“Going Green”

“Help my pond is green!” is the distress call I often hear from clients. No doubt, this type of cloudy green water caused by algae can be very unsightly.
It is perfectly normal for any body of water to turn green at the start. Algae are quick to take hold of “new” water in its exposure to the natural elements. Possibly seeded even by spores in the air, it is usually the first to be “planted.” A very basic, microscopic plant and fast spreading, algae thrive in this environment without any real competition. It can be a rapid growing arena packed with fresh nutrients that are “up for grabs” and algae will grab hold of this opportunity.  In fact, it is actually a good thing that algae is there to immediately take care of all the stuff that will quickly accumulate to toxic levels or even amass at a rapid rate to become a rotten, smelly, even deadly mess. It acts as a natural buffer. In quick natural course, the algae takes hold of waste products, such as fish waste, and converts them into growth. As it thrives, the water will probably turn green from its growth and proliferation. Not to worry, this is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact this is Mother Nature’s way of not having the water sour. It is just that we don’t think of “pea soup” as attractive. Thus we turn to other “green” ways of keeping our pond nice… such as Biological Filtration or other aquatic plants such as Anacharis.

Indeed going green, we see nature teaches us that there are certain formulas and quantifications we can abide by for the proper establishment of this delicate balance. And to achieve such, we must have patience. Even when a pond is set up with these proper proportions it is normal for the pond to get cloudy and turn green with algae. This is only for a temporary period of time and if the right set up of the pond is done it will naturally turn itself around. The biological filter needs to “seed” and get up to speed. Or in the case of relying on plantings to balance, the plants must get up and growing. Many factors come into play but there is a normal schedule that Mother Nature tends to follow. Expect for the pond to turn green a few weeks from the initial filling. Then the clearing will normally happen 6 to 8 weeks from the start if not before. Cold weather normally lengthens this cycle of events and warm weather may accelerate it. If too many fish are introduced at the start, this too may lengthen the time and make it harder to reach a balance.

In a pool of water with just fish, algae will have a “boom” of growth on all of the “nutrients” put into that water by the fish. Yes fish are little “fertilizer factories” (or big dependant on their size or numbers). Algae are a plant at its very basic level. Now the natural process or eco-system that Mother Nature has put in place very basically goes like this; fish eat and put out “fertilizer,” plants in-turn take in that “fertilizer” to grow, fish subsequently feed on that plant growth and again put out “fertilizer”, …thus the cycle goes on. This cycle, sometimes called the nitrogen cycle, or circle of life, is the eco-system that naturally takes place and will take place with or with out us doing anything. Once this cycle becomes self-supporting we call it “balanced.” And a green body of water is not necessarily bad, in fact it may be healthier than that of a clear body of water that could be toxic in quality! But a green pond is unsightly and therefore not what we desire.  Green water, algae, will just happen if nothing else is done to help this process. So what can we do to help this process and achieve clear water?

The Answer: Anacharis or biological filtration

“Going Green”

“Help my pond is green!” is the distress call I often hear from clients. No doubt, this type of cloudy green water caused by algae can be very unsightly.

It is perfectly normal for any body of water to turn green at the start. Algae are quick to take hold of “new” water in its exposure to the natural elements. Possibly seeded even by spores in the air, it is usually the first to be “planted.” A very basic, microscopic plant and fast spreading, algae thrive in this environment without any real competition. It can be a rapid growing arena packed with fresh nutrients that are “up for grabs” and algae will grab hold of this opportunity. In fact, it is actually a good thing that algae is there to immediately take care of all the stuff that will quickly accumulate to toxic levels or even amass at a rapid rate to become a rotten, smelly, even deadly mess. It acts as a natural buffer. In quick natural course, the algae takes hold of waste products, such as fish waste, and converts them into growth. As it thrives, the water will probably turn green from its growth and proliferation. Not to worry, this is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact this is Mother Nature’s way of not having the water sour. It is just that we don’t think of “pea soup” as attractive. Thus we turn to other “green” ways of keeping our pond nice… such as Biological