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Thread: Encouraging algae growth in our ponds

  1. #1
    Sansai
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    Encouraging algae growth in our ponds

    Hello ,

    Most posts that are related to algae is with discussions to either eradicating or containing algae ( especially string algae ) .

    However , should one to want to encourage carpet algae in ponds what does one do ? Our earlier small pond , had a source ground water which had a TDS of of 500 , with high levels of GH and KH ( to get the titration readings one had to be dead patient ! ) . However , this water very easily encouraged lush green carpet growth and some times string algae used to develop on the surface of the pond . Unfortunately this source water had an acutely less yield . Hence , on a diametrically opposite side of our plot another bore was dug , resulting in a very large copious yield . This new source continues to feed our renovated pond , however over the last 2 years , there is no green algae growth that has formed on the side walls and the floor of the pond . The algae is more dark brown/black in color and can be easily cleaned off from the side walls . The TDS of this water reads 220 , with a KH of 11 and GH of 22. I have also come to notice that the water does not actively support beni and ginrin . However koi that come with inherent strong beni , the color does not lighten and stays stable through out . Koi that come with light beni , , the beni goes on to become lighter. This being said, the two Hoshikin Kohaku that came with soft beni , the color did recede over the initial few months when they were introduced in our pond . However , with their ensuing growth over the 18 months , i do see the beni pigments softly but slowly getting the over coats with the beni looking forward to bloom . Time will tell how true is this

    Even the exchange water ( from the new under ground source ) that has been routed to spread across and over a flat surface of a boulder and then enter the pond , leaves black algae marks on the face of the boulder . Adjacent boulders which do not come in contact with the source water , but have been consistently wet with rain water owing to the on-going rainy season , however sport lush green moss cover on them { these sadly are unreachable for the koi to graze :-( }.

    I would be grateful if any of you could share your insights on this .

    Thanks and best regards ,
    Sanjay

    Note: The pond has a shade net that allows 50% sunlight

  2. #2
    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tora Bora View Post
    Hello ,

    Most posts that are related to algae is with discussions to either eradicating or containing algae ( especially string algae ) .

    However , should one to want to encourage carpet algae in ponds what does one do ? Our earlier small pond , had a source ground water which had a TDS of of 500 , with high levels of GH and KH ( to get the titration readings one had to be dead patient ! ) . However , this water very easily encouraged lush green carpet growth and some times string algae used to develop on the surface of the pond . Unfortunately this source water had an acutely less yield . Hence , on a diametrically opposite side of our plot another bore was dug , resulting in a very large copious yield . This new source continues to feed our renovated pond , however over the last 2 years , there is no green algae growth that has formed on the side walls and the floor of the pond . The algae is more dark brown/black in color and can be easily cleaned off from the side walls . The TDS of this water reads 220 , with a KH of 11 and GH of 22. I have also come to notice that the water does not actively support beni and ginrin . However koi that come with inherent strong beni , the color does not lighten and stays stable through out . Koi that come with light beni , , the beni goes on to become lighter. This being said, the two Hoshikin Kohaku that came with soft beni , the color did recede over the initial few months when they were introduced in our pond . However , with their ensuing growth over the 18 months , i do see the beni pigments softly but slowly getting the over coats with the beni looking forward to bloom . Time will tell how true is this

    Even the exchange water ( from the new under ground source ) that has been routed to spread across and over a flat surface of a boulder and then enter the pond , leaves black algae marks on the face of the boulder . Adjacent boulders which do not come in contact with the source water , but have been consistently wet with rain water owing to the on-going rainy season , however sport lush green moss cover on them { these sadly are unreachable for the koi to graze :-( }.

    I would be grateful if any of you could share your insights on this .

    Thanks and best regards ,
    Sanjay

    Note: The pond has a shade net that allows 50% sunlight
    Hi Sanjay,

    My pond does not support thick green wall algae as well. The koi get their important algae supplement from the koi food that I feed them combined with enough sunlight to provide enough to gradually improve beni of all my gosanke. Note that my tds is just at 75ppm while my source water is only at 70ppm. It is my thinking as well that koi with good beni genetics to start with and potential to improve will improve over time provided they are given a good environment. The question is what constitute a good environment for growth and what is a good environment for improving beni.

    Dainichi feeds 50% color in summer(mudpond) and 30% in springs. Mudponds do not have wall algae but have green water.

    Perhaps your smaller pond setup was inducive to wall algae growth because it was more overstocked and therefore had more the necessary "nutrients" to grow the wall algae. Since increasing the size of your pond and employing lots of bacteria house which competes and removes the "nutrients" for the wall alagae to survive, I do think you now have to rely on color food and some sunlight.

  3. #3
    Nisai vipertom's Avatar
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    this is my first year with zero algae of any kind since installing the shower+RDF. My flow is 15,000 GPH, 12 large koi for a 12,000 gallon pond and the side walls and pond bottom have brown color with no algae of any kind. Is this good or bad ?

  4. #4
    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
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    I suppose the only person that can answer that would be you as that would be based on how good the skin and growth of your koi so far.

    Personally whenever I purposely fast my koi, some feed on wall algae and tiny crustaceans that live on the wall ssurface. I noticed that if my nitrates become zero very little growth of wall algae as such I prefer a nitrate level of 5 to 10ppm, just enough to grow some wall algae.

  5. #5
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I think of algae on the pond walls as beneficial for a lot of reasons. However, I would not do anything to try to encourage it. Algae will appear in time if the conditions are suitable. Whatever algae becomes established will be the algae best for the environment of that pond. With a new pond, it can take time.... more time if materials/sealers used on the surface are not optimal for algae to become established. Over time, biofilm will alter the surface and algae will establish itself.

