Long green algea in my new pond

Discussion in 'Water Gardening' started by mondotomhead, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. mondotomhead

    mondotomhead New Seed

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    Our pond has been up and running approx 8 weeks (There are 8 frogs!) but now I have that long green algae on my waterfall rocks. The pond water is a darkish brown, not clear at all. There are some leaves on the bottom but I hesitate to clear them out because of the frogs. I have a skimmer filter and a waterfall filter that holds some "plastic feeling" green stuff to catch the algae. I've been reading about barley straw. Does this work? Also, should I worry about this now as the weather will be getting cold and I'm thinking the algae will die. I'd rather not use chemicals but it might be my only option.
     
  2. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    It sounds as though the algae you have is blanket weed M. It grows really fast in sunlight and can choke other plants in your pond. I simply take a garden cane and twirl it amongst the weed and then pull it out. I have used barley straw in my organic pond and it does help but doesn't eliminate the problem completely.
     
  3. petunia

    petunia Young Pine

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    Our small meuseum here in our town has a natural pond behind it. one of the ladies used the barely straw in it. It seemed to clear it up. It does look better then what it did at the beginning.
     
  4. kaseylib

    kaseylib Young Pine

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    I've used the barley straw in my pond with minimal success. This year, I went back to pulling it out by hand, as Eileen mentioned. Supposedly the algae harbors beneficial bugs, and you're supposed to dump it near the pond's edge so the bugs can find their way back into the pond. I worry about the string algae clogging up my pump, but other than that, the frogs and fish seem to like it.
     



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  5. mondotomhead

    mondotomhead New Seed

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    The algae isn't long enough to twirl yet! I am more concerned about how "brownish" the water is. The pond is 3 1/2 ft deep in the center where we have put 3 good size rocks one of which is white granite and I can hardly see it.

    Any ideas to clear up the water?
     
  6. kaseylib

    kaseylib Young Pine

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    My pond water does darken during the summer months when everything is growing, and like you my pond is about 3-4 feet deep. I have a waterfall that continually runs (even throughout the winter) which keeps my pond aerated and healthy.

    I don't have anything under the water that I want to see like your rocks, but do place decorative objects around the edge. Your water will never be crystal clear without the use of a lot of chemicals, and that won't make for a healthy ecosystem. I'd recommend that you wait and see, as your pond is new. Mine is on its 5th year now, and my fish and frogs and happy, despite the dark water.
     
  7. mondotomhead

    mondotomhead New Seed

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    I don't either want to use chemicals. I'd worry about the effect on the frogs, waterbugs, and the fish I want next spring. It is absolutely incredible how the wildlife found this pond in such a short time. I'll try not to fret about the brown water!

    Good idea about leaving the waterfall on. Now......to stop my husband from shutting it down.

    Thanks all of you for the advice. There are no pond places anywhere near me to ask them my "newbie" questions. HAHAHA
     
  8. Joann

    Joann Seedling

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    Hi Mondotomhead..leaving leaves in your pond will junk it up real fast. If you dont get them out they'll leave alot of sludge and then you'll definately have brown water. You'll regret it next spring when it's time to do the spring clean.

    I use products by Pond Care http://www.pondcare.com/ my favorite products are Pond Zyme (works in water above 45 degrees) and Eco Fix. Neither will harm the frogs. I never had any luck with the algae removers. I found once I got my water established and had lots of plants that that took care of the algae. My ponds first year was like a cessepool, now my water stays clear unless I neglect the leaves. I'm smart and put my pond under a maple tree so I know all about what leaves will do :rolleyes: .

    You can find Pond Care products at Home Depot or most places that have lawn and garden things. I've found some at different Walmarts also. You can get it online too but will pay more for it. Each bottle goes for 9 dollars or highter but will last you all year.

    Did you add any additives to your pond once you filled it? and do you have a pond water testing kit?
     
  9. mondotomhead

    mondotomhead New Seed

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    Hey Joann,

    I'm as smart as you as my pond is under a tree too!

    Do you remove the leaves after all the leaves have fallen? Or wait until spring. Most are still on the trees up here. I read somewhere that the frogs winter over in the leaves. There are not THAT many leaves in the pond just yet. I don't have alot of plants yet either. The season is just about over.

    We did put in some biological stuff (I can't remember) when we filled it. The problem started when we did some landscaping using compost. That same night we had a deluge of rain. I think the compost got into the water. Its been brown since.

    I'll be checking out the websites you mentioned.
     
  10. Joann

    Joann Seedling

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    I keep up on the leaves the best I can but never get them all removed before winter sets in. They just keep on coming..there seems to be no end to the leaves!

    Frogs will use the leaves and they'll also bury themselves in the bottom or in a pot of dirt. Now I'm thinking that maybe I did my Bud the Bullfrog in in February by removing the leaves when we had a thaw : (
     
  11. kaseylib

    kaseylib Young Pine

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    I got my waders on yesterday and cleaned out my pond for the last time before the surface freezes over. I got up close and personal with my frogs and fish, and it was cold even with waders on!

