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Large Pond and Lake Algae Control

Algae control info for ponds and lakes over 50' x 50' in size

When you have a fish pond, farm pond or lake, the methods required to maintain it are much different than a small, backyard pond or koi pond.  Please read the following info regarding what lake or fish pond products and supplies you need.

Large Pond and Lake Maintenance Info
In a nutshell, big ponds (over 50' x 50' in size) require a different type of pond maintenance than small backyard ponds or koi ponds.  Filtration systems for this large of a are unrealistic when you're considering hundreds of thousands or millions of gallons of water.  Typically what is required for large ponds is:

You see, large ponds whether they are fish ponds, farm ponds, duck ponds, lakes or whatever, usually contain A LOT of nutrients from all the organic matter in the pond. This organic matter forms a 'compost pile' underwater which provides nutrition for algae and pond weeds to grow.  The beneficial bacteria helps to break down this organic matter and 'compost pile'.  If you don't add the bacteria product, sludge and muck result over time.  Parasites, bad types of bacteria, etc. can harbor in the sludge and muck and create an unhealthy environment for fish and people as well.

Sludge and muck also consume A LOT of oxygen thereby reducing the amount of oxygen in the pond that is needed to support aquatic life. Fertilizers from nearby cattle pastures or fertilized lawns, loose soil, wastes from fish, sand, etc. can all get into the pond. These add to the nutrients that feed the algae. 

In addition to adding the PlanktoniX you need to have proper aeration.  This helps provide necessary oxygen to the pond to support aquatic life - including your beneficial bacteria.  Even if you don't have fish in your pond, you should have an aeration system to help aide the beneficial bacteria with the decomposition of the organic matter (sludge and muck) and help avoid bad types of bacteria and parasites that live in the sludge and muck. Aeration also keeps ponds from becoming stagnant and helps reduce still water that mosquitoes love to lay their larvae in.   

Typically, when you don't have aeration you will find filamentous algae growing in warm, shallow water.  This is caused from an abundance of nutrients in the shallow water and the very warm water conditions it loves to grow in.  A lot of people refer to this algae as 'pond scum' as it looks like greenish-yellow floating muck on the top of the water's surface. (It can also grow at the bottom of the pond as well). 

In addition to treating your pond with beneficial bacteria to break down the sludge, muck and organic nutrients and having proper aeration, the use of treating the water with an aquatic sun blocker is most helpful.  You see, algae and aquatic plants (submersed) need not only nutrition but also sunlight to grow.  So, when you add the aquatic sun blocker at the beginning of the season (preferably), you are reducing their growth as you're blocking some of the sun that they need in order to grow

Do note:  An aquatic sunblocker is not an herbicide.  It will NOT kill the growth that is there but it WILL help prevent further growth.  (Check our site for pond weed killers for that.)

So, in a nutshell, if you have a large pond or lake, you will need to treat it with beneficial bacteria every 2 weeks when water temperatures are 50°F or above, have adequate aeration running 365 days a year, and treat it with an aquatic sunblocker such as our Aquashade or Cygnet Select.  Try to eliminate as much debris, leaves, grass clippings, etc. that go into the pond which adds to the 'compost pile' at the bottom that ends up feeding unwanted algae and pond weeds.   If you can't afford or don't want to spend the money for all the above, realize that you are only providing part of the equation that is needed for the pond.  All 3 things are needed for proper pond maintenance.  As your budget allows, be sure to get all 3 things: adequate aeration, treatment of beneficial bacteria on a regular basis and treatment of an aquatic sunblocker. 

Be sure to avoid problems later on.  So many times I hear over and over again are those who say that their pond has been "just fine" for years and they didn't need to add any of the stuff I mentioned above.  Well, this 'may' appear to be the case.  Their pond probably has a large volume of water compared to the amount of fish and organic matter in the pond.   Large volumes of water can 'hide' a lot of problems ... BUT only for a while.  Some time later though, their pond will become severely ecologically imbalanced.  During the years without treatment their pond weeds multiplied, the 'compost pile' at the bottom of the pond got larger and deeper, sludge and muck built up and --- fish were multiplying.  Everything 'seemed' fine for a while then one day - BOOM - they go out to their pond and see hundreds or thousands of dead fish floating at the surface.  Why???? 

Well, as I explained above, sludge and muck consume oxygen.  Fish multiply and they consume more and more oxygen.  Pretty soon, there will not be enough oxygen in the pond to support aquatic life!  This can happen all of a sudden on a hot summer day or you can discover it after the snow and ice melts in the beginning of spring.   This all could be avoided by doing the 3 things I mentioned above; adequate aeration, adding beneficial bacteria on a regular basis and treating it with an aquatic sunblocker.   If you haven't done these things for your pond, it's never too late.  Start today! 

Know that keeping a healthy pond or creating a new one is a process and it's not going to happen over night.  You also can't 'undo' what hasn't been done for several years (if your pond hasn't been treated) in just one season.  This takes time.  Get on the right track, though.  There can be nothing more enjoyable in your yard than a beautiful pond or lake to swim or fish in or be able to sit back and admire and, there's nothing you want to avoid more than a pond that is stagnant, smelly and infested with weeds, algae and mosquitoes.

If Your Fish Pond, Farm Pond or Lake Is In Bad Shape Now - What Can You Do? Depending on how large your pond or lake is, you can save thousands of dollars and years of time by trying to remove as much debris in your pond as possible.  Here are some suggestions:

1.  Get a lake rake.  Rake out as many leaves, fallen down cattails, dead aquatic plants that are on the bottom of the pond.  The more you remove, the better.  Shoot, have a party or a BBQ - buy several lake rakes and have all of your buddies come over and help you rake the stuff out.  If the pond hasn't been treated with any chemicals, you can use the pond weeds, etc. in your compost pile. 

2.  While you've got your buddies over, help them install your new aerator you just bought. (Wink, wink.)  It's super easy to install.  Simply attach the air bubbler/air diffuser to the tubing.  Attach the other end of the tubing to the compressor - and plug it in.  That's about it!

3.  Add your Aquashade or Black Vail aquatic sunblocker. 

4.  After about 2 or 3 days, add your PlanktoniX.  Add a bunch of it, too.  You can't 'overdose' your pond with it as it's not a chemical but an all-natural product.  Don't worry, it's safe for fish, your dog swimming in it, your dog drinking the water, birds, you name - it's okay.  The manufacturer of the product even ate some of it to prove it's safe.  Not that I recommend you doing that, but - it's safe.  Don't worry about it.  Buy it in bulk, if you can afford it.  It's the cheapest way to buy it and you'll need it as long as you own the property and have your pond.  So, go for it.

5.  If you have an abundance of pond weeds, try to decipher what kind they are.  We have some photos on our site to help you with this or you can take a photo and email it to us or even take a sample to your local DNR (department of natural resources).  IF, IF, IF your pond is 100% contained on your property - meaning that no water flows to it or from it - to another body of water via a stream or anything - then you can treat your pond.  IF it has a stream leading to it or from it, then you need to contact your local DNR to see what you can do, if anything, to your pond.  This is because, your pond and the water from it, affects our public water system and the DNR has jurisdiction on what you can do, if anything.  So, you will need to contact them to see what they recommend and what they will allow you to do. Their regulations will most likely depend on the area and state you live in.

If you have further questions with your pond, please contact us. We're always happy to help.