Published on June 24th, 2013 | by Guest Contributor
The Sustainable way to Keep your Garden Pond Clean!
Algae can turn your beautiful water feature or pond into an ugly green mess. Not only is it impossible to prevent, but it can be a real nuisance to control. However, it can be controlled, it just takes vigilance.
Algae comes into your garden pond on the wind, rain or on animals that stop at your pond for a drink or a wash, and there is therefore no way to stop it. To grow, it needs water, warmth and sunlight as well as nitrogen and phosphates. An overcrowded pond, or an overfed pond with too many nutrients located in the sun is the perfect pond for algae to thrive.
Preventing the Conditions
The best way to prevent algae from thriving (there is no way to stop it altogether without using chemicals that will kill everything else in your pond) is to minimize those conditions. A balanced ecosystem will help prevent algae blooms before they even begin to grow; it is unlikely to get rid of algae blooms if they are already established. Water plants use up excessive nutrients for their own growth, and prevent algae from using it. You should try and get rid of any excessive existing algae before you plant new water plants or it will lead to them becoming suffocated. Surface plants are especially good at depleting an excess of nutrients as they draw the nitrogen and phosphate directly from the water as opposed to through soil.
Plants will increase the oxygen levels in the water, but if you feel that your pond is too over crowded already, then consider installing a pond pump. This will mean that the water will move around and help to prevent the water from becoming stagnant, and increase the oxygen content of the water. You can buy pond pumps and oxygenators from a reputable pond supply store like All Pond Solutions in the UK at an excellent price.
Adding plants around your pond such as grasses and rushes can provide shade to your pond and means that sunlight doesn’t reach the algae. You can also add pond dye to your pond. This makes the colour darker and means that it is harder for the sunlight to penetrate the water and help the algae grow.
Barley straw has been noted to have a good effect as a controller of algae. It decomposes and produces a chemical that prevents the new growth of algae. This is usually only effective in small ponds and needs to be added and removed on rotation for good results.
To get rid of algae instantly, there are a number of chemicals available. However, for a sustainable solution that won’t have an impact on the environment, you need to make sure that the ecosystem of your pond is a healthy one.
Insert pond image from here; Green Living Ideas would like to thank the All Pond Solutions for sponsoring this post. Featured image from here too!