How to Remove Algae From Your Pond Without Harming Fish
Maintaining a healthy pond is important for plants and wildlife alike. One of the most common questions about pond maintenance is what to do with pond algae. Algae in ponds is incredibly common and not always bad, but if you’re wondering how to remove algae from your pond without harming fish read on.
What are algae? Is It Always Bad?
Algae is not one specific type of plant, but rather a broad ranging term that encompasses small microalgae to large macroalgae (think seaweeds). The main categories of algae are blue-green, green, brown, and red.
While we won’t get into the details of each, it’s important to note that algae is not inherently bad. A pond without algae at all is not a sign of health. It is found all over the world in all kinds of ecosystems forming the the foundation for aquatic food chains. You wouldn’t want to get rid of all algae, but if you’re here you’re probably looking for pond algae solutions.
Signs of Algae Problems
While algae’s presence in water is not inherently a problem, it is good to know the signs that you may have a problem with blue-green algae that can cause harmful effects.
- Dead fish or waterfowl
- Sickness or death of pets
- Foul smelling water
- Skin rashes on humans after contact
If you started to notice signs like this you may have blue-green algae, which isn’t aglae at all, but bacteria. Now it’s time to know how to handle this problem without causing further damage to fish or other animals.
So let’s discuss how to remove algae from your pond without harming fish or anything else.
Pond Algae Solutions
Healthy algae life is good for any aquatic ecosystem, but how much and what kind of algae depends on the type of pond you have. Have a lot of fish? More algae may be good. Do you use your pond for swimming often? Less algae is usually desirable.
The best way to prevent algae problems is to stop them before they start. The best pond algae solutions are preventive so that you don’t have invasive pond algae to begin with.
A lot of blue-green algae issues stem from an excess of nutrients in a body of water. Nutrients come from numerous sources such as lawn fertilizers, grass clippings, decaying leaves, goose droppings, leaking and failed septic systems, rain run-off from high nutrient areas, and others. If you’re looking for a place to begin, controlling the sources of nutrients is a key starting point.
Other preventive measures include:
- Not overfeeding fish and waterfowl.
- Planting or maintaining native flora that grow around the pond, which help filter water.
- Avoid overuse of lawn-care products near the water.
- Do not allow pets to defecate in pond or lake.
Steps To Remove Blue-Green Algae
Preventive measures will give you the best chance for avoiding problems, but if you’re facing a serious algae issue follow these steps to nurse your pond back to health.
If your pond is small enough, the first step is to remove the algae manually. You can use a pond or garden rake to remove as much surface algae as possible. If your pond is too large, begin by using a chemical algaecide. There are a number of quality algaecides available that will provide almost immediate relief for an out-of-control algae situation when properly applied to your pond. If you’re unsure of proper application, schedule a consultation with one of our pond experts. Proper use of algaecide is important in keeping fish safe as you remove unwanted bacteria.
- Plant and Install
The next step is to build your arsenal to defend against out of control algae. Your options are natural and manmade resources. Almost always you’ll need both. Natural solutions include plants that cover 50-70% of your pond is small. If you’ve got a larger pond you’ll definitely need to use a pond aeration system. Aeration and beneficial pond bacteria reduce nutrient loading already in the pond, but this process takes time. It’s essential if you want to keep invasive algae out in the long term.
With the first two steps out of the way the next step is to monitor and maintain the pond. If you’ve followed these instructions you should be successful at removing unwanted algae. However, proper maintenance is required to prevent further outbreaks.
Happy Ecosystem, Happy Pond
Having a pond can be a great joy if done the right way. Ponds provide entertainment for adults and children alike. They can add property value and create beautiful scenery for homes. With a little extra care and investment into your pond you can make sure that it sustains a healthy balance of algae which will create the setting for a happy pond.
We know that maintaining your pond can feel overwhelming, but the experts at Harrietta Hills can help you take care of your pond to keep it operating at its best so you can enjoy it for all its worth. Schedule a consultation with us so we can help you get the most from your pond.