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Is All Algae Bad In My Pond?

Aug 17, 2007
I get asked this question a lot and it might come as a suprise to some pond owners that having algae in your pond is not necessarily a bad thing.

As a matter of fact, algae is a natural and often times, beneficial component of a healthy pond. Algae helps to balance a pond's nutrient sources out, just like other aquatic plants might do. It provides cover and protection for fish and other wildlife and can help keep a large amount of sunlight from penetrating to the bottom of the pond which can foster undesirable growth of other plants.

Still, with all of it's benefits, it's when algae takes off or gets out of control and takes over a pond that problems can arise.

Regardless of the type of algae, which can come in forms such as string algae, floating mat algae, or planktonic algae which produces green water, every type is caused by excessive nutrients in the pond. These can come from fish waste, run off, and decomposing materials at the bottom of the pond.

So really, if your algae is going crazy in your pond, it's simply coming about from an effort to balance the nutrient load in the pond and bring it back into a normal state.

With this in mind, the first step is trying to figure out where this influence is coming from. Could it be from your fish being overstocked for the pond's size? Is surrounding lawn fertilizer running into the pond in any way? What about decaying leaves and other debris that might have fallen in? These types of things should always be considered before using any type of chemcial or treatment for algae, since reducing it's root cause often helps to clean the pond up naturally.

So to recap. Algae in your pond is not a bad thing at all. A slight tint of green in the water, a bit of growth here and there is actually a very good sign of health and balance. Don't fret or overtreat a pond just to make it pristine and perfect since in nature, perfection doesn't always present itself that way.

If you do begin to have a problem with algae, start by looking for it's root cause before adding, or treating the pond with anything. Your pond and it's residents will thank you for taking such a smart approach to pond management.
About the Author
Mark Washburn is an experienced pond management specialists with an emphasis in algae control for commercial pond applications. Learn more about pond algaeand pond care at the Algae Solution website.
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