It happens to everyone-- the dreaded STRING ALGAE. String Algae is EVERY pond owner's WORST nightmare. No matter if what you have is a big pond or a small pond, a professionally installed pond or if you installed the pond yourself (way to go, by the way), string algae in your koi pond and water garden is nothing new, nothing unusual, and nothing to be ashamed of; so let’s talk about it.
What is String Algae and how does it come to exist?
What can you do to prevent string algae?
How do you get RID of string algae once it exists?
What is String Algae and how does it come to exist?
String algae are a major pest, all season long--often requiring extensive pond maintenance to control, kill and prevent it. Many different elements in the pond can encourage the growth of string algae, such as: sunlight, a heavy fish load, and lack of pond plants.
Thankfully, taking the proper measures can drastically reduce the occurrence of algae. It is important, however, to remember that algae are a part of nature, and an important part of the pond ecosystem. A pond is an ecosystem that supports fish, plants, frogs, tadpoles, birds, dragonflies, and other wildlife. The main goal in keeping clean water is not to attempt to completely rid your pond of algae, but to keep it in balance with nature!
String Algae Prevention:
Plants: Plants have a variety of benefits in and around the pond. In addition to beautifying the pond, did you know that plants help control algae. But how? They do this by consuming the nutrients out of the water that algae would normally consume. Thereby, the more mature/established your plants get, the more nutrients they are able to pull from the water before algae has room to grow. Also, there are many oxygenating plants, such as Anacharis and Parrots Feather, that add oxygen to the pond, helping maintain a healthy ecosystem. Some plants, such as water lilies, will shade the pond, thus reducing the amount of sunlight available for algae growth.
Fish: Large pond fish, especially koi, will eat a tremendous amount of algae. Not enough for them to be the end-all-be-all...but they definitely pull their weight! Fish constantly forage for food among the rocks and gravel in the pond, picking them clean of any algae they might come across. Koi that are over nine inches in length are a definite asset to have in the pond, as they love to eat string algae. Click here to read more information about pond fish like koi and goldfish!
Rocks and Gravel: When rocks and gravel are added to a pond, bacteria will actually colonize in the gaps and crevices between the rocks. The rocks and gravel provide huge amounts of surface area for the bacteria to colonize and multiply. Once the bacteria colonize the rocks, it’s just like having an additional biological filter in your pond. Remember-- bacteria are the "good" guys in the pond. So the more room you give it to grow and to colonize, the more effective it is!
Mechanical Filtration: A pond skimmer acts as a mechanical filter by removing leaves and other debris from the surface of the pond before they can sink to the bottom. This way the debris does not have a chance to decompose in the pond and thus provide nutrients for another algae bloom.
Biological Filtration: Having the proper size of biological filter is essential if you want clean, clear water. Without a biological filter, you are facing a losing battle against green water. Aquascape’s BioFalls® Filter provides a huge area for bacteria and enzymes to colonize. These bacteria and enzymes consume nutrients and help break down organic debris and fish wastes that would otherwise contribute to water quality problems.Having a sufficient number of plants in the pond will help remove nutrients from the water. By having plenty of plants in the pond, you can, in effect, starve out string algae.
How to get RID of string algae once it exists in your pond:
Any algaecide product is most effective when used hand in hand with a Beneficial Bacteria product, as algaecides KILL algae and Beneficial Bacteria helps to break down the algae once it is dead. Dead algae eventually helps to fertilize more algae if it is not broken down.
Lucky for you, Dreamscapes sells both Beneficial Bacteria AND algaecides at our Aquatic Retail Center. For more information on different types of water treatments we have on hand at all times, read our facebook note, here.
Iongen System by Aquascape Inc.
So What Now?
Dreamscapes carries a full line of pond supplies from water treatments and fish medications to pond pumps, heaters, fountains, plants and fish! If you think you need it, we have it!
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Dreamscapes Watergardens services the city of Lebanon, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, Camp Hill, Cleona, Cornwall, Fredericksburg, Indiantown Gap, Jonestown, Kleinfeltersville, Mount Gretna, Myerstown, Newmanstown Palmyra, Quentin, Reistville, Richland, Schaefferstown of Pennsylvania, PA