Algae problem


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Do you have neighbors that can sprinkle it for you or younger ( adult or mature teen) family that visit? The problem as I see it, is that the water has too many nutrients, and nothing but algae to devour them. At this point, chlorine isn’t effective. The algae is thriving. Request from a friend, relatives, neighbors, the company that installed the pond feature, a pressure washing of the feature. If it removes the black gunk, you can try again, but the problem will return. As a long term solution, you need shade, and something to out compete the algae for nutrients. Would you be open to tall native rushes along the sides that wouldn’t block your view? They would add a nice pop of vibrant green, depending on the species, and at most, get waist high. Easily kept in planters along the sides.
The other thing you mentioned is that you seem to have pump problems regularly. May I suggest you try a different brand/ style, there are some that are not submerged, just the hose is, thus preventing the seals from chlorine damage. Please do research, contact the sales company for best advise, and find one that will work for you. You are obviously highly intelligent to have had the job you did, chemistry is beyond me, I’m horrible at math, but I see that frustration has gotten to you on this. Take a moment and decide if the water feature is something you wish to keep. It’s beautiful, but requires upkeep. You can either find a way to reduce the workload of this, accept what nature will do with it, or hire the work out. Many companies that install such things either do service them, or can point you in the right direction to find someone who can.
Personally, I enjoy the smell of water lillies, and will do my best to always have some in my pond. The flowers are pretty, the smell is subtle but nice, and bees love them. The addition of a few select plants could save you much work, stress and money. However, if you prefer not to have them, you can either accept the algae as part of the feature or try to get help with applying what will work.
 
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Power washing will absolutely remove it. I have no doubt about that.

And you don't have to bend over to sprinkle the powder - if the pond is empty, just toss handfuls of the sodium percarbonate. No need to be laser specific, just cover the surface. If you do it while the surfaces are still damp, it will cling to the rocks, even if they are completely vertical.

It's interesting that you mention the right half of the pond - what's different about the right half?
 
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Do you have neighbors that can sprinkle it for you or younger ( adult or mature teen) family that visit? The problem as I see it, is that the water has too many nutrients, and nothing but algae to devour them. At this point, chlorine isn’t effective. The algae is thriving. Request from a friend, relatives, neighbors, the company that installed the pond feature, a pressure washing of the feature. If it removes the black gunk, you can try again, but the problem will return. As a long term solution, you need shade, and something to out compete the algae for nutrients. Would you be open to tall native rushes along the sides that wouldn’t block your view? They would add a nice pop of vibrant green, depending on the species, and at most, get waist high. Easily kept in planters along the sides.
The other thing you mentioned is that you seem to have pump problems regularly. May I suggest you try a different brand/ style, there are some that are not submerged, just the hose is, thus preventing the seals from chlorine damage. Please do research, contact the sales company for best advise, and find one that will work for you. You are obviously highly intelligent to have had the job you did, chemistry is beyond me, I’m horrible at math, but I see that frustration has gotten to you on this. Take a moment and decide if the water feature is something you wish to keep. It’s beautiful, but requires upkeep. You can either find a way to reduce the workload of this, accept what nature will do with it, or hire the work out. Many companies that install such things either do service them, or can point you in the right direction to find someone who can.
Personally, I enjoy the smell of water lillies, and will do my best to always have some in my pond. The flowers are pretty, the smell is subtle but nice, and bees love them. The addition of a few select plants could save you much work, stress and money. However, if you prefer not to have them, you can either accept the algae as part of the feature or try to get help with applying what will work.
No, all of our neighbors are older and more frail than me. Out next door neighbor died a couple weeks ago. We do have a son-in-law who is able get into the pond and sprinkle the powder but he always says he will come and do things we need but never does. We do have a handy man who occasionally does odd jobs for us who might be willing to do it.

