Algae are the nemesis of just about every property owner who has a water feature in their landscaping design. While there are many different types of algae, one of the most notable ones is the kind that you’ll see floating on the surface of the water. In the past, you may have heard this be referred to as pond scum, and you might have even noticed that it can spread rapidly within just a few days. This green, stringy mess is actually filamentous algae, and learning more about the plant can help you to develop a battle plan for keeping the water on your property clean and clear.
What Exactly Is Filamentous Green Algae?
This type of algae is different from the single-celled type that also inhabits the water. Filamentous algae starts off as tiny microscopic plants that start to link up and form those long filaments, or strings, that you see floating around. Typically, these plants start growing on the surface of hard rocks and other objects in and around the pond. They can also break free from surfaces and begin to float around on the top of the water in large mats. These big mats can block sunlight from reaching the bottom of the pond, which can contribute to further stagnation.
What Causes This Type of Algae to Accumulate?
Unlike plants that grow in soil, algae lacks roots. This means that the plant must get all of its nutrients from the water. A sudden bloom of this type of algae typically means that there is an overabundance of certain nutrients in the water. This often happens when storm runoff carries fertilizer that is filled with nitrogen and phosphorus into the water where it feeds the algae.
Is Filamentous Green Algae Harmful to Humans?
For the most part, filamentous green algae is more of an eyesore than harmful to people. However, you will want to be cautious around algae until you know for sure what type it is. Certain types of filamentous algae are toxic, and lake management companies in Florida can help you to identify which type is floating around in your pond or lake.
How Do You Control Floating Algae?
Large amounts of this type of algae decomposing in the water can lead to bacterial overgrowth that can eventually choke out the aquatic ecosystem. You can immediately start controlling filamentous green algae by using caution with fertilizer around the lake or pond. Then, you’ll need to implement several other mitigation strategies that include removing the mats from the water’s surface and improving the water circulation. In serious cases, an algaecide can be used to eliminate actively growing plants.
Healthy ponds often have some degree of mild algae growth that is important for a thriving ecosystem. The problem with algae begins when there are large blooms that start to impact the oxygen levels in the water. Filamentous algae are often responsible for fish die off and other issues that impact lake and pond health. Making algae control an active part of your pond or lake maintenance plan helps you to improve the aesthetics and overall health of the water feature on your property.
At Crosscreek Environmental, we believe in providing a comprehensive, environmentally friendly approach in creating solutions to maintain the beauty and health of Florida's ponds, lakes, wetlands, and shorelines. We use the B.E.S.T.™ geo-tube solution and are one of the best geo-tube solution providers in the state of Florida.