Pond Algae: Causes and Control
A well-kept garden pond hugely improves the landscaping of a garden by adding to its aesthetics appeal and providing waterfront for the introduction of wildlife habitat. Pond lovers may choose to add fish and snails in their ponds apart from the ornamental aquatic plants. Ponds, just like plants and pets, require attention and care to keep them healthy and clean. Ponds with fish and plants call for special care, as such water bodies are susceptible to algae growth because of nutrient overload.
Causes of algal blooms
Algae are difficult to avoid in the water bodies that receive generous sunlight and more so if they are stagnant. A proactive step to minimize algae problem in a new pond would be to avoid creating the pond in the sunny part of the garden.
If your pond already exists in a place where it receives ample sunlight, begin with planting medium height trees or shrubs to provide some relief from the sun rays. Since any new plantation would take time to grow and reach the optimum height when it could actually shade the water body, colouring your pond using water dyes could be a better option. Algae are autotropsh, which means they require sunlight to make food. Limiting the sun rays from reaching deep inside the pond, where algae thrive, checks the uncontrolled algae growth to a major extent.
Excessive nutrients leaching into the pond also create favourable conditions for the algae to thrive. These nutrients may enter the pond in various ways:
- Deposition of dead leaves and other organic matter, termed as sludge, at the bottom of the pond.
- Fertilizers run off from the surrounding garden entering the pond especially after rain.
- Overload of fish in the pond leads to excessive fish waste dissolving in the water. Optimum number of fish in a pond may differ from species to species. The perfect mix of fish including various specious is the key to save your pond from overload if nitrites and nitrates.
- Uneaten fish food also adds to the extra nutrients in the water supporting the algal growth.
- Tap water, especially with high chlorine content, disturbs the ecological balance of the pond by destroying the favourable bacteria that degenerates extra nutrients, which in turn feed algae.
An effective and fast method of getting rid of green water or planktons in your pond is to use a biological cure instead of harmful chemicals. Hydra Crystal, specially formulated for the ponds with external filters, is one such mineral-based product that does not harm your fish and plants. This completely biodegradable powder flocculates the algae particles, which sink to the bottom where it can be picked by the filter system.