If you have a pond on your property, you do not want the water in your pond to turn green. And if this unsightly transformation has already taken place, you will want to address the problem as soon as possible. Fortunately, it is not too difficult to understand the roots of green pond water and fix this problem whenever it rears its ugly head.
What Causes Pond Water To Turn Green
Free-floating algae are the most common cause of green pond water. These algae flourish in ponds that suffer from a nutrient imbalance. More specifically, these algae multiply when phosphate and nitrate levels in the pond are elevated. One reason for this is the accumulation of organic matter like dead fish, grass clippings, and leaves at the bottom of the pond.
A second reason for a rise in phosphate and nitrate levels is an over-accumulation of certain fish breeds. The waste of certain fish is high in nitrogen and provides the perfect fuel for certain types of algae.
The third cause of a green pond can be the absence of sufficient plant life in the pond. Plants compete with algae for food and ponds without enough plants will struggle to maintain an optimal nutrient balance.
How To Fix The Green Water In Your Pond
Fortunately, there are specific remedies available for each of the circumstances that negatively affect the nutrient balance in your pond.
Clean Sludge From The Pond
Cleaning debris from the bottom of your pond will reduce the availability of the nutrients that fuel algae growth. Smaller ponds can be cleaned using a net with a long handle. A pond vacuum will be necessary to remove sludge from larger ponds. It may be necessary to clean the pond a time or two each season of the year. It is also a good idea to use a net to cover the pond in the fall months when leaves are falling from the trees.
A second way to eliminate muck from the bottom of your pond is to use and organic muck remover. These removers consist of enzymes and helpful bacteria that convert sludge into nitrogen gas. This gas then bubbles to the surface and leaves the pond.
Owners of large ponds can also benefit from the use of a skimmer. Skimmers prevent leaves and other debris from accumulating on the floor of your pond by continuously 'scraping' the surface of the pond.
Reduce Fish Count
Fish is a great source of nutrition for algae. Taking measures to decrease the number of fish in your pond will eliminate a main source of nutrients for the algae that will turn the pond green. You can try giving a few fish away to friends and family who are also pond owners or alerting fish lovers online or in newspapers that you have fish they can claim free of charge. If there are goldfish in your pond try feeding them a little less than usual. There is already food in the pond for them to eat. Your goldfish will remain healthy but will not reproduce as much.
A good supply of plants will do more than compete with algae for food. Plants will provide shade to the pond, shelter for fish that live in the pond, and give your pond a more natural look. In general, the more plants that are placed in your pond the better. However, there are certain plants that have proven to compete more aggressively for the food sources shared with algae. A common term used to describe these plants are 'clear water' plants. If you're looking for aquatic plants to keep your pond healthy, we offer many different plants from our nursery and can plant them for you!