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Thread: string algae

  1. #1
    Tosai aughysgirl's Avatar
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    Question string algae

    Hi;
    We have a fairly new pond, it's been up & running since about November...anyways, we have a ton of that stringy algae stuff all over the liner and the rocks. The water is crystal clear, but this stuff is really ugly!! What's the best way to get rid of it?

  2. #2
    Tategoi ranskye's Avatar
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    the algae is the reason why the water is crystal clear. it pulls all the nutient out so that small algae cells will not be able to live there making the water turbid looking.
    harvest the string algae- before you do anything. that way you remove some of the nutrient.
    if you kill it off the nutrient will make its way back to the water.

    your best way is actually to prevent the nutrient building up to that level next time. in doing so it will clean itself up all free of stringed algae and so indicate when you have it right.
    you cant take away the water, well you could change some water out but the problem will only manifest itself again later unless the root casue is fixed. maybe you can take away some light but really its the nutrient thats the problem.

    look at your filtration vs the amount of food going in.

  3. #3
    Jumbo farne230's Avatar
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    This is very common for a new pond. Your biological filtration never had a chance to reach its full efficiency, new fish loads and feeding, lots of unused nutrients in the water gobbled up by the hair algae. As suggested I would not use chemicals, just creates a bigger mess, cut back on feeding, pull as much of the algae out by hand, rack ( I used a pool broom, taped two 1/4" x 3" wood to form a 'V' and scrape the bottom, works well). You will need to do this for at least three weeks, also clean out your prefilters, bio filter and pump baskets regularly, to keep the filters running full. Once the cycle reaches a in-balance the algae will disappear or be starved and beneficial bacteria will take over, once it starts it is almost cleans itself over night. Also if you do not have a UV light you will need to add one on each filter circuit.
    Bob

  4. #4
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    My suggestions: 1) maintain the water with low nitrate/phosphate levels and 2) be patient. It is common to decide to scrub the pond clean to get rid of the string algae, or to use an algicide. IMO, these are mistakes. It takes more than a year for the algal community of a pond to mature in warm climate areas. I believe it takes even longer in cool climate areas. String algae is a stage of pond development. If the water has low nitrogen and phosphate levels, other algae will become established and out-compete the string algae. In ponds getting true 4-seasons, you may find that the string algae returns each Spring and then 'goes away', if you do not make the mistake of scrubbing the pond clean and do not use an algicde. It is fine to physically remove string algae by pulling it out. Scrubbing removes the colonies of other algae groups trying to get established (as well as the beneficial biofilm on the pond walls).

    Take heart... string algae is something everyone has suffered through. Like the teen years, your pond will live through it.

  5. #5
    Jumbo farne230's Avatar
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    Sound advise Mike, what I found though, is if you leave the hair algae un-checked the algae may clog filtration and cause greater problems. As long as you filtration is flowing at peak levels you will be fine.
    Bob

  6. #6
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aughysgirl View Post
    Hi;
    anyways, we have a ton of that stringy algae stuff all over the liner and the rocks . . . What's the best way to get rid of it?
    Hello aughysgirl . . .

    Do you have a water garden or koi pond? A WG has plants &/or rocks in it; a KP has plants &/or rocks around it as landscaping.

    A long term solution might depend on your answer to the above question.

    In the short term, use a toilet brush to remove it manually.

  7. #7
    Tosai aughysgirl's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice guys......oh, by the way, Koicop, I have a koi pond, not a water garden. The rocks I was talking about having string algae on, are around the outside with the plants!

  8. #8
    Tosai
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    This time of year I am netting out cold water algae, which is a type of string algae that disappears (dies) when the water warms up. A bit is one thing too much is another, it can cause the pH to fluctuate and clog the filters. If it all dies at once it can make a huge mess and health hazzard to the fish.

    I always recommend hand removal to keep it in check, once the pond is balanced it should go away on its own. By taking it out, you are also removing the nutrients it has 'eaten'

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