Installing a pond in your front or backyard is one of the best and most unique investments you can make for your home. They will make your yard more beautiful, give you something to sit and relax beside, and can increase your property’s value.
Ponds do get algae growth if improperly maintained, which can cause issues if left unaddressed.
Here’s how you can get rid of excess algae in your backyard pond and more useful information.
What Is Algae?
You will need to maintain balance with the outdoor ecology of your yard when installing a pond and to keep it in the best condition. This means that your pond will need to share space with some native wild and plant life, which can include various types of algae.
Algae is a form of plant life that grows in many bodies of water. For example, in ponds, many types of algae will grow near the bottom and rise to the surface as they develop.
The main types of algae you are likely to find in your pond include filamentous and planktonic algae.
Planktonic algae are single-celled and will float freely in the ponds, lakes, and rivers that they live in. Planktonic algae blooms can give a pond a greenish color. Since they are often the base of a food chain in a body of water, ecologists consider planktonic algae to be beneficial in many situations.
It’s only when it starts taking over most of or the entire body of water that they become a problem.
Since it tends to grow near the water’s surface, planktonic algae blooms can shade the bottom of the pond from sunlight. Although this may be beneficial in some ways, it can also prevent plant life on the bottom from gaining adequate sunlight. As beneficial as planktonic algae can be, too much of anything can be harmful.
Too much planktonic algae in a pond can seriously deplete dissolved oxygen levels. As a result, this can cause damage to the fish and water quality in your pond. This makes it a good idea to keep the number of planktonic algae in your pond balanced.
Another major type of algae you’re likely to find is known as filamentous. These are also single-celled creatures, but they come together to form chain-like colonies. These colonies then combine into stringy filaments and float to the surface.
The physical structure of these filamentous algae gives them their signature scummy appearance. Although planktonic algae is a main source of food for many pond lifeforms, studies suggest that filamentous algae can also provide the same service.
The thing is, filamentous algae are somewhat predatory and can quickly use up oxygen levels in a pond while giving little back.
For this and other reasons, it is a good idea to do your best to prevent and remove filamentous algae blooms.
What Kind of Damage Can Algae Cause To Your Pond?
Although it is good to have some level of algae in your pond, if you have too much, or the wrong type, your water will suffer. For example, some types of algae have no nutritional value for wildlife and reduce the water quality of the ponds in which they grow.
Blue-green algae are one of the bad ones that hurt many ponds and other types of waterways. This type of algae creates cyanotoxins as it grows and matures. These toxins are dangerous to fish, and they can also cause the water in your yard to have a musty odor.
Another example of destructive algae is called Chara. Due to its appearance and odor, it’s also called musk grass. This type of algae often grows in thick blooms on the bottom of waterways.
Musk grass isn’t all bad as it often acts as a food source for wildlife species like ducks. However, an overgrowth of this algae can significantly lower water quality levels when it dies off.
What Are Some Ways to Remove Harmful Algae?
Dealing with harmful algae can seem difficult. However, there are several effective ways to reduce the growth of algae and protect your pond’s water.
Take Away Their Source of Nutrition
One good way to keep destructive algae species out of your pond is to get rid of some of their sources of nutrition. Many types of algae thrive on nitrogen or phosphorus, which are the main ingredients in many types of fertilizers.
Preventing fertilizer runoff from entering your pond is an excellent way to prevent algae growth.
Use Them for Fish Food
If you like having fish in your pond, you can introduce certain species that love eating algae. If you introduce these algae-eating species into your pond, they can act as natural cleaners and keep the ecological balance as it should be.
Installing UV Light Clarifiers
Another modern solution to algae problems is called a UV clarifier. These ingenious devices use the power of ultraviolet light to kill algae in the water. With regular use, these UV clarifiers keep your pond clear, healthy, and fresher.
*we prefer not to use these as we don’t find them to be as effective as other ways to prevent algae and keep it from growing too much
Strategic Use of Aerators
Using an aerator is another way to keep certain types of algae down. Some types of aerators, including diffusers, do a good job of introducing air into the water. As they do so, some of this oxygen goes to helping aerobic bacteria.
Aerobic bacteria break down biological material from dead plants in the water. As a result, you can promote the growth of beneficial bacteria that helps to keep your water clearer.
Keep Your Backyard Pond Clean And Beautiful With Our Backyard Pond Maintenance Service
Now that you know more about how to get rid of algae in your pond, you can take steps to keep your backyard pond healthy and beautiful. That said, there are some jobs that are so big or complex that they require professional attention. At Charlotte Backyard Ponds, we stand ready to put our skills and experience to work for you.
Fill out our contact form today to learn about our pond cleaning service!