How To Get Rid Of Algae In A Pond

I was having a discussion the other day with a friend who said he was having a hard time training his employees. I always tell people that 90% of training is in the hiring itself. Why am I telling you this? Because it also relates to the topic of ‘how to get rid of algae in a pond.’ The dreaded green pea soup.

The three common types of algae are green algae, filamentous algae, and string algae. While you may think maintenance is common sense, it might not be. Simply pulling string algae for example out by the hand can exacerbate the problem. Did you know that whenever string algae is pulled out of the pond it releases millions of spores which cause more algae?

How  to get rid of algae in a pond

One of the first things that you must do is pick the right location. Location is as important for real estate as it is for proper pond placement. The difference can be thousands of dollars in maintenance costs.

Pick a location that gets the most shade. Direct sunlight will speed up the growth of string algae which is common for koi ponds, farm ponds,goldfish ponds and many other ponds that are supposed to be visually appealing. The clearer the water, the more enjoyable it will be for you and your guests. However, try to avoid placing it directly under tree leaves that shed.

Leaves can be a nuisance requiring you to constantly use your skimmer net and remove them. Your pond will be trashed along with the fish in it if this is not done on a regular basis. Tree sap is also acidic so try to avoid that getting into the pond. Which brings us to the next tip… Sometimes all you need to do is add a net above the pond to catch the leaves or to cut a tree branch here and there.

Create your pond base so that you have a sturdy wall on the inside of the pond liner. You don’t want any exposed pond liner (EPDM) because it can dry up, leak, or crack after some years go by. Cover it up by setting the right stones on the inside and along the walls. If you have access to it, use the matrix box provided by Aquascapes. If you do not know how to do this then talk to a pond contractor who does. Done right you should be able to step on the rocks upon completion and not have the rocks give way and fall into the pond. A strong foundation goes a long way.

There is nothing better than to kick back on a hot day with your feet in your pond listening to the sounds of your waterfall. Just make sure you don’t fall in!

You must add constant aeration to the pond to slow down the process of algae blooms. Adding movement to the water using a fine bubble aerator (usually to the deepest section of your pond) will do the trick. Your fish will love you for it. There is NO harm in over-aerating your pond. Add submerged aerators to your little heart’s content.

Using floating plants such as water lilies, lotuses or water hyacinths are not only beautiful but serve a useful purpose as well by keeping sunlight off the surface of the water. You can cover a good percentage of the waters surface using this method and giving the pond more coverage from the sun.

A nice hack is to also use submersible plants that use up nutrients that algae require to grow. Plants that work well include daylilies, waterlilies, water hyacinths, water celery, siberian iris, louisiana iris, yellow loosestrife, sweet potato vine, and coleus.

Snails helps as well. Not escargot! Add these to your pond as they will feed on the algae. Better to add them not not add them.

If you aren’t a fan of snails then try tadpoles. They not only eat algae but mosquitoes and other insects as well.

Don’t over feed your fish. If you can imagine what happens to leftover fish food it just floats to the bottom to rot and decay which also leads to more algae.

Make sure to regularly clean ALL of the filters in the system on a regular basis. You will know how often this is required over time as you monitor your pond. If it is green and funkyup then you need to give it a good rinse. Cleaning filters helps to promote beneficial bacteria which hinders the growth of algae. Clogged filters and green pea soup go hand in hand. And by the way, if you’ve ever had a fish go ‘missing’ and blamed it on the racoons, try checking the filtration system. If you don’t have a filtration system that is fish friendly, your favorite fish can easily get sucked in and die.

Consider using an ultraviolet light sterilizer. These help to break down cell walls and destroys algae.

Vacuum the algae from the pond with a pond vacuum. Make sure no fish are in the pond.

Barley straw plants are beneficial as they add hydrogen peroxide to the pond when they decompose.

A cool hack is to add pond dye to the water. The dye makes the water darker and harder for sunlight to reach the bottom. Not recommended in some cases.

Have the water moving at least once per hour through the filtration system. Speak to your pond contractor for advice on what type of pumps and filters you should be using.

If all else fails, or you just like buying products, give beneficial bacteria and algae water treatments a go. Find them at your local pond store.

Do a local search for a contractor in your area or talk to a friend who has had a good experience with their landscaper to see if you can get some professional help.  It is possible to construct a quality pond on your own but it will take some time.

How to get rid of algae in ponds in 14 steps

Water Features For The Garden

Do you feel the need to spend more time outdoors? In just a month or two from now, the weather should be hitting high 30’s. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a water feature in your backyard that you can enjoy in the early mornings or evenings when you are back from work? After scouring the web in search of the perfect water features for the garden, our customers came across WaterfallNow. They now love to invite friends over for barbeques, drinks, and sitting out in the evenings by their beautiful water features.

