If you have a pond in your yard, you’re probably familiar with how quickly algae can build up. One day your pond is crystal clear and sparkling, and the next it’s turning green with the overgrowth of algae – yuck!
Today, we’re going to share with you one of the best methods for how to remove algae from the pond and keep it away for good.
What Are Algae and Why Does It Grow So Fast?
Algae are a group of aquatic organisms that use photosynthesis to grow, much like plants and flowers. Seaweed, pond scum, and lake blooms are a few examples of algae.
Algae grows at such a quick rate because of how much sunlight it receives; the more sunlight these organisms receive, the faster they grow. When they are kept in indirect sunlight or in shade, algae are unlikely to grow.
5 Easy Steps for Algae Removal
Step 1. Physically Remove the Algae
The most important step in getting the upper hand on pond algae control is the first one: removing the algae, which is most effectively done by hand.
Although it seems dirty, it’s essential to do before using any kind of treatment on the leftovers.
Pull the biggest bits of your algae off at their base, putting them into a bucket. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t getting a lot in each handful; algae are soft, pliable, and hard to handle.
If you have long, string algae, consider winding the algae around your hands and wrists or using a lint roller to roll it up with. Use a long-handled brush to remove algae that are growing at deeper depths.
Alternatively, if you have one, you could use a pond vacuum and careful movements to rid the area of algae and debris.
Step 2. Treat Your Water and Kill Remaining Algae
Next, you’ll need to treat your pond water and kill off any remaining algae. Some sources recommend using an algaecide to kill algae, but we never recommend using chemicals – even if it says that they are safe for fish and plants.
We opt to use natural algae control solutions.
We’d recommend using bacteria and enzymes alongside a natural pond health product, which can be found in stores or online.
Step 3. Add Extra Plants and Remove Decay
After you have killed off the leftover algae, the next step is to add new plants to your pond. This will add extra oxygen to the water and aid in the overall health of your pond.
Opt for quick-growing, fast reproducing plants that don’t require a ton of upkeep.
A few good options include cattails, irises, water lettuce, and marsh marigolds.
Marsh marigolds are ideal for this purpose because they are one of the first plants to grow each season, while water hawthorne is the perfect plant for the cold weather months of the year.
Be sure to remove some of your plants from time to time in order to allow new growth in your pond.
If you have enough plants in your pond, the algae will need to compete with them for space and, oftentimes, will lose the battle which is exactly what you want.
Step 4. Find the Source of the Algae Growth
In order to maintain an algae-free pond, you need to figure out what was causing the original algae problem to begin with. Text your water quality before you do anything.
If your pond has been growing algae at a problematic rate, then it’s time to look deeper into the pond for answers. A reading of high pH and phosphorus levels tend to be the leading cause of algae spikes.
High pH can be caused by excessive growth of plants, overstocking of fish, and the introduction of foreign materials such as rocks containing limestone or calcium/granite and untreated concrete.
When it comes to phosphorus, the leading cause is fertilizer leaks that have made their way into the water of the pond. Iron can be a cause as well, and so can grass clippings from lawn mowing, and stray blades of grass that decompose in the water.
One way to help maintain healthy pH and phosphorus levels is by using a pond filter and ensuring that your pond liner is fully intact with no rips or damage that could allow fertilizer to seep in.
Step 5. Feed Fish Less to Reduce Excess Nutrients
One of the most common mistakes that fishpond owners make is overfeeding their fish.
Not only does overfeeding mean a shorter lifespan for the fish, but it can also mean excess nutrients in the water, which can be a factor of algae growth.
By feeding your fish less, you increase the chances of them munching on other matter within the pond, such as algae and organic plant matter.
If you feed your fish less during the summer, they will quickly eat away at the algae plaguing your pond.
Using an automatic pond fish feeder is a great way to cut down on how much you feed your fish.
Algae Removal FAQs
Yes. Pond aerator systems add oxygen to the water and, in turn, work to break down organic matter more quickly.
It depends on what method you’re using. If you use a chemical algaecide, it would be a good idea to remove them just to be on the safe side.
Yes, pond fish will eat algae if there’s nothing else for them to eat.
No, algae will not harm your fish.
Algae growth stops at 40 degrees, but some existing algae species can survive in temperatures lower than this.
Hopefully, we’ve answered the burning question of how to remove algae from ponds!
There are a few methods you can use but the system we’ve outlined above has worked the best for us and we’re confident that it will work wonders for you, too.