My cloudy green pond...

juttz(9b)May 16, 2012

I bet you all have seen question after question about how to get rid of green ponds but I just found this forum so please send any info even if it has been answered husband and I have had a pond only one full year and by the end of the season the pond was looking pretty good but the algae was growing on the sides and the filter had to be cleaned more often then earlier in the this season, we cleaned the whole pond out, took all the fish out and got the whole thing spotless...not long after the water started to get green even with barley bales floating..the sides of the pond were starting to get algae on it but after getting liquid barley the sides were clearing up but the water is very after all this info, what can we do?..we also just bought an exterior filter which we havent installed yet..will that help?....oh and we bought snails but I dont see them doing much yet...Judy

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waterbug_guy(Phoenix AZ (Melrose))

Two kinds of algae require 2 solutions. UV filter is 100% effective in clearing green water in 3-5 days. 10,001 other ways that are hit and miss and many are just plain crazy.

Macro algae is best removed imo mechanically, like weeding a garden. There are chemical options, but the dead algae still has to be removed or you have an even bigger mess.

Bio filters are for converting fish waste and have no or very little effect on algae.

Barley for algae control is a myth.

Strangely, the algae growing on the sides (macro algae) produce a chemical that kills green water algae. But the green water algae also produces a chemical to kill macro algae and also an enemy bacteria. Right now it sounds like the green water algae is winning the battle. The UV will change that and give the advantage to the macro algae and algae killing bacteria. Once they get the upper hand the UV can be turned off.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 5:42PM
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The first thing you did wrong is clean the algae off the sides on the pond. This algae is an important part of the pond ecosystem. It competes directly with the free-floating algae that make your water green. By making your pond spotless, you undid all the maturation that your pond went through in its first season and started over from scratch. But now you had a few "green water algae" that had no competition from the ones you scrubbed off the walls -- so they grew like crazy.

It's great when you do a spring housecleaning on your pond -- removing dead plants, repotting others, vacuuming the bottom, changing the water -- but don't mess with the wonderful water-cleaning ecosystem that grows on the sides of your pond.

Fish plus no filter probably contributed to the algae bloom, and your filter should help some, but for the most part green-water algae grow when they don't have competition. Your best bet is to let your pond mature. And don't put anything in your water but dechlorinater and a little fish food.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 5:58PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Scrubbing the sides of the pond is not a good idea, that algae is "good algae" What you did was reset the cycle back to "new pond" and now it has to grow new algae and cycle again.

Ponds are supposed to have algae. They are not supposed to be spotless.

You can buy an expensive UV light but you will still have algae, it only works on suspended algae not on hair, carpet or string algae.

Having lots of plants and patience are the key to pea soup algae woes.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 6:00PM
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Thanks to all who sent help posts...I have a few more questions about what Im doing wrong...I can see that by cleaning the walls that we got green algae but also got pea soup...we put the barley bales in, which is this a good thing?..we didnt wait for a very long time before we took about a 1/3 amount of water and replaced it with clean and added a declorinator...I thought maybe if we used a liquid barley/peat liquid and thats when I saw the new green algae that was on the sides started to go away...did we kill it with the liquid barley?..Im so confused but I think Im learning....

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 8:24PM
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waterbug_guy(Phoenix AZ (Melrose))

Algae comes and goes for lots of reasons.

You can think it was the barley if you like. The first study on barley effect on algae was done by Newman, JR & Raven, 1993. That is the study sellers of barley cite. Under lab conditions Dr Newman saw a small reduction in algae growth. Even this best case study did not see algae actually die. It just grew slower.

Follow up studies, or reviews of studies were done at the following universities and found barley had no effect, or so small it couldn't be determined, on algae.

Iowa State University
University of Florida
University of Nebraska
Maryland Cooperative Extension
Purdue University
Ohio State University Extension

Barley sellers don't cite the follow up studies.

But if you like buying barley and putting into your pond I say super. It's a hobby, have fun.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 1:58AM
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A properly sized UV will clear the green "pea soup" water within a week or so. Lots of plant cover will also help, but will work a lot slower, perhaps months. If it's small enough, you can erect one of those 10 x 10 picnic canopies over the pond to create shade and deny the algae sunlight. Lots of floating plants, like water hyacinth (if they're legal in your area) will also help.

A carpet of aglae on the walls of your pond is a good thing. Don't scrub it off! You obviously don't want the long string or hair algae, but that short carpet harbors all kinds of good things to keep your water clear and healthy.

I never, ever, ever do a complete cleanout of my pond. When you do that, you totally destroy your eco-system. If your pond is overstocked, it also may be more difficult to keep the water clear and clean.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 10:07AM
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