I think I will ask the landscape company which built the pond and waterfall to come and power wash the pond basin. I do not remember whom but someone replied to my query stating that they did not think it was a good idea to have this company put another layer of colored, textured concrete over the entire pond basin. But, most of the colored, textured concrete covering the basin has worn off and exposed the base white concrete (except at the right end of the pond which is covered with hard, black, dead algae). Therefore, I do not understand why it would not be a good idea to simply power wash and scrape as much of the dead algae away and apply a new layer of colored, textured concrete.

I don't think that adding plants like rushes to the sides of the pond would help much because the sides of the pond are only about two to three feet wide. Furthermore, I already have Yerba mansa plants all around the pond which grow to about two feet high. But, admittedly, the Yerba mansa shrivel up during the summer but come back strong in the Fall and Winter. Plus, I do not think that would add much shade. The pond faces East and West with the back of the pond to the East. Thus, the sun is very high and directly overhead for most of the day. At most, adding another foot of shade to the very short sides of the pond would result in reduced shade for at most only an hour or so a day in the summer.

As for my pump problems, yes, I have had pump problems from almost the very beginning. BUT THE COMPANY WHICH BUILT THE POND AND WATERFALL HAVE REPLACED ALL MY PUMPS AND EXPERIMENTED WITH A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT BRANDS (NOT JUST WITH ME BUT WITH ALL THEIR CUSTOMERS). My first pump and the pump I have now as well as ALL the other pumps I have had which lasted more than a year is a Leader Ecosub. The other brands this company tried with me lasted only 10 minutes to a few weeks. Yes, one pump lasted only 10 minutes. By the time the person who installed the pump had turned the corner of the street, that pump had died and I had an oil slick on the water in the pond. After years of testing various brands, my company has concluded that the Leader Ecosub is the best pump but also cautions that it usually lasts only about six months beyond the one year warranty.

I am not sure how a non-submersible pump would work without an unsightly hose coming our of the pond and up to the top. Also, I am not sure what you mean by reduce the workload (I assume of the pump). The specs for this pump are far and away of what I need in terms of height and volume. In fact, this same pump is used for the waterfall at the entrance to a 50-plus community just two miles down the road and this waterfall is HUGE (approximately 30 ft high and 40 ft wide at the base. And, yes, the manager of this community has had the same, constant pump problems but also has concluded that the Leader Ecosub pump lasts the longest (1-2 years).

I have tried to look into water lilies. But, first, my wife reminded me that I tried putting water lilies into the pond (in pots with the flowers just above the water level) when we first had it built 18 years ago and they all died within a few weeks. I have read that water lilies like still water and "filtered shade" but my pond has neither. The waterfall is huge compared to the size of the pond and, thus, there is a lot of turbulence in the water (which we love).

Also, would any species of water lily survive 115 F-plus temps (for prolonged periods of time) in the summer and freezing temps in the winter? In regard to the water temperature of the water going into the pond, in the summer, we can take a very comfortable shower with very warm water using the "cold water tap" and not using any hot water.

Any replies to my comments and answers to your suggestions would be greatly welcomed.

Thank you very much for your help!!
 
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Joined
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North Oklahoma
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No, all of our neighbors are older and more frail than me. Out next door neighbor died a couple weeks ago. We do have a son-in-law who is able get into the pond and sprinkle the powder but he always says he will come and do things we need but never does. We do have a handy man who occasionally does odd jobs for us who might be willing to do it.

I think I will ask the landscape company which built the pond and waterfall to come and power wash the pond basin. I do not remember whom but someone replied to my query stating that they did not think it was a good idea to have this company put another layer of colored, textured concrete over the entire pond basin. But, most of the colored, textured concrete covering the basin has worn off and exposed the base white concrete (except at the right end of the pond which is covered with hard, black, dead algae). Therefore, I do not understand why it would not be a good idea to simply power wash and scrape as much of the dead algae away and apply a new layer of colored, textured concrete.

