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Ponds & Water Features

Controlling Algae

Every pond experiences some periods of unwanted aquatic growth, especially in the spring when the pond is just re-starting after a cold winter. Remember that your pond is an ecosystem and some algae is not only normal, but healthy for the pond.  However if you are experiencing green water or excessive string algae, there’s are some key questions to ask yourself to determine what, if anything needs to be done to eliminate the excess algae.

How Many Fish Should I have in my pond?
If you have more than 10”of fish for every 100 gallons of water, you may have too many fish and might consider finding some of them a new home.

How much should I feed my fish?
No more than once per day is recommended, and no more than they can eat in 2-3 minutes….then remove all excess, un-eaten food.

How many plants should I have in my pond?
At season’s peak, you should have approximately 50%-65% of the surface fo your pond either shaded by plants if your pond is in at least 6 hours of sunlight each day. 

Am I adding Beneficial Bacteria? 
Beneficial bacteria, like Aquascape’s AquaClearer™ Extreme is a necessary part of the ecosystem.  The bacteria helps to feed on nutrients that would otherwise promote algae growth. 

Top 10 Algae Control Methods

AquaClearer™ Extreme: Contains bacteria and enzymes that are specifically blended to be effective at reducing sludge, uneaten fish food, fish waste, and excess nutrients that cause poor water quality and clarity. Blended to and tested to produce maximum results in ornamental ponds.

S.A.B.™ Extreme: This is formulated to help reduce pond maintenance and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and enzymes. S.A.B.™ Extreme will assist in the breakdown and reduction of debris in the stream, waterfalls, and pond. S.A.B.™ Extreme works by adjusting the micro-nutrients in the water of the pond, resulting in conditions that are unfavorable for string algae.

EcoBlast™: Breaks down debris and reduces algae growth. This is not temperature sensitive like other similar products and can be used in cold pond water.

Plants: Plants, since they directly compete with algae for nutrients and sunlight, are probably the most important addition to your pond. Add a wide variety of plants to your pond. This not only creates a natural look, but also will help reduce the algae in different areas of your pond.

  • Place water hyacinth and water lettuce in your BIOFALLS® filter. These floating plants reproduce rapidly, using up enormous amounts of nutrients. A stick placed across the front of the BIOFALLS® filter will prevent the plants from flowing over the front of the waterfalls and into the pond.
  • Plenty of bog and marginal plants should be added to the pond. Plants such as cattails and iris take up large quantities of nutrients. They are hardy and will be back each spring to help you balance your pond.
  • Cover the water surface of the pond by planting lilies. Lily pads float on the top of the pond, shading the water.

Physical Removal: Physically remove clumps of string algae if it begins to overtake the pond. Pull or cut away the algae where it is attached. Think of it as “weeding the pond.”

Koi: Adding koi over 10 inches in length will greatly reduce string algae. The koi, if not overfed, will graze on the string algae in the pond. Only feed the fish what they can consume within a few minutes. Fish food that is not eaten by fish will decompose in the pond and increase nutrient levels.

Fix Leaks: Tap water can have an abundance of nutrients in it. Continually adding large quantities of tap water to compensate for a leak can actually promote algae growth. Fix leaks when they are discovered.

Control Run-Off: Never use lawn fertilizer or insecticides on trees around your pond or on areas of your property that will drain toward your pond. Lawn fertilizer and insecticides will cause large algae blooms, as well as severely threaten the aquatic life inside your pond.

Remove Debris:
Keep your pond free of debris. Don’t let the skimmer debris net overfill with leaves. Decaying debris in the skimmer will contribute to unwanted nutrients.

Information From Aquascape Inc.


Professional Lawn & Landscape, LLC


Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association Unilock Authorized Contractor Certified Aquascape Contractor
PO Box 791 Steubenville, OH 43952
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