While autumn might be just around the corner, in many parts of the United States, the temperatures are still high. If you have a pond, this is typically the time of year when you have the most problems, especially with pond algae. Fortunately, we have solutions to help with just about any pond issue.
What Causes Algae To Grow?
During the colder months of the year, algae growth is typically slow or nonexistent, but once the water temperature begins to increase, this can cause algae blooms because the warmer temperatures and more sunlight accelerate the algae growth.
Warmer temperatures and longer exposure to sunlight are just two contributors to algae growth. For instance, an excess amount of nutrients also contributes to algae growth. If your pond is overstocked with fish or has a heavy sludge layer, it is more likely that your pond will have algae problems. Additionally, if you treat the yard surrounding the pond with chemical fertilizers or use pesticides, runoff from your lawn can introduce excess nutrients into your pond.
Is pond algae normal? Yes and no. While a small amount is typically not a big problem, algae grow quickly if the conditions are right. When algae growth accelerates, this can lead to lower dissolved oxygen levels in your pond. Not only will the pond look and smell terrible, but the lower oxygen levels also can lead to fish kills.
There are several common types of algae that we find in ponds, and it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with each type. Two of the most common types include filamentous algae, sometimes called string algae, and planktonic algae.
With filamentous algae, you can often simply skim off the excess algae, although this won’t change the conditions in the pond that led to the algae’s formation. So, you still may need to improve the overall water quality in your pond to prevent a recurrence of filamentous algae.
Planktonic algae are the type of algae that transforms your healthy pond into a pea soup green color and often is the cause of terrible odors. This type of algae cannot be skimmed out and must be addressed using some type of pond algae control product.
One of the most effective control methods is the use of copper algaecide such as our product, Captain. This pond algae solution provides economical and fast-acting control of a broad spectrum of filamentous algae and planktonic algae.
Once you’ve handled your pond algae issues, it’s time to start thinking about preventing algae long term. Installing a pond aerator can ensure that water is circulating and will keep temperatures lower during the hottest days of the year. If you have fish, a filtration system also can reduce the amount of fish waste.
Bagging up grass clippings and fallen leaves can help prevent the buildup of a sludge layer. We also recommend adding a protective barrier around your pond, to prevent runoff and shoreline erosion. Monthly treatment with beneficial bacteria also can reduce excess nutrients in your pond.
Can’t Use Algaecide? Try Rush®
While our copper algaecides are effective pond algae control products, there are several states where the law prohibits the sale of these types of chemicals. These states include:
- New York
- New Jersey
If you live in one of these states or simply prefer a non-algaecide approach, we recommend using our product – Rush®. This product improves water quality in stagnant ponds by eliminating heavily matted, floating organic matter on the surface of the pond. We also recommend the use of this product in ponds stocked with koi fish or trout.
Rush® is easy-to-apply and we typically recommend applying this product evenly over the organic matter in your pond every three to seven days, as needed, at a rate of one pound of Rush® per 80 square feet of pond surface.
If you have a large fish population, we recommend reducing the dosage by 50% and treating the affected area every two to three days, as ponds with floating organic water tend to experience lower water oxygen levels as the floating matter decomposes.
Pond Weed Issues
While a few decorative lilies and some aquatic plants can be beneficial for your pond, pond weeds often grow out of control during the summer months, and this can reduce your pond water quality.
With floating plants, you can often simply skim these plants out of the water as you don’t have to deal with a root system. With submerged and emergent weeds with root systems, you can rake and remove the weeds, but this often isn’t an effective solution as any plant matter or roots left behind will simply begin to propagate. Using an herbicide is typically the most effective way to deal with many types of pond weeds.
Our Sonar AS and Sonar Q herbicides can be an effective, cost-efficient option for the long-term control of many types of pond weeds. While these herbicides will kill the weeds and the root systems, it does take time for the herbicide to work. It can take up to 90 days to achieve the final results, but this slow process is the best option for your pond as it greatly decreases the chance of severe changes in oxygen levels, which can harm fish.
As with chemical algaecides, our herbicide products cannot be shipped to certain states. For those customers, we recommend the mechanical removal of pond weeds, ensuring that as much of the root system is removed as possible. It is often best to remove weeds at the end of the summer, as these plants won’t have as much ability to reproduce as the water temperatures decline and the growing season winds down.
Beautify Your Pond With Pond Dye
If your pond is healthy, but still doesn’t quite look as beautiful as it could, using pond dye can be a quick fix. Our natural pond dyes can transform the look of your pond water in less than 24 hours, and the dyes may help reduce water temperatures during the summer months, which is an added benefit.
Free Water Treatment Plans
Whether you need to deal with pond algae, ponds weeds or another common pond issue, the team at Healthy Ponds is here to help. Not only do we offer a myriad of easy-to-use, effective products, but we also offer free personalized water treatment plans for any size water feature at https://healthyponds.com/free-pond-plan/. Additionally, if you have questions about any of our products, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.