Friday, June 15, 2012

Keepin' the Ole Swimmin' Hole Clean

The water has warmed up enough to tempt all of us to want to jump right in the Ole Swimming Hole on a hot day after baling hay, mowing grass or putting down the mulch.  However, when you get to the edge of the water and big hunks of green algae are floating on top of the water we may all change our minds.
The algae on the top started out by forming on the bottom of the pond in the shallow areas less than 4’ deep.  Once the algae starts to grow, it produces oxygen and on clear sunny days it will move to the surface of the water.  Once at the surface, it is blown to the shore with the prevailing winds.   Removal can be made by raking algae off the surface or by treating the algae with a form of copper (POND2O Algae kill –liquid copper sulfate with a stabilizer – or copper sulfate granules) and a Sodium Carbonate peroxyhydrate,   like Green Clean Pro ; Green Clean Algaecide.
 The copper can be in a liquid or a solid form but copper is a contact killer. The Copper must come in contact with the algae to kill.  The copper sulfate particles will usually settle through the water column and once they get to the bottom they will tie up with the soil and muck on the bottom of the pond and be of no further effect against algae in the water column or on the surface. It is extremely important not to kill weeds/algae in more than a quarter of the surface of the pond at one time.  As the weeds/algae die –their decomposition reduces the amount of oxygen in the water, causing stress or death larger fish.  The Green Clean product will not harm KOI or gold fish – has no residual but do add some oxygenation to the body of water while it is killing the algae. Read all labels completely before using these products.
Rules of thumb:
KEEP THE WATER DYED for prevention of sunlight getting to the bottom of the pond. Weeds/algae don’t grow in the dark.
DO NOT KILL MORE THAT ¼ OF THE SURFACE OF THE POND once the water temperature is about 68 degrees.  Plant decomposition reduces the oxygen in the water column.
USE AN AERATOR SYSTEM for a healthy body of water.  If there is a great deal of Sludge on the bottom of the pond you may want to only run it for a couple of hours each day for the 1st week or 2 until some of the loose muck is dissolved.   After 2 weeks run the unit 24 hours a day
KILL ROOTED WEEDS WHILE THEY ARE SMALL.  Less stress on the pond environment and less herbicide will be required.