    One thing to keep in mind is that science has not established whether all of the usual alga species spread through airborne spores. Some may well be spread only through transfer by animals.... spores captured in the slime coat of fish, algae caught on the feet of wading birds, etc. Algal spores have been found in the dust retrieved from the upper atmosphere, tens of thousands of feet high. But, not every species has been found among those spores.

    Given all the people unhappy with algae overgrowth, celebrate its absence (for now). I agree with Sacicu's comment.... focus on the koi and their needs.
    Tora Bora likes this.

  6. #6
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tora Bora View Post
    Hello ,

    Most posts that are related to algae is with discussions to either eradicating or containing algae ( especially string algae ) .

    However , should one to want to encourage carpet algae in ponds what does one do ? Our earlier small pond , had a source ground water which had a TDS of of 500 , with high levels of GH and KH ( to get the titration readings one had to be dead patient ! ) . However , this water very easily encouraged lush green carpet growth and some times string algae used to develop on the surface of the pond . Unfortunately this source water had an acutely less yield . Hence , on a diametrically opposite side of our plot another bore was dug , resulting in a very large copious yield . This new source continues to feed our renovated pond , however over the last 2 years , there is no green algae growth that has formed on the side walls and the floor of the pond . The algae is more dark brown/black in color and can be easily cleaned off from the side walls . The TDS of this water reads 220 , with a KH of 11 and GH of 22. I have also come to notice that the water does not actively support beni and ginrin . However koi that come with inherent strong beni , the color does not lighten and stays stable through out . Koi that come with light beni , , the beni goes on to become lighter. This being said, the two Hoshikin Kohaku that came with soft beni , the color did recede over the initial few months when they were introduced in our pond . However , with their ensuing growth over the 18 months , i do see the beni pigments softly but slowly getting the over coats with the beni looking forward to bloom . Time will tell how true is this

    Even the exchange water ( from the new under ground source ) that has been routed to spread across and over a flat surface of a boulder and then enter the pond , leaves black algae marks on the face of the boulder . Adjacent boulders which do not come in contact with the source water , but have been consistently wet with rain water owing to the on-going rainy season , however sport lush green moss cover on them { these sadly are unreachable for the koi to graze :-( }.

    I would be grateful if any of you could share your insights on this .

    Thanks and best regards ,
    Sanjay

    Note: The pond has a shade net that allows 50% sunlight
    Sanjay, if the algae is black or dark-colored, it may very well be dark because there are microorganisms from your water source that become dominant in your pond, and the dark color may not be algae but the biofilm of the dominant set of microorganisms. Its effect on your koi coloration not being positive is a red flag.

    My suggestion is to try altering the microorganisms in your pond by using em1 beneficial microorganisms. You can probably contact an agricultural supply company that deals with aquaculture and inquire about it. Em1 is available in liter bottles, but not used straight away but is 'activated' by mixing it with molasses and water at a prescribed ratio, and this mix, called EMAS (short for EM Activated Solution), is stored for a week before it's ready for use. Initial application requires about 4x the quantity of the regular weekly dosage,being that enough good or beneficial microorganisms is needed to overcome the dominance of the erstwhile dominant microorganisms in the pond. As you can infer from the need for a regular weekly dose of it, this is not a one and done deal. It needs a recharge of regular frequency to keep the balance or homeostasis in the pond. I don't know why this is so. But even so, it is not an undue financial burden, since you're buying from a supplier to aquaculture farms and they don't overprice like they would for koi, else they get the cold choulder. Ever heard of Koizyme? It's kinda like it, but with a lot less zeroes. You'll probably need to use more than I do, as you're continually putting new water from that bad source, and so you'll need to add more EMAS to counter the reinforcement from the bad bugs, and to maintain the dominance structure of microorganism in your pond, and you want the good guys to be dominant.

    You may possibly see the algae turning lush green in due time. But this is nature's juju, so don't expect instant results. Good, lasting relationship take time to develop. So does a healthy ecosystem. Your pond, your body - as the Singaporeans and Malaysians love to say -same, same la! Hope this gives you some valuable insight.

  7. #7
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    JustJust realized one thing. You may not get much algae on em1 as it out competes algae by competitive exclusion. You won't get lush green algae, but you won't have the black (as in eeeww) algae as well.

  8. #8
    Tosai Kate's Avatar
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    algae helps your pond appear more natural and provides fish with a healthy food and oxygen source but it should be to manage its growth to keep the population at a desirable level. Knowing what factors contribute to algae growth, and your control options, will help you keep a healthy, well-balanced pond.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Encouraging algae growth in our ponds-10404398_804206849642733_517540536732239260_n.jpg  
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  9. #9
    Sansai
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    Thank you very much . Most kind :-)

    The inputs is something that i must ponder on and act . Though Sacicu and Yerrags inputs are varied , both these advices strike a chord , with an obvious concern of what Yerrag has to say . Trying to get the EMAS may not be as simple . In the meantime , i will bowl a few koi of varied coloration and depths , so that you can advise on the seen .

    Sumi development , is a different story with this water, greatly supports and unearths the best of sumi , provided the koi has it :-)

  10. #10
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    Plants, including algae, are are not needed in any koi pond system. Plants go through photosynthesis and respiration cycles every 24 hour that can alter the DO and pH values in a pond. Not good. The absense of algae indicates extremely effective filtration and aeration with very little nitrogen compounds left over to fuel unneeded organisms.
    Tora Bora likes this.

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