If you’ve got a pond in your garden, chances are it contains some algae. It’s a common complaint for pond owners, but the truth is a totally algae-free pond is virtually impossible to achieve.
That’s because algae occurs naturally in water and it’s actually an essential part of a healthy and well-balanced pond.
Nevertheless, with regular maintenance and attention, your pond can be something you are proud of rather than a green sludge-filled nightmare.
But before you set to work removing all of that algae from your pond, it’s important to know why it is thriving so much in the first place. And to do that you need to understand what it loves.
Algae relishes water that contains lots of light and nutrients. So ponds that have plenty of debris at the bottom, which results in lots of nutrients, are conducive to algae growth. Algae also likes shallow water that stays nice and warm. Most of all, though, algae loves it when your pond is imbalanced. That’s why you need to promote equilibrium.
Here are a few things you can do to reduce the chances of algae swamping your pond:
Floating plants and water lillies are great for shading your pond from the sun and helping to keep algae in check. Just make sure you don’t give them too much fertiliser, otherwise it could end up on the bottom of your pond as debris.
Small, shallow ponds where the water heats up quickly are perfect for algae growth and it will rapidly spread. Again, floating aquatic plants and water lillies are a good way to keep the sun off the water and help maintain cooler temperatures.
You’ll notice that as the seasons come and go and the temperature changes, the amount of algae in your pond fluctuates too.
Remember we mentioned equilibrium earlier? Too many surface plants and lillies can lower the amount of oxygen in the water. This isn’t good for all the creatures that enjoy munching on algae such as fish, tadpoles and aquatic snails. Therefore, you need to find what balance works in your pond and stay on top of that green stuff.