Algae Removal that is Safe for Plants

unblackmetalApril 11, 2009

Does anyone know of a reliable algae remover that is plant safe?

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I use koiclay in my pond every year. Seems to work well on both algae control and giving the plants a boost. If I get string algae I just use a toilet brush to scoop it out.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 8:05PM
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flora2b(z6a bc)

I haven't tried this, but have heard others talk about hydrogen peroxide, don't remember the amount and not sure what effect it would have on the other inhabitants of the pond,like snails, frogs, dragonfly nymphs.
Anyone know?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 1:57AM
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I have used hydrogen peroxide for string algae control, but only one time last spring. I'm a little squeamish about adding things to my pond. However, I was preparing for a pond tour, and wanted it to look good for the people coming by to see it.

My pond was 1400 gallons then, and I used three bottles, the regular 3% drug store variety, which was less than what was recommended. The recommended amount came to something like five bottles. At first I saw no results at all, and then I went out one more several days later, and all the algae was gone.

Some people prefer to use barley bales, which release hydrogen peroxide as if decomposes, which is how they work to control algae. It takes time for the bales to work, however, so barley extract may work better. It's expensive, though, so I've never tried it.

Peroxide also aerates the water. I first heard of using peroxide in aquatic situations during the 2007 ice storm here in N.E. Oklahoma. I was without power for 8 days, and had to move my tropical fish from my aquarium in a very cold room to smaller containers that I could place near the fire for warmth. Small containers meant partial water changes twice a day to control ammonia buildup, but oxygen became a problem as well. I was told by some fish hobbiests to use peroxide to help maintain oxygen levels in the containers.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 10:27AM
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I forgot to add that this year I've been using Clarity Max + at the recommendation of a local koi breeder/dealer. The results have been slow, but after several weeks of using this, I am now starting to see some clearing of the algae. My stream has been full of it, but now about half of the algae is gone, so we'll see.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clarity Max +

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 9:08PM
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Has Clarity Max+ worked for anyone else?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 6:38PM
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GreenCLean is great stuff. Very similar to hydrogen peroxide. It kills on contact and release oxygen into the water as it breaks down. It is safe for plants, just so long as you dont get the granules on the plant leaves becuase they can burn them. But once it is in the water it is fine.

Cool thing too is that there are application rates for using it clean other things like patios and patio furniture.

Here is a link that might be useful: GreenClean

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 3:22PM
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aquawise(zone 4 Utah)

Green clean is ok but it has to get right on the algae. I use algaefix and have done for many years. It works great and it has never harmed my plants. As with anything you must follow the directions exactly. I only need to use it in the spring before the plants get going. I have tried them ALL and this one is the one I always go back to. Very easy to use and does the job. With it and a UV light my water stays clear all year.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 10:23AM
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I use Pond Balance every year. This works great and don't hurt plants or fish.It keeps string algae out all year.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 6:50PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Peroxide breaks down to oxygen and water, right. So it would be safe for my animals. I have two cats and three dogs who drink out of my pond. I am afraid to put anything in it. I have reddish brown water which could be some type of organism or maybe suspended dust from the creek sand I put around the pond.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 11:22AM
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ninjabut(USDA z 8,CA)

Do you have the pump running when you use the peroxide?
I know you have to have some sort of airation with things like the algaefix (found out the hard way!)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 9:17PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I have loads of plants and a home made biofilter and have never needed to use any kind of chemical algae killer nor ever had any reason to.

A properly balanced pond won't have algae blooms.....add plants and be safe for your plants, pets and wildlife.

I know plenty of people who have killed all their plants and fish with Algae Fix and other chemical quick fixes.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 7:23PM
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This is great information. I have had my pond for almost 4 years now and I have never had problems with algae until recently. This spring my pond is quickly being overtaken by stringy algae that is growing on the sides and plants and everything! I have always had fish and plants in the pond. This year, I lost most of my fish over the winter (not sure if it was because it was a really cold winter or because of the algae or what). Now I am trying to get the fish re-established. Anyway, buyorsell888, what is considered a "balanced pond"? I'm pretty sure I had one (by pure luck) before I lost my fish, that's why I didn't have a problem before. But, I wonder if there's some kind of a formula. I have a small 90 gal pond that I'm asking about.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 10:35AM
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I was at the Dietter's water garden place in Conn. yesterday and asked about my green string algae and peroxide etc. Since I removed all my tropical water flowers before winter they said over winter the sun created "plant life" which is what algae is. And once my new plants start multiplying, the string algae would be starved out. I could add either Peroxide or Bleach to the water now or just wait until the plants do their thing naturally. So I decided to a few capfuls of peroxide for curiosity since they said it won't hurt the plants.

I also remembered that I sometimes put a cap of bleach into a vase of fresh cut flowers to keep the water clean and fresh smelling and the flowers don't get hurt by that. They actually last longer.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 10:07AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

If you have fish or other critters do not add chlorine bleach. It can kill them even in small doses. Sandy

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 9:12PM
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If you lost your fish after that many years it was probably the result of something pretty sever. If they didn't freeze, and they hadn't in the past, then I would think either pH crash, ammonia build-up, or infection. I suppose testing water with a good quality test kit will be in your future if you need to know for sure.
I seriously doubt the string algae had any direct bearing on the fate of your fish unless it kept them contained in muck. My string algae is a result of rich water, cool spring weather (but well above freezing), sunlight, and no plant or biological competition.
If you kept any of the water you had maybe you can have it tested. Try a local college or county extension office to see if they can do it or recommend someone / someplace too.

Good Luck to you in your next go'round!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 9:50PM
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