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I have recently constructed a new pond (Last Year) on my land, It is roughly a 1ac pond. I have noticed some green floating algae in the pond (see pics). Was wondering if someone can give me some advice on what it is and how can i get rid of it! As I don't want this to over take the pond. Please help with solutions because Im new to the pond world and I dont want a scumed over pond in the first year. Its starting to warm up here in South MS and the problem seems to be growing! Thank you!










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That would be Filamentous Algae. Alot of ponds get it this time of year. You can use Curtrine Plus to get rid of it or wait and see if it will go away on its own. My pond will get it this time of the year but then it goes away before summer. You may just want to go ahead and spray it though because I know its not the prettiest thing to look at.

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Brad, welcome to the forum. That is classic filamentous algae, or pond scum. It seems to grow in cool clear ponds. It will be gone as the water warms. It starts growing on the bottom and rises to the top when it breaks lose from the bottom. My pond is in Tylertown, 2 1/2 yrs. old, and had it last year. Probably this year. Havent seen the pond since Dec. If you can, just rake it to the shore and let it dry, or spray it with an herbicide. If you have a boat, scoop it up. Once you get a planktonic algae bloom, it will not grow anymore. It is discouraging, but not detrimental.


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Welcome to PB! What are your goals and desires for the pond?

If you can legally stock Tilapia, they are about the only fish that is good at eating that stuff. The upside is that they will also provide forage for any LMB that you have in the pond (their babies or YOY will) and you might be able to catch some out for the dinner table as well. The downside (if you want to call it that) is that they don't survive in water much below 50*F, so you'd have to stock them every year that you have an algae problem. The only other options would be to remove it manually, either raking or a prickly rope; or treat it with chemicals.

Now, the question is why is it there? It's feeding on nutrients that aren't being used by other plants.

One thing that I've seen when questions like this are asked, everybody (myself included) has good solutions to the immediate problem (i.e. removing/getting rid of the algae), but the long term solutions aren't addressed.

Forum experts, can you chime in with some long term solutions?


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Welcome to the forum Brad!

 Originally Posted By: esshup
If you can legally stock Tilapia, they are about the only fish that is good at eating that stuff. The upside is that they will also provide forage for any LMB that you have in the pond (their babies or YOY will) and you might be able to catch some out for the dinner table as well. The downside (if you want to call it that) is that they don't survive in water much below 50*F, so you'd have to stock them every year that you have an algae problem. The only other options would be to remove it manually, either raking or a prickly rope; or treat it with chemicals.


I did a quick search and found a couple discussions on tilapia in Mississippi and it appears as if they are legal to stock in private waters. Here's a link that seems to answer some of your possible regional questions regarding tilapia, though I think this focuses a little more on raising tilapia for commercial reasons.

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Brad -- a small detail for you. Rub some of the filamentous algae between your finger and thumb. If it is smooth and greasy, it likely is Spirogyra. If it is rough and doesn't rub easily, it probably is Cladophora. Cladophora also is the algae that grows on the shells of the snapping turtles.

How is that for miscellaneous/extraneous information?? \:\)


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Some dynamics of the FA. As esshup says it is utilizing and growing based on absorbing nutrients from the pond. Nutrients are primarily dissolved in the water. Nutrients are coming primarily from the sediments or runoff or both are contributing.
From the pictures Brad's watershed is not vegetated. Runoff from bare soil brings in LOTS of nutrients from the soil. Sometimes nutrients are added to waters to create phytoplankton (microscopic free-floating algae) blooms. At times FA will use those nutrients instead of the phytoplankton bloom.

Algae growth (biomass) stores the nutrients. Killing the algae in the pond or getting something to eat it recycles the nutrients in the pond resulting in temporary elimination of one form of plant growth. If the algae eating fish are small enough to be prey items or the herbivorous fish are harvested some of the nutrients are moved up the food chain or are removed respectively.

Removing (dipping, netting, seines, rakes) the algae directly removes the bound offending nutrients from the pond. A pond can grow a LOT of FA DEPENDING on the amount of nutrients available. Another way to naturally deal with it is to have some other form of plant grow in the pond and compete against the FA for nutrients and space. Heavily vegetqated ponds rarely have FA problems unless there are excessive nutrients.

Some, I repeat some, types or strains of bacteria / microbes can bind dissolved nutrients and pass them up through the food chain to the fish.

Some chemical treatments can bind phosphorus in ponds. Phosphorus is a main nutrient needed by algae.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 03/12/10 10:03 AM.

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 Originally Posted By: esshup
Forum experts, can you chime in with some long term solutions?


One of the experts has spoken...

