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How to Prevent Pond Algal Blooms from Developing

how to prevent algal blooms

Vegetation barriers around the pond can help prevent algal blooms.

Excessive pond algae indicate that the natural balance of the pond ecosystem has been compromised. While some algae can be appropriate, too much can wreak havoc on the pond’s appearance and the mini-ecosystem in and around the water. These clusters of algae, called “algal blooms” can also contain cyanobacteria that produce toxins harmful to animals and people. The following techniques help discourage the growth of toxic algal blooms. 

Correctly Identify Algal Blooms

The first step in addressing algal blooms is to identify the algae that have developed. Depending on the body of water, the bloom may manifest as parallel streaks or clumped dots. Some blooms may look like blue, green, or white paint spilled across the water or like bright “pea soup.” Soupy or oily scum on the water surface can also indicate an algal bloom. 

Dispose of Organic Materials Properly 

After yard work, leaves, grass, and other organic debris should be bagged and removed from the pond area. This prevents these materials from accumulating and then decaying in the pond. As these materials decay, they release excessive nutrients that fuel algae growth. 

Create a Beneficial Buffer

Allowing native flowering, deep-rooted vegetation to grow three to five feet from the edge of the pond creates a natural buffer. This buffer intercepts runoff that contains sediment, trash, and other organic materials that would otherwise travel into the pond and release nutrients that contribute to algal blooms. 

Add Aeration 

When paired with nutrient-limiting strategies, floating fountains and diffused aerators can consistently circulate stagnant water and facilitate the conversion of phosphorus and nitrogen into nutrient forms that do not sustain algal blooms. 

Apply Beneficial Bacteria

You can limit algae’s food sources by introducing bacteria and enzymes through a process called biological augmentation. These good bacteria can help consume extra pond nutrients that fuel algal blooms. 

Discourage Waterfowl from Taking Up Residence

Limit waterfowl from overpopulating your pond. Feeding ducks, geese, and other waterfowl encourages them to reproduce at rates beyond the pond’s ability to recycle nutrients from the waterfowls’ waste. Maintaining a higher grown buffer around the pond makes it less inviting to waterfowl taking up residence. 

Regularly Test Water Quality

Proactive water testing can help identify water quality problems before algal blooms start forming. If your pond has irregular oxygen, pH, or nutrient levels, you can address them before any damage is done by testing your water even when it appears healthy. 

If you are seeking the best method for your pond, the experts at Scientific Plant Service can evaluate your pond algal blooms and suggest the best approach. 

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 17th, 2020 at . Both comments and pings are currently closed.