Many people are starting to look for the best ways to decorate their gardens for the summer of 2014, which is ‘likely’ to be the hottest on record – at least in the UK. But let’s just pretend it will also be the same case in BC, Canada just so that I don’t have to figure out the El Nino patterns and other weather related information. If you feel the need to educate me please do.

Here are some ideas of water features for the garden ideas that you can implement this summer. 

1. Drop by the nearest pond and water garden nursery in your area. Once at the store you can browse determine the types of flowers, plants, and designs that you like best. If you are unsure of what plants to buy, ask the staff if they can assist you. Certain plants thrive better in the shade or in damp areas. These are the types of plants that you would want to incorporate into your water garden. Man-made water features look great when combined with the right plants. The plants add greenery and help to provide a more realistic looking water feature as you would find in nature.

2. Do you want a pond? Ponds are undoubtedly beautiful but only if maintained. They can require a lot of manual labour from taking the rocks out, cleaning the basin, putting the rocks back in, so on so forth. Without this maintenance the pond will eventually turn into green pea soup which I’ve seen a lot of. How deep do you want the pond to go? Before you dig, call http://www.bconecall.bc.ca/. It is free to call. Don’t do any digging without calling to avoid causing damage to any pipelines, telecommunication cables, sewage lines, and electrical wires.

Back in our landscaping days we used to get calls to do maintenance on ponds – something that we often didn’t look forward to. You may be familiar with a TV show called dirty jobs. That’s what cleaning these ponds resembled. It was a dirty, disease ridden mess. Eventually some of them called us in after they’d had enough maintaining the ponds and asked us to fill the pond with dirt and lay fresh turf over top. Problem solved. The racoons on the other hand weren’t as happy because there was no longer any fish to eat.

Some people don’t realize that having a pond requires continual maintenance. (Slap my head). It DOES. But, some people actually enjoy working on their ponds on a daily basis. If not, then a pond might not be your best choice.

All ponds require some level of maintenance. When you are looking to care for koi fish you must keep the water clean otherwise the fish will develop diseases and die. Using a variety of water plants such as water lilies or water cress can help to naturally clean the water. There are different schools of thought on whether or not you should have a gravel or dirt bed. I prefer to go without the gravel basin. If you are going to make a pond, don’t make a small pond because the fish will grow. It is also an addicting hobby and you may wish you had a bigger pond.

If you already have a pond then you probably have a grasp by now of how they need constant cleaning. We prefer the pondless or invisible waterfall water feature designs to minimize maintenance and maximize the time spent enjoying the project. Ponds are undoubtedly an excellent addition but unkempt ponds harbour diseases, mosquitoes, and are unattractive. Make sure you know what you are getting into.

20 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Build a Koi Pond – Watch this very informative video

3. Decide on how much space you have to allocate to a water feature for your garden. For smaller gardens, focus on height to maximize horizontal space. WaterfallNow is fairly good at doing this as our lightweight artificial rock panels can be stacked to any height. Natural rocks typically require more horizontal space to achieve the desired cascading effects of mini waterfalls.

4. Pondless features are gaining in popularity. WaterfallNow’s pondless water feature system means that you can run these rock fountains in all 4 seasons with no maintenance. Just add water and let it run. To clean our rocks simply spray them with a pressure washer. You can even change the colour of the rocks from one year to the next using a special paint. They can be set to run on a timer or set up to a remote control switch. This would allows you to switch on the rock waterfall sitting in your backyard at night from inside your home.

These look spectacular at night when the floodlights are shining on them. The occasional sweeping of leaves and other debris that might otherwise clog the water pump and ensuring that the water level does not get too low is the majority of the maintenance requirements. Should you decide to not run the waterfall in the winter we advise to drain the water basin, disconnect the water pump, give it a rinse, and store it indoors to prevent cracking or damage to the internal parts from freeze-thaw. They can be set up again simply by connecting the water pump back to the hose, adding water to the mini pond and turning the water feature back on.

The majority of WaterfallNow’s rock fountains are pondless meaning the size of the pond is built to hold just enough water for the water feature to operate.

Add a faux rock water feature to your backyard for stunning results

Water Features For The Garden

5. Determine the type of sound that you want to achieve. Taller water features often produce more of the crashing sounds of water. The amount of water pressure or the size of the pump used plays a significant role in the sounds. There are low-sound water pumps that can reduce sound coming directly from the pumps motor. If you prefer a smaller trickling sound consider a cascading waterfall feature. The horizontal movement of water followed by small overhangs produces very relaxing sounds. WaterfallNow can adjust all of these sounds by adjusting the angle and speed of water flow.

6. Do you want something permanent or moveable? This is one of the decisions that one must make when working with concrete which is permanent. WaterfallNow used to use concrete until we realized how little our customers could use their water features. The damage from weathering over the years meant multiple leaks and cracks which can cost a lot of money to constantly repair. But that was back in the day. GFRC concrete employed today is much more durable. WaterfallNow no longer employs concrete but uses fibreglass instead. It can be as strong as steel while remaining flexible enough to avoid cracking. Should something crack we can easily repair it. Sometimes our customers will call us a year later to come and add another section to their rock waterfall. Other times our customers will sell their home and call us to help them move the rock fountain to their new home. It is all about your personal preference. WaterfallNow caters to a wide-variety of requests.

