Water Treatments for Your Water Garden and Fish Pond
There are a variety of reasons to use water treatments for keeping a pond looking good. The first step is to determine why you need the water treatment. Is it unwanted algae growth on the sides and waterfalls? Or is it dark water that you can not see the fish.
Algae -The main problem we see at the store is string algae. A filamentous species of algae that attaches itself to the plants and side of the pond and on rocks and waterfalls. It is most prevalent in ponds that are constantly adding fresh water to the pond because of water loss. Tennessee water is high in alkalinity and a high pH is conducive to string algae growth. Also, the new water is full of phosphates and nitrates which is plant food. Algae are a plant. So, you are feeding algae when you add new water that it is also void of all the beneficials. I use the word beneficials to describe aerobic bacteria, and natural chemicals like humic and fulvic acids and organic acids to buffer the water and compete with nutrients. When adding new water, it is diluting the current balance of existing beneficials. So, if you add new water you need to also replenish the beneficials for the amount of water added.
Algaway is a liquid treatment for string algae. It is a chemical composition of synthetic polymers. It is safe for plants and fish when used according to the instructions. Not safe for snails shrimp and other crustaceans or mollusks. I advise to repeat applications until it is eradicated and then use a natural treatment of barley straw/ peat extract for maintenance.
Barley Straw / Peat extract – I recommend this as a weekly treatment while string algae growth season. This helps to mature the pond with natural chemicals including humic and fulvic acid. These have natural ability to reduce the alkalinity of fresh water, tie up organic compounds, and purify the water through the slow release of hydrogen peroxide as it reacts with the sunlight.
Oxy Pond Cleaner is another treatment for string algae. This product uses the power of oxygen in the form of hydrogen peroxide to break down debris. It is harmless to plants and fish. It comes in a granular form and can be used as a spot treatment for the problem area.
There are some mechanical features that use copper ionization to maintain algae control. However, copper does kill plants. Do not use liquid copper treatments with ponds that have plants. UVC light will not eradicate string algae only the pea soup green water phytoplankton.
Dark water problems. Determine the reason of the cloudy water. Fill a clear glass with pond water and see if it is brown or green.
Brown water is clay and mud. Determine if there is runoff getting into the pond. Or maybe the fish dug out a potted plant. This will usually filter out. Increase the backwashing or cleaning of the filter media.
Flocculant will clump floating particles together to settle to the bottom. The pump will circulate the particles through the filtration. Flocculant is a chemical formulation for pond clarity.
Sludge Digester -use bacteria and enzymes to consume the organics and gas them off as CO2. This is for excessive fish food or dead algae. It will not take care of clay and mud. Weekly treatments will eliminate organics that contribute to algae growth and anaerobic bacteria (foul smell on the bottom of the pond) .
Green Water is algae. This use to be the number one problem with water clarity. But the use of uvc light in filtration has eliminated most problems. The green algae water which is too fine for filter media to remove it, (except sand filtration,) circulates past the light bulb and is killed. The dead particles clump together and are easily filtered through filter media.
If you do not use a UVC light bacteria and flocculants help with water clarity.
The main thing is to eliminate excessive nutrients added to the pond (from adding fresh water or over feeding fish) and provide competition for the existing nutrients by using plants and pond surface coverage to prevent photosynthesis from sunlight and biological filtration grow more bacteria. This process will take up to two weeks to start to work and clear the water.
The simple explanation of bacteria are living cells which have the capabilities of consuming wastes of different types, reproducing, and actually producing enzymes. Better said, bacteria are the factories that produce enzymes.
Ultra-Clear Bacteria - consume phosphates, ammonia, and nitrates. And is competing with the growth of algae This improves water quality in lakes, ponds, and groundwater. It is an environmentally safe and natural solution to water clarity. Added weekly it works to keep water balanced from toxic overloads.
Muck Digester Tabs-
The UltraClear Muck Digester is the easiest applications and the one we use the most frequently. A tab weighs one ounce and is roughly the size of a golf ball. They are easy to distribute over the pond surface. Randomly toss them over the surface and they sink to the bottom of the pond where they begin slowly releasing a combination of 9 strains of beneficial bacteria into the pond. The tab completely dissolves in 8 hours.
- It eliminates organic sediment (muck) on pond bottom. Reduces sludge build-up from organic decay.
- Reduces undesirable odor from decay. Reduces toxic ammonia from pond water.
- Lowers problem causing nitrate and phosphate.
- Can be used in cold weather or anytime of the year.
- safe for all fish & wildlife using pond.
The reason we use water treatments is:
- the proper use of water treatments will help to eliminate water changes to ponds for water clarity and sludge removal.
- keep pond water balanced and healthy for the continued enjoyment of your water garden and fishpond.