It would be easy enough to think of all algae as the same. When you see growth in your pond that is clouding the water, you’ll know it is “algae” and wonder how you can eliminate it. In reality, there are many different types of pond algae, and knowing what you are dealing with will go a long way toward helping you find the right solution.
At TLC, we are experts in installing and caring for water features, give us a call if you need help with any type of algae in your Jackson, WY area pond or stream. We can get your pond or stream back on track right away so you can enjoy beautiful clear water again.
When trying to figure out what type of pond algae you are dealing with, it makes sense to start with the most likely answer to that question – planktonic algae. If you are looking at your pond and it looks like a green soup rather than clear water, planktonic algae are likely the culprit. Perhaps surprisingly, the issue here isn’t the presence of the algae, which is the status quo. In fact, it is a necessary part of the food chain and will help anything else that lives in the pond grow and thrive.
Rather than trying to eliminate all planktonic algae, what you are trying to do is keep the pond in balance by adding other living things that can utilize these algae and the nutrients it consumes. Things like other forms of plant life that can live in the water and consume available nutrients will help you avoid that unwanted outcome of a cloudy, green pond.
As the name would suggest, string algae grow in plant form rather than just floating in the water freely like planktonic algae. When any type of algae is growing out of control, the issue is typically excess nutrients in the water and a lack of other life forms to use up those nutrients. Cutting down on the available nutrients is a big step you can take toward clearing your water of this unwanted growth.
Unfortunately, it’s likely that a bit of hard work is going to be required to get your pond back to normal if you have a significant growth of string algae already in place. You won’t be able to just skim all of this algae out of the water since it might be growing on the liner and other surfaces, such as rocks. After doing the hard work of pulling it out, think carefully about what modifications can be performed to avoid a return of this unwelcome guest.
Of all the algae that are likely to grow in and on your pond, blue-green cyanobacteria are perhaps the most troublesome. First, it produces toxins and, therefore, can be harmful to humans, pets, and any fish that may live in the pond. If allowed to bloom out of control, you’ll wind up with a pond that is unhealthy and needs to be dealt with promptly to restore the safety of the area.
Not only do you have the issue of toxins to consider, but this type of algae also stinks. In fact, if you don’t pay much attention to your pond, the smell may be the first sign that something is wrong. Once you get a whiff of this type of algae on your property, you’ll have all the motivation you need to deal with it and keep it from coming back in the future.
Again here, it’s the abundant availability of nutrients that will be a problem when dealing with blue-green cyanobacteria. Cutting down on nutrients flowing freely in the pond will help, as will make sure the water stays moving through the use of a pump. You’ll want to be particularly aware of the threat of this type of algae during the summer months, as it thrives in warm water settings.
Euglena is very hardy and diversified, able to live in most moist soil types as well as any body of water. This sort of algae, which is typically green or red, may be rather worrisome, and for good reason. Euglena is often not detectable until a bloom, which is frequently vivid crimson in color.
These blooms are extremely hazardous, and if they are not controlled, fish and vegetation may die off.
Unfortunately, the majority of euglena species are resistant to biological or manual controls, so you’ll either need to completely drain your water body and refill it with fresh water or use chemicals to eradicate the bloom.
The family of green algae also includes chara, often known as muskgrass. Because of their leaves and stems, this type of alga is frequently mistaken for a plant. However, they lack flowers, etc. Its only known negative effects on pond health are that it has a strong garlic-like odor, hence the term “muskgrass,” and that it is, like most algae, prone to overgrowth. In fact, it’s referred to as the “filter algae” since it helps the water naturally filter out toxins and add dissolved oxygen.
You don’t need to be an expert to deal with algae, but having a basic understanding of the various types of growth you might find in your water is a big advantage. We hope the discussion above has been helpful and remember that you are always welcome to contact TLC if you need help with any pond and stream maintenance tasks in the Jackson, WY area. Thanks for stopping by!
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