Ponds are great stress busters. Watching a frenzied group of fish appear, anxious to be fed, can be a great way to wind down at the end of a hectic workday. But when algae overtakes a pond, watching pond wildlife -- be it fish, turtle, frog or newt -- can be almost impossible. However, there are ways to keep a pond clean, clear and safe for any pond wildlife, and for pets that might take drinks from the pond.
The popularity of ponds has prompted a variety of new algae control products (algaecides) to come on the market. EPA-registered algaecide safe for pond wildlife include Symmetry, Algae Off Algaecide and GreenClean Algaecide.
Other Wildlife-Safe Algaecide
Other products that claim to be safe for pond wildlife when used properly include Pond Care Algae Fix, Green-Be-Gone, Oxy-Pond, Mean Green Algae Control, Total Algae Control and Mars Fishcare AlgaeFix. All the algaecide listed are easily found on pond supply websites and at pond supply stores.
Barley straw or the liquid concentrates extracted from barley straw are natural and safe ways to keep algae out of ponds. Some pond owners order bales and place chunks of barley straw around the pond. Others prefer using the Barley Straw Concentrate Extract product, which also reduces phosphates and nitrates in the water, and helps maintain proper alkalinity to keep algae from growing. Another barley straw-based product, Clarity Max Plus, is applied across the surface of the pond to break down string algae. These products are also easily found on website and in brick-and-mortar pond supply stores.
Pond Capacity Calculations
Each product must be used as directed to maintain its safety. This means using the right amount of algaecide or barley straw concentrate for the amount of water in the pond and applying it according to the directions. To determine the amount of gallons in a pond, measure the length, width and depth, and multiply those numbers by 7.5. For example, a rectangular pond that is 10 by 20 feet and 3 feet deep contains 4,500 gallons (10 x 20 x 3 x 7.5). Keep these measurements handy when mixing algaecide to avoid adding more than is recommended for the water amount and harming pond inhabitants.
There are algaecides on the market that are made specifically for controlling indoor water displays like fountains and water walls that may be harmful to living things, especially a pet drinking the water. Read all labels when selecting an algaecide for a pond and follow use directions carefully.