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Thread: I cannot beat STRING ALGAE, used Pondcare Algaefix made fish sick!

  1. #1
    Fry
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    6

    I cannot beat STRING ALGAE, used Pondcare Algaefix made fish sick!

    Was wondering what I could do to beat string algae.. No matter what I do I keep getting blooms of this stuff..

    Its not easy to clean from my natural gravel pond.. I made a long hook device to grab clumps of the stuff every morning and I cannot win.

    I keep water very clean and do atleast a 10% water change DAILY, yes daily, sometimes twice a day.

    Pond is aprox 6500 gallons has 2 large fountains, 1 large air-ring in bottom of pond powered by 2 alita 80 pumps, and 1 water-fall. I think I have plenty of air in the water.

    Filter specs :

    Savio Skimmer with 2 57-watt UV's that runs to a Ultima II 4000 filter, which runs to a Savio Waterfall filter, all powered by a pondmaster 8400gph pump.

    Yesterday I used this Pondcare Algaefix product, I dosed for a 4800 gallon pond even though I am very sure my pond is around the 6000 gallon size.

    Well 4 hours later most of the string algae was dead, but my fish looked so sick. They were hanging at the falls and looked really bad.

    As I pulled clumps dead and dying algae I decided that 4 hours was long enough and being the fish looked so bad, I did a 25% water change.

    No response from the fish, so I did another 15% and finally the fish started to come around.

    This morning all seems well, the fish look like nothing ever happened and almost all of the algae is gone.

    This product worked great, but I am afraid to ever use it again.

    The bottle says dose every 3 days until algae is under control, and they make no mention of water changes, it also says to dose once a week to control algae. Are they nuts? I bet if I dosed again in 3 days and did no massive water changes that my fish would be history. I was thinking of dosing once a week with a very small amount of the product, but I'm even leary about doing that.

    Now that the string algae is back under control what can I do to keep it away?

    I find myself wishing for cold weather already just so I dont have to combat string algae.

    Going to take this last cup of coffee outside to clean skimmer and do another 25% water change to get this chemical out of the pond.

    If I could do it over again I would never have had a natural rock pond, I really am not into the water gardening aspect of this hobby. I just love the fish.

    I wish I had a cement square black pool with nothing but koi and water in it.

  2. #2
    Guest Nancy M.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Lakewood, So Calif
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    What are your pond measurments width, length, depth? Algea fix is not something most koi hobbiest would never put in there pond. Also when using that product I would not recomend using it in the heat of the day. That stuff suck the oxygen right out of the water. Have you ever tried salt? Get rid of all those rocks in the bottom, it will improve your water quality.

  3. #3
    Sansai dubtaco's Avatar
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    May 2005
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    Dito what Nancy said! Is your pond in full sun? Adding some shade might help...

  4. #4
    Nisai
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Northern California
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    56
    Since you'd already used AlgeaFix to kill off algea, you may want to salt the pond to around .15% to keep algea at bay, at .15% salt is good for the koi anyway.
    Andrew

  5. #5
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    May 2005
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    Sorry, Andrew . . .

    but salt -- long term -- is not good for the koi.

    Not only don't they "need" it, but it's an astringent and will eventually strip the slime coat. And since the slime coat is the koi's primary defense against pathogenic bacteria and parasites, that's a very bad thing. Salt has its uses, but none of them are long term.

  6. #6
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    Hello Damon . . .

    Rock bottom ponds trap the crud that feed the algae blooms, so remove the rocks and add retro bottom drains. You won't believe the difference.

    I'm not a pond builder, but I do believe you're seriously underfiltered. I've read that when bead filters provide the mechanical and the bio filtration, then as a rule of thumb they should rate 2X your pond's gallonage and you must maintain a minimum KH level of 200. Perhaps others can help here?

    Now, for the algae problem. Mature ponds which are properly designed, stocked, fed, filtered and maintained do not have string algae problems. But achieving that balance can take years.

    Algae will grow -- and the bad algae always seem to grow first. You can kill it off but if the conditions aren't changed it will just grow back in an endless cycle.

    Finally, while many folks use that (and similar) product(s), the koi boards are full of horror stories of mass pond wipeouts. Glad that didn't happen to you.
    Don Chandler
    Member: AKCA, ZNA, KoiUSA

  7. #7
    Daihonmei aquitori's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    Filtration sounds like the problem here. My pond is shaded from early morning to 4 in the afternoon and my filter is about 30% of pond volume. I also have a heavy load but some standards. I have had no problem with string algae, chemicals are a short term fix and I see alot of watergardeners use this short term fix every year. Why waste your money on short term fixes when you can invest on long term fixes like expanding your filter.

  8. #8
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    Davenport, Oklahoma
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    Remove the food source

    Algae has to eat, so getting rid of its nutrients in the pond is key. Improved filtration and phosphate removal from the water is the best place to start. Anyone care to elaborate on phosphate removal??? The recent thread mentioning sphagnum or peatmoss for phosphate removal caught my attention, but I've never had the need so I can't speak from first hand experience.
    BTW, KoiCop is dead on about the gravel bottom pond. It is a breeding ground for everything you never wanted in your pond.

  9. #9
    Fry
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    9
    What is your water source?? Reason I ask - some municipal systems ADD phospate to the water (anti pipe scaling thing I think, not sure). Anyhow, the phosphates could actually be the limiting nutrient for your algae, and you might be adding phosphates with regular 10 percent water changes. Just a possibility. Also, little brush like a toilet brush (you can actually get them that fit on the end of a telescoping pool-type handle) makes manual removal of string algae easier.

  10. #10
    Jumbo
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    750
    I thought string algae was another one of the pond conditions that called us to exercise retraint and patience. Search for the contributing factors instead of blasting the enemy. Hell, embrace the enemy, it will keep your water crystal clear.

    The UVs will kill any floating unicellular algae which could be taking up the nutrients that is feeding the string algae. So if nutrients are not decreased you will continue to have clear water and string algae.

    Get in there and get the rocks out. Good luck.

    Oh! In case you need to hear it, the procedure for getting the rocks out...
    Start draining pond.
    Keep some of the water in a temporary pond, pool, tank.
    Take out fish.
    Drain pond fully.
    Take out rocks and smudgkis.
    Rinse.
    Fill.
    Treat with Amquel? Ultimate? You've just stirred up all of the crud in the world. Some is still in the water.
    Move fish by bagging them and floating them unless your new water is correct temp.
    If your temporary pond water is good enough allow the new water to circulate and warm up before adding fish.

    Mickey the windowman

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