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Lake Restoration


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!

Steps to Prevent Mid-Summer Algae Blooms

July 13, 2017

As the temperatures rise around the country this time of year, you may find that your pond is looking more green than usual. This is because warm temperatures, along with organic matter and excess nutrients in the water can create the perfect environment for very rapid algae growth.

To keep a clear pond, especially at this point in the season, you need to be proactive about making sure you are taking the right steps to keep algae away. Keeping your pond clear of algae is similar to weeding your garden; you need to keep up with it, or it will get out of control. We recommend treating every 3-4 weeks to keep your pond looking great!

Take note of some helpful tips and product recommendations to keep up with your pond.

1.       Using an algaecide regularly

Using an algaecide, like our copper-based Mizzen® algaecide, will be a key factor in eliminating algae once it is grown underneath or on top of your pond. Mizzen® is sprayed over the algae or can be applied with the TORMADA® remote controlled application boat. Mizzen® can help clear up your pond in as little as 7-14 days, with full results seen in a month. Algae can re-grow rapidly, even within a few days, so make sure you have enough Mizzen® on hand for a second treatment or spot treating throughout the season. One gallon of Mizzen will cover 20,000 square feet, and is $34.95. Mizzen® is also available in smaller sizes or gallon packs.

 

2.       Use a nutrient reducer as part of your treatment plan

Nutrient reducers, such as SparKlear® and PhosControl® can reduce the organic matter in your pond that weeds and algae feed off of. When used in conjunction with an algaecide, you will be reducing existing algae and making it harder for it to regrow. SparKlear® contains bacteria and enzymes that eat away at the nutrients in your pond, and it can help improve your pond’s water clarity. PhosControl® contains aluminum sulfate that binds with phosphorus (which algae feed off of) making the phosphorus unavailable for the algae. Monthly treatments with these products is recommended.

 

3.       Consider aeration to help keep water clear

Aerators or aerating fountains work to keep water moving and will help exchange gases trapped in the water that are aiding in algae growth. Lake Restoration offers Vitaflume® floating aerating fountains in 3 different sizes and can move 7,000-10,000 gallons of water per hour. Fountains keep water moving so that algae mats cannot form like they would in more stagnant waters. Aerating fountains help your pond “breathe,” and they also look great as a centerpiece. Vitaflume® starts at $975 and offers optional spray patterns and lighting so you can customize the look of your centerpiece.

 

4.       If you also have weeds, we recommend using the following products for an overall healthy pond:

Dibrox® herbicide: controls floating and submerged weeds like Eurasian Watermilfoil and duckweed.

Mizzen® algaecide: to control filamentous and planktonic algae in scum.

SparKlear® or PhosControl® nutrient reducers: to reduce algae fuel and sludge, and improve water clarity.

Sapphire Bay® Pond Dye: Do give your pond a pleasing blue color.

*for lakes and dock and swim areas, use Mizzen®, Dibrox® and MuckMaid® pellets.

Following these steps will help improve your pond’s health over the hottest months of the summer when algae growth is rapid.

 

Visit LakeRestoration.com, or call an Aquatic Expert to learn more about these products. 


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