Long flowing algae

Lori_Carlos(5B)July 6, 2011

I know that there have been tons of topics on string algae but I have a couple of questions so I figured I'd start a new thread.

We have SO much of this stuff that it's taking over the entire pond. Ironically, our water is still clear though. It's so clear that we can see nothing but long flowing algae that looks like green hair! We've used a scrub brush to remove some of it but only about a foot down because that's about as far as we could reach. Our pond is almost 4 feet deep so we're considering doing a 50% water change and attach a toilet type brush to a long handle to get the rest. It's even tangled up in the roots of some of our water lettuce. Does anyone have any suggestions before we start this?

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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I would not change the water, you could end up with pea soup algae which is much harder to get rid of and much more upsetting to most to have. You have clear water partly because of the string algae. It won't hurt the water lettuce. If it is loose on the bottom you can use a leaf skimmer net on a pole like they sell for swimming pools to scoop it out. it collapses to nothing when lifted from the water. You can also tape your brush to a pole.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 7:15PM
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I keep hoping for string algae. When I have that I have crystal clear water. Yeah, sometimes it gets a bit thick but it is easier to remove than pea soup type algae.

Sorry I don't have an answer for you as far as getting the string algae out. When I have too much I use a forked branch and twirl it around like spaghetti on a fork.

Besides I love watching it flow in the stream.

Good luck!!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 7:50PM
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Hi Lori. It's so ironic about hair algae because yes, it get's on your nerves because it's so long but the water is always crystal clear because the algae is eating so much of the nutrients out of the pond, it keeps the suspended algae at bay because it starves it out.
In my opinion, a good bio-filter is the answer because we had a few ponds in our yard and some had hair algae and always crystal clear and the others had suspended algae. We got a diagram for a new bio-filter that is easily made and maintained and we never have to clean the scrubbies which is what we use for bio-media.
If you can make this filter large enough not only for the size of the pond but for the amount and size of your fish, your pond will never again suffer from these algaes. I've got a great diagram and step by step pictures if you are interested.

Your's Koily, Lorraine

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 9:29PM
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Thank you everyone!
It's just soooo yucky looking but you are all right though, I am soooo happy that we can see our fish and not yucky soupy water.
I guess we won't do a water change but try to get more of the algae out. It is really hard though to get it off the walls. It's attached really good!

Lorraine... I would LOVE for you to send us the pictures. My husband wants to do something like that so your pictures and diagrams would be a huge help! Can you email it to me? My email is lori-costello@rogers.com
Thank you so much. Wish us luck!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 10:22PM
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Hi Lori. I would be happy to send you the pictures and diagram of this bio-filter. My e-mail address is:
Send me an e-mail and I'll send the pictures back to you.
We were also told that if we had at least 60% coverage that our ponds would always be clear but that didn't work either. Neither did the 22 foot long veggie filter that we had on the pond but once we built this filter, all was well with the world. :)

Your's Koily, Lorraine

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 7:58PM
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RexAnne(z5 Chicago)

try a barley bale, works for me.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 1:31AM
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The trouble with barley straw and/or u.v. lights is that they are only quick fixes and don't address the real problem which is excess nutrients/toxins in the water which should be removed though the nitrogen cycle along with water changes from the bottom of the pond to remove excess nitrates.
Many people who use these avenues to clear their water will sometimes end up with sick fish or fish with ulcers and don't understand why and the problem is, poor water conditions.

Your's Koily, Lorraine

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 8:26PM
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This year I've had more algae than ever--long algae on the rocks edging the pond and string algae. I've been working so much didn't do a water change for six weeks in the settling chamber. It was gross at the bottom stinky stuff. Also didn't put in the hornwort, parrot's feather and hyacinth that I usually do. We've had a cold spring again so water lilies are just starting to bloom and my iris havn't bloomed yet. Mind you the peonies in the yard just bloomed--everything is about a month behind. I normally do a water change every two weeks and have more plants so I think this has contributed to my algae. That and not enough plants. My settling chamber and skimmer are mechanical filters and if I don't keep up on those I get alot of algae.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 12:09PM
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Hi Jalal, if you had a good bio-filter, large enough not only for the size of your pond but for the amount and size of your fish, your water would always be crystal clear and free of hair algae without the use of plants.
When we first started out we were told that we couldn't clear our pond water until we had 60% coverage. We had that and more and our water was still very green.
Once we built a good bio-filter, our water turned crystal clear without having to clean the bio-media, only the window screening we used at the top of the filter.

