There’s no doubt that algae is one of the biggest problems that you may face with your backyard pond. Keeping the algae growth under control can be especially challenging when the pond is still new, as it doesn’t yet have the precise balance needed.
If you’re having trouble with your new backyard pond — or if you’re suddenly having an algae growth problem with a pond you’ve had for years — you can use the following tips to get the balance just right!
Equip Yourself by Using the Right Pond Equipment
Algae in any backyard pond, whether it’s a simple water garden or a more complex koi pond, can often be prevented simply by having the right equipment.
You usually need to start with a quality pump. Your pump needs to be capable of moving at least 50% of the entire pond capacity to be effective in algae prevention for your backyard pond.
If you have koi in your pond, it’s better to opt for a quality pump that is capable of moving a full 100% of the entire pond capacity for algae prevention. More koi can mean more algae and thus require a stronger pump.
In addition to a pump, you’ll want to make sure you have a properly sized pond filter. The filter is crucial for making sure that the water stays clean and the algae stays away. However, be aware that optimal filtration can take at least a few weeks to establish, so get your equipment in place as soon as possible.
A pond skimmer can also be a crucial piece of equipment, as it gets rid of a significant portion of debris before it can get traction to cause algae growth. The skimmer is a mechanical component that will require little attention from you, although it does require regular maintenance.
Check Your Construction to Prepare for Success
One thing that is sometimes overlooked when people are trying to get rid of backyard pond algae is the basic construction of the pond. If your pond isn’t constructed properly from the start, your pond is much more susceptible to algae.
- The Deep Zone: Optimally, a backyard pond needs a deep zone covering around 40% of the total surface. The deep zone should be a minimum of 2-3 feet deep if your backyard pond is a water feature and 2.5-3 feet deep if you have a koi pond.
- The Middle Zone: Additionally, your middle zone should be around 2 feet deep and should expand over about 30% of the total surface.
- The Shallow Zone: The shallow zone of the pond should take up the remainder of the surface (around 30%.)
The three zones need to be blend together smoothly with a moderate slope. While the percentages can be tweaked a bit according to your pond goals, it’s best to shoot for the fairly even balance described above.
Another important aspect of pond construction is proper placement. You don’t want the pond situated at the bottom of a slope.
Rainwater can travel down a slope and into the pond, and it can then prompt fast algae growth. While you may not be able to relocate your pond at this time, you can add barriers that prevent rainwater from getting into the pond.
Pick Your Plants Properly
When it comes to water gardens, having the right types of plants and the right amount of plants is essential. Certain plants — namely those that are placed underwater — prevent algae by using extra pond nutrients for themselves.
Floating plants such as water lilies keep the algae from getting sunlight, which in turn prevents algae growth. Overall, around two-thirds of the water surface should be covered.
While having the right plant balance is very important in preventing algae buildup, it’s also important that you don’t have too many fish in the pond if you have koi.
Make Maintenance a Priority
A certain amount of debris accumulation is normal — but it can quickly grow out of control if you allow it to grow more than around 1/4 of an inch. Your skimmer (and an occasional net sweeping) will do some of the job.
Additionally, professional removal of the remaining debris on the bottom of the pond is still needed if you want to prevent algae problems.
A backyard pond needs maintenance from the professionals if it’s to look and function at its best. Here at Universal Aquatics, it’s our mission to help you maintain the most beautiful and functional backyard pond possible.
We can help you choose the right plants, the right fish, and the right algae treatment and prevention measures. A beautiful backyard pond is well within your reach! Call us anytime at (404)-680-2150 to schedule a maintenance visit!