Algae and water chemistry

Posted by: Madelyn

Algae and water chemistry - 01/08/19 08:11 PM

Hi Everybody,

My name is Madelyn and I am the owner of a 1/2 acre pond in Michigan. The pond is about 30 years old. We are doing our best to slow eutriphocation (need spell check) smile. We have just some minnows, bluegill and a few bass. This last summer we created a sandy beach on one end.

This summer I also pumped into the pond a lot of water from the nearby stream. Pond is not connected to any water bodies or streams. I think I messed up the water chemistry as now we have a bright green carpet of whatever all over the bottom of the pond frown. This has never happened before and we don't usually have much algae except chara. How can I fix this and stop it from happening again? Our water is usually pretty clear. Thanks for any help.
Posted by: Snipe

Re: Algae and water chemistry - 01/08/19 08:52 PM

Welcome Madelyn! You've found a great place here for your question, and someone with much more experience than I will speak on this, I'm sure. Some great folks here when it comes to water quality/Chemistry!!
Posted by: Bill Cody

Re: Algae and water chemistry - 01/08/19 09:12 PM

Is your new green bottom carpet just new Chara growth? Or is the green growing on top of the Chara? Is the water still clear? Can you collect some of the green and get a close clear picture of it. Maybe put some of it in water of a cool-whip lid for the picture?

If it is filamentous algae then the water from the stream likely contained lots of nitrogen to stimulate filamentous algae now growing on top of Chara.

How soon after you pumped stream water did the green develop?
Posted by: Madelyn

Re: Algae and water chemistry - 01/10/19 10:10 PM

Thanks for your help. It is new green carpet on the bottom and on the chara. Showed up after I added the stream water. :{ Yup, I think you are right about the water. The algae is bright green and breaks up if I try to rake it.
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: Algae and water chemistry - 01/11/19 10:13 AM

Sure sounds like FA!!
Posted by: ewest

Re: Algae and water chemistry - 01/12/19 09:55 AM

Look at this thread from the archives with pics and see if it looks similar.
Posted by: Madelyn

Re: Algae and water chemistry - 01/12/19 02:34 PM

We've had filamentatious algae around edges occasionally which I rake out, but this stuff carpets the bottom like green velvet. If I use some green clean pro, cutrine or even hydrothol? I hope it will die and surface so I can rake it up.
Posted by: Madelyn

Re: Algae and water chemistry - 05/14/19 08:00 PM

It's spring and I still have a lot of green algae, and even on my white sand area we built last year for swimming. Anybody have any idea what I can do to fix this?
Posted by: Joey Quarry

Re: Algae and water chemistry - 05/15/19 12:44 AM

Hi Madelyn, welcome to the forum. Just out of curiosity and possibly insight, why did you have to supplement the water in your pond and how did you do it?
Posted by: Madelyn

Re: Algae and water chemistry - 05/18/19 08:35 PM

We live in a sandy area and I suspect the pond may have a leak because the water goes down about a foot in summer. So I pumped a lot (about 100,000 gals.) into it from the stream near it to keep it up higher. I believe this pond holds between 400,000 and 500,000 gals. of water. It could be evaporation also? That was a lot of water to pump. The creek goes through peoples yards and I realized it probably had phosphorus in it. Pond is looking better now with addition of pond bacteria and some salt. Could be that it is correcting itself. The pump I used was a gas water pump 2" putting out about 130 gals. a minute if I read the pump booklet right. Thanks for your inquiry.
Posted by: Madelyn

Re: Algae and water chemistry - 05/18/19 08:37 PM

I forgot...we added green clean pro granules and killed a lot of algae on the bottom also.
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: Algae and water chemistry - 05/19/19 08:16 AM

I would guess your loss in water over the summer is due to evaporation. My little pond holds 1 acre foot and lost about 16" last year strictly to evaporation. This year will probably see the addition of a water line from my well to help keep it more full.

I am strictly watershed filled, with a large portion coming off of my neighbors lot. It never fails that I get a bloom after every significant rain event, even using dye in the pond. His septic discharges to the opposite side of his property and he never uses fertilizer, but the nutrients from cut grass and the treeline between us is enough.

With the creek running through other properties, those plots fertilizing and possibly discharging grey water from their septic systems into the creek, you definitely have a greater potential for high P and N being pumped into the pond.

Is the creek full of algae or is it clear most of the time? That might be a good indicator. My pond overflows into the drainage ditch and it sometimes gets loaded with algae after a big rain too. My side of the road will have algae, the other side, none.

I'm no expert, by any means, this is all pure speculation. Just some food for thought. Hope it helps.
Posted by: Madelyn

Re: Algae and water chemistry - 05/19/19 10:20 PM

Thanks for your thoughts and help. I appreciate any as I like to pick smarter than me peoples brains. The stream, (Mann Creek) has a pretty healthy flow but not enough to make electricity frown. It has some weeds, clams, crayfish and some other fish also. Stream is clear except for the green weeds appearing here and there on the bottom. Again, thanks for your thoughts.