Algae are simple, photosynthetic organisms ranging from microscopic single-celled organisms to large seaweeds that thrive in aquatic and terrestrial environments.
There is nothing wrong with small amounts of algae in organic pond ecosystems, but excessive growth can be concerning.
What is an Algae bloom?
The rapid aggregation of algae in freshwater or marine water is often called an algae bloom. Bodies of water will change color when this process occurs, and they will typically appear murkier. An algae bloom often occurs when specific nutrients are introduced to the water, contaminants, or several other environmental factors. Regardless of how it began, this rapid algae growth will harm the water ecosystem.
How Does Algae Bloom Form?
If high amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen enter the water, these nutrients could cause algae to bloom. These minerals often come from nitrogen and phosphatic fertilizers used on farmland and fields that make their way into a body of water when it rains. In some cases, contaminated water can also flow in from oceans and rivers.
Algae blooms can also happen if the water is imbalanced with nutrients. If you overfeed your fish or stormwater gets into it, algae grow excessively. And a lack of filtration in pond water can also lead to such a problem.
An algae bloom can also result from sewage and waste contaminating a body of water. Raw sewage contains large amounts of ammonia and nitrates. Nitrogen compounds, and when drainage systems are poor, these nutrients reach pond water and create algae bloom. Industrial waste is rich in heavy toxic waste, including lead, nitrogen, and phosphorus. If not regulated, this waste can also end up in water streams and ponds, boosting algae growth.
Bacteria can almost always be found in water and our atmosphere, waiting to be activated when the chance arrives. If something that has died is present in water, algae bacterium gets activated. Nutrients in water and dead organic matter combine to boost the high growth of algae and can cause algae to bloom.
High temperatures, abundant light, and stable wind conditions can also cause algae to bloom over time, even without these additional nutrients and contaminants.
It should also be noted that if a body of water is slow-moving, it might encourage algae growth. Algae grow better in slow-moving water than in fast-growing streams or rivers.
How to Prevent & Reduce Algae Bloom?
Usually, suspended algae is responsible for algae bloom in ponds. This pond bloom usually occurs in spring and starts to clear up as the temperature rises. If the pond bloom persists even with warmer temperatures, follow these algal bloom prevention methods:
- To limit sunlight exposure, use aquatic plants like water lilies or floating plants as shade on the pond. Single-celled algae in the water typically grow fast when exposed to excessive sunlight.
- If you add marginal pond plants to the water, they can consume nutrients from the water and reduce algae growth. Bloody dock, corkscrew rush, pennywort, pickerel, aquatic mint, water iris, and canna lily are some of your best options.
- You should feed only a necessary amount of food to pond fish to avoid adding extra nutrients to the water. The fish should consume your food in around 5 minutes. Be sure to remove any leftovers.
- Avoid overcrowding fish in a pond to minimize excessive waste generation. Remember, when it comes to fish, a good rule of thumb is to provide at least 10 gallons of water per inch of fish to ensure they have enough space to grow.
- Using an ultraviolet filtration system, you can control and reduce the number of algae, bacteria, and protozoa in the pond. UV water filters emit germicidal rays, which can reduce the presence of organisms like algae and bacteria. So, a UV filter is also good for the pond ecosystem, reducing fish diseases without leaving harmful residues.
Understanding the causes and consequences of algae blooms is essential for pond owners who strive for clean and healthy water. By implementing preventative measures and effective filtration systems like Aqua Ultraviolet’s water filters, you can significantly reduce the occurrence of algae blooms.
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