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Thread: Question about carpet algae

  1. #1
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    Question about carpet algae

    I'll give some details to assist with my issue. Pond is almost exactly two years old, so this is it's second full summer. Pond is 16x9x6' and with filtration about 6500 gallons. Vertical block walls with a liner from Pondliners.com, so it is a genuine pond liner and not roof liner. Two aerated bottom drains (aeration is on unless viewing), a Cetus sieve, skimmer with 2 modified Birdman style sand/gravel filters. Sieve water to shower with over 400 lbs of feather rock (though some is off to side to prevent spray out). I flush the s/g's weekly and sometimes even twice weekly, giving 5-8% weekly exchange. I have a constant 1-3% daily flow through during winter and is increased to 2-4% daily during summer. Water is city tap with 5 micron prefilter and carbon post filter, we have chlorine water. I use calcium bentonite after weekly water changes adding only 4-6 heaping tablespoons to the pond (will lightly cloud the water for a couple hours). I used the UV this spring for a few months. Temp is consistent and is now at 78dF, which is low for Florida summer. I use Kenzen brand food. There are 9 koi from 12-25". There is zero ammonia, nitrite, nitrate using hobbyist kit. My tap water is high in phosphates and high General Hardness. My water comes from the limestone Florida Aquifer System. In addition, I have approx 50-70's of crushed oyster shell in my sand/gravel filters- which has been reduced over time from the original 110#'s I put in.

    My question is regarding the wall/carpet algae on the liner. When I first set-up pond I noticed what looked like calcareous algae that was growing in patches. I can tell the patches were either a deposit or some type of calcareous growth because of the way it grew from the center outward. It was calcareous and flaky to the touch. For reef aquarium owners, it is very similar to Coralline Algae. The koi would nip at this stuff as evidenced by the grinding marks (kinda like a parrot fish grazing coral). The green carpet algae began to grow and I was geting a nice carpet on the walls and the floor.

    A few months ago I turned off the UV as a test of my biological filter capabilities- I was wanting to see if my filtration would hangle summer with no UV and maintain crystal clear water. It does. My water looks just as good without the UV as with the UV on. So it has been off for a few months now. Now what is happening is all of my carpet algae is dying off. I was recenly on 10 day vacation and when I returned the pond and koi looked just I had left them (I had house sitter that feed pre-bagged food for koi, but no maintenance chores), but the algae had rapidly decreased. I say the pond is now less than 5% carpet algae patches. The water tests great and looks great. The koi are looking great , too, but the algae is vacant.

    I have loosely observed the benefit of calcium bentonite of the wall algae. It seems the more I use, both in quantity and frequency, the better the algae does (denser growth, thick appearance and dark green). I have reduced my CB additions in the last few months just as a test of sorts to the effects on the koi skin (I feel it gives my koi a nicer luster and I am kinda testing my theory), but much has been because of forgetfulness and laziness... In addition, I discontinued use of the UV. So, in addition to seasonal changes, I have done two things differently.

    So what I'm asking is for any thoughts on the matter. I suppose I could continue UV and add more CB, but I think there is more to it than that. I understand that algae species vary and the particular strain I have might not thrive in the summer shade??? I the pics you will see that the carpet algae does best in the sunlit part of the pond. The front left has the most carpet algae, the middle has less, and the right has even less to none.

    Pond overview.

    Question about carpet algae-057-800x598-.jpg


    Bottom of pond.

    Question about carpet algae-058-800x598-.jpg


    Left side.

    Question about carpet algae-054-800x598-.jpg


    Middle.

    Question about carpet algae-053-800x598-.jpg


    Right side.

    Question about carpet algae-052-800x598-.jpg


    Close up.

    Question about carpet algae-056-800x598-.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Question about carpet algae-053-1024x765-.jpg  

  2. #2
    Tategoi mtsklar's Avatar
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    Tim,

    Test the pond water for CU. If it is accumulating in the pond it will kill off the algae.

  3. #3
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    Ahhh copper huh? Good one Brother Matt. Hadn't considered that- thanks!

  4. #4
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    I did use treated decking, what kind of treatment I don't know, so perhaps I should have a quality test performed. Can anyone steer me in the right direction for having a detailed analysis of my water? Thanks-

    I would like to rule out copper or other chemicals based on the fact that it seems seasonal at this point. Also, is the fact that the algae is area specific. Still would like to rule chemical build-up as an issue.

  5. #5
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    I am glad to hear that you can relate that it is possible to have clear water without UV.

    Where is the copper coming from?

  6. #6
    Tategoi mtsklar's Avatar
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    Tim,

    Here is the extension office at the University : UF/IFAS ANSERV Labs- Extension Soil Testing Lab
    See the water test tab about half way down the page...

  7. #7
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    I have my own carpet algae question. I have had my two ponds for a long time. I remember black carpet algae. I now have only green carpet algae.

  8. #8
    Nisai
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    Is this decking new? Treated lumber is saturated with Copper Azole as a fungicide and insecticide and can pose serious problems for a pondkeeper as leaching might (and probably will) occur.

  9. #9
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtsklar View Post
    Tim,

    Here is the extension office at the University : UF/IFAS ANSERV Labs- Extension Soil Testing Lab
    See the water test tab about half way down the page...
    Doesn't look like they test for copper... Approximately what range should I be concerned with? I am seeing test kits that are affordable that test range is 5- .05 (I assume ppm).

  10. #10
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie View Post
    Is this decking new? Treated lumber is saturated with Copper Azole as a fungicide and insecticide and can pose serious problems for a pondkeeper as leaching might (and probably will) occur.
    The deck is new with the pond, so right at two years old. The decking overlaps the liner and the liner is slightly pitched to allow collected water to drape outside the pond. The water does contact the bottom of the deck by 1.5- 2" every time I change water because I "over fill" the pond to accomodate loss when I flush the s/g filters. So there is contact every week.

    Interesting to note that it has been a very rainy year for us and the decking has been saturated more than ever, sooo.... I'm not going to rule out chemical treatment unless otherwise confirmed. Will figure out a copper test once I get some feedback from here. Figure somebody's been down this road....

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