By Gary Duncan
What is algae?
Algae is a plant that can be microscopic, or can get as large as what is known as seaweed. There are all different kinds of algae. It is usually either green, brown, or red. It is also very adaptable to it’s environment. What that means is it can exist in any kinds of water, even waste water. Algae is an autotroph and grows through photosynthesis, meaning that it turns sunlight and CO2 into mass.
Algae is a ponds best friend and it worst enemy.
Algae can be the ponds best friend because it helps to filter the pond. When it undergoes photosynthesis, it removes some nitrates and phosphates from the pond. In addition to removing these compounds, it also produces oxygen for the fish. Phytoplankton, which is a microalgae, is a food that fish will eat. This grows naturally in ponds and helps the fish to thrive. Algae can also be a pond worst enemy too, because we all know that when your pond is full of this green stuff, it can make it hard to see your fish and other plants. Algae that makes the water green or brown also blocks sunlight from reaching the pond’s living organisms. So what should happen with the algae? A little bit should be left in the pond. Why? A pond with algae is a healthy pond, it needs a little to complete the ecosystem and it makes the pond appear more natural.
How do I deal with the algae?
There’s a few things that we do at Duncan's Water features to deal with the algae. First, we like to install an IonGen G2 System. The benefit of putting this in is to filter the water. There are various settings that you can change the system to depending on the amount of algae in the pond. Another way to deal with the algae is to put String Algae Buster (SAB) in the pond. This will help to remove ammonia, nitrates and phosphates, which bacteria feeds on. In late winter or early you need to do a clean out of your pond to get out any leaves, trash, out that cause excessive algae and pressure wash all the stone work, but don't clean all the algae off, leave some for seed and a place for the beneficial bacteria to colonize. If you have questions about the methods that we use, or any other pond questions? Please contact us!