The biggest complaint from Pond owners is undoubtedly Algae Control. When you begin to understand the causes of algae - dealing with this nuisance isn't so daunting. There are many different types of algae, the most common in Ponds being; Free floating algae - which causes green water, and String algae - which attaches to rocks and creates plumes which can become 2 feet plus long in length.
Algae needs nutrients to grow . . Nutrients come in various forms such as; a light source (the sun), rain water run-off, excess food, organic waste, and fish waste.
How do we combat the nutrients that cause Algae growth?
- Aquatic Plants - Floating plants, Lilies & Lotus help shade the surface of the pond from natural sun light. Oxygenators below the surface help by consuming carbon dioxide, (the same that algae relies on to grow) and provides additional oxygen to the pond (as their by-product) which helps breakdown extra waste in the water.
- Filtration - Having a properly filtered pond is key. Keeping your filters clean eliminates debris and waste they are meant to remove from your pond. If filters aren't kept clean, you cant expect them to keep your pond clean. Filters can only handle so much!
- U.V. Sterilizers - Ideally when you build your pond . . You don’t want your pond in full sun. For plants to grow about 6 hours of sunlight will do! However, not everyone has space to pick the "ideal" location. That’s where Ultra Violet Sterilizers come into play . . Keeping green water under control. There is a common misconception of what a U.V. Sterilizer will control in your pond. They will ONLY control free-floating algae, the kind that causes green water. U.V. Sterilizers should be properly selected based upon your sun exposure, size of your pond, and fish load. The size pump used for your U.V. Sterilizer plays an important role as well. You do not want the water passing through your U.V. unit at a high rate. This gives you less contact time as the water passes through the unit, taking it longer to clear up a green pond.
- IonGen System - Last but not least, in your quest to control algae is the IonGen. This incredible unit uses copper ions to combat String Algae in your pond and on the rocks. The probe for this unit should be placed in a high flow rate of water - either in a skimmer box, biofalls, or hard-piped into the plumbing. Because it is emitting copper ions into the water, water parameters should be regularly checked to make sure it isn't having a negative affect on your pond. When used properly this unit will clear your pond of annoying algae problems!!
- Algaecides - If investing in a U.V. Sterilizer or IonGen system doesn’t fit your budget at the time, there are lower cost options. Liquid Algaecide and Ecoblast Granular Algaecide are available to spot treat algae problems. Special care should be taken when you use Algaecides. A Pond Aerator (especially in warm summer months) should be used on your pond when treating with an algaecide, as this can deplete oxygen from the water. Also knowing the correct volume of water in your pond is a must - you DO NOT want to over-dose your pond with Algaecide. Barley Straw extract is also another alternative, not as harsh as algaecides. However, I'd recommend using barley straw on a regular basis to keep algae in control, as compared to dealing with a full blown algae issue.
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