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Relaxing by the cool, clear pond, watching your fish swim lazily about and enjoying the beauty and serenity of your blooming water lilies; these are some of the many joys of having a water garden in your yard. However, what happens when this peaceful and calming picture is interrupted by that nagging problem that most water gardeners face at least once per year - green pond water?

The pond condition known as green water is a common condition that is completely harmless to your pond and its inhabitants. But, it is unsightly and it lessens the enjoyment of your pond while this condition is present. The "green" in the green water is simply an explosion of free-floating algae cells that are feeding off of the excess nutrients that are often available in pond water. These excess nutrients can come from overfeeding the pond fish, too many fish in the pond, over fertilization of the pond plants, or from the run-off of fertilizers in your yard. The secret to controlling and eliminating these green water algae is easy - remove the excess nutrients that are feeding the algae from the pond!

There are a number of short-term solutions to the control of green water. While these remedies are often quick to act, they are usually short-term and do not address the longer term conditions that cause green water. Short term remedies include algaecides, which can temporarily kill the free floating algae cells. However, these algaecides can deter the growth of your other pond plants and should only be used sparingly. There are also water treatments called flocculants that can be added to the pond for temporary relief of green water. These products, like TetraPond Water Clarifier, (Available at Big Al’s) cause free floating algae to clump together and become heavy. These algae clumps then sink to the bottom of the pond or get trapped in the pond filter and the pond becomes clear. Flocculants are easy to use and are safe for all fish and plants.

The best long-term solution for the control and elimination of green water in ponds is to have sufficient quantities of pond plants. The more plants in the pond, the better. Pond plants compete with the algae for the available pond nutrients. But, they remove these nutrients more efficiently. They essentially starve out the algae by removing the available food source. There are different plants available to the pond owner for algae control. These include submerged oxygenating plants, lilies, various marginal and bog plants, and a host of others. Consult Big Al’s staff for their recommendations on the quantity and mix needed for your pond. Please remember that it can take time for these plants to acclimate to the pond and the impact on algae growth and green water will take time and patience.

Finally, for those that choose to employ the latest technology for algae control, or for those of you that cannot wait weeks for the plants in your pond to begin working, there is the UV Clarifier (Available at Big Al’s). UV Clarifiers use the power of ultraviolet light waves to kill free floating algae. As pond water passes through the UV Clarifier, it is exposed to the ultraviolet rays. These rays attack the structure of the algae cells and they die! It is an almost surefire way to control algae and green water in garden ponds year round, even in the harshest conditions.

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