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Thread: the color of algae on the pond wall and bottom...

  1. #1
    Tategoi moikoi's Avatar
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    the color of algae on the pond wall and bottom...

    does it tell us anything about the water condition.say.... brown vs green?

  2. #2
    Tosai
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    algae and sun light

    Quote Originally Posted by moikoi View Post
    does it tell us anything about the water condition.say.... brown vs green?
    well usually brown means you don't get enough sunlight and green is the opposite.

    I have a newly cycled pond and it's been running since middle of June. Right now I see the wall of my pond liner cover with strands of green algae. The strands are about 3-4" long (appears).

    I think I have too much exposure to the sun since my UV is only 57 watt and I have a 3200 gallon pond that is 4 feet deep (avg).

    I am wondering if I should commence putting some shade over some part of my pond to allow my koi to hide there during HOT weather. I'm in california.

    thanks,

  3. #3
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Blueocean: Yes, the pond should be shaded. You will go through a succession of algae types. In about two years you will get a 'mature' algae cycle that matches your climate, water, micro-environment, and maintenance schedule/practices... but only if stable pond conditions are accomplished. Use of medications and oxidizers, like PP, and other additives all are part of the equation. Without that stability, the algae population will fluctuate in both quantity and type.

    Moi: Yes, but the answers being given by the algae are often unclear. There are numerous algae species and varieties, each evolved to thrive in particular ranges of conditions. The subject has hardly been studied at all in the context of unnatural ponds. We mostly have anecdotal observations. These, however, are enough to know that pond conditions, climate and maintenance practices are determinative of which algae will colonize a pond, the relative populations of different species/varieties in the algal community and which will be dominant in a particular pond. We usually see dark green cladaphora types in ponds, which we call hair algae, carpet algae, etc. The high nutrient levels of even well-maintained ponds are great for these. In Nature you will find greater variety. In highly oxygenated, alkaline waters with no detectable nitrogen content, you can find light green algae having the appearance of lichens, and there are algae that are a brilliant green like the moss in the woods. There are brownish algae, but there are also mixed communities of algae, diatoms, etc that look like a brown algae, and these can be the initial colonizers of a new pond, starting the succession of species that culminates in a mature algal community adapted to the particular conditions. The algae in our ponds tell us at least as much about our maintenance practices as about the water conditions of the moment. If only we knew enough to understand the message.

    Then, there is the affect of the algae on the water. Algae draw molecules of water and nutrients through their cell walls continually. We talk about the turnover rate of our pond volumes through our bacteria-based filters, but usually do not consider the rate of turnover literally through algal cell membranes. We have no way to measure it. We have no way to measure the effects. But, we do know the algae remove nutrients from the water column, including traces of metals and compounds we do not ordinarily think about. The algae are also emitting compounds into the water continuously, including numerous phenols. The substances emitted include ones with antibiotic properties, ones that are herbicidal to other species of plants, and ones that are waste products of photosynthesis.

    The complexity of algal relationships is such that efforts to harness algae for use in water filtration typically fail. Bacterial biofilm is much easier to manipulate/develop, and is itself far more complex than we need to understand to use it as the workhorse of filtration systems. The whole pond biota of bacterial and algal communities is extremely diverse, and works 24/7 365 days a year. I think when a person begins to develop an appreciation of the complexity of that 'stuff on the pond wall' and the free floating versions of all the microbes inhabiting any pond, it becomes better understood why the pondkeeper should use care not to disrupt the rhythm of life by unnecessary use of chemical additives, over-treatment with the poisons we label as medicines, irregular maintenance practices and other actions/inactions that cause or lead to variable conditions.

    Did I mention my bias against PP?

  4. #4
    MCA
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    Oyagoi MCA's Avatar
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    Did I mention my bias against PP?

    that is because you are an O3 head...right?

  5. #5
    Tategoi moikoi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    .

    Did I mention my bias against PP?
    we would not see wall algae in a PP pond ?

  6. #6
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    PP is not going to eliminate algae on the pond walls unless used frequently. PP does destroy algae, just like any other organic material in the pond. It is a disruption to the pond conditions, and inherently has consequences for all life forms in the pond. The intensity and frequency of use are all factors in how significant those consequences are.... that is, how substantial and deleterious the disruption. Obviously, people have different opinions as to what they consider acceptable.

  7. #7
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    MCA: Uh,..... nope. My bias for stability extends to most everything concerning ponds, but my bias against ozone is really founded on safety. In many respects, JR is more negative toward O3 than I, but our bottom lines are difficult to distinguish.

  8. #8
    Daihonmei
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    for the record, I am not a hater of Ozone. I just find it wrong headed. I come across as anti-PP and anti- ozone, anti- baking soda, anti- kitty litter etc, because without a counter point of the view, the lurkers go down a bad road. So someone needs to speak up or the lemmings follow the latest internet trend. We've seen this now with copper products, PP, cattle meds, kitty litter, electrodes, kitchen porducts and ozone. Someone needs to agressively lean back on pop trends. In the end, ozone is a tool. Even the comparison of ozone use in a public aquarium holding large pelagics as evidence of the industries approval in a koi pond is to misunderstand what that public aquarium is doing. When dopes prevail and marketing is supporting the cause, there needs to be perspective. And my agressive style costs me in that I am easily seen as an anti-tech person. It is only because I need to stress facts and that puts me in a certain camp in the reader's mind- period. All I'm saying. JR

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