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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 causes severe algae blooms?

July 18, 2018

What causes severe algae blooms? 

Have you ever seen this unpleasantly green algae in your pond or lakeshore? Well for those of you who have struggled with this green goop, we have some facts and solutions for you! 

 

Algae is a very common form of aquatic vegetation that feeds off of many environmental factors. When algae grows out of control, it can turn into toxic (blue-green) algae, which can be harmful to humans, animals, and your fish and wildlife. It is very important to control and treat your algae as soon as possible, and as frequently as needed, to ensure your safety, along with preserving your pond or lake appearance.

 

 Causes of algae:

Excess amounts of nutrients such as Phosphorus

Animal manure & fertilizer runoff

Warmer temperature

Sunlight

Still water

 

Hazards if left untreated:

Algae blocks sunlight and depletes oxygen levels

Fish need a food source and oxygen to survive

Decomposing algae increases the depletion of oxygen

Algae can turn into blue-green algae, which is toxic to household pets and humans

Toxic blue-green algae can cause rashes, allergic reaction, stomach aches, vomiting, ect in humans and animals if exposed.

 

Solutions for algae:

Lake Restoration has several treatment options:

 

For lowering phosphorus levels and excess nutrients: PhosControl®, SparKlear®

It is important to treat with nutrient reducers early on in the season so to prevent algae overgrowth issues. When using nutrient reducers, you can expect to see improvement in water clarity and a reduction in organic matter and pond muck.

Algaecide Options: Mizzen® Algaecide

Use a pond algaecide frequently throughout the summer to battle existing algae and spot treat when needed.  

Aeration: Vitaflume® Vortex floating, aerating fountain

Aeration can help improve the oxygen levels and gas exchange in your water by moving 7,000 to 10,000 gallons per hour! It can also keep movement in your water so that algae mats have a hard time forming. Shop our Vitaflume® floating pond fountains to learn about aeration benefits.

With Lake Restoration solutions for algae, there's no way you'll have anything but a perfect summer on your water!

Toxic Algae: What is it? How can you prevent it?

July 5, 2018

In peak algae season all over the country, it is not uncommon for bodies of water to have at least a little bit of algae on them. High temperatures are perfect growing weather for algae. Algae is a normal part of a water ecosystem, but when algae overgrows rapidly, it can become dangerous. Toxic algae can occur in all 50 states.

What is toxic algae?

When algae experiences an overgrowth, this is called an algae bloom. Some large algae blooms contain toxins that are harmful to humans. Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, are the harmful type of algae blooms. Algae blooms can occur in salt and fresh water and can be toxic to humans and animals alike. These blooms happen in slow moving water, in high-sunlight areas, and in waters with excess nutrients that algae like to feed off of (nitrogen and phosphorus).

An algae bloom can look like paint on the water or like scum. These can vary in color, from green, red, blue and brown. It will most often smell foul as well.

Harmful effects of toxic algae:

Animals and humans can experience negative side effects of toxic algae exposure. Irritation or rashes can happen, along with vomiting, weakness, diarrhea, and more. In pets that have been exposed, lethargy, difficulty breathing, vomiting may occur. If symptoms are left untreated, severe illness or even death may occur. If you or a pet is exposed to toxic algae, wash off and monitor for signs of exposure for the following few hours. Seek medical attention if symptoms are occurring.

If you see toxic algae, report it to your local authorities and stay away from the water. Don’t allow kids or pets in the water.

How to prevent and treat growth:

Since large algae blooms happen due to conditions such as ample sunlight, excess nutrients, and stagnant water, there are a few things you should consider doing to prevent prime algae overgrowth.

1.       Treat existing algae with an algaecide, such as Mizzen® algaecide from Lake Restoration.

2.       Use a nutrient reducer, such as SparKlear® or PhosControl® to rid your water of excess nutrients that aid in rapid algae growth. Make sure grass clippings and leaves aren’t getting into your water (this creates more excess nutrients in your pond).

3.       Use an aerating fountain, like the Vitaflume® floating fountain from Lake Restoration. The fountain will help keep water moving and gas exchanged between the water and the air.

While algae growth is common this time of year and is a normal part of a healthy pond, overgrowth of algae can be dangerous. Take precautions and prevent algae from taking over your pond with the help of products from Lake Restoration! Shop all pond weed and algae products online at LakeRestoration.com. FREE SHIPPING* on all orders!

Toxic Algae: What it is and how to prevent it

July 14, 2017

In peak algae season all over the country, it is not uncommon for bodies of water to have at least a little bit of algae on them. High temperatures are perfect growing weather for algae. Algae is a normal part of a water ecosystem, but when algae overgrows rapidly, it can become dangerous. Toxic algae can occur in all 50 states.

What is toxic algae?

When algae experiences an overgrowth, this is called an algae bloom. Some large algae blooms contain toxins that are harmful to humans. Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, are the harmful type of algae blooms. Algae blooms can occur in salt and fresh water and can be toxic to humans and animals alike. These blooms happen in slow moving water, in high-sunlight areas, and in waters with excess nutrients that algae like to feed off of (nitrogen and phosphorus).

An algae bloom can look like paint on the water or like scum. These can vary in color, from green, red, blue and brown. It will most often smell foul as well.

Harmful effects of toxic algae:

Animals and humans can experience negative side effects of toxic algae exposure. Irritation or rashes can happen, along with vomiting, weakness, diarrhea, and more. In pets that have been exposed, lethargy, difficulty breathing, vomiting may occur. If symptoms are left untreated, severe illness or even death may occur. If you or a pet is exposed to toxic algae, wash off and monitor for signs of exposure for the following few hours. Seek medical attention if symptoms are occurring.

If you see toxic algae, report it to your local authorities and stay away from the water. Don’t allow kids or pets in the water.

How to prevent and treat growth:

Since large algae blooms happen due to conditions such as ample sunlight, excess nutrients, and stagnant water, there are a few things you should consider doing to prevent prime algae overgrowth.

1.       Treat existing algae with an algaecide, such as Mizzen® algaecide from Lake Restoration.

2.       Use a nutrient reducer, such as SparKlear® or PhosControl® to rid your water of excess nutrients that aid in rapid algae growth. Make sure grass clippings and leaves aren’t getting into your water (this creates more excess nutrients in your pond).

3.       Use an aerating fountain, like the Vitaflume® floating fountain from Lake Restoration. The fountain will help keep water moving and gas exchanged between the water and the air.

 

While algae growth is common this time of year and is a normal part of a healthy pond, overgrowth of algae can be dangerous. Take precautions and prevent algae from taking over your pond with the help of products from Lake Restoration! Shop all pond weed and algae products online at LakeRestoration.com. FREE SHIPPING* on all orders!

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