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Thread: String Algae Experiences

  1. #1
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    String Algae Experiences

    It has been such a peculiar year weather-wise in the U.S. (and elsewhere). I am wondering whether folks are having different experiences with string algae than what is normal for them. ...I have. There is virtually no string algae growth this year. (Knock on wood it stays that way!) I suspect this is because we had a warmer than usual winter and had temperatures rise rapidly in April when we had several days with 90F+ (33C+) highs. Now it is May and daily highs are consistently over 90F ... which is unusual. As a result my pond went from low 70sF (21-22 C) to high 70sF (25-26C) quickly and was seldom below 70F over the winter months. The string algae in my pond typically has a burst of growth in the April-May period when water temperatures are above 72F and below 78F. It did not happen this year. However, there were other factors at work. I had a costia outbreak which was treated with Proform-C in early April. And, when I replaced a Nexus filter in mid-April, I used a 'bottled bugs' concoction I won as a raffle prize at CFKS. (I had it, so might as well use it.) Formalin/Malachite Green can burn off algae, and I have seen declines in algae following use of bottled bugs in the past. So, these may be part of the reasons for there being no string algae this year. Still, I think the rapid rise in water temperature may be the most important factor.

    Folks in Florida: Is your string algae less, more or same as usual for this time of year?

    Other U.S. Folks: With the extreme cold winter experienced, how does your string algae grow? [nursery rhyme cadence ]

  2. #2
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    My front main pond has not had string algae for years now. I attribute it to better and more biological filtration and feeding my Koi some in the winter.

    My back quarantine pond has a yearly Spring string algae problem. I attribute that to poor pond filtration set-up.

  3. #3
    Tosai kishusui1's Avatar
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    Hi
    I feed Barley flake's from health food shop ,soak first in some hot water from kettle and leave for 30 mins to cool down and then pour into a bucket of your pond water then feed to fish every day for three weeks ,as the koi eat this it will pass through them and rot down in the filter system and release a toxin that is fish safe but kills blanket weed and green water !.
    its been used since the Romans for clearing Algae problems ,and is a treat for koi to eat !.
    I feed around 500 grams per 30 x 1-2 feet size koi plus pellet foods and lettuce and banana ,this helps promote insuforia and kills algae problems without chemicals ! .

  4. #4
    Sansai
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    Barley Flakes

    Quote Originally Posted by kishusui1 View Post
    Hi
    I feed Barley flake's from health food shop ,soak first in some hot water from kettle and leave for 30 mins to cool down and then pour into a bucket of your pond water then feed to fish every day for three weeks ,as the koi eat this it will pass through them and rot down in the filter system and release a toxin that is fish safe but kills blanket weed and green water !.
    its been used since the Romans for clearing Algae problems ,and is a treat for koi to eat !.
    I feed around 500 grams per 30 x 1-2 feet size koi plus pellet foods and lettuce and banana ,this helps promote insuforia and kills algae problems without chemicals ! .
    Hi kishusui,
    Could you tell me what Barley flakes are?
    I understand Barley as the kernels or seeds one would serve in a soup mix.
    Do you refer to the kernels or seeds as flake's maybe?
    Cheers and thanks
    Roy V.
    Durban
    South Africa

    PS I Googled Barley flakes! I see it is processed Barley
    Thank you.

  5. #5
    Sansai Reza's Avatar
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    I read in several articles barley straws is useful for controlling algae, but actually I'm not invited to a real algae challenge yet. First time I had algae problem was my first koi keeping year and there was very poor water filtration I was installed and koi wastes and uneaten foods stay at the bottom of pond for a day.

  6. #6
    Jumbo RobF's Avatar
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    Mike, as you know my Orlando pond is exposed to full sun much of the day. I put about 10K gal/hr over my waterfall and stream. I always get string algae in the spring. The string algae is decidedly less this year and the last few years as well. I haven’t had much string algae since I expanded my pond (and added the anoxic leg which would be expected to reduce algae). When the algae is in full growth I just periodically pick it off and once the water really heats up and the string algae disappears I scrub and shop vac away the residue. With my pond setup perhaps the biggest issue with string algae is the accumulation of mechanical fines in the algae mass. Rob

  7. #7
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobF View Post
    With my pond setup perhaps the biggest issue with string algae is the accumulation of mechanical fines in the algae mass. Rob
    I have to clean my k1 static filter every 2 days due to algae clogging it up as well. But my pond water has been clear, so the algae has to be carpet algae die-off from the pond bottom and walls, and not so much coming from string algae. But this is on going for a month, and I'm starting to wonder how much more algae will die before the supply runs out. I am getting exhausted with the frequent need to clean my k1.

