Effective algae control in lakes and ponds

Algae control in lakes and ponds is an essential part of maintaining the integrity and the health of all freshwater bodies, whether it’s a natural water hole on your land or a large ornamental lake on a golf course. Of course, you can remove some of the larger string or filamentous algae by hand using nets, but this is labour intensive and time consuming, although it’s a good first step.

A much better strategy for algae control in lakes and ponds is to use a chemical algae remover that doesn’t harm the wildlife in and around the water or to use a lake aerator for long-term control.

Using a chemical algae control in lakes and ponds

If you have algae growing on vertical or horizontal surfaces that can be easily removed by scrubbing, then that’s a good first step in controlling the growth of 11d. Often however, the water body is far too large for hand scrubbing to be an efficient method of controlling the growth of algae and you need to opt for a chemical algae remover.

If you can remove any filamentous or string algae with nets, that’s also a good first option, as well as netting any dead matter that has accumulated in the water. You are then free to apply your chemical algae remover to remove the remaining overgrowth of algae in your lake or pond.

Using a lake aerator or algae control in lakes and ponds

Using a chemical algae remover is only a stop gap and is a short-term measure that really needs to be backed up with a lake aerator for successful long term maintenance. A good lake aerator is an environmentally friendly way to control algae in lakes and ponds, as it increases the amount of oxygen in the water column.

A lake aerator also increases the number of enzymes that are needed to breakdown dead organic matter and gives a boost to the good biologicals that naturally compete with algae for nutrients and oxygen in the water. A lake or pond that is well aerated will provide a balanced environment to wildlife, be aesthetically pleasing, and will require fewer applications of a chemical algae remover.

If you require professional algae control in lakes or ponds on your property, call BioRemedy on 07 3889 8250 or send us an email.

Do you really need a lake or pond aerator?

If you have an open body of freshwater on your land, then it’s likely that you will need some form of lake or pond aerator installed. Without a pond aerator pump, the water quality can become compromised over time, reducing the health of the fish life and water quality, whilst the algae will thrive.

What does a pond or lake aerator do?

A pond aerator pump literally aerates the water column of ponds and lakes. In essence, it mixes the water throughout the depth of the pond or lake, preventing stratification that can lead to fish deaths and an overabundance of algae.

Stratification is a natural process in ponds and lakes where the water column is differentiated into layers, characterised by warm water with low oxygen levels and colder water with higher oxygen temperatures. A pond aerator pump destratifies the entire water body, ensuring both an even temperature and sufficient oxygenation throughout the water column. Destratifying large bodies of water can be a big challenge to environmental managers who have to constantly fight a pond or lake’s natural drive towards stratification.

In general, there are three practical benefits to using a pond or lake aerator for farmers and environmental managers:

Increased fish health: Most fish require a certain amount of dissolved oxygen to survive, which is why one of the biggest causes of fish kills are low oxygen levels. When a pond or lake is stratified, the fish cannot inhabit the whole water column, instead they need to remain in the layers that are adequately oxygenated. If you have a deeper layer of oxygen deficient water in the pond and the water body suddenly turns over (a natural occurrence in autumn) this can be enough to create large fish kills as the oxygen deficient water overwhelms the thinner oxygenated surface layer.

Installing a lake or pond aerator however, destratifies the water column, preventing the formation of a bottom oxygen deficient layer, and ensuring the health of the fish.

Improved water quality: Water that is deficient in oxygen causes bacteria that live in this type of environment to flourish, releasing hydrogen sulphide, ammonia, methane and carbon dioxide, killing not only the good bacteria, but also the fish. Water quality is compromised, and the pond or lake rapidly moves towards an unhealthy state. A pond or lake aerator will increase the oxygen levels throughout the water body, improving the water quality and resulting in a healthier and cleaner pond.

Reduced pond algae: A pond aerator pump will also mix algae spores throughout the water column, reducing the amount of time the spores spend in the warm sunlit surface layers, and slowing their growth cycle accordingly. Increased oxygen levels can also cause a shift in the type of algae that grows in ponds, from the problematical blue green algae to the less problematical green algae.

