Treat Annoying Pond Algae Naturally
Most gardeners welcome the first rays of summer sunshine, but for those with a water garden
the good weather brings the first bloom of algae. The spread of pond algae can strike any size pond at any time, but usually a few very specific things have to be present for it to spread rapidly. The first step to treating an algae problem is understanding what algae is.
The natural presence of algae is beneficial to the health of a pond and a little bit of it here or there is actually a positive sign that the pond is healthy and well balanced. When algae takes over the pond entirely, this is a sign that things are not very balanced at all.
Pond algae relies on excessive nutrients in the water to grow. Therefore this should be your first priority - to reduce or eliminate excess nutrients in the pond. These excess nutrients are found in the form of decomposing organic matter like leaves or grass clippings, fish waste or uneaten decomposing fish food.
How to reduce pond algae in your water garden naturally .....
All of the methods outlined are highly preferred over using chemicals in a pond or water garden. Chemicals come with inherent risks and also don't help much in cleaning a pond in a natural fashion. Over the long term they can cause many more problems than then solve.
Organic matter left to decay in the bottom of the pond is the #1 contributor to excess algae. Always remove leaves, and fallen branches right away. Skimmers can be very helpful in smaller ponds.
Be sure you do not over stock a small pond with fish. Generally 1 inch of fish needs about 10 gallons of water to stay balanced. If your ratio is over this, you may be overstocked.
Be sure to not overfeed your fish as well. Only provide enough food that they can consume in about five minutes.
Pond algae also needs adequate sunlight to grow aggressively so if you can minimize exposure to the sun, this can often help. Some gardeners use umbrellas or tarps to help reduce the amount of direct sunlight on the pond.
Floating plants help to create shade and are beneficial to the ponds over all health. Surface plants like water lilies help absorb excess nutrients and also help shade the pond. Water grasses are great at helping clear a pond as well.
Natural beneficial bacteria products are available to help consume some of the excess nutrients and assist in the breakdown of organic matter in the pond. Bacteria and enzyme products have been proven to be one of the safest and most effective ways to keep a pond clean. There are many varieties available on the market today.
One of the easiest ways to indroduce bacteria into the water system is with Barley Straw. These small round pads of compressed barley offer a food source for bacteris which in turn , produce natural hydrogen peroxide which rids the pond of algae.