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My Koi & Goldfish Were Gasping for Air After I Treated for Algae. What Went Wrong? – Water Garden Q & A

Picture of String Algae of a Water Garden.

Q: My water garden looked like pea soup so I treated it with AlgaeFix. The product worked great although it took its toll on my fish. My koi and goldfish began gasping at the surface. I immediately did a water change and only lost one small goldfish. I have used AlgaeFix for years and never had this problem. What went wrong? – Lisa of Georgia

A: Oxygen. Oxygen. Oxygen. You must be careful when treating for algae, especially pea green water or planktonic algae. AlgaeFix along with most algaecides on the market work very quickly. When the algae die, they begin to decompose immediately, robbing oxygen from your fish.

How to reduce your chance of fish loss:

#1 – Proper Aeration: Make sure you have an abundance of aeration before you treat for algae. Waterfalls, spitters and fountains all provide aeration. Although, the best source of aeration is generally an aeration system.

#2 – If treating for string algae, remove as much by hand as possible before any treatments. In the case of Lisa’s pea green water, I would have recommend that she do a 10-20% water change approximately 24 hours before her application.

#3 – Get to the root of your problems: Generally ,excessive algae blooms are caused by one or more realistically, a combination of the following: poor filtration, TOO MANY FISH or not enough aquatic plants.

#4 – Use natural products to provide clear water: Although chemicals, when used properly, are a helpful tool they should not be your only solution. For a healthy eco-system and more consistent clear water, turn to a natural remedy such as the DefensePAC and / or Barley Straw Extract.

Be Aware of Oxygen Levels When Treating for an Abundance of Algae – Pond & Lake Q & A

Picture of Filamentous Algae in a Pond

Q: My pond was almost completely covered in algae earlier this month. With the advice of a local store, I treated my pond with an algaecide. Needless to say I suffered a terrible loss! What killed all of my fish? – Marie of Florida

A: More then likely your fish loss was due to oxygen depletion. It is very rare that an EPA registered “Aquatic Approved” chemical will cause a fish kill.

What causes oxygen depletion?
After a chemical application, algae and aquatic vegetation start to die and begin to decompose. The decomposition process requires great amounts of oxygen and can sometimes, like in Marie’s case, be harmful to fish. The chance of oxygen depletion is much greater when a pond is not maintained on a regular basis or when water temperatures are at their warmest such as the dog days of Summer. The warmer the water, the less oxygen it can retain.

How to treat your pond and keep your fish safe:
We recommend that you treat your pond in sections. The generally rule of the thumb is to split your treatment in to 3 parts or thirds. Treat 1/3 of your pond starting from shoreline working your way towards the middle. Allowing 5-7 days between treatments will greatly reduce, if not completely eliminate the chance of fish kill.

NOTE: Always follow the label rates on the container!

Reduce Oxygen Demand with an AIRMAX AERATION SYSTEM! Airmax Aeration adds oxygen to your pond reducing fish kills, while improving the overall health of your pond and fish.

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