Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Ponds needs algae control

by on June 22, 2014 1:56 AM

Algae growth is generally the bane of a backyard water gardener and can require some trial and error to keep under control. A pond can be crystal clear one morning and, by the end of a hot afternoon, it may look more like pea soup. Or you may notice blanket algae, a dark green slime, forming on the edges.

Blanket algae, which builds up on rocks, can actually prevent pea soup algae. (It also makes rich fertilizer for the garden.)

Here are some suggestions to control algae growth:

• Add pond plants. Many plants feed off the algae. Note: water plants require placement at different depths.

• Using lava rocks can help cut down on algae growth.

• Add fish. Goldfish, shubunkin and the more expensive koi eat the algae. Once you have fish, don’t overfeed them. Generally, fish will find enough food on their own. Plus, extra food contributes to pond debris. Never feed fish when the water temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Ideally, the water should not be in excessive sun or shade.

• You can use an algaecide if algae becomes a problem.

• It can be more difficult to manage algae in smaller ponds because the water can heat up more quickly.

[Jamie Empfield/Gazette photo]



News editor Jason Levan has been with the Gazette for more than 15 years. He oversees the newspaper’s reporting and photography staff, coordinating much of the local content, as well as planning for various special projects. He is also very involved in the layout and design of the newspaper. He can be reached at jlevan@indianagazette.net or (724) 465-5555, ext. 270.
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