Algae Control in Ponds, Eradicate Your Algae Infestation!

Let's face it: nothing spoils your relaxing, peaceful, tranquil pond quite like an algae infestation! It is a frustrating problem that will not go away on its own, thankfully there are a few simple steps that can be taken to make sure your pond stays crystal clear and beautiful all year round.


Know Your Enemy: Algae

Algae is a plant and like all plants it needs light, water, and nutrients (Food) to survive. The right balance of algae is actually good for your pond, it is when troublesome "Planktonic algae" (the type that turns pond water a repulsive green pea soup color) begins to over grow that causes serious problems. It can clog up filtration systems and smother fish! Not to mention its outright unsightly!
If you want to eliminate algae, you will need to address either the amount of light reaching your ponds surface or the amount of nutrient in the water. But dont worry algae control in ponds is not difficult, a few changes here and there and your algae troubles will be a thing of the past.

Filtering Sunlight

If it happened to be possible to buy algae from a store as you would a pot plant, the tag would read “grows best in full sun” So we want to do our best to put it in the shade! There are so many plants available for ponds. Add as many as is required to limit the amount of direct sunlight the water in your pond receives. Floating plants like water lilies can greatly help with this and larger pond plants can discourage sunlight from the sides.

Nutrients and Plant Balance

Not only do plants help to filter the light, but they are in direct competition for the 

Pond PlantsCredit: LollyKnit of flickr
Photo used under Creative Commons from LollyKnit of flickr

nutrients in the water. If you have enough plants, algae will not have the food it needs to grow. It is also important to remove anything that will cause an overload of nutrients. If your pond is a few years old it is suggested that you vacuum up any built up of sludge from the bottom using a pond vacuum and check for problems such as overfeeding of any fish in the pond, rotting leaves from over hanging trees and and also make sure that there is no run-off entering your pond from the garden or lawn.

Proper Filtration Equipment and Maintenance

It is important to keep your equipment such as pumps and filters clear of algae, if you do not, water flow will be reduced and there will be less dissolved oxygen for your fish to breath so make sure you keep your water moving and your filter clean. You may want to consider adding a fountain or aeration device and also a pond skimmer is highly advocated as it can remove up to 85% of debris before they sink, rot and turn into food for the algae to eat. An ultraviolet sterilizer is also a solid investment. What the UV will do, is destroy the DNA in single cell algae such as planktonic algae and thereby killing it very efficiently.

Additional Control Methods

Barley Straw and Barley Straw Extract can also be beneficial. It works by releasing a organic and natural substance that inhibits algae growth but it may take 6-8 weeks for the straw to become fully active. So it is best to add it in the spring time before most algae blooms start to take off. Place the barley straw by the pump or filter intake to ensure it works to its full potential.

Pond Dye can be an effective short-term solution. it works to shade the water, which limits the amount of sunlight the algae has access to.

Algaefix is the most effective chemical type treatment for algae control in ponds. It is a good start if your pond is currently infested with an algae breakout. It will kill all the algae and bring your pond back to a place where you can use the natural methods I have given you to ensure you dont have to deal with algae or chemicals again.

To Summarize:

Use plants to keep light and nutrients in balance
Remedy things that are adding an excessive amount of nutrient to your pond like unwashed filters, decaying leaves, over feeding fish and water run-off from surrounding gardens.
Install an ultraviolet sterilizer and a pond skimmer.
Use products like, Algae Fix or pond dye to treat a green water algae outbreak.

But most impotently work to bring you ponds ecosystem into balance thought the steps above and you will never have to look at pond scum again! Good luck and I hope you enjoy your pond for many years to come!