Getting a Handle on Garden Pond Algae

Getting a Handle on Garden Pond Algae

No one looks forward to seeing a green pond out their back window. The reason most of us put in our pond is to enjoy the ecosystem that’s created. We want to watch the fish swim, nurture the plants to grow and maybe even hear the bubbling of the water fall as it cascades gently over the rocks into the water, bringing oxygen and life to fish. but every once in a while we look at our back windows and we see a greenish tent to our water. Our fish become harder to see and this kind of bums us out. But what can we do about it?

The first thing we need to do is understand why algae grows. Believe it or not is a very natural part of any aquatic ecosystem. Sunlight is the main catalyst of photosynthesis and when it strikes the water we should expect nothing but algae growth. Sunlight is like filet mignon to algae. Absolutely tasty! Plus, it increases the temperature of your pond’s water, fostering a rapid growth environment. This is the way of nature. most ponds need a certain amount of algae for the flora and find out within to grow properly. But an excessive amount of algae growth can be detrimental.

The most important thing in any ecosystem is balance. The best way to balance your pond is with submerged plants like anacharis, cabomba and/or hornwort. These plants are essential to any aquatic environment because they compete with algae for the nutrients in your water. They are also what are called oxygenating plants, releasing fresh oxygen into your pond water. Anacharis in particular also works as a wonderful filter, catching and holding suspended material in your pond. These plants are fertilized by fish waste and carbon dioxide, and many fish actually eat them. Don’t worry though, the plants do grow pretty fast, and in a normal environment, the fish can’t keep up. Just make sure you don’t have too many fish when compared with how many plants are in your pond.

Another method of balance is the utilization of floating plants. Floating plants are usually plants with broad shaped leaves that “float” on the surface of your ponds water. Not only are they beautiful, but they also limit direct sunlight and create wonderful shade for your fish, keeping the overall water temperature down. They curb the growth of algae and provide your fish with a natural food source. Java moss, floating hearts and giant water snowflake are just a few of the types of plants that will work well in this application.

As you can see the control of algae is not a very difficult. If thought through logically (and if you understand the basics of algae growth) you can see that there are many deterrents that are quite effective. remember, a little bit of algae is not a bad thing. A number of goldfish and bottom feeders need algae to survive. But let’s not go overboard. No one wants their pond looking like a bowl full of green Jell-O.

Joel Stephens is the owner of www.PurePonds.com , where garden ponds and preformed pond kits can be found at some of the best prices on the net!


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