August 31, 2021
Algae & The Water Garden
All water gardens have algae but too much algae can cause the water to become cloudy and turn green. Water naturally contains many elements, mineral salts, and nitrates. When sunlight hits the water, the temperature increases and evaporation takes place. The mineral salts and nitrates are left behind, and the water is 100% pure. This is compounded every time more water is added.Algae feed on the salts and nitrates and proliferate when concentrations are increased. Algae also feeds on the dissolved nutrients of decaying debris like dying aquatic plant foliage or leaves that fall into the water. If you have a large fish population, this could be an added reason for algae in your pond as their waste breaks down into nitrate fertilizer.
Water Plants will absorb salts, nitrates, and dissolved nutrients of decaying organic matter in the pond. To create a natural balance and maintain clear water, try to have some from each of the four types:
Snails – a beneficial addition to your eco-system. Snails feed on the algae that sticks to the side of your pond and submerged plant containers.
Fish – will eat some algae, mosquitoes and other insect larvae. Be sure you have the right number of fish appropriate for your pond size. Stock 2.5 cm of mature fish per one square foot of pond surface area. Do not over feed your fish as the algae thrive on decomposing fish food. Feed fish only what they can consume within the first few minutes.
The two basic types of filters are mechanical and biological. The idea behind them is to circulate the total volume of water through a filtering system once every 1 to 2 hours.
Pond Shade is a blue-tinted liquid that filters sunlight to reduce algae and cool the water. Safe for all aquatic plants and fish. Follow package directions to avoid too much shade on the pond
Place barley straw in the pond shortly after the ice melts to prevent string algae. As the straw decomposes, it converts to hydrogen peroxide. If kept at consistently low levels the algae growth will be inhibited. You can purchase barley straw in a mesh bag with an attached string. Anchor the bag so that it floats on the surface, in or near moving water. Each bag should last approximately 6 months. Your pond water will likely turn green in the spring before your plants have a chance to grow and cover the surface. If this persists, add more plants or get rid of a few fish.
*Do not ever completely empty the water from your pond and start again. This will shock your fish and will take longer to create a natural balance.
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