Your's Koily, Lorraine

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 11:42PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

My wife's filamentous algae which she was using in experiments to make things just disappeared when the water temperature got to about 75�F.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 1:33PM
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Lorraine. I have a 300 gal settling chamber with 3 matala mats in it, the skimmer and two waterfall filters full of springflo, matal mats and scrubbies. Both are 50 gals. I have one small koi-10" long and twenty assorted goldfish-shubunkins, sarassa comets and plain goldfish none of these are over 8". Pond is 2500 gals metered volume when max. full. However my pond is in full sun all day. I run two Sequel pumps on my pond one from the sc to the 4800GPH pump one from the skimmer which is pumping approx 2100GPH. My water lilies are only covering about 1/4 of my pond surface at present as our season has been very cool under 70F for most of this spring. Tons of rain the last two days. 2" in 45 minutes.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 1:17PM
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Hi Jalal. Your pond sounds beautiful. I suspect that the reason for the hair algae is due to an imbalance of your pond which means that there is so much nutrient in your pond which is feeding the hair algae. It also means that there is not enough bio-media in your bio-filters to remove those nutrients. Do you make water changes from the bottom of the pond?
Do you know how many gallons your filters are? Just approximate.
Do you make water changes? If so, how much and how often?
Also, if you have lots of plants in your pond which are potted in dirt, this can also add to the problem. Any bog plants that we used to have were removed of their soil and put into a container so that the roots could fill the container and help remove excess nutrients.
If you have a proper filtration system, your pond will always be clear with no hair algae.
I've got a great diagram and pictures on how to make your own bio-filter and I suspect that if you were to build one you could use it in conjunction with the filters you already have.
Also, how often do you have to clean your filters?

Your's Koily, Lorraine

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 7:16PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Lorraine, you keep talking about this diagram but I've yet to see you posting it. I've read post after post where you talk about it and ask people to email you.

You aren't selling this information are you? that would be a violation of use of the Garden Web forums....

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 10:04PM
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Lorraine as said in my post biofilters are 50 gallons each filled with springflo, 3 round matala mats in each and scubbies. No more room in filter. Water changes are from the 300 gal settling chamber only. I close off the knife valve on this drain the filter, refill, put in the three 2'x 4' matala mats back in this filter, treat the water as has chloramines and chlorine and turn the pump for this filter back on. I usually do water changes every two weeks but this year due to work I've only done one since starting the pond up the middle of May due to our cold season. This is my first year with string algae and alot of algae around pond edge so I'm pretty sure it's due to less plants and infrequent water changes rather than a need for a new biofilter which I don't have room for anyways. My pond would be considered a watergarden not a koi pond as I only have one koi and have no intention of getting more as fish have to come indoors for the winter.

I also would like to see pictures of your system and pond.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 10:21AM
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RexAnne(z5 Chicago)

Yes Lorraine, I have been wondering about why you wouldn't just post the pictures once so we could all aee what you're talking about instead of having to repeatedly email them. We are here to share and have fun. So come on Lorraine, let's not be so coy, koilady!

BTW waht's that screen up top going to do for green water?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 4:32PM
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Sorry everyone, I didn't realize that I was causing problems. I wish I knew how to get the pictures on here but I don't, I'm not very goods when it comes to doing things like that.

Your's Koily, Lorraine

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 8:15PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

You have to have them already on the web like on your own website or on a photo sharing site like Photobucket. Then you use HTML code to link them here. Most photo sharing sites provide the code.

The way you keep posting about this magical filter diagram but never post it leads many of us to believe you are SELLING this information which is against the rules of this forum.....

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 11:57AM
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koilady, are you selling these directions/diagrams?
I have directions and diagrams for free on my website,
if anyone is interested...link below

In the meantime, please answer the question asked three
times now...are you selling these diagrams?
Yours, not so coy-ly!

