May 1, 2014

Algae is defined as a group of single celled or multicellular organisms that grow and multiply in watery environments. Algae grows in lakes, ponds, and oceans and it uses the photosynthesis process to produce food. Algae appears either blue or green in color, and the simple organisms use both asexual and sexual methods to reproduce. Algae is often considered ugly and smelly, and it can completely destroy the clarity of a pond. It appears on rocks and plants within the water and spreads rapidly. If you have algae problems in your pond then you need to take action. Algae control is optimal even if you have not seen any algae pound growth yet.

Pond with flowers and statue

1. Provide your pond with plenty of shade. Algae needs sunlight to live and this means that limited sunlight will effectively control algae growth. Plant trees near your pond and place large rocks around the space.

2. Keep the water in your pond moving. Algae needs stagnant water to thrive. This means that constant water movement will limit algae growth. Install a water bubbler to create subtle movement. The bubbler should sit at the bottom of your pond so that rising air bubbles disrupt the water. Waterfalls can be used as well for more substantial water movement.

3. Add snails to your pond. Snails feed on algae and there are a wide variety of freshwater snails that you can place in your pond. Apple, zebra, trumpet, horned and pond snails are all good choices. Snails are best added to your pond after algae has already started to bloom so that there is ample amount of food to keep your snails alive.

4. Place plants in your pond. Add plants to your pond that sit on top of the water to help reduce the amount of sunlight that can penetrate the pond water. Lilies, lotus plants and hyacinths are all good water plants. Most submersible pond plants will also limit algae growth by reducing nutrients in the pond that allow algae to thrive. Plants like barley straw will even change the water chemistry so that algae cannot live in the pond water.

5. Add fish to your pond. Fish such as koi, goldfish and minnows will feast on algae throughout the day. Consider the size of your pond when adding fish. Most fish suppliers sell either baby or adolescent fish. This means that adult fish sizes need to be determined to make sure that the pond is not overstocked. Add a filtration system to help eliminate harmful ammonia from the pond water after you add your fish.

6. Feed fish minimally. Algae tends to grow in ponds when excess food waste is left to degrade in the water. Limit this waste by feeding your pond fish every two days. Watch to see how much food your fish eat within five minutes once you add food to the water. Excess food should be skimmed from the top of the pond. You can measure food for fish feedings once you determine how much your fish eat.