String Algae / Water Quality Question

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by ROW FISH, May 17, 2018 at 6:16 PM.

  1. ROW FISH

    ROW FISH

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    My pond which is filtered by a large bog filter and is heavily planted has had string algae issues the past 3 years once the heat of summer hits. I was thinking I may be in the clear this year and the plants and bog were doing most of the work but alas I now have a decent algae (string algae) bloom on my hands. The biggest issue is it went from 40 degree weather to 90 degree weather way to quickly and my tropical water lillies were not given the chance to come out of hibernation and cover the top of the pond to limit sunlight.

    So here is my question...... Do water changes help with algae blooms by taking nutrients out of the water??? Keep in mind I will be replacing the water with tap water. I have honestly not done a water change in well over a year simply because I have not seen the need.

    Note: I have not been feeding my fish hardly at all since algae started popping up around 2-3 weeks ago. I think I have feed them 3-4 times during that time. So overfeeding is not an issue. :)

    Looking forward to yall's input on the issue. If it is an unknown I will go ahead and do the water change and try to find out if it helps or not and report the results.


    Thanks guys
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018 at 6:23 PM
    ROW FISH, May 17, 2018 at 6:16 PM
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  2. ROW FISH

    guitarman023

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    I usually let the string algae grow for the most part, it starves itself out in my case usually within a week or two. I have had issues in the past where it got out of control and I just pulled it out by hand. It grows mostly in my top pond and in the rocks of the waterfall, and can act as a secondary filter, even though it's kind of gross to look at. I usually pull the stringy stuff out by hand, or wrap it around a stick and then throw it on the roots of my plants around the pond. Pretty good fertilizer.
     
    guitarman023, May 17, 2018 at 6:26 PM
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  3. ROW FISH

    Angel

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    for me string algae is a sign of the pond coming back to life. I let the string go for a bit usually in the stream where it happens till it starts to overtake or re channel the flow. to remove it what i do is shut down the stream mid day high sun pour peroxide on it wait 30-45 mins or more clean with a toilet brush dedicated to the pond and then turn on the stream. i do this so far max 2x at the start of my pond.
     
    Angel, May 17, 2018 at 6:57 PM
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  4. ROW FISH

    Jhn

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    You say it is heavily planted, what types of plants did you plant? Do they start growing even when the water is still sort of cold? Are the plants growing loose in the pond or in pots.

    Ideally, you want something that grows quickly, the quicker it grows the more nutrients it takes from the pond starving out various algae forms. Especially, growing loose in the pond.

    Doing a water change with tap water is in all likelihood an exercise in futility. As it will not put much of a dent in the water quality in the pond. Most tap water is full of nutrients to fuel algae growth, as well. Never done a water change on any of my ponds.
     
    Jhn, May 17, 2018 at 7:18 PM
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  5. ROW FISH

    ROW FISH

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    I've included a few recent pictures of the pond. Please note that I am in Houston TX and thus all my pond plants are around all year with the exception of the tropical lilies and the taro in the bog.

    The only plants I have potted are my tropical water lillies and a papyrus.

    I have New Zealand water snowflake everywhere, none of which are in pots. There is botswana wonder, umbrella palm, rainbow water celery, iris, lizards tail, horse tail, spike rush, floating heart all planted within the gravel substrate and boarders of the pond with no soil added.

    For oxygenating plants I have Anacharis throughout, lots of vallisneria grass on the shelves, some cabomba in the deeper area, and some bacopa on one of the shallower shelves.

    Essentially everything green you see in these pictures is planted in the pond with no soil with the exception of the tropical water lilies.

    I have never suffered from water clarity issues just the string algae and it is not my wifes favorite. I am staunchly against using any sort of chemical to control it so just looking for other options that people may have run across.

    In the long term the lillies will soon shade the area and the toads just dropped several clutches of eggs so the tadpoles will be assisting me shortly as well.


    upload_2018-5-17_15-43-18.png upload_2018-5-17_15-43-30.png upload_2018-5-17_15-43-44.png
     
    ROW FISH, May 17, 2018 at 9:55 PM
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  6. ROW FISH

    Jhn

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    I assume you have plenty of circulation in the pond to keep detritus suspended, so it can be removed by mechanical filters.

    You definitely have plenty of plants and some quick growing aggressive ones.

    My pond has a lot of plants and bog similar to yours, and a pretty heavy fish load, along with turtles in the pond . I don’t experience algae of any type even when coming out of winter into spring. I attribute this to the pond being heavily planted and having proper amount of circulation.
    Many of the plants ie water celery, water forget me not, pickerel rush, lotus grow like crazy, especially the water celery, which has grown in around the perimeter of the pond.

    Definitely, not a fan of using chemicals either.

    Pond looks very nice in the pics, hard to see much algae anywhere.

    Just an aside, like the Texas holey rock with plants growing in the holes, very cool looking.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018 at 10:49 PM
    Jhn, May 17, 2018 at 10:43 PM
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  7. ROW FISH

    RobAmy

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    My pond gets string algae too, first in the stream and then the pond. The stream is completely clear now and the pond is getting better everyday. I think as the bio get more established after winter then the algae gets less. Also my plants are getting bigger and bigger helping things along. I get many Mallard ducks so I know I am getting some heavy load in the pond. I usually do nothing but use the net in the mornings on the bottom when the algae settles down during the night. Never any chemicals here.

    I never do water changes, I just add water when needed and I am on a well here.
     
    RobAmy, May 17, 2018 at 11:50 PM
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