive, and yet excessive amounts of phosphorus can cause aquatic life and algae to grow quickly in a pond and cause oxygen levels to drop. This endangers your fish population, but even if you don’t have fish in your pond, this still leads to unhealthy and sometimes dangerous water.
Subsequently, an unhealthy pond can cause an abundance of odor and the appearance definitely will not be appealing to the eye, which can be a huge issue on golf courses, parks and other areas used frequently by the public.
Even if nitrogen-rich or phosphorus-rich runoff is not affecting your pond water, temperature spikes and higher temperatures, in general, can cause algae to bloom and grow. Warmer water tends to be more stagnant, and this accelerates algae growth and, in general, during warmer weather more sunlight hits your pond water. Excessive sun exposure feeds algae blooms, as well. Algae can begin to grow in any pond where the water temperature is above 45 degrees, although the warmer the water, the more likely you will be to experience algae growth.
An abundance of fish also can cause algal blooms. Fish excrement is rich in nitrogen and nitrogen fuels the growth of algae. If your pond has too many fish, algae definitely can become a huge issue and oxygen levels can drop, leading to a fish kill.
While excessive amounts of any type of algae can be detrimental to your pond, blue-green algae are especially dangerous. Small amounts of other types of algae typically aren’t dangerous, but blue-green algae are toxic even in very small amounts. If you have blue-green algae present in your pond, ensure that livestock, pets and humans do not come into contact with the water and treat the water immediately with an algaecide.
At Healthy Ponds, Captain, our liquid copper algaecide can be used to eliminate blue-green algae, as well as filamentous algae and planktonic algae. It is crucial that you follow all of our instructions regarding this treatment in order to restore the pond water quickly, but safely. Overtreatment can harm your fish, so if you have any questions about how to use Captain, please give us a call.
There are several states that prohibit the sale of copper algaecide, including Alaska, California, Connecticut, Maine, New York, New Jersey and Washington. While we cannot ship Captain or other copper algaecides to these states, if you are dealing with blue-green algae, contact us and we can discuss some options that might help with this issue. Additionally, if you have a trout pond or koi pond, Captain is not a suitable product, so contact us for other possible options.
What Is Algaecide?
Basically, an algaecide is simply a substance that can kill or mitigate algae, often utilizing copper sulfate or chelated copper. Copper is effective because it basically attaches itself to the algae in your pond and prevents photosynthesis, which causes the algae to die.
When used properly, copper algaecide is one of the most effective treatments for ponds and lakes that are experiencing algae problems. In addition to Captain, we have several other copper algaecides that can eliminate algae. Again, it is crucial that you follow all of the instructions, but feel free to contact us with questions or concerns.
Want A Natural Pond? Algae Control Is Crucial
If you want your water to look clean and natural, pond algae control will be an ongoing endeavor, and there are some good ways to prevent algae growth before it becomes a real problem.
For instance, installing an agitation or aeration system can keep that water moving and this keeps the water temperature lower and prevents algal growth due to stagnation. Raking out dead leaves and other debris can help reduce algae growth. If you have a very small pond, such as a koi pond, a special pond vacuum can be used to remove sludge and debris.
If you fertilize your lawn, consider using organic fertilizers or fertilizers that are low in phosphorus. Don’t fertilize right next to your pond, and keep a buffer between the pond and the areas treated with fertilizer. You can even plant some plants around the edge of the pond. These plants act as a buffer for runoff and also support the bank of your pond or lake.
There are also some monthly bacterial treatments that can keep the water and healthy and clean and help you avoid issues related to floating green organic matter. However, when you notice that your pond water is green or perhaps 25% or more of the pond is covered with green organic matter, you definitely should act quickly to remediate the problem.
If you need help with natural pond algae control, give us a call or simply click here https://healthyponds.com/treatment-plan/ to see which products might help you reduce or eliminate algae in your pond or lake. We have effective treatment options for small water features as well as larger lakes.