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What Kind of Algae is in Your Water?

August 9, 2018

What kind of algae is in your pond or lake?

In most aquatic ecosystems, algae is a common occurrence as part of a healthy body of water. However, the overgrowth of algae can cause issues in your pond, not to mention the not-so-great appearance and foul smell algae can bring.

Algae can form rapidly, leaving your pond very green, and possibly leaving you stuck on where to start getting rid of the mess. Warm temps, excess nutrients, and lack of water movement can really accelerate algae growth quickly, and before you know if, your water is overtaken by it. The good news is, when algae gets out of hand, control can be taken back by using an aquatic algaecide.

Most of our copper algaecides, like our Mizzen® algaecide, can treat almost all forms of algae. The first step is to identify the type of algae you have so you know how much product you are going to need to control it. Below are a variety of algae species commonly found in ponds or lakes.

Planktonic algae

Planktonic algae is often described as looking like paint or a green oil slick on the water. It is millions of microplants and can make all of your water look green and pea soup-like.  Like a lot of the other algae species, it can be beneficial to a healthy pond in small amounts. When it overtakes the water, you risk having fish kills from lack of oxygen entering the water. In very hot weather, you may notice larger amounts of planktonic algae in the water, and it can come back within days of treating. It can look blue-green, green, brown or variations of this.

 Filamentous Algae

Filamentous algae, sometimes referred to as pond moss, is a mat forming algae that can float on the surface of your water in slimey, green clumps, or be found submerged under the water clinging to rocks or other plants. Filamentous algae can make your pond look “scummy,” and this algae can also reproduce quickly in ponds or lakes with little water movement, or in very hot weather. Like planktonic algae, it can be beneficial to water ecosystems in normal amounts. The issues arise when it grows too much, depleting the water, and other plants and animals, of sunlight and oxygen.

Chara

Chara is a submerged algae plant that often gets confused with a submerged weed. Chara smells almost like garlic; foul and musty. The green plant has 6 to 16 whorled branches and is crunchy and grainy to feel. Chara provides some food source for some aquatic life. They thrive in water that is hard and has little oxygen. Chara will require high rates of a copper-complex algaecide to control it.

Starry Stonewort

Perhaps the most invasive algae on our list, starry stonewort is a fast growing plant that can outcompete native plants or ruin fish spawning habitat. Not only does it wreak havoc on aquatic life, but it can make fishing, boating, or any other aquatic recreational activity near impossible. Its sporadic branches that point upwards at a slight angle. It has a small, cream-colored "star" bulbil. It can float up near the surface in extremely thick mats. The spread of starry stonewort is prohibited. High rates of a copper-complex algaecide will control it.

Blue Green (Toxic) Algae

Toxic, or blue-green algae is not actually algae at all. It is a photosynthetic bacteria called cyanobacteria, that is the result of an extreme algae overgrowth. It can form a layer of scum or some mats on the surface that can look blue, green, purple, brown, or red. Blue-Green algae smells foul. It is often found in slow moving waters with warm temperatures where algae growth is excessive. This algae can be very harmful to aquatic life, livestock, pets and humans. Do not go near toxic algae, and always call local authorities if it is spotted in a public body of water.

Mizzen® Algaecide can help you get rid of algae you need controlled. Visit our website at LakeRestoration.com for Mizzen® and other aquatic herbicide and algaecide products.

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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