How to Prevent Algae Blooms
Algae prevention is a big focus for pond maintenance during the summertime. The heat and long hours of sunlight create the perfect conditions for algae to grow in your pond and other water features. Your pond can go from clear to green seemingly overnight. Preventing algae can be challenging, especially in the hottest parts of the season, but here are a few products and tips to help prevent algae.
Use UV Filtration
Adding a UV Pond Clarifier to your pond in the spring or early summer is an effective way to combat algae. You can disguise the UV clarifier inside the pond or install it outside. It connects to a pump or outlet of a Pond Filter and uses UV light to break down algae. As water moves through the chamber at just the right speed, algae are exposed to the UV light. UV lights weaken the algae cell's outer wall, discouraging growth.
The water exits the UV clarifier through the outlet and returns to the pond, resulting in clear, healthy water. You can use the UV clarifier with mechanical and biological filtration systems. The filter pads can grab dead algae and other microorganisms, while the bio-balls host organisms that help break down waste.
Select Filtering Plants
You can also help prevent algae from blooming by adding pond plants that filter out nutrients in the water. Plants like Anacharis, Hornwort, and Cabomba compete for the same nutrients as algae. You can also choose floating plants, like lotuses and lilies, which help add shade and reduce the amount of direct sunlight the pond gets. When you add plants that remove their energy sources and help keep the pond water temperatures cooler, it's harder for algae to bloom.
You can also use Pond Tint to help keep your pond cooler and help minimize the amount of sunlight that the algae can absorb.
Remove Debris Quickly
Large amounts of sludge, plant debris, organic decay, and nutrients can cause algae blooms. Scooping debris from the pond's surface with a pond net before it can settle to the bottom can help prevent buildup. When debris falls to the bottom of your pond, it turns into sludge. Cleaning your pond with a pond net or installing a skimmer that continually clears the surface are great options for preventing algae during the summer.
You can also use water treatments, like the smartpond® Sludge Remover, that help to break down sludge on the bottom of your pond using beneficial bacteria.
Avoid Overcrowding and Overfeeding
When adding fish to your pond, keep in mind there should be roughly 10 gallons of water for every inch of fish (estimate their adult size) in the pond. Keep in mind this can vary by fish species. When fish do not have enough space to swim, it can cause health problems and water quality issues from the excess fish waste. Fish, especially koi, create a lot of debris that can fuel algae blooms.
Make sure you only give your fish enough food that they can consume before it floats to the bottom of the water. Overfeeding can cause water quality issues. Uneaten food that sinks to the bottom turns into nutrients for algae. Filtration systems are essential to any pond but are extra important if you have fish, as it helps filter out fish waste and other debris.
A simple way to discourage algae growth and improve the overall health of your pond is to add aeration. Nozzle kits easily attach to a pump, creating a beautiful fountain display while adding oxygen. You can attach a spitter to the diverter included in the nozzle kit for additional aeration. Waterfalls are also a great way to keep the water moving, and are easy to add.
Summer is a beautiful time to be a pond owner, as the longer days of sunshine let you spend more time by your little oasis. Unfortunately, these conditions are also ideal for algae blooms. Your pond can quickly get taken over by algae and turn an unappealing green, hiding your fish and plants. You can help prevent algae by reducing the nutrients and sunlight they need to bloom and adding a UV clarifier to your water filtration system.