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How to Eliminate (and Limit) Algae Growth in My Pond at the Beginning of the Season?

How to Eliminate and Limit Algae Growth in My Pond at the Beginning of the Season 1

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How to remove filamentous algae in a pond or a lake at the beginning of the season? If you have a pond, you may be faced with the issue of these quite invasive algae. These algae tend to appear during the month of February when temperatures rise and sunlight increases.

Are these algae bothering you in your pond, and you are looking for a solution to eliminate them? How to eliminate (and limit) algae growth in my pond at the beginning of the season?

How to Eliminate (and Limit) Algae Growth in My Pond at the Beginning of the Season

In this micro-guide, there are 4 essential steps before spring:

  1. Restart your filtration system.
  2. Vacuum the sludge at the bottom of the pond.
  3. Analyze the water quality.
  4. Mineralize your pond and adjust water parameters.

Use a treatment suitable for water temperatures.

How to remove filamentous algae?

Rest assured, there are several solutions to limit or even eliminate the presence of filamentous algae in your pond. It is important to act as quickly as possible, using the right method. If you delay taking action, it will be more difficult to get rid of them. On sunny days, algae can double in volume per day.

Algae tend to develop especially at the beginning of the season when aquatic plants are in a vegetative state. During the season, aquatic plants will compete with algae and reduce the available nutrient levels for algae.

The first thing to do in spring to limit algae is to restart your filtration system and vacuum the sludge if necessary.

Next, the second thing to do is to perform a water analysis with appropriate equipment. You will need to check several parameters:

  • pH
  • GH
  • KH
  • NO2

It is important to check GH+ & KH+ to balance the pH. Good water hardness (GH & KH) also acts as a barrier of protection for the fish in your pond. You need to “mineralize” your pond after winter as rainwater significantly lowers water hardness. A natural pond is typically constantly supplied with sources, which helps maintain high water hardness levels.

Important: Before applying any algae treatment (which you can find here), it is essential to check the hardness (GH and KH) of the water in your pond. You should not apply the treatment if the hardness levels are not corrected.

You may also be interested in: our guide to analyzing pond water

If necessary, also check the phosphate and nitrate levels. You can acquire a test kit (see photo below) that allows you to analyze these various parameters in a few minutes.

Why do I have algae in my pond?

Algae can occur in a body of water for several reasons. In most situations we encounter when we visit our customers’ ponds:

  • Overpopulation of fish
  • Insufficient or inactive filtration compared to the volume
  • Excessive nutrients in the water
  • Insufficient aquatic plants (or in spring)
  • Very clear water (high UV levels in the pond)
  • Poor water quality

Several factors need to be distinguished: internal and external factors

  • Internal factors: fish overpopulation, poor quality or excessive food in the pond, lack of aquatic plants, inadequate filter causing excessive nutrients, presence of sediment in the water, etc.
  • External factors: rainwater can be loaded with nutrients (phosphates and nitrates), these nutrients can come from fields, crops, etc.

How to Eliminate (and Limit) Algae Growth in My Pond at the Beginning of the Season

Why fight against algae proliferation?

First of all, know that filamentous algae contribute to the balance of your pond or lake. However, their presence has both negative and positive consequences. If these algae are present, it is often for several reasons:

  • Overpopulation of fish
  • Insufficient aquatic plants (or in spring)
  • Insufficiently maintained filtration or limited filter
  • When water temperatures are too cold, treating algae is sometimes inevitable. If the water is below 53.6°F, it is important to avoid using anti-algae products like Algisin.

The growth of filamentous algae occurs naturally, even in a challenging environment. Their appearance is explained by the presence of three factors:

  1. Water temperature
  2. Sunlight
  3. Presence of nutrients in the pond

Even if you have poor water quality, the growth of filamentous algae is still possible. This is sometimes the case even in good quality water.

Natural solutions to get rid of filamentous algae

If you do not wish to use chemical products, it is perfectly possible to choose natural solutions to eliminate filamentous algae. For example, you can use Aquipond Eco Alg Control (based on barley straw).

Pond cleaning

Firstly, partial cleaning (or complete if necessary) of the pond is required by removing vegetation using a specific vacuum. This is an especially effective solution because not only will you get rid of filamentous algae, but also all the nutrients that contribute to their growth.

Use beneficial bacteria

In addition to using the vacuum, it is recommended to use beneficial bacteria. Use live organisms that aim to eliminate filamentous algae from the pond. Beneficial bacteria are capable of consuming excess nutrients present in the water.

Thanks to their action, the algae will gradually die off. Beneficial bacteria are not intended to contribute to the death of these algae but rather to regulate their growth. To ensure effectiveness, it is necessary to follow the instructions. For example, avoid combining them with herbicides, as this would cause the beneficial bacteria to die off quickly.

Is it possible to introduce animals that feed on filamentous algae?

Some fish, such as herbivorous carp, will help regulate algae in your pond. However, carp will not be of any use if you specifically want to combat filamentous algae.

If you have unwanted plants, you can also use barley straw. It is an alternative particularly interesting compared to herbicides. Indeed, with its presence, the pH level will decrease, as well as the carbonate hardness of the pond. Algae like to grow less in water with a pH below 8.

Under these conditions, you have water with better balance, and you have much better control over the growth and proliferation of filamentous algae. As soon as the barley straw comes into contact with water, it produces peroxide, a substance known for eliminating unwanted plants.

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- Mahatma Gandhi

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

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