Summer Water Pond care and Algae

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Summer
care and Algae

By
the Pond
Lady

 

Summer
is here and everything in your pond is in full rhythm,
flowers are blooming, and your fish are active. Algae
is growing and you’re wondering what do I do about that
green water or what is that fuzzy green stuff on my
pots and around the sides of my pond. You might even
have long, green, stringy algae. Let’s cover some of
the basics. Green water is caused by an exploding population
of free-floating, single-celled algae. This is the first
step in a natural process that establishes a healthy,
balanced ecosystem. This should clear up naturally within
4 – 6 weeks as the plants starts to take over. Your
pond has to build up beneficial bacteria. You can also
add this bacteria yourself to help speed up the process.
My pond is clear but I do have fuzzy algae. I have the
short, mossy algae that looks like fuzzy hair to me.
This grows on my rocks and on my pots. This is good.
This is what I want and need to have a well balanced
pond. This tells me that the wastes in my pond are properly
being broken down and nitrates are being made. This
fuzzy algae is working like submergible plants. This
keeps my pond clear by removing excess nutrients from
the water preventing the pea-soup algae that turns your
pond green. Some people like to scrub this off their
rocks or pots. They hate algae of any kind. I try to
work with Mother Nature not against her. This fuzzy
algae also gives my koi something to eat when I’m not
around to feed them. DO NOT DRAIN YOUR POND. Mother
Nature takes her time to work. If you drain your pond
you will have to start all over again. Leave the fuzzy
stuff.


Now the stringy stuff. If I could find a way to market
this, I would be rich. I had this hanging off my waterfalls.
Now that my water hyacinths have grown and cover the
top of my falls, they take out the nutrients from my
water before they get into my pond. Before this, I had
to remove the algae with a bottle or toilet brush. I
just twirl the brush around the algae and it removes
this offensive plant. Algae is a living plant. It needs
sunlight to grow. Keeping your water cover 60% to 65%
with plants will help shade your pond or you can use
a water dye. Using a dye during the winter will darken
your water and keep the winter and early spring sun
from giving you an early growth of algae. The dye will
dissipate by spring. There is a product produced by
Interpet in England that is available in the US known
as Pond Balance. The pink crystals are dissolved in
water and added to the pond in the early spring. This
and other products can be purchased but most only work
in the spring when water temperature is below 55°.
If you don’t like to remove this string algae you can
use a UV sterilizer to kill it. A UV Sterilizer uses
ultraviolet light to kill algae and fish pathogens that
are free-floating in the water. Koi enthusiasts, who
always want clear water, routinely combine a UV sterilizer
with biological filtration. Keep the string algae from
wrapping around tender young plants, they can strangle
and kill plants. Heavy concentration can also suffocate
plants or deprive them of necessary sunlight.

Summer
is the time to keep your strainers and skimmers clean.
Keep adding fresh water to your pond because the hotter
weather will cause water to evaporate. Monitor all pond
life carefully for diseases and parasites. Treat as
needed. Feed your fish at least twice a day. Only feed
them as much as they can eat in 5 minutes. It is best
to under feed than over feed them. Give them different
foods like, lettuce, watermelon, grapefruit, and anything
else that they might like. I know of one woman who had
her koi for 15 years. One of her koi likes to eat her
homemade sausages and another one likes toast with strawberry
jam. She also feeds them a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Her koi are over 24 inches long.. If you buy new fish,
quarantine them for at least 21 days before you release
them into your pond with other fish. Quarantine new
plants for 14 days before you add them. They could have
been kept in a pond with diseased fish and still be
harboring disease agents. A final rinse under the tap
should prevent anything still attached to them from
getting into your pond. Continue fertilizing your plants
through August. Run your pump continuously. Aquatic
plants add oxygen during the day but remove it from
the water at night. Don’t feed your fish if the temperatures
goes over 85°. If the water stays over 85° for
several days, you may want to add fresh water to cool
it down. Do not do more than 25% exchange. Do not have
an overstocked pond. Too many fish means too little
oxygen.

Darlene
Jennings (pond Lady) President,
Mid-Michigan Pond & Water Garden Club
Advanced MSU Master Gardener

 

 

How to Choose a Pond Site
Designing a Pond
Edging for a Pond
Pumps
Spring Cleanup
Plants
Summer Cleanup
Waterfalls
Water Gardens
Winter

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