    Mike, the climate here in Manila is also acting bizarro. April has been the characteristic peak of our summer, but this year May has seen intense heat, and our ambient temp is forecast to be at 40°C or 104°F this Saturday. It confirms my fear that the cool weather we had in March, the usual start of hot weather, was going to result in some payback in hot weather. I am having to lighten my feeding to koi for a longer period to adjust to the low DO in water.

    Rob, do you think my algae die-off is related at all to having anoxic filters that are doing their job? I don't think it has to do with the high water temperatures.

  8. #8
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I got a few responses on the U.S. koi boards, and a lot more on the many watergardening boards and FB watergardening group pages. My take from this very unscientific inquiry is that the U.S. pacific northwest has had some serious string algae blooms in many ponds to a greater extent than usual, but these mostly occurred early in the year when the water was quite cool. Elsewhere in the U.S. with 4-season climate, things seem to be about normal. Some folks having bigger issues than they consider normal, and others less problems, with no particular geographic trend I've been able to discern. But, clearly, a lot of watergardeners lost many or all of their koi (and even goldfish) due to the extreme cold experienced this past winter. In Florida, things seem about normal from Ocala north. In the central Florida region, where it was a warmer than normal winter, there are a number of reports of all algae growth (string algae included) being less than normal. Several report that, like me, they have not had any string algae this year despite normally having at least some in the April-June period.

    It appears the string algae forms/varieties prevalent in the pacific northwest have different optimal temperature ranges than what we see in Florida, and very different seasonal growth variations. The Florida reports seem to be anecdotal confirmation of my notion that seasonal climate impacts have more effect on string algae blooms than nutrient levels, shading and the like. But, it is just anecdotal, and postings around the internet are not a basis for drawing conclusions. Still, it has been interesting.

  9. #9
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    Hi Mike. Is there any information regarding different species of 'hair algaes'? I would think there would variety differences across the globe, with each having specific needs that best suite them. It is always interesting to me that our ponds, as much as we try to use technology to achieve "perfect" conditions- are still largey obligated to natures will.

  10. #10
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Appliance Guy View Post
    Hi Mike. Is there any information regarding different species of 'hair algaes'? I would think there would variety differences across the globe, with each having specific needs that best suite them. It is always interesting to me that our ponds, as much as we try to use technology to achieve "perfect" conditions- are still largey obligated to natures will.
    There are different species, and there are several forms/varieties of the most studied species. The typical string/hair algae in ponds is from the genus Cladophora. In some conditions, other genera can look like Cladophora to the eye of the hobbyist (e.g., Spirogyra), but these are typically not nearly as robust as the masses of Cladophora pondkeepers encounter (at least in the studies I've come across). Identifying the different species, forms and varieties is beyond the capacity of mere hobbyists. Even the most experienced in the field have difficulty and debate one another ad nauseum. Even DNA studies result in debate over how to draw lines of separation. The only thing that is clear to me is that each variety is adapted to the environmental conditions in which it evolved. With our ponds the situation gets impossibly complicated because pondkeepers import plants and fish from around the globe, and these carry with them whatever varieties are present in the locale from which they sprang. Still, I find it curious that there are varieties that thrive in very cool water (as in the pacific northwest in February) that are apparently not present in my pond. The string algae in my pond thrives when the water is in the low and mid-70sF, but not when it reaches 80F.

    BTW, I continue to be unable to find any study finding string algae (Cladophora) spores in the air. There is some indication that Cladophora can be carried in the slime coat of fish, but this is not established. It definitely is borne by plants even if too microscopic to be observed.
    Last edited by MikeM; 06-02- at 06:40 PM. Reason: typos

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