Green is the color of the month. Green beer, green milkshakes, green beans, leafy greens, green, green, green. But we DEFINITELY do NOT want a green pond!!
Unfortunately, this time of year, it is all too common a problem. But, let me set your mind at ease a little, by saying, it is not your fault. March is such a tricky month. Is it cold, is it hot, is it raining, is it snowing, you just never know. The days can be really warm, while the nights might drop down to nearly freezing. March is like a woman experiencing PMS. (Yes, I went to there. Please don’t unfollow me. I am a woman after all!) This is the real reason that your pond is green.
All those mood swings, hot, cold, freezing, raining, make your aquatic plants want to stay in their nice little ball of roots. They don’t want to send tender new shoots out into the frigid waters of the pond. Baby, it’s cold outside, and they want to sleep in!
There is no way to fix that, unless you’re independently wealthy, and can afford to throw a heater on your pond. We did actually have a client do that, but eventually he folded to the high energy rates. It costs a lot to heat a body of water with a several thousand gallons an hour going over a waterfall. That’s exactly what helps keep your pond cooler in the summer, that waterfall. So imagine the chill factor it adds to the water in the colder months! This is the reason ponds in the truly cold states (as a lifelong So Cal resident, I do realize that I don’t know what cold is 😉) shut their waterfalls off in the winter, and have the pond recirculating only underwater. The waterfall just makes the water too cold.
But, as usual, I digress. so, back to your pond. The plants don’t want to grow, but guess what does grow, in great leaps and bounds? Algae! It doesn’t care about the temperature fluctuations, or the snow, or the rain. It cares about nothing except turning your pond into a green, hairy, slimy, mucky mess of gross.
Now, rest assured, none of this algae is going to hurt your fish. In fact, as soon as they warm up a little (March madness got them a little slow like the plants) they will enjoy eating that algae, as long as they are at least twelve inches or so bigger. A fourteen inch koi can do some serious damage on algae, and you can literally watch the algae disappear if you’ve got a hungry twenty four incher in there. But, they aren’t really ready to eat algae like the water cows they are until the weather warms up a bit. They still want to laze about til the warmer water gets their blood circulating.
So, the real question- what do you do about all that algae? You know the plants won’t be up to combatting it for at least another four to six weeks. And you just learned that the fish are also trying their hand at a fishy version of hibernation. Not like a bear, but still not eating like they should.
Well, you can do a whole lotta nuthin, if you want. As I mentioned, the algae isn’t hurting anything. It simply looks unattractive. Very unattractive. But once the fish and the plants finally get into action, they will get the algae more under control. Big fish will eat it, as long as you’re not feeding too much, (and if you have big fish, and you still have string algae, you, my friend, are feeding waaaaay too much!)
Plants will also start out competing it. They absorb the same nutrients as the algae does to grow and multiply, so if you have a good aquatic plant population, they will consume the nutrients that the algae needs, eventually starving it out.
If, however, if that green, hairy, unsightly mess is just too much, you can use The Pond Digger Rock and Waterfall Scrubber. Just shut your pump off and wait until the water stops moving. Sprinkle the scrubber on the algae like Parmesan cheese on your spaghetti. Set a timer for 20 minutes and then turn your pump back on. Sometimes, you have to do one more treatment the second day.
Follow that up with a treatment of The Pond Digger Beneficial Bacteria, and you should be happy as a clam. Now, this is not a preventative. It will not keep algae from growing. You may have to repeat this a few times until the weather warms up. But, it’s a pretty easy process, so it’s not too bad to have to do.
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