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What Kind of Algae do you Have?

May 8, 2018

Pond algae can come in many forms, and each pond ecosystem can produce a variety of different species of algae. Algae can form from a variety of factors, including excess nutrients, hot weather, stagnant water and gas build up, just to name a few. Once you identify your algae, the easier it is to treat. But how do you know what kind you have?

Below are several forms of algae that are common in ponds. Find which algae you have and the best way to keep it under control this summer!

      1. Chara Algae     

Chara is a form of algae that often gets mistaken for a weed. It forms a stem and leaf-like structures, but it will be free-floating in the water without roots. Chara has foul smell and a grainy texture. If you crush it between your fingers, it smells like garlic. When left in the sun and out of the water, it will turn to and ashy-grey color. 

Chara can be difficult to control. We recommend using a combination of Mizzen® algaecide with Copper Sulfate at higher label rates to kill this plant. If the plant becomes calcified, it may become harder to treat.

2.       Filamentous Algae 

Filamentous algae is often referred to as pond scum. It can form in mats on top of the water and look like thick, green slime. This algae can form on rocks and other things underneath the water as well. If filamentous algae covers the entire surface of the pond, it can block out the sunlight and deplete the oxygen in the water for fish.

Filamentous algae can be treated by using Mizzen® Algaecide every 4-6 weeks, or as needed when algae returns.

3.    Planktonic Algae 

Planktonic algae can will look like your water is changing color. It can be present throughout the whole water column. This green or blue-green algae can make your pond look like pea soup or paint. Planktonic algae will stick to things, like rocks, docks, or shorelines.

Planktonic algae can be treated with Mizzen® Algaecide.

Now that you know what kind of algae you have, it will make it easier to figure out a plan for treatment. Mizzen® Algaecide and Copper Sulfate will be the go-to products for treating any of these types of algae. We also recommend applying nutrient reducers, like SparKlear®, to help reduce the excess nutrients in your pond and help with water clarity. These can be applied once a month.

Visit our website at LakeRestoration.com to find all of our weed and algae solutions. Also, checkout our Aquatic Plant Identifier tool to help you find what kind of weed you have in your pond!

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