Minnesotan Pond Owners: What causes string algae?

Treating string algae in a Minnesotan pond
String algae is unsightly and can cause pond owners much extra work.  So, where does it come from and how can you control it?
String algae is a plant that grows in long strings or hair-like filaments.  It can get quite long and makes thick mats flowing over rocks.
Because it is a plant, it requires certain things- sun, water, and nutrients.  If one requirement is missing, the algae will not grow.  That is the key to controlling string algae.
In a pond situation, the only variable to control is the amount of nutrients floating around in your pond water.  The nutrients feed string algae.  
Hot summer days algae to grow faster, also.

Ways to Control String Algae 

1. Clean your pond! Remove the muck, dead leaves, and plant matter releasing nutrients as they break down. Remove the nutrients before the algae begin to grow.

2.  Don’t over feed your fish- the extra food releases more nutrients.

3. Clean your filter pads and check your bio-falls for sunken leaves.  For Minnesota ponds, it is helpful to watch when the tree blossoms drop in spring. We remember to remove autumn leaves but the flowers and tree seeds can leach nutrients just as quickly! Flower drop is usually around Mother’s Day in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and maple seeds drop a few weeks after that

4. Treat string algae outbreaks with these fish safe products:EcoBlast– is an “on-contact” treatment. First pull off as much string algae as you can then treat the remaining algae stuck to the rocks with EcoBlast. It may cause your water to be foamy for a while but once the treatment has worked the water will clear up.  The foam is oxygen bubbles released as the EcoBlast attacks the algae.SAB Stream & Pond Cleaner is a combination of beneficial bacteria and enzymes which clean the water.  These cleaners help break down organic debris and balance biological life in the pond.  It also contains a phosphate binder to minimize algae growth. In some cases, simply using an algaecide like Aquascape’s  fish safe algaecide, works well to control string algae and smaller “green water” algae. Algaecide kills algae. It doesn’t remove the excess nutrients so your pond may experience a second “algae bloom” worse than the first one. 
If your pond is struggling with string algae issues, check out our Pond deep clean process or contact us to schedule a deep clean!  Cleaning your pond can be done any time of the year!

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