Naturally Organic Ways To Keep Your Pond Free From Algae
Algae are aquatic microorganisms that are naturally attracted to water sources, and especially standing water. It is, for this reason, you will see algae growing in or ontop your koi pond among other damp places. Like probiotics, algae are only useful (in the pond) in small populations, with larger populations posing a significant risk to life in the pond ecosystem. Algae can quickly outgrow and eventually choke out plants, as well as affect healthy development and growth of fishes in the pond. Chemical control isn’t always the best method for controlling algae especially fish and plants in the pond. There are however more effective natural ways in which you can control algae populations without endangering the pond ecosystem. These include:
Consider Draining the Pond (Or Not)
Draining the pond would be a feasible option for small ponds. You’ll, however, need to remove the fish from the pond and keep them in temporary housing. With the fish clear, you can then drain/pump out all the water until the bottom is exposed. The next step would be to spread nonionized salt all over the algae then leave it to dry. It will only take three days for all the algae to dry up. Scrub all the dried algae from rock decorations, water features, the filtration system, and the sides of the pond. Use some water to rinse out the algae for total removal. You can then refill the pond and put the fish back in.
If the pond is however too big to be drained, consider using a pond vacuum or net to help remove the algae and other debris. Removing the algae and their nutrient sources should help lower their populations significantly. You could also use a stick to remove string algae from the pond.
The Straw Solution
Barley straw can be used to control algae populations in the pond. All you need to do is put just enough straw (0.025 pounds per yard) in a mesh bag, anchor it to a rock, then use a fishing float to ensure the bag is almost afloat for optimal sunlight and oxygen supply. The straw decomposes slowly releasing chemicals that inhibit algae growth without polluting the water around. The decomposing straw will also help add nutrients for plants around the pond as well.
Add More Plants to The Pond
Adding plants in and around the pond provides an excellent way to control algae growth and populations. Aquatic plants are a preferred option when it comes to providing shade in the pond. You could also add shrubs, trees, and small plants near the pond as a way of creating shade. A shaded pond is less likely to attract algae as compared to an exposed one. The less sunlight the pond can get, the fewer the algae will survive. Just make sure not to add aquatic plants that can harm your pond or lake and become a nuisance to your yard.
Do Not Overfeed the Fish
Be sure to give your feed just enough food and not too much. Although it might take some time to balance out or calculate the right portions for the fish, only give them food they can consume in at least minutes. Overfeeding the fish only makes nutrients available for algae hence not recommended. The fish are more only to feed on the algae if hungrier.
Consider Mechanical Options
Air diffusers can also be installed in the pond to help keep the water in motion. As long as the pond water isn’t stagnant, it will be harder for algae to grow and thrive here, hence an algae-free pond. The diffusers may, however, have to run constantly for this trick to be effective.
Have A Skimmer Ready
You will need a pond or lake surface skimmer to remove any debris and leaves that fall on the surface of the pond. Removing these reduces the food supply for algae, hence limiting their growth. Be sure to remove dead plants and other organic materials from the pond too.
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