Pond & Lake Q & A
Q: How do I get rid of a chara infestation?
– Dave of Ohio
A: During the early beginnings of spring have you ever took that first stroll around the pond and discovered an awful musky smell that filled the air? That smell is chara, and it seems to take off like a wildfire during the early spring. Did you know that if you rake it out before treating it, you risk spreading it even more! So what do you do? The proper way to get rid of chara is the following:
First: Treat the chara using an algaecide
Since chara is a form of algae, using an algaecide such as Algae Defense® or Clipper™ is a great way to treat for the chara. Algae Defense® is best used when there are no koi, goldfish or trout in the pond. All other fish are fine. Also there are no water use restrictions with Algae Defense®. If your pond does contain koi, goldfish or trout then using Clipper™ is the way to go. The only downside with Clipper™ are its water use restrictions. Read more about those restrictions here.
Second: Wait 10 to 14 Days
The important step here is the wait the 10 to 14 days to make sure the chara has died from the algaecide treatment. Like I mentioned eariler, if you rake while the chara is still alive, it can spread.
Third & Final: Rake out the chara
Use the The Pond Guy® Pond & Beach Rake to rake out the chara from the pond. The Pond & Beach Rake includes a 25′ rope so you can throw the rake out into the pond and tug it in. I would rake the same area 2 or 3 times to make sure you removed all of the chara. Chara, fortunately is very easy to rake off of the bottom.
The other hidden benefit of raking chara, is the removal of the black muck on the bottom of the pond. This muck is a nutrient source for weeds and algae so removing it will help you that much more at maintaining the pond. Once finished with the raking, using MuckAway™ Pellets will help breakdown any future muck that may accumulate.