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There was another thread where the guy's pond was just infested with it. I think in Colorado after a freeze. FA is just opportunist. And yes, it's favorite food is P. It really does not look that bad to me. Almost normal. And it should be seasonal to a point. I am not a big fan of algacides because they do not address the cause. I prefer organic methods and removing the cause. I'd put some American Bullfrogs in there and a little beneficial bacteria. Bullfrogs polliwogs will eat thier own weight in FA several times over. Beneficial bacteria will compete with nutrients. If I mechanically remove it I bring it home to my veggie garden and amend it in. Small patches like this rake fairly easily, and twist the rake like speghetti on a fork. FA is like an indicator of a pond's bottom food chain and fertility plus water temp. I don't think it is ugly.

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 Originally Posted By: brin;1904822
I had algae in my pond once...go to your local farm store and buy ...Copper Sulfate...and believe it or not you will need a pair of panty hose...fill the legs of the panty hose with the copper sulfate and drag it behind a row boat in your pond moving briskly until all the copper sulfate has disolved in the water and you want to try and disperse it evenly over the water so you try to move the boat as fast as neccessary so you do not sit in one spot and have it all disolve. It worked for me.


This awsome, that is why I love this and the Tractorbynet boards so much there are so many people out there willing to offer GREAT avice and suggestions.Its awesome!
I guess after reading what Bob suggested on Tractorbynet (see entire post) for me I have more questions for the water experts now!

Should I try the Copper Sulfate???? Should I try the manual removal? Should I try to find some Tilapia? If Tilapia will help how many would you guys recomend? All I have in the pond right now is some small shell crackers. I plan on adding some small bass (30-40)in the coming weeks.

As temps warm in Sumrall, MS will this problem go away? And as a last resort should I aerate? I know that is always a good thing, but right now its a big investment, especially getting power to the pond.

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 Originally Posted By: burgermeister
My pond is in Tylertown, 2 1/2 yrs. old, and had it last year. Probably this year. Havent seen the pond since Dec.


Thanks much burgermeister, I feel like that I need to trust nature to take its course, but I did use alot of fert. in the area last year and I am learing that this might have some effects for sure. I had to get grass on the fresh dirt, because I didnt want any errosion.

But Burgermeister if you ever need anything, as I see you are in Texas, just let me know Im in the Sumrall area and I could run to your place anytime to check on things if you needed me to. Thanks for all your help and advice I really appreciate it!

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If you do go the copper sulfate route, just be careful not to over do it...

How big is your pond, how much free time do you have and do you have back problems? If your pond isn't overly large, you have free time to burn and your back is fine, nothing wrong with doing some good old fashion manual removal IMO...

You need a permit to stock tilapia in MS. Ewest a moderator on here lives in MS and can probably point in you in the right direction if you decide to go that route. Most recommendations I have seen for tilapia are in the 10-40 pounds per acre range. However, your pond doesn't have any bass in it yet which means you probably could get away with 10 pounds or less. Do you plan on stocking the pond with anything else besides shellcrackers(RES) and LMB?

There is a good possibility that as the temps go up, the occurrence of FA will go down. Each pond is different though... Aeration is almost always a good thing. It probably would help with the FA problem you are experiencing but it's not a magical cure. Running power can be expensive... They do make windmill and solar powered aerators, but I have ZERO experience and not much knowledge in that department. However, there are several forum members who know aeration like Bill Gates knows computers.

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Not to hijack, but I have a general question regarding tilapia that I've been curious about. Why, when discussing stocking tilapia, are they referred in the pounds? Generally tilapia get bigger than BG and RES right? So why are they measured individually, but tilapia are measured by the pound?

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 Originally Posted By: Dave Willis
Brad -- a small detail for you. Rub some of the filamentous algae between your finger and thumb. If it is smooth and greasy, it likely is Spirogyra.


And here I thought that was just a jazz oriented musical group from the 70s! \:D


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You used a lot of fertilizer? Heavy in Nitrogen? That will overload a pond faster than you can say I hate algae. Any runoff will take all that excessive nutrients right into your pond. If I was your pond manager I would wait to see if warmer temperatures do the work for you. Judging by the photos it is not all that bad. If that does not do the trick I'd go with barley straw or beneficial bacteria. Both should break the algae cycle you may have inadvertantly started by fertilizing. I would not use chemicals. I would not introduce tilipia. Neither one of those will break the cycle and you may have it back really fast. Target the algae.

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"Mississippi

Tilapia are considered an exotic species in Mississippi, and thus a permit is required to culture these fish. Contact Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce at 601-354-6702 for information and details on obtaining an aquaculture permit."

Permits are not issued in cases where there is a water outlet. I am not sure they will issue anyone a permit. The times I have ask I got the you must be craze look.

