Algae growth is one of the many challenges that you would face in your fish farm, aquarium, or pond. In this article, we would show you the 5 Best Ways to Stop Algae Growth in Your Pond. Using practical, cheap and tools locally available to you to solve your algae growth challenges.
While the growth of these green-like creatures might be frightening, they are fairly easy to deal with. In this write-up, we are introducing you to the 5 best ways to stop algae growth and get your aquarium or fish pond looking its best!
The growth of algae in your pond can be problematic for your fish, as they aid in drastic fluctuations of dissolved oxygen, decreases the amount of sunlight that can penetrate the pond, and in some extreme cases might result in the death of your fishes.
When we started our catfish farming business, it wasn’t long before we encountered algae growth, threatening our business interest and decreasing the general aesthetics of the fish ponds, algae growth is such an ugly sight to behold, it is often best to resolve completely the growth of algae or reduce it to it’s barest minimum.
The methods discussed here are tried and tested and proven to work really well when implemented accurately, but before we go into the details, let’s look at why algae grow in your pond or your aquarium, a better understanding of the problem, would aid in better understanding the solutions implemented and help you in making adjustments that might suit your unique situation.
Why Does Algae Grow in a Pond / What Makes Algae Grow in a Pond
Algae growth happens for two reasons:
- Excess nutrients
- Still pond water
Algae grow primarily where there is an excess nutrient. Algae grow to consume those excess nutrients before they become poisonous and kill your fish. So in a way, the growth of algae isn’t entirely bad, they signal to you, a rather expensive problem, i.e overfeeding
The excess nutrients that cause algae to grow to happen when you overfeed your fish, or overstock the pond.
When you overfeed your fish, the excess feed is left in the water, mixes with the water, and increases the nutrient density of the water, with time, algae would grow to consume these nutrients.
Fish are living organisms, what they eat, they digest, and defecate the rest out, overstocking your pond means that there are too many fishes, excreting waste products into the pond, and with time, this waste builds up, providing the substrate for algae to grow.
Even with excess nutrients in a pond, algae would not be able to grow unless the pond water is relatively still. The algae require still ponds in other to grow and multiply in the pond, algae multiplies extremely fast, but this growth can be interrupted by keeping the pond water a little turbulent, giving the algae no room for growth.
Why is Algae Bad for a Pond
Algae growth is bad for the pond especially in fish farming because;
- This causes extreme fluctuations in the dissolved oxygen levels
Algae grow rapidly, consuming a lot of nutrients in the shortest amount of time to voraciously multiply and cover the surface of the pond. While this leads to a reduction in the dissolved nutrient levels, algae are known to produce oxygen during the day but would consume extreme amounts of dissolved oxygen from the pond water at night, effectively depriving your fish of the required oxygen they need for growth, resulting in death.
- They reduce the amount of sunlight that can penetrate the pond water.
Your fish require some amount of sun light for effective metabolism, however, excessive algae growth may result in the algae covering the entire surface of the pond, leaving very little room for sunlight to penetrate the water’s surface
5 Best Ways to Stop Algae Growth in Your Pond
To stop algae growth in a pond, we have to starve the algae of its nutrient sources, and conditions that encourage it to grow in the first place, below are a few tried and tested methods to control, reduce or stop completely the growth of algae in your pond.
- Stop feeding your fish / Reduce the amount of feed
- Utilize Azolla or Duckweeds in your pond
- Consider increasing the movement of water in your pond
- Change the water in your pond
- Reduce the stocking density by sorting it into two or more ponds
Let’s dive deeper to understand the reasoning behind these 5 best ways to stop the growth of algae in your pond.
Stop feeding your fish / Reduce the amount of feed
Excess feed is the primary cause of the excessive growth of algae in your pond, our first recommendation to prevent the growth of algae is to reduce the amount of feed you give the fish for a period of 3 to 7 days to decrease the nutrient levels in the water, but also give the fish an opportunity to consume some of the algae from the surface of the water.
In an earthen pond, you can stop feeding your fish for a longer duration than in other forms of ponds without suffering any losses.
Utilize Azolla or Duckweeds in your pond
Azolla or duckweeds are fish feed supplements that provide almost 40% of crude protein in their dry body mass. When you introduce these to your pond, the excess nutrients from feeding and fish waste would quickly be converted to the growth of these beneficial crops.
Most fish enjoy Azolla a lot, it is estimated that in catfish farming, the introduction of Azolla or duckweeds can aid in reducing the cost of production by almost 40%.
Azolla would take care of the excess nutrients, make the water as clean as possible and also help in reducing your cost of production, this is a double win for you!
Consider increasing the movement of water in your pond
As discussed earlier, ponds with still water surfaces are prone to the growth of algae, to solve this problem, we encourage you to use tools like water fountains, or aerators to increase the movement of water on the surface of the ponds.
The increased movement of water in your pond, would result in a decline in the growth of any kind of algae and also increase the dissolved oxygen levels in your pond.
Change the water in your pond
Sometimes, the only option left is to change the water in your pond regularly to prevent the accumulation of algae which ends up killing the fish.
Changing the water in the pond can be expensive given your location and source of water, and should only be used when you are truly sure that the other methods discussed above can not and would not solve your problem of algae growth in your pond.
Reduce the stocking density by sorting it into two or more ponds
Over stocking can lead to excessive waste accumulation and thus increased growth of algae. One of the best ways to prevent overstocking in catfish farms is to use the fish density calculator.
However, if you had already stocked your pond, try to sort your fish into separate ponds to reduce the amount of waste generated in each pond to tackle the algae growth in your pond.
Utilize Algae Eating Bacteria
Utilize Bacillus bacteria in your pond, to reduce the growth of algae in your pond. Introduce this bacteria in your pond and watch them devour the algae colony in your pond.