Natural ways to get rid of string algae?

blessedfamily(5)March 11, 2011

I am looking for more natural ways to get rid of string algae..I always end up using ecoblast and ClarityMax. I seen some people put plecostomus in their ponds but I have a skimmer and I am worried it might get sucked in there. Also I heard putting rock salt might help? Any suggestions would be great,thanks Amber

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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

I used to always have a lot of algae in the spring when I topped up the water in the pond. The last two years, I used only water from the rainbarrel, and there was no algae bloom.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 2:32PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Hi
I think the ONLY way to keep algae at bay is the way ma nature does ,Lots of plants !! They will use up the nutients that the algae need .
Are you talking about attached algae or suspended /greenwater.??
What is your water source. Many municipal water supplies are loaded with nitrates and phosphates right out of the tap. Prime algae food lol.
The rainwater USUALLY has far less . I use a rainwater purge system on my above ground pool with only an occasional top off from the hose. no algae but can lead to very acidic water which isn't too good for the usual pond fish.
Find what plants will grow well for you both floating and submerged Makes for a far prettier pond anyway?? gary

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 2:25AM
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coxy(6)

UV light works miracles with algae

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 5:10PM
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rsingley(z6a NJ)

Marsh marigold is one of the earliest plants to sprout in the spring. It will outcompete the string algae and the suspended algae for excess nutrients and solve both problems.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 9:20PM
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goodkarma_(5b)

Over the years I have found the best way is to keep the bottom of the pond clean, use lots of veggie filtration,provide shade in the form of floating plants and or floating islands and perform water changes as needed- but only as needed.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 11:38AM
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eyecndiggit

Lots of plants always help. Rock salt is not for getting rid of algae. A samll percentage (like .2%) is good for your fish but adding too much will kill your ifsh and your plants. I use Goldfish Koi Pond Powder (calcium bentonite)..cheap, all natural and safe.. from the site below

Here is a link that might be useful: The Pond Site

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 5:46PM
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pat_c(5/ N W OHIO)

A cheap fix is Hydrogen Peroxide. The stuff you get @ Dollar General, a 3% solution. Pull out as much as you can with a toilet brush and then pour on the Peroxide. It literally melts the algae. ANd there are no harmful side effects for the pond. Just don't pour it directly on plants. It will burn them.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 8:52AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I agree with Pat. H2O2 works like a charm on string algae but not other kinds. I use one pint per 1000 gallons but you could go higher without causing problems. Try the lower dose first.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 9:09AM
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blessedfamily(5)

Thanks I will try the peroxide.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 9:27PM
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LynneNY(z6)

We've had terrible string algae the past 2 summers, last year being worse. We tried barley, and some chemicals - I've told my husband NO more chemicals!

Will hydrogen peroxide harm my fish? It's been so hard to keep fish, what with the heron, etc and I've had these for 2 years now.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 10:34AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

H2O2 is water with one additional oxygen molecule. It won't harm the fish unless you pour it directly on them. Then it might temporarily bubble away the slime coat that fish have. It is sometimes used to add oxygen to the water but takes a lot. I have used it directly on a fish that had an infected injury from a heron. The wound healed up very quickly after that.

There are many uses for it. Do a Google search if you are interested.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 12:17AM
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pat_c(5/ N W OHIO)

I kept goldies for years and used peroxide and never had a problem. I used to turn off the waterfall and pour it directly no the rocks to dissolve the algae there. Used as many as 4 bottles at one time. Then I started up the pump to wash it away. Again, do no pour it direcly on plants and fish and you will be fine. And, I believe it is much safer than the "store bought" concoctions which are expensive and full of harmful chemicals. I used Algaefix for a few years and killed all my snails unknowingly.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 10:02AM
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jimbdoylestonw

I was thinking of using the peroxide method but my pond is still in its winter stage. The pump is shutdown. Do I need to start the pump? Do I mix the peroxide and pour it around the pond with the pump off. Need help the string algae is consuming my pond. I have had the pond for 11 yrs and have never had string algae. It started at the end of last season but I thought over the winter it would die off. Any ideas why it would start now?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 8:46PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

It could easily have been brought in by a bird but the spores from algae are literally every where including fish food, potting soil, plants and the air. It is impossible to guess the source. Your pond just happened to have the right conditions to cause a bloom although it usually grows more in warmer conditions. Winter growth is fairly common, just slower.

