May 28, 2010, Newsletter Issue #168: Keep Fountain Clean and Combat Algae Bloom

Tip of the Week

All algae are not bad algae. Healthy algae are a natural link in a garden pond fountain ecosystem. However, too much of the “wrong” kind of algae presents a problem for garden fountains. Occasionally, algae blooms turn fountain waters slimy green almost overnight. Free-floating algae strand and globs coat the sides of the fountain, clog fountain pumps and choke out plants. It smells bad. It’s time for action.

For filamentous or erect algae, clean-up begins with physically removing the glutinous strands or globs with a rake, dip net or by hand. Ugh! Although barley works best as an algae inhibitor, it is also a helpful and inexpensive natural alternative to damaging algaecides. Barley straw, pellets or extract degrades in the water and sunlight and creates peroxide that kills algae. Fountain care products like No More Algae liquid also inhibit growth of suspended algae and algae that grow on the sides of fountains.

For recurring algae bloom problems in garden pond fountains, consider investing in a skimmer that collects water and algae and sends them through an attached filter that removes the algae and returns the water. Ultraviolet sterilizers also zap some types of algae with a wavelength of light. Combating an algae attack is never fun. Stop problems before they start with proactive prevention, balance and cleaning.

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