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I spend a lot of time trying to kill algae, and sometimes it doesn’t work. Do you have any tips? | Ponds & Lakes Q&A

Q: I spend a lot of time trying to kill algae, and sometimes it doesn’t work. Do you have any tips?

Q: I spend a lot of time trying to kill algae, and sometimes it doesn’t work. Do you have any tips?

Vince – Columbia City, IN

A: Frustrating, isn’t it? You spend hours upon hours pondside, dosing the water with algaecides and raking out algae-feeding plant matter and detritus, only to see the green menace return weeks – if not days – later. Is there a way to control the nuisance algae that’s turning your pond into pea soup?

You bet. Below are our top recommendations for battling the algae. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll have that green menace under control in no time.

#1 – Treat Only Actively Growing Algae
When using algae control products in your pond or lake, the algae must be present and actively growing. Why? Because the chemicals need to make direct contact with the tiny organisms and absorb into their cells for them to be effective; if there’s no living algae, the chemicals will land in the water and become diluted, and therefore ineffective when the green stuff blooms.

#2 – Treat When Weather Is Favorable
Algae can grow in cold temperatures – even frigid, depending on the species – but algaecides aren’t so tolerant. The pond water must be warmer than 60°F for the chemicals in them to work. Apply your algae treatment on a sunny, mild day when rain is not expected in the immediate forecast. This will allow the chemicals to adequately absorb into the algae. As always, read the product label for instructions and specific temperature requirements.

#3 – Treat Only a Third at a Time
When temperatures heat up and the algae dies off, that combination of warm water and decaying plant matter reduces the amount of oxygen available to fish and other living critters in the pond. Keep them in an oxygen-rich environment by treating the pond in small sections and wait 7-10 days before moving to the next section. In addition, keep your aeration system or fountains running during treatment to continue circulating and oxygenating the water.

#4 – Read the Product Label
Different algaecides have different active ingredients, inert ingredients and specifications, so always read your product’s label for appropriate protective equipment and application rates. Pay special attention to warnings concerning water use and restrictions in ponds used for irrigation, drinking and swimming, as well as in ponds that house certain types of fish. If you have trout, which are sensitive to copper-based treatments, test the carbonate hardness levels and ensure they are above 50 ppm prior to treatment. If they’re above that, use another treatment, like Hydrothol®, that contains no copper.

#5 – Follow Up with Airmax® Ecosystem Pond Management Program
Algaecides are a great tool that can temporarily clear up pea soup water, but they do little address the actual problem causing the algae – which is excessive nutrients and organics. By following your treatment up with proactive pond management practices, such as aeration and natural water treatments like MuckAway™, you will reduce the accumulation of dead organic material, which will help to keep your water clear season after season. Check out the Airmax® Ecosystem™ – Proactive Pond & Lake Management video below for more information or view the article here.

Pond Talk: Do you have any additional tips for successful algae management?

Eliminate Algae and Chara Fast - Pond Logic Algae Defense

Be Proactive for Long Term Algae Control – Pond & Lake Q & A

Picture of a Pond with an Abundance of Algae.

Q: I’ve treated my pond for algae with one of you Algae Defense, it works great although I have to do it almost monthly. Do you offer anything that would offer longer lasting results? – Jacob of Michigan

A: Algae Defense® is meant to be used as a reset button providing quick results. Algae Defense® is a great tool to get your pond under control especially during those hot summer months. The disadvantage is that the results are generally only short-term, because it only addresses the result of a problem and not the actual problem itself. To get the long-term results you’re looking for, you will have to take a different approach.

Think of it this way, you only use chemicals, when weeds and algae become a problem. This is a “reactive” approach. You need to think of your pond’s health proactively. Being “proactive” means treating for the problem not just the result of the problem.

Algae and pondweed growth are promoted by two basic things, sunlight and nutrients.

Sunlight can only be controlled by shade trees, surface structure and/or plants or by adding a pond dye such as Nature’s Blue™ Pond Dye or Black DyeMond™ Pond Dye.

Nutrients: Nutrients can come from many things such as, grass clippings, twigs, trees, fish waste, yard and farm fertilizers, runoff, etc. The majority of nutrients, especially those that have come from organics decomposing, are found at the bottom of your pond in what is known as black “muck”. The rest of the nutrients are free floating in your waters column sometimes causing murkiness.

Nutrients can be greatly reduced by eliminating “point source problems” such as:

#1 – Leave a buffer area around the pond when you fertilize. Use fertilizers low in phosphorus and/or organic ones.

#2 – Rake your pond using a Pond & Beach Rake removing dead vegetation, leaves and other organics that will eventually decompose on the bottom.

#3 – The next best thing is to introduce an Aeration System to your pond and following our proven 4-Step System.

Want to get rid of the Muck FAST? Use all natural, MuckAway™ . These pellets accelerate the decomposition of “muck”. Depending on the amount of nutrient intake your pond receives, MuckAway™ Pellets can eat up to 5 inches of “muck” per year.

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