Here is a link that might be useful: FREE --Pond Plans and Diagrams

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 12:54PM
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MaeT(z5 NL, Canada)

Koilady already emailed me the pictures and diagram free so apparently she isn't selling them.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 1:50PM
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She emailed them to me too

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 5:25PM
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Well Koilady, if you email everything to me, I'll post it here for you.
My email addy is in my profile.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 5:55PM
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Thanks Cliff, I can do that and no, I am not selling these diagrams, it would not have even occurred to me to do that but I will tell you one thing, the reason why I push this bio-filter is because when we were first starting out I can't tell you how many filters we tried and some of them worked for a while. It took us about five years before a friend of ours found this diagram either on the net or in a book and my Husband and him built it and it's the same one we are using now. I never have to clean the scrubbies and on the filters which have bottom drains, all I have to do is open the drain and hose off or vaccum the debris left on the window screening, that's it.
I had no idea that I would cause such a stir in this room because I'm trying to help someone clear their pond or get rid of hair algae and keep their fish healthy.
So, in answer to your questions, I'm doing it because I don't want anyone to have to go through the trouble we did when we first got into the hobby in 1982. I hope this satisfies those of you who don't even know me but are so quick to judge me.

Your's Koily, Lorraine

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 8:17PM
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Cliff, I need your e-mail address to send the diagram and pictures of this filter. My e-mail address is: koilady@execulink.com

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 9:44PM
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I too rec'd the pics and diagrams from Lorraine.

@ Lorraine.... Carlos is planning on starting it this week. He's been working 7 days a week and literally has had no time. The algae seems to be going away though??? Go figure. It's still there but the little bit we have scraped out has not come back. I'll let you know how things turn out. One question though, the scrubby things (pot scrapers)... how many did you use?
Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 10:18PM
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Hi Lori. I'm so glad that Carlos will be making this filter because it will make the maintenance end so much easier for the two of you.
I'm not quite sure how many scrubbies we used because it's been about 25 years since we made them but I think it might have been around 250, but when we first heard about using plastic pot scrubbers, we just thought that you threw them into the filter but what we found was that in the middle of the donut shaped scrubby, dirt was collecting and we knew that this wasn't a good thing so we just cut them in the middle, opened them up like a sleeve, cut the end that was tied and threw them into the filter.

We used predator netting to hold the scrubbies for easy removal because these filters didn't have bottom drains. We used two layers of scrubbies in the predator netting so that I could remove them and then drain the filter with a pump and hose to water the gardens. After that I just placed the two layers of scrubbies back into the filter making sure that they wrapped around the pipe.

The most important part of the filter is that pipe on the inside. You must make sure that the scrubbies are not bound into a bundle, it must be unbound and laid flat so that the water has to go through the scrubbies and you must make sure that the scrubbies in the predator netting goes around that pipe.

I hope that I was able to explain this properly and if you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Thanks Lori.

Hugs, Lorraine

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 12:15AM
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Here's your diagram koilady...
thanks a bunch. I also put it in a seperate
thread entitled "Koilady's Filter Diagram, here."

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 9:57PM
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Rexanne, the window screening does nothing to remove the algae from the water, it's the bacteria on the scrubbies that removes the nutrients from the water which starves the algae, therefore, no hair algae or suspended algae.
The window screening is used as the mechanical part of this filter which catches the debris from the bottom of the pond to be trapped there. This debris builds up and becomes sludge and because it's window screening it can be easily removed and hosed off in a pail and the water can be used in your garden. Sometimes I even take the wet vac and suck the sludge off of the screening.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 1:26PM
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Hi Lori. Is it possible for you to send the pictures I sent you to Cliff so that he can put them on the site?

Hugs, Lorraine

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 3:17PM
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I like the natural option to get rid of string algae. I have had a lot of success using Bioverse in my pond. I have a good sized pond 30 x 50 x 4. I throw 1 50,000 gallon ball in my pond a month and my pond stay nice and clean!

Here is a link that might be useful: Bioverse

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 3:48PM
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I have the the half barrel ponds that are full of string algae that I never had in the warmer months.

How often should i be changing the filter in my pond? Or how would I go about trying to build a filter similar to the above one for my little ponds?


    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 7:20PM
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