New alge in 50 year old pond.

Posted by: taz1313

New alge in 50 year old pond. - 05/05/19 04:19 PM

Ponds always been gin clear and over the past 15 years or so had a problem with "coon tail", hydrilla, and what not mid to late summer. This year just before the pines started turn'n yellow, this light green slimey alge with bubbles in it showed up on top and if put together covers nearly half the pond. All I can figure is that since this is a run off filled pond that all of the rain we've had here over the past 12 months has caused it. Only good I can see is that it might shade out some of the weeds. I'll try to post pix. Thanks for any ideas.
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: New alge in 50 year old pond. - 05/05/19 08:43 PM

Looks like you've got a serious crop of FA (filamentous algae). Depending on how you want to attack it, there are a couple ways to try to get it under control.

Algaecide will kill it, but you cant treat it all at once because it will deplete the DO as it dies and could kill fish if you treat the whole pond at once.

There is also a product called greenclean that will take care of it and is supposed to be safe for fish. Dont know a lot about it.

Then there is pond dye. You're already behind the curve on it controlling the algae but it may help knock it back some. It will also help reduce the other submerged plants by reducing the amount of sunlight that gets to the bottom. It really should be added in late winter/early spring to really keep it from becoming a problem.

Finally, there's aeration. By aerating the pond you add DO to the water which is supposed to keep algae from growing, but it may hurt that chrystal clear look you're used to by stirring up the bottom.

As old as the pond is, you may have built up a nutrient load that is more than the other grasses can use up, so the FA is stepping in to do its part. It grows on the bottom, then as it dies, gas bubbles get trapped in the hairs and causes it to float.

Hope this helps some. I'm sure someone else will pipe in as well.
Posted by: Quarter Acre

Re: New alge in 50 year old pond. - 05/06/19 11:18 AM

My newly renovated pond has had a few outbreaks of the floating slime stuff (FA) and I have not dedicated the efforts to prevent it because I am hoping that it was just a few cases of the perfect conditions (old remaining muck from the pond renovation, clearer waters, pre-aeration, etc). But, I did purchase an aluminum landscaping rake, a couple pool noodles, and a length of cheap nylon rope to make a FA rake. I don't have a picture of it so you will have to use your imagination, but basically I split one of the noddle lengthwise (cut to the rake width) and forced the rake prongs through it and then secured it with a few zip ties. Then I slid the other noodle over the handle leaving some of the end of the handle exposed for gripping it for throwing it out into the pond (zip tied also). Tie the rope to the end and you have a better way to remove the floating slime.

Should you decide to take on this type of exercise, I can tell you that it is much easier than just trying to drag it out with a regular garden rake. It's still some work, but much faster and it can get out as far as you can throw the rake. I wait for the wind to blow it to one side and it usually takes a couple attempts on different days to get most of it gathered up.

It is thought that by removing the dying algae that it removes the nutrients that would otherwise sink back down and add to future FA growth. Some use it in compost piles with success, but I just take it to a nearby, downhill ditch and dispose of it. It would seem like you have a ton of the stuff, but it compresses into five gallon buckets more than you would think especially if you have ample holes in the bottom of the bucket to let the water squish out as you stuff the algae into it.

Older ponds that have filled in over the years are more prone to FA problems. They have shallower waters that allow sunlight to reach the bottom where this stuff starts it's life cycle.
Posted by: Joey Quarry

Re: New alge in 50 year old pond. - 05/07/19 05:34 PM

If that is, filamentous algae (FA), you can do as MW suggests and use a myriad of chemicals to treat it every time it happens or reduce the nutrient load in your water that FA uses for growth.

I am experimenting this year with a floating garden, literally a floating aquaponic island. The key is, to construct it entirely from inert PET plastics. Aquaponics works without soil and the plants extract the nutrients from the water.

I have begun a hydroponic garden indoors and as soon as my water warms to 60-65 degrees, I'll transplant the hydroponic seedlings onto the aquaponic island.

The non-woven PET allows the plant roots to grow through to the water and filter out the nutrients for plant growth. The island creates shade while the roots and plastic create shelter for smaller aquatic organisms, thus creating an advantageous ecosystem within a man made created environment and reducing the nutrient load of the water.
Posted by: DrLuke

Re: New alge in 50 year old pond. - 05/07/19 06:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Joey Quarry
If that is, filamentous algae (FA), you can do as MW suggests and use a myriad of chemicals to treat it every time it happens or reduce the nutrient load in your water that FA uses for growth.

I am experimenting this year with a floating garden, literally a floating aquaponic island. The key is, to construct it entirely from inert PET plastics. Aquaponics works without soil and the plants extract the nutrients from the water.

I have begun a hydroponic garden indoors and as soon as my water warms to 60-65 degrees, I'll transplant the hydroponic seedlings onto the aquaponic island.

The non-woven PET allows the plant roots to grow through to the water and filter out the nutrients for plant growth. The island creates shade while the roots and plastic create shelter for smaller aquatic organisms, thus creating an advantageous ecosystem within a man made created environment and reducing the nutrient load of the water.


Like this:


It's on my 'pond stuff wish list', but the retail aquaponic islands are dang pricey. Not saying they aren't worth it, since finding the ideal combination of traits for a floating island is a challenge. But the Mrs. says I can only 'waste so much money per year on that pond'. :-)
Posted by: Joey Quarry

Re: New alge in 50 year old pond. - 05/07/19 06:50 PM

No...There is no need for a soil mix. Adding any biological materials could negate the benefit of the island should it leach or spill into the water.

I am constructing 2 islands, one planted with hydroponic seedlings and another of just seeds. I am hoping in the future, I can embed seeds into the matting and just toss them out. Like a Ronco oven, toss it and forget it!

Both islands cost me less than 80 dollars in plants and materials. I was lucky to purchase a roll of Poly Bio Flo material off CL for 20 bucks. It is usually about 4 dollars/sq ft.
Posted by: taz1313

Re: New alge in 50 year old pond. - 05/13/19 01:13 PM

Thanks for all of the help, fellas. Gotta be a cheap operation this year, so for now I'm going with the rake (already had a 3' wide rake for ball fields). Save up for aeriation for next year. Working "o.k" so far but it isn't easy. Thanks again.