7. What kind of lighting do you want to use? Many of our customers enjoy the backyard paradises that we’ve created for them. Some of the pool waterfalls which we don’t have any pictures of look amazing at night. The white floodlights shine on the waterfall spillway while purple, blue, and green lights all create a unique ambiance. We are very proud of some of the projects that we’ve created because of how happy our customers are. It is only a matter of time until more people can experience the joy of enjoying their own backyard paradise with a water feature built the way they had in mind.

Rock waterfalls not your thing? Then check out articles from popular sites for other ideas:

Visit Houzz to brainstorm some visual ideas of water features for the garden. It won’t be long until you find yourself sitting outside in the summer with a cold drink glad about the choices that you made.

HGTV – 15 unique garden water features: outdoors home & garden television

Pinterest – This is currently the most popular and fastest growing social media website to view photos and get ideas for  garden water features.

For updates and free stuff head on over to our Facebook page and let us know what you like best about garden water features.

Water Features For The Garden – Just Add Water

Water Garden Plants

Are you wondering what type of water garden plants to use on an outdoor rock waterfall? Consider choosing water-loving species to landscape your rock waterfall. Choosing the right water garden plants makes a significant difference in the look and feel of the waterfall as the different colors help to contrast the rocks from the surrounding landscape.

Having an outdoor rock waterfall in your backyard or as part of your landscaping is a feature growing in popularity because of its beauty, serenity and appeal. Moreover, people aren’t just looking for something everyone has seen before. WaterfallNow seeks out the wow factor in every blank slate.

Selecting the right water garden plants to complement and complete your outdoor rock waterfall is often an overlooked element to creating a beautiful finished product. Plant along the rock face, along the pond, along the water’s edge, and if you have one, on the pond. Depending on the location you may be able to employ artificial plants for less maintenance, less hassle. WaterfallNow provides a selection of artificial plants including artificial turf, artificial moss, artificial fungi, and artificial bonsais that complements each waterfall.

A mixture of decorative plants such as water lilies, along with fillers such as moss, fungi, or ferns all help to give the outdoor or even indoor rock waterfall a more natural and balanced look. The difference in a properly landscaped waterfall vs. a waterfall without the finishing touches is massive. These can be placed around the rock face to add more detail.

Sample slideshow found online from a random water garden landscaping company. Shows how easy it can be.

Also see:

How to Landscape a Garden Waterfall

How to Make a Stone Waterfall

The following are just some ideas of water garden plants to consider but you can use any type of plant you wish.

Trees

We have employed many different types of trees from regular coniferous to exotic palm trees. The use of trees create an excellent impression of a more realistic rock waterfall. Keep in mind that different trees drop different leaves that may end up in the pond which in turn may clog the pumps and drainage. Outdoor ponds can have screening systems put in place to prevent these clogs altogether.

Shrubs

Shrubs are great in combination with trees to add more interest and beauty to your outdoor rock waterfall. (juniper, holly, yucca, dracaenas, camellia, azaleas, viburnum).

Ferns

Ferns are a type of plant that look exceptional when placed around the rock waterfall as they add more realism. Select ferns that are best acclimatized to your local area for best results.

Vines

An area WaterfallNow has not yet tapped into just yet but are without a doubt an excellent addition to the backdrop or even to be placed on or around an outdoor rock waterfall.

Flowers

Flowers help to add color and depth to any rock waterfall. You can get creative with this area and select plants that best contrast with the colour of your outdoor rock waterfall.

Mosses

WaterfallNow has artificial fungi and mosses that we place on the rock face of our outdoor and indoor rock waterfalls. These help to add increased realism and a more natural look to the waterfall.

Aquatic

Water lilies are a good option for your koi pond to add color and interest to the water feature. Other options are lotus flowers, yellow floating hearts, and water poppies to fulfill said goals. Plants that can be planted along the waters edge include blue-eyed grass, or golden sweet flags as they both thrive along water in moist soil or shallow water. Other plants suited for growing around a rock waterfall are the pink bog primrose, the busy lizzie, or the sierra shooting star (thrives in sandy, clay, or regular moist soil). Cannas are a good option that thrive in moist soil and full sunlight.

Several benefits of aquatic plants are:
  • Improving pond health,
  • Assist in clarifying the water,
  • Help filter the nutrients and hinder algal blooms,
  • Offer a shelter for fish

Grasses

WaterfallNow employs both natural grass as well as artificial grass. Give us a call to book a FREE estimate and secure a spot on our waiting list.

Moses 778-788-8603   email: crwaterfalls@gmail.com
Solomon 604-724-4008

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