How to Get Rid of Algae in a Pond

For every pond keeper, there is one word that instils terror in their entire beings. Algae.

This entirely unwelcome plant life will invade your pond, turning water green and leaving a sludgy film that obscures your beautiful fish and plants in the water. Plus, not only is algae an unsightly and unpleasant distraction in your pond water it can also be very harmful to your pond life as it is known to deplete valuable oxygen.

Algae can turn pond keeping from a therapeutic hobby into something that feels more like a chore to take care of. So, if you’re looking for the best way to remove and prevent algae in your pond, then you have come to the right place. Here you will find all of our helpful hints, tips and advice for how to get rid of algae in your pond.

What is Algae?

Let’s get started by understanding algae, what it is and why it appears.

Algae is a primitive plant that is created through photosynthesis,  combining water with carbon dioxide to create sugars that promote energy and growth. At first, algae will produce oxygen, but this is only true under sunlight. When night time comes, the algae will respire and use its stored sugars and oxygen to create carbon dioxide. This, in turn, will deplete the oxygen in your pond and be harmful to the other plants and fish in your pond.

Two Types of Algae

To get into the specifics of algae, you should be aware that there are two different types.

Green Water:

As the name suggests, this type of algae will be the cause of your green and murky pond water. They are single-celled organisms that remain suspended in water and are actually so tiny that they pass through even the finest of filters. In the right conditions, there can be as many as five million algae cells per millilitre of pond water.

String Algae:

This algae is also commonly referred to as ‘hair algae’, and it is the more obvious form of the two types. Growing in long strands, string algae will plant itself to walls and waterfalls in your pond before eventually tangling together. These tangles then form together to form a thick mat that is unsightly in the pond and can double its own weight in a matter of 24 hours.

How to Prevent and Remove Algae Naturally

If you’re looking for a natural way to prevent and remove algae in your pond, then the answer is simple. Add plants.

In a natural pond setting, plants will absorb the nutrients produced by fish, meaning there is little to none left for algae. But in most garden ponds, there is not a sufficient amount of plant life to handle the excess amount of nutrients. The resulting build-up of nutrients in the water is like a wonderland for algae and is the prime condition for it to grow, form and spread.

So, whether you’re just beginning your pond journey or you’re looking for a way to control your algae levels, then choosing the right pond plants and tools is a must.

Start by increasing the amount of oxygenating plants on the surface of your pond, as this is the simplest and easiest addition to keep your water clean and clear. Reducing the amount of direct sunlight to algae in your pond will also prevent further growth, and a good way to control this is by adding floating plants, such as lilies or lotus plants.

It is important to note that after the initial introduction of new plants into your pond, you may notice a rise in green water. However, this will only last for a short period of time while the plants acclimatise, so have no fear!

How to Remove Algae in Your Pond 

If you’re looking for straightforward removal of algae, then you should choose a relevant water treatment for your pond. A pond treatment is an excellent option for tackling established algae growth. Plus, it can be effective on both green water and string algae when used correctly and repeatedly. This is an important tip, do not assume your algae problem will be solved with just one application; for real results, you will need to follow the treatment instructions carefully!

Removing Green Water

To remove green water algae specifically, you should use a quality UV clarifier. By exposing suspended, single-cell algae to ultraviolet light, its reproductive capabilities are destroyed, and it can no longer grow. However, be careful as UV light can also be very harmful to humans. A high-quality UV clarifier will consist of a tubular fluorescent bulb that emits UV light, and this will be enclosed in dark housing to protect the human eye.

Removing String Algae

When it comes to removing string algae, the process is a lot more straightforward and physical as UV lights are totally ineffective on this algae type.  It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in removing string algae with hands or nets. Loosen the algae first by blasting it with the garden hose from its home on rocks and waterfalls.

Controlling Algae

Just remember that for controlling algae, balance is best! No pond, garden or natural, will ever be totally algae-free, but under balanced conditions, it can be controlled. Now that you understand how and why it grows, you are already in a better place to tackle the green nuisance. We hope that our guide has helped you with all of the advice you could need for controlling, preventing and removing algae in your pond. Don’t forget to shop for UV clarifiers, pond treatments and nets to help you!

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