Fresh water algae is a source of food and energy for fish and other pond organisms and a well-balanced pond will have some algae present.
Unfortunately, there are certain types of algae that in excess will interfere with the health of a pond by depleting the oxygen levels. These algae species appear as unsightly “pond scum” or tangled massed green stringy algae that floats on the pond or lakes surface. The regular occurrence of these algal blooms often indicate high levels of nutrients in the water.
The best method for the prevention of algae is reduce the amount of nutrients in the water. This can be achieved by promoting beneficial vegetation as well as aeration. By doing this we can reduce the need for chemical control.
In circumstances were chemical control is needed first we must identify the species of algae. Our staff of trained technicians have the ability to identify different species of algae and then determine what product to use based on weather conditions, the impact the product will have on beneficial vegetation and the impact it would have on wildlife.
Below are some common species of algae we regularly encounter in ponds and lakes that are currently not under one of our Custom Management Programs.
Planktonic algae are floating microscope plants that are normal and essential inhabitants of sunlit surface waters. There are literally millions of floating planktonic algae and these color pond water shades of green, blue-green, brown or variations in between. Planktonic algae that color the water is often called a “bloom” or “algae bloom”. Many species of algae are involved in algae blooms and these species change over time based on temperature, light, nutrients, and other factors.
Filamentous algae are single algae cells that form long visible chains, threads, or filaments. These filaments intertwine forming a mat that resembles wet wool. Filamentous algae starts growing along the bottom in shallow water or attached to structures in the water (like rocks or other aquatic plants). Often filamentous algae floats to the surface forming large mats, which are commonly referred to as “Pond scums.” There are many species of filamentous algae and often more than one species will be present at the same time in the pond.
Chara is often called muskgrass or skunkweed because of its foul, musty almost garlic-like odor. Chara is a gray-green branched multicellular algae that is often confused with submerged flowering plants. However, Chara has no flower, will not extend above the water surface, and often has a “grainy” or “crunchy” texture. Chara has cylindrical, whorled branches with 6 to 16 branchlets around each node