Are there any fish in the pond ? What is your alkalinity ?

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 Originally Posted By: Omaha
Not to hijack, but I have a general question regarding tilapia that I've been curious about. Why, when discussing stocking tilapia, are they referred in the pounds? Generally tilapia get bigger than BG and RES right? So why are they measured individually, but tilapia are measured by the pound?


I'm guessing here, but one of the fish stockers should have a more concrete answer. I'm thinking that the forage fish, FHM, GSH, etc. are sold by the pound, and since Tilapia fit into that category, well you get my drift. It also could be that since they spawn so frequently, that sorting the fish by size might be more trouble than it's worth. IIRC, the smaller sunfish, even tho they're sold by the individual fish, aren't counted out, they're weighed. For a given uniform size of fish, there should be "X" per pound.


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Omaha,

As the fish get bigger, even bass, bluegill, redear, etc are sold by the pound. There can be cosiderable weight differences in a fish 7.5 inches long and one 8 inches and grading at that size is far more difficult than in a 1 inch fish to a 2 incher.

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Well I did some good ole fashion removal yesterday. The wind had most of the FA all in one shallow corner of the pond so I just went to work with a rake! It looks alot better there of course is still some floating around but I will try some more removal today! I think with the warming temps and a little work its gona be alright. But I learned alot with this post! I will keep yall posted and show some pics today after some more removal!

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Good news Brad. Thanks for the offer to take a look at my pond. Hopefully, with weather warming I can get there enough to look after it. Plan on going tomorrow and fire up the new Tx. Hunter feeder, place some water lilies in, and plant some more wildflower seed.(late again). I have a BIL very near it, but all he does is let me know that the pond is flooded; going over the dam, and the fish feeder is under water.
After the raked FA dries out, remove it so the spores dont remain. I sprayed mine last year with glyphosate(roundup) let it die/dry, then removed it.

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I have FA as well. Not a big problem, but not very attractive. I've raked it out a few times the past couple of months, but it has come back consistently. I decided last week to give GreenClean a try. I was not comfortable with the copper based products. My fish follow me around the pond (they are well trained) so I was worried about spraying copper on the FA with my fish right there.

GreenClean seems safer, and it's in a powder form, which I like better also. In the four days since I applied it, the FA has turned kind of white, then brown, and now appears to be breaking apart. It was $85 for 20 pounds, and I've used about six cups.

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GreenClean is a sodium carbonate hydrogen peroxide compound. Pretty much a bleaching agent with a salt add. It will bleach and kill the fa, where it sinks to the bottom and creates a dead biomass of decaying fa. So it can cycle all over again. Great product for the seller because it works fast, and you are all happy, until it comes back again, and you have to buy it again. Hey maybe that is what they want. This treatment actually feeds the cause.

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 Originally Posted By: The Pond Frog
If I was your pond manager I would wait to see if warmer temperatures do the work for you. Judging by the photos it is not all that bad. If that does not do the trick I'd go with barley straw or beneficial bacteria. Both should break the algae cycle you may have inadvertantly started by fertilizing. I would not use chemicals. I would not introduce tilipia. Neither one of those will break the cycle and you may have it back really fast. Target the algae.


Frog - Tell me more about the "beneficial bacteria" that you would recommend. What products, specifically?

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I always give people this site, not because I am a shill, or make money off of it, but it has a nice clasroom learning feature at the bottom of the page. It also has specific products.

http://www.frogpondaquatics.com/category/400_pond_supplies.30_beneficial_bacteria/

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Another problem with quickie fix GreenClean or it used to be is in the fine print it states Toxic to birds. I have fa in a lot of my ponds. And in my business it is the number one complaint. But just like the world we live in, everyone wants a quick fix, the express ten items or less line, and fast food. I always get called after someone coppered there pond to death or loaded it with you name it algaecides for years and got tired of throwing money down the algae drain.

In most of my ponds I just let nature take its course. The stuff goes away on its own unless something is really out of whack. Or out of balance. Algae that grows out of control is just a symptom, not a cause. And there is usually what I call multiple causation. Excessive nutrients, lack of beneficial bacteria, phytoplankton and aeration. Even water clarity and surface shade can factor in.

But from the above photos I would not get too upset. Once it gets all floaty and the wind psuhes it in one area it is very easy to manually rake out. None of it really starts growing on top, it gets there by filling up with air. Someone mentioned other vegetation. That too can make a difference. Especially plants that block sunlight and eat up the nutrients algae needs to grow. Soon I hope most of mine just goes away like it normally does. I really don't sweat the algae unless it is blue/green or completely takes over.

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