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Natural Algae Control

Over the years, traditional methods of pond algae control have often involved some type of chemical treatment that's designed to kill the algae through poisoning, or interrupting some stage of it's life cycle.

Pond owners have also resorted to the laborous chore of physically removing the algae with rakes or other means, and it could be said that this approach is probably the most natural of all.

When it comes to comparing these two options however, it's pretty easy to see why chemicals became so popular in pond management.

In this particular article, we won't go into all the ramifications of using chemicals in your pond, but suffice it to say, that there are tradeoffs and many of them are not all that good for the pond in the long run.

Most algaecides contain some form of copper, and copper is certainly toxic to algae. The problem lies in the fact that it's also lethal to many forms of good bacteria, which have been designed, by nature, to help clean up a pond from many things that plague them.

For instance, anything organic in structure, that falls into the pond will sink and decay at the bottom. Without good bacteria, and the useful work that it does, the pond can't process this build up very well. When this happens, the compounds rot, and stink, and build up...and in effect, create a compost pile at the bottom of the pond.

As any gardener know's, compost is great for growing things, and this includes algae at the surface of a pond, and throughout.

Therefore one of the key steps that any pond owner must take is to ensure that this compost is readily broken down and assimilated. Unfortunately chemical algaecides can't do this, only good beneficial bacteria and enzymes can, and Mother Nature provides these naturally in ponds...unless this process is disrupted by chemicals.

If Not Algaecides, What Is There?

So this begs the question, if I can't use algaecides to control algae, what options do I have left? And the answer to this question is that quite a few options still exist.

Namely you'll want to look for sources of nutrients, or things that can positively affect algae growth and try to curb this influence. Is there run-off from surrounding grounds? If so, try to construct buffers, or use less fertilizer on your lawn.

In small ponds, fish always seem to play a major role, and when too many are crammed in a pond for it's size, and it's available filtering capacity, algae can often result. So the answer is, either lessen the influence by removing some of the fish, or increase the size, and/or filtration in the pond.

You can also work to target the nutrients that get in the water with the supplementation of beneficial bacteria. In a sense, this "good bugs" approach works to out compete the algae for available nutrients in the water, and when it does so, algae will regress as it get's choked off.

For many ponds, this process can be somewhat slow and gradual, but there's quite a bit of safety in that approach. Chemicals tend to be more fast to act, but those rapid changes can cause undo stress and problems for fish.

Long before the advent of chemicals, barley straw has been used to retard algae growth. Some recent university studies in the U.S. have indicated that it does indeed have potential to do this, but it seems to work best as a deterrent rather than an outright treatment for existing algae. However there are many pond owners who will swear by it and get results regardless of how it's used.

In smaller ponds it should never be forgotten as well that you can trade desirable plants for undesired ones. Afterall, there's only so many nutrients to go around in a pond, and even though they may be abundant, eventually, if you get enough plants going, they will most likely, choke out the algae due to the fact that the latter can't get enough nutritional support. Plants also have the unique ability to provide shading to a pond that get's a lot of sun, which is often one of the leading stimulators of green water.

Along with these additions, simply following some good management practices can go along way in limiting algae growth. In small ponds, fish loads must be evaluated from time to time, as they grow and multiply, and it's important to avoid overstocking in a pond for it's size. Good filtration will help to a point but eventually any pond can get overwhelmed and algae, as well as other water quality problems can be the result.

In large ponds, looking for ways to buffer run off, or limit the build up of organic muck is very useful to keep a pond cleaner. Also the proper use of good aeration and other tools like ultrasound may have the ability to keep algae from getting a good start and ultimately they may help avoid chemical usage altogether.

In the end, chemical algaecides may have their place from time to time, but our stance is, they should be used as the last stage of treatment. If a pond has been given a chance to "heal" and cleanse naturally, and other algae deterrents have been put in place, many ponds will improve. If they do not, then a targeted use of an algaecide may be helpful.

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From Our Customers

"This is without a doubt the best way to control algae, once the water cleared up it stayed that way for the rest of the summer and now into the fall...you aren't just selling products - you help educate pond owners."

Thanks Again - Lori

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"Want to thank you for recommending the submersible 2500 dispenser. I've had trouble all summer with a green pond. I tried NT-MAX and GREEN CLEAN. Nothing happened--no results. I then emptied the pond, scrubbed the rubber sides, drained it, filled it with treated water, and within 3 weeks had the same emerald green pond. Then your product arrived on 24 August and within 7 days the pond water was clearing. Today Sept. 6, I can see all 15 Koi, Sunset Platies, the bottom of the pond and the base of all water lilies. I can't thank you enough for solving my blooming algae problem."

EWR San Diego

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"I just want to thank you once again for your excellent products. This is the second year without an algae bloom! I fought that horrible problem for 5 years with little success, but these past 2 years using your products, I have not had one algae bloom, not one. Amazing."

Wes - Ohio
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This is the 2nd year I have ordered algae control products from you and I love them, I have never had anything that works so good and I will never again be without it if I can help it. This year I ordered an extra one for a friend and he thinks it is wonderful too. Thanks for all you do for the environment. I am so glad I found you!

Thanks!!!
- Jan M.

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