I don't think that adding plants like rushes to the sides of the pond would help much because the sides of the pond are only about two to three feet wide. Furthermore, I already have Yerba mansa plants all around the pond which grow to about two feet high. But, admittedly, the Yerba mansa shrivel up during the summer but come back strong in the Fall and Winter. Plus, I do not think that would add much shade. The pond faces East and West with the back of the pond to the East. Thus, the sun is very high and directly overhead for most of the day. At most, adding another foot of shade to the very short sides of the pond would result in reduced shade for at most only an hour or so a day in the summer.

As for my pump problems, yes, I have had pump problems from almost the very beginning. BUT THE COMPANY WHICH BUILT THE POND AND WATERFALL HAVE REPLACED ALL MY PUMPS AND EXPERIMENTED WITH A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT BRANDS (NOT JUST WITH ME BUT WITH ALL THEIR CUSTOMERS). My first pump and the pump I have now as well as ALL the other pumps I have had which lasted more than a year is a Leader Ecosub. The other brands this company tried with me lasted only 10 minutes to a few weeks. Yes, one pump lasted only 10 minutes. By the time the person who installed the pump had turned the corner of the street, that pump had died and I had an oil slick on the water in the pond. After years of testing various brands, my company has concluded that the Leader Ecosub is the best pump but also cautions that it usually lasts only about six months beyond the one year warranty.

I am not sure how a non-submersible pump would work without an unsightly hose coming our of the pond and up to the top. Also, I am not sure what you mean by reduce the workload (I assume of the pump). The specs for this pump are far and away of what I need in terms of height and volume. In fact, this same pump is used for the waterfall at the entrance to a 50-plus community just two miles down the road and this waterfall is HUGE (approximately 30 ft high and 40 ft wide at the base. And, yes, the manager of this community has had the same, constant pump problems but also has concluded that the Leader Ecosub pump lasts the longest (1-2 years).

I have tried to look into water lilies. But, first, my wife reminded me that I tried putting water lilies into the pond (in pots with the flowers just above the water level) when we first had it built 18 years ago and they all died within a few weeks. I have read that water lilies like still water and "filtered shade" but my pond has neither. The waterfall is huge compared to the size of the pond and, thus, there is a lot of turbulence in the water (which we love).

Also, would any species of water lily survive 115 F-plus temps (for prolonged periods of time) in the summer and freezing temps in the winter? In regard to the water temperature of the water going into the pond, in the summer, we can take a very comfortable shower with very warm water using the "cold water tap" and not using any hot water.

Any replies to my comments and answers to your suggestions would be greatly welcomed.

Thank you very much for your help!!
If the original colored coating is gone, then after pressure washing, a new coating would be visually pleasing as well as possibly ensuring a good waterproof seal. But I’d suggest they remove the black gunk first, and not trap it between layers.
Since you know your area and weather, I won’t try strong arming you into plants, my only point was that they could compete with algae for nutrients and starve it out so you maintain clearer water. I’m sure a variety exists that could do the job, providing a bit of shade as well as removing what the algae’s feeding on, eventually starving it out for clear water. And sadly, water lilies don’t like turbulence, but it’s nice to know you tried them.
So may I suggest you get the water tested? Test for nitrites, nitrates, ammonia , and if it’s done at a lab instead of aquarium style testing with limited options for what is tested, fertilizers. I’d suggest you test plain tap water as well as pond water, which will tell you if your pond is contaminated by these compounds or if it’s from the source water. Things like dead algae breaking down can reasonably increase some values, but if there’s a leak of fertilizer in your drinking water, I expect you would want to know. The town I use to live in failed to inform folks until they were made to just how bad the water was, claimed it had the bad results due to over chemical treatment and not enough agitation, but water had to run from the tap several minutes to run clean , and a glass of “ clean” water still left a layer of particulates on the bottom after setting an hour. Baths were gritty from it, months before they said anything. So I don’t exactly trust the government to give the full unabridged truth in a timely manner. They also denied lead in the water but it was very much there.
 

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