For lake and pond remediation, contact BioRemedy on 07 3889 8250 or send us an email.

5 Easy steps to control an overabundance of pond algae

An overabundance of pond algae can be the bane of farmers, golf course managers, councils and anyone who has one or more ponds on their land. In general, pond algae control is fairly easy in well-established ponds, it’s when ponds are new that problems can become overwhelming.

Taking the right measures and initiating the correct steps at the initial setup however, will reduce the likelihood of an algae problem in the future. Many of these same steps can also be used to bring pond algae under control in more established ponds that require remediation measures.

  1. Install a pump & filter: A solar pond aerator will turn over the water in the pond, oxygenating and improving the water quality, as well as reducing the number of algae. The size of your pond and the ratio of fish to plant life will determine the size of the solar pond aerator you require, but don’t forget to install a biological filter system to enhance the quality of your pond water as well.
  2. Reconfigure the pond: A properly constructed pond needs 40% of its surface area covering the deeper zones (min 60 cm in depth) to allow for proper aeration and pond algae control. In addition, the surrounding area needs to be landscaped to avoid runoff that contains debris and nutrients from entering the pond, both of which feed the algae. However, if your pond is already constructed, your only option is re-engineer the surrounding landscape to prevent runoff from entering the pond.
  3. Remove debris and sludge: Despite your best efforts, some debris will always enter your pond and whilst you don’t need to remove all of this debris, minimising it is an important step in pond algae control. You can install a surface skimmer that will remove debris on the surface of the pond and use a pond vacuum to clean the sludge from the bottom of the pond.
  4. Add aquatic plants: To keep pond algae under control you need a certain biomass of aquatic plants in a pond, but not just any plants. You need to have both underwater plants to remove any excess nutrients from the water that can feed the algae, as well as floating plants to reduce the amount of sunlight entering the water, breaking the algae’s growing cycle.
  5. Other controls: In an immature pond you can add beneficial bacteria and enzymes to reduce pond algae and improve the water quality, and in a more mature pond you can use an algicide if the problem is severe.

For professional pond algae control, contact BioRemedy on 07 3889 8250 or send us an email.

Tips on algae control in lakes and ponds

Algae control in lakes and ponds is usually an ongoing process and is necessary to maintain the water quality and the health of the fish and other wildlife that rely on these ecosystems. If left alone and ignored, algae can quickly overwhelm these water bodies, which is why water treatment with some sort of algae remover is essential.

It’s important that you don’t confuse algae with weeds, because whilst they might appear similar in the water, they require different approaches for containment. Algae are single or multi-celled organisms that make energy using photosynthesis, but they don’t have roots, leaves or stems like plants and weeds. Sometimes duckweed is mistaken for floating algae and Stonewort algae for bottom hugging weeds, so it’s important to identify the cause of your problem, before initiating a water treatment plan.

Short term solutions for algae control in lakes and dams

If you have just noticed an abundance of algae in your lake or dam and it looks like pea soup or the bottom is covered in string algae, you can use a chemical algae remover to hit the problem quickly. The issue with a chemical water treatment however, is that it will kill goldfish and Koi, and trout can also be affected if the carbonate content is less than 50 ppm. If you can’t use a chemical solution, then you need to look at long term control immediately.

Long term solutions for algae control in lakes and dams

A chemical algae remover is a short term solution to a crisis situation, but you need to move on from here and initiate a longer term approach to controlling the algae issue. The easiest and most successful long term plan is to tackle the overload of nutrients that feed the algae, creating the population explosion you have just attacked with chemicals.

Nutrients usually come from runoff and can be difficult to control on the land, so you need to tackle the problem another way. One of the most beneficial solutions is to make sure that you maintain a decent size fertilizer buffer around the lake or dam, so that runoff is less likely. Then install an aerator in the water to keep oxygen levels high and reduce the build-up of organic debris on the bottom.

For more information on algae control in lakes and ponds for your property, call BioRemedy on 1300 798 022 or send us an email.