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Why does my pond sometimes turn green in the spring? | Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens Q & A

Q: Why does my pond sometimes turn green in the spring?

Q: Why does my pond sometimes turn green in the spring?

Randy – Huntington, WV

A: After a long, dreary winter, the sight of spring’s green shoots and leaves are a welcome sign – but not in your pond. Green water means algae growth, and that’s not something you want to see flourish. Besides being unsightly, algae degrades your water quality and can actually harm your aquatic pets.

So what can you do to prevent your water garden from turning green?

Add Seasonal Defense®: As long as water temperatures are below 50° F, you can add Seasonal Defense® to your pond. It contains aerobic bacteria that are specially designed for cooler water. When used at this time of year, the waste-gobbling microorganisms will break down dead foliage, fish waste and other sediment that fuel algae growth in your pond.

Keep Up on Your Chores: Make sure you also keep up on your spring cleaning chores because all that decomposing debris feeds algae. Regularly check and clean out your skimmer basket, and remove any leaves or large pieces of debris that blow into the pond with your Collapsible Skimmer & Fish Net. This will encourage the beneficial bacteria in Seasonal Defense® to focus their energy on breaking down fine organic material and muck.

Add Barley Straw Extract: All-natural chemicals found in decomposing barley straw help keep your pond’s water crystal clear. If you add Barley Extract, you don’t have to wait for the straw to decompose. Simply add it to your water according to the label’s instructions and enjoy a clean and healthy water feature. For best results, use Barley Extract in conjunction with Seasonal Defense®.

Pond Talk: What upgrades will you be making to your pond or water garden this year?

Replenish Bacteria Loss This Spring- Pond Logic (r) Seasonal Defense(r)

9 Responses

  1. We were going to do a complete water exchange this spring, and wondering what we needed to add to the pond besides the de-chlorinator? I’ve heard salt is good to add, and how much do we add to a 3000 gal pond? We had problems last year with fish lice. We treated them
    with good success, but did lose a fish. Should we also use a preventative for this, and which product do you prefer?

    • Hi Marcia – You should also add Seasonal Defense to help seed your biological filters. You can add salt, make sure it is intended for use in ponds. You will need to follow label instructions for how much to add. Pond Logic® Pond Salt recommends 2-1/2 cups per 100 gallons for ponds without plants and 1-1/4 cups for ponds with aquatic plants. The best way to keep fish healthy is to make sure you have proper filtration and regularly using bacteria products.

  2. Question? Initial spring startup I do use Seasonal Defense. would I also use Barley Extract… or InstaFix… for a best starting cleanup to clear water? Thanks!

    • Hi Bruce – We recommend starting with Seasonal Defense. Barley Extract is also great to use. Both products will help to get your pond off to a healthy start. Hold off on the InstaFix until you need to use it.

      • Hi,

        Whenever I read the blogs, sometimes (unless there’s a picture) I not sure if the person (or you) are talking about a “farm type pond” or a “small goldfish pond.”

        Sometimes it’s quite confusing whether it pertains to my ¾ ac pond or not.

        Would be good if folks would mention how large there ponds are in the title …….just a thought.


      • Hi there – In the title of the blog, it will list whether it’s a Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens question or Ponds & Lakes. For example, you are commenting on a Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens question; the blue title at the top of the blog says “Why does my pond sometimes turn green in the spring? | Decorative Ponds & Water Gardens”. We consider a 3/4 acre pond in the Ponds & Lake category.

      • Thanks very much for making it clear to me…It never dawned on me to read that .

        Thanks again.


        Slanesville, Wv.

  3. this is on a different subject……I finally found a place that sells Barley Straw, and was wondering how many bales to put in my 5/8ac. pond and where to place them.
    I was told the straw will help prevent string algae.

    Also, if some shoreline grasses are good for fish cover, will your dark pond dye stop the growth???

    • Hi Ralph – We do not recommend adding Barley Straw to large ponds. The amount needed and the effects if the barley straw are left in the pond for too long can cause more issues than it’s worth. Here’s a blog we did last year on using Barley Straw in large ponds: Can I add barley to my 1/2 acre pond?

      As for shoreline grasses, some of the growth may be hindered by the pond dye. Pond dye is intended to shade the water to help prevent plant growth. Once the grass is out of the water, it should grow just fine.

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