A Simple Path To Clear Water
in ponds, fountains and water features
Several factors can cause a clear pond to turn cloudy from pea soup and blue-green algae. Over-feeding the fish can result in an algae bloom, and so can a drastic weather change. During the spring and fall especially, plants may not be filtering the water as actively as they do during the summer, and algae may appear in the water.
KEEPING THE POND CLEAR OF ALGAE
It’s virtually impossible to get your pond absolutely and positively rid of all algae whatsoever. This is especially true if you want to have fish, plants, snails, tadpoles, crawfish, butterflies, toads, frogs, birds, or dragonflies living in, on, around or anywhere near the pond. A pond that’s completely clear of algae isn’t a pond. It’s a swimming pool. Pondkeepers have to make a choice - a pond that’s crystal clear, or a pond that’s for living things to inhabit.
GETTING RID OF ALGAE
Plants and scavengers are your first line of defense against algae - and patience. A new pond (or one just cleaned) will always turn a bit cloudy and have some algae. Don’t panic and whatever you do, DO NOT DRAIN the pond. The water must age and the miroorganism and plant population must establish themselves. An algicide can be used during this period to keep the algae growth under control. At The Barn Nursery, our garden center carries several pond products that are fish-safe and can be used to keep the algae growth to a minimum. Our favorite product is Algae Fix, and we recommend using it in conjunction with EcoFix. AlgaeFix kills the algae, and the EcoFix decomposes it so it doesn't sit in the bottom of your water feature as sludge.
Remember that an algicide only acts on existing algae and a treatment will not keep a pond clear indefinitely. It’s a temporary control and will not change the conditions in the pond that cause algae. If you’re continuously using a lot of algicide to rid the pond of a bad algae bloom, then you need to fix what’s in your pond, not throw more algicide into the water.
Plants are the long-term secret to clearing up a pond and keeping it clear.
We say this not because we sell water plants but because this is what biologists and aquaculture experts have long confirmed. Water plants starve algae by absorbing the carbon dioxide and mineral salts essential for algae to grow. Oxygenators, such as water lettuce and water hyacinth, are especially effective in controlling algae. Water lilies and water lily-like plants are helpful because their pads shade out a good bit of sunlight. Scavengers, in addition to grazing hair-like algae, will also eat leftover fish food. This is important because fish won’t eat leftover food. Feed fish only what they will eat in 5 to 10 minutes. Leftover fish food will rot and foul the water. Clams are a natural filter, straining the algae out of the water. Bacteria controls help get rid of and control algae. The bacteria actually changes the conditions in the pond, by competing with the algae for nutrients that the algae need to survive.
Water Features By The Barn Nursery
Please feel free to contact our garden center or landscape design division if you have questions about your pond or water feature. Our talented landscape designers will work with you to design a new water feature or make the most of your existing pond. Click here to see our Water Feature Portfolio.