POnd algea

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by kipcom, Sep 18, 2004.

  1. kipcom

    kipcom LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 352

    I have a 2 acre retention pond that I cant seem to get rid of the floating pond algea that grows up from the bottom, mostly around the edges. I have used liquid copper sulfate from Lesco and it seems to take it down but never gets rid of it. Any ideas ??
     
  2. fouracres

    fouracres LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    We have a ~1 acre pond (10 feet deep) and use a blue pond dye every spring. In google type:

    "blue pond dye"

    Lots of options. I think we buy True Blue. A bit expensive for large ponds, on this forum I think we have a small lake... It keeps the algae and "pond scum" to a minimum.
     
  3. jd boy

    jd boy LawnSite Member
    from nw ohio
    Posts: 173


    here is the deal... all of those types of products, although they seem to help, are only masking the real problem. You can continue using these products (dye, copper sulfate, etc) forever with some effect. However you will notice that slowly you will have to add more and more just to keep up.

    The basis to you your problem is an excess of nutrients, mainly nitrogen based. That is why you will, over time, have trouble keeping up. Because you are not getting rid of the extra organic matter it will keep building up. Possible causes could include: too heavy a fish load, leaves, grass clippings from mowing around the pond, extra fish food, fertilizer.
     
  4. kipcom

    kipcom LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 352

    JD...so I hear you on the causes.....what about any solutions ??
     
  5. jd boy

    jd boy LawnSite Member
    from nw ohio
    Posts: 173

    Now, that you know what the problem is, it is time to rectify it.

    First step is to provide more oxygen. There is tons of beneficial bacterial already living in your pond, but chances are they're starved for oxygen. This is because the decompostion process from dead algae, leaves, etc uses ALOT of the available oxygen. If more is provided the bacteria can better keep up and help break down some of this excess. In fact most typciall ponds of this size are divided into 3 distinct layers. The bottom layer is where all the sludge and junk are extrimely thick. The co2 levels (again from the decompostion) are so heavy no life can exist at the bottom of your pond. The longer this problem goes untreated the higher this level can reach, giving the aquatic life less and less space to live in.

    There are a lot of ways to provide excess air to your pond. Hands down the most efficient and effective is with a bottom diffuser. This will turn the entire water table over while providing oxygen. This is important for several reasons.

    1. If you only run your aerator / bottom diffuser for 3 hours, 3 times a day you are constantly turning the water table over. This causes the water temperature to constantly change because you are bringing the cold water from the bottom up. Algae only proliferates in warm stagnent water(where the temp doesnt fluctuate much). Thus you are fighting what you already have, while providing more oxygen to break down the nutrients that cause it. 2 birds with one stone!
     
  6. jd boy

    jd boy LawnSite Member
    from nw ohio
    Posts: 173

    Really this theory is very much the same as the Aquascape principal, just on a bigger scale.

    Now that you have your bottom diffuser / aerator going and are getting some oxygen to the depths of your pond you need to spike the levels of bacteria. Long term your pond can only play host to so much bacteria, but by spiking these levels you can quickly help clean up the excess nutrient problem. It will take a lot of bacteria for 3- 6 months since this process has never been done before. After that spiking levels every other month will be sufficient.

    The best product on the market is called BIO-CLEAN. It comes in a 25# bucket.

    If you are interested let me know, I can help you further. Aerators can be expensive, but I built mine for about $500
     
  7. jd boy

    jd boy LawnSite Member
    from nw ohio
    Posts: 173

    FYI-

    That bio-clean isn't cheap (close to $300). BUT that will last you almost 2 years.

    Also, in indiana you're too late to do anything this year. The bacteria doesnt' work in water below 55 degrees. You could still install the aerator.
     
  8. JMH

    JMH LawnSite Member
    from Erie PA
    Posts: 1

    Do you have a description on how you built your aerator?
     
  9. jd boy

    jd boy LawnSite Member
    from nw ohio
    Posts: 173

    yeah,

    Very simple to build. The only important thing to remember, which I learned the hard way is that the air coming out of the compressor will travel to the area of least resistance. This is important because on ponds the size of what were talking about (1/2 acre or larger) you are going to want at least 2 bottom diffusers.

    Thus the most important thing you do when building your set up is to put a ball valve after the compressor but before the diffuser to regulate how much air will go to each diffuser. Othewise all the air will go to the diffuser that is located in the shallowest part of the pond (Obviously it takes more work to push the air deeper)
     
  10. jd boy

    jd boy LawnSite Member
    from nw ohio
    Posts: 173

    so the guts of the system are as follows...

    starting in the water 1. bottom diffuser (you can make this item by stretching rubber over an air stone, but the ones you will purchase will produce much smaller bubbles, a characteristic that is important)

    2. Air line
    I used 1/2" pvc but had to weigh it down, otherwise it floats. It cost me $35 / 100' roll

    3. Compressor (air pump)
    This is the most expensive component. The size you need will depend on how deep you pond is, how far the diffusers will be place from the pump, and how many diffusers you will use.

    4. Manifold
    This is the system you will construct using threaded nipples, elbows, ball valves, etc to adjust air flow equally to all diffusers.



    Sound complicated, but very simple. If you look at www.ridgeviewcorners.com you will see examples of pre- assembled kits of exactely what I just described. Notice they sell for $350-900. I built mine for $275, and the pump was $150.
     

Share This Page