First remove as much as you can reach with a new toilet bowl brush. Cheap, good size and shape, won't harm the liner, collects algae very well and is easy to maneuver. Broken off pieces of string algae are easily sucked up by a pump which reduces the chances of it starting to grow again. Filter material such as poly quilt batting does a good job of capturing the debris and is cheap enough to toss when the problem is gone or you can pour some peroxide on it and continue to use it.

You can pour the peroxide on full strength. Diluting it only reduces its effect. It becomes inactive(changes to water, releases an oxygen molecule) in minutes or even less. Applying it at the sides and around the waterfall are best. Since string algae is very prolific you will likely have to do this again as the weather gets warmer.

Other than appearance and growth rate, string algae isn't all that bad for the pond. Fish and other critters will use it for their eggs and will eat it. It makes a good addition to the garden as mulch or in the compost pile.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 3:46PM
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kalevi

I always get a fair bit of string algae in the spring when the ice goes out. Then, as the plants kick in, the nutrients available for the string algae are used by the plants. There is still string algae in summer but it is limited.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 8:36AM
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coxy(6)

it's not a natural method but I sprung for 2 uv systems and my water is perfect after 2 weeks. Before you couldn't see down for even an inch. It's a bit expensive but if your pond is under certain conditions that promote algae like mine (direct sun) it's worth it in the long run.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 11:40AM
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gardener1(6)

More plants mainly waterlilies to cover the surface so the sun doesn't get through to the water and the water lilies will eat up all the nutrients the algae needs to grow and it will slowly die off. Trust me it works and your pond will be alot healthier for it and your fish will be happy and healthy as well. I have 10 water gardens it works.

Here is a link that might be useful: Make Money Gardening

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 11:29PM
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sdavis(z7b nc)

Chemical fixes will work a while, then the plants, bounce back...

Algae is a fast growing plant which is well able to take advantage of fertile water early in the year.

Take a leaf out of nature's handbook, let loose a plant which is more ruthless at extracting fertility and dominating a pond...

Azolla will dominate the pond surface, shade the algae, deplete the ponds fertility and is much easier to get rid of when the algae has been more or less exterminated

Azolla is a very efficient fertiliser when it has done its task and needs thinning out. Plonk it around drought prone plants as a mulch...

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 5:10AM
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zinniachick(southwest Ohio)

Send it to me. I may be all wet but I've noticed that when the string algae takes off the suspended algae clears. Maybe it's a coincidence but I am happy when I see the hairy stringy stuff. :) But then, my fish keep it trimmed back pretty well so it's not a nuisance, and it's the only plant I can have in the pond (because of those bad-mannered fish.)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 1:43PM
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rsingley(z6a NJ)

I'll post again..."Marsh marigold is one of the earliest plants to sprout in the spring. It will outcompete the string algae and the suspended algae for excess nutrients and solve both problems."

Since I potted 3 marsh marigold plants in my 900 gallon pond I have not had a problem with green water or string algae. The marsh marigold sprouts earlier than my crocuses. It seems to use up the nutrients long before the algae can. No chemicals, no expensive UV lights.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 4:03PM
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sdavis(z7b nc)

As an experiment I left a tub of fertile water do its own thing, while I can't remember the sequence, at times algae would over run it. Duckweed bumped it off. Water meal over run it. Bladderwort choked it.

Whatever you do, a fertile body of water is going to be colonised, invaded by some resilient plant. I quite like the sort that are easy to sweep out, all in one go, or a mix of plants which you do consider picturesque... (ornamental)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 5:13PM
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cadillactaste

So UV lighting kills string algae...can you place spot lights that are UV on the direction of the problem?

Or the peroxide...turning off falls and cleaning. How soon before you can turn the water back on?

This won't harm birds then since it won't hurt fish.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 5:45PM
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cherokee_joeshoeboot

UV lights do NOT kill STRING algae. UV, when properly sized to your pond and when the water flow past the light is correct is an excellent control for free algae, the kind that turns your water green. String algae is attached to some part of your pond and will not flow past the UV light. UV is only effective if the water flows within about 2 to 3 inches of the light and must be exposed for a certain period of time. It the water flow is too past it won't kill the algae.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 9:22PM
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cadillactaste

Thanks...it is a problem with our waterfall. It is a vanishing waterfall so no real pond. Enough water to wet the dogs feet at the base.

So peroxide won't hurt the birds once falls are turned back on? Really don't want to kill wildlife which visit frequently.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 11:00PM
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