Don’t you hate it when your pond gets overwhelmed by disgusting, mossy, weedy growth that doesn’t seem to go away? It makes the water in your pond look absolutely terrible. Visitors to your garden can’t see a single thing in your gorgeous pond because of it. If you have any experience with garden ponds, you probably know that the green growth is algae.
Is Algae Growth Something to Worry About?
String algae and other types of pond algae are actually quite common in garden ponds around the world. Due to no fault of your own, this plant grows in your water over time. If it isn’t reigned in, you could find yourself dealing with water that looks like it has been stagnating for years. The worst part? The algae, when it overtakes the pond in its entirety, can stop the fish and plants in your pond from getting the nutrients they need to survive. That’s right – it could kill your pond’s marine life.
Natural Methods are the Best Way to Keep Pond Water Clear
If you have an algae problem in your garden pond, you might start to worry a little. After all, most online resources suggest chemical cleaners that do more harm than good. While some of these are rated safe for fish and other small animals in your pond, it is highly likely that they will cause an imbalance in the local ecosystem simply because they are artificial in nature.
There are ways to clear your pond water without using any of these harmful chemicals. Some of them might seem rather unorthodox to you, but they have been proven to be effective time and time again. Here are a few ways to keep your pond water crystal clear and solve your algae problem once and for all.
This is actually one of the best natural ways to keep algae away from the water in your pond. Decomposing straw releases a natural compound that works in the same way hydrogen peroxide (one of the most popular artificial solutions to murky water) does. This compound literally chokes the algae to death. Barley straw is available at most garden stores as either a liquid, bales, or pellets.
This can be placed inside your pond, right next to the water supply. You won’t see results immediately – the straw takes a while to begin decomposing. This is probably the only disadvantage of using barley straw to clear out your pond. While the effects are harmless to the ecosystem, it can take much longer than you are willing to wait.
The Old-Fashioned Way
If you don’t have time to wait for barley straw to work its magic, you can also manually remove the algae in your pond. It may not be the ideal solution to the problem, but it works!
A toilet brush can work wonders here – it can trap and remove the algae like spaghetti. It is highly recommended that you buy a brand-new toilet brush for this. Fish don’t appreciate having a used toilet brush thrust into their water supply.
Rinse Your Filter
This is a very useful tip indeed. Many people have filters in their ponds for the water. If you have one, think back to the last time you cleaned it out. You probably don’t even remember when that was. Daily cleaning of your filter is one of the best ways to prevent algae from growing in your pond and remove any that exists in it right now. If you don’t have a filter on your pump, you should go to your nearest garden supply store and get yourself a pump filter. It could save you a lot of trouble in the future.
Stop Scrubbing the Walls
The string algae on the water’s surface and the algae on the walls of your pond are two different species. They are in direct competition for nutrients and sunlight. If you let the algae on your walls grow without scrubbing the walls all the time, it will deprive the string algae on top of the food it needs to survive. Over time, these algae will die. You can keep the wall algae in check by letting your fish dine on it and by scrubbing it out very infrequently.
Install a Sunscreen
If your pond gets a lot of sunlight every day, cutting out the direct sunshine can help destroy the growth of algae on the surface of the pond water. This doesn’t mean you dump a gallon of sunscreen into the water. Instead, try setting up a shade that blocks out the sun for the majority of the day. Awnings and lathing are great (and creative) ways to set up a sunscreen that looks amazing.
You may not want to deprive your pond of sunlight. If this is the case, try introducing new plants to the ecosystem that will compete with the algae for life. Water lilies are the best example of a plant like this. Grow water lilies over 70% of your pond’s surface and watch as the algae magically disappears over time.
Get Rid of Debris
Decomposing natural compounds will feed the string algae and allow the water to become murkier than it already is. Cleaning your pond out regularly should be something you do already. If you don’t, start now! Leaves, mulch, and any other stuff that collects in your pond water can decompose and feed the algae. Use a net to get the leaves out before they sink to the bottom. Drag the bottom of your pond to collect any sunken debris.
Bacteria Can Help
“Oh no, bacteria are BAD!”, you say. The truth is, there are some naturally occurring bacteria that feed off the algae and stop it from growing. You can cultivate this species of bacteria in your pond to naturally destroy the algae. These are purchasable from most gardening stores if you ask.
By following these easy, natural methods, you ensure that the water in your pond doesn’t look like a horror movie. Clear, safe, and beautiful pond water is right within your reach. All you have to do is grab it by the algae!
Photo by Just a Prairie Boy