Why Algae Really Isn't Your Problem

Mark Washburn
Pond algae drives a lot of people crazy.  It can be unsightly, annoying, and sometimes even dangerous.  But it isn't really the problem. 

It's a symptom of the problem.

When you're looking to diagnose and remedy an algae bloom, the key really is to go deeper (no pun intended) and look at what's really driving the growth in your pond.

The culprit is always high nutrients. 

Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are essential for algae growth, and they can come from various sources, including fertilizer runoff, animal waste, and decaying organic matter in the pond. Excessive nutrient levels can lead to an overgrowth of algae, which can then create an unbalanced ecosystem in the pond.

So the real key to managing algae growth is to target those nutrients and reduce them.  You can do this in various ways...through managing runoff and incoming influences with vegetative buffer strips, settling bogs, or dredging if a pond has a lot of muck build up on the bottom.

Using proper aeration, along with supplemental beneficial bacteria can help keep nutrient levels in check as well.

So while algaecides can be useful and even necessary at times, they are not the best way to manage and algae problem long term.  Go to the source of what's really driving the algae blooms and you'll be accurately targeting the real problem.