    I'm never able to get all of the leaves out, but I do scoop out quite a few. And I prepare all of my marginal plants by cutting them down and then placing them in the bottom of the pond. I think that's where my frogs go for cover during the winter. I also put a small screen mesh over the openings in my pump because in past years, the frogs have gotten a leg stuck in there when they first wake up from hibernation (I keep my waterfall pump running all winter long so the pond stays well-aerated). I have at least 7 frogs in there now, and one is a big bull frog.
     
  12. Gardengirl

    Gardengirl Young Pine

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    I agree with all of the above. The blanket weed is caused mainly by sunlight and the only way to get rid of it is to scoop it out. I have tried barley straw with not much success.
    Regarding the green water I have found that a filter fitted with a UV light helps to keep the water clear and saves having to use harmful chemicals. If you Google UV Pond Lights you may find some helpful sites.
     
  13. thesecretgarden

    thesecretgarden Seedling

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    Hello,
    Wow, this is really late to be posting in here, but this is the time of year when I'm stuck in the house and have the spare time to come and look around the garden stew. I put my pond in, in 1997, about 20ft. long and 10ft. across. It has a natural water filter system, it's a fairly large one, but still the green water did not clear up. I think I've tried everything from chemicals to the barley straw. When I did get the water clear then the string algae started to grow and was absolutely terrible. After checking with my pond guy, he said the green water did not hurt the fish at all, which was a different type of algae and when the water was brown it didn't stay that way long. He said if I let the water go back to nature taking it's course and letting it be green, the green water would choke the string algae by blocking the sunlight and kill it back. It did indeed work to just let the pond go with the filter running and no more chemicals. No more problem with the string algae, just a little bit only and I think the fish might eat it. I have over 40 fish now. I've never drained my pond either through the past 11 years. I've never lost fish because of the water, just old age or birds or raccoons taking them. I keep a net on parts of the pond to help protect the fish. I have water lilies and some other plants that I separate every year.

    I have 3 depth levels, a 3ft., a 2ft. and a 1 and1/2 ft. levels. I keep a heater in the pond all winter and a bubbler going by using a small pond motor wrapped in a piece of filter to keep the junk out of the motor as the larger filter system is shut off during the winter. Never lost a fish during the winter. I don't feed them in the winter either.

    Well, I hope this helps someone. Sure can't wait to get my pond opened back up this spring, and hear those frogs and visit my fish and all the nice wonderful things that come around the water. If I get up early enough, really early in the summer, like 6a.m. sometimes I will see a hummingbird taking a bath in the water falls.
     
  14. Sunterra

    Sunterra New Seed

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    Pond Clarifing Solutions

    Algae (green color)is usually a sign that the pond imbalanced due to exposure to a lot of sunlight. The brown color is usually a result of imbalance from fish waste or leaves.

    The goal is to create an eco-system that is naturally balanced. This balance can be created in several ways.

    1.) The pond should be covered by floating plants on over 50% of the surface to keep sunlight from creating the algae in the water. Use Water Lettuce, Floating Hyacinth. Marginal plants such as Water Iris, Lilies and Lotus plants are also helpful in accomplishing this coverage. These plants also neutralize, oxygenate and provide fish with food as fish can feed from the roots.

    2.) The use of UV clarification in combination with "Beneficial Bacteria" is the best way to naturally cure the imbalance. Use of Barley Straw helps as well as others have commented.

    UV clarification can be added "in-line" through a UV clarification tube. Usually come with a UV bulb that zaps the algae causing it to clump up and get filtered by your other mechanical filtration. Sunterra has an 18 watt version that is sold at Menard's. Sunterra also has a biological filter that can be hooked up that has "bio balls" inside to help grow Beneficial bacteria. Sunterra bioballs are basically surface area for the beneficial bacteria to grow on. The biofilter is a pressurized filter that is installed after the pump and filters the water mechanically with sponges and flows through the bioballs to add the "good" beneficial bacteria back into the water circulation. Sunterra has a model that includes the UV with the biofilter, but if you already have a filter mechanism, the inline unit works the same way. sunterrausa.com or Menard's.

    Beneficial Bacteria is the Good bacteria that is used to resolve Nitrates and Nitrites back into a balanced state. Nitrates and nitrites are from fish waste or excess fish food, or other elements that could effect your pond such as tree leaves etc.

    Therefore the beneficial bacteria neutralizes these impurities - clearing your water. Beneficial bacteria is sold by Sunterra in a dispenser pack. The pack is dormant until exposed to your water, then grows in your pond.

    Beneficial Bacteria is NOT an instant cure - it is a natural cure, therefore it does not clear the water until a week or so.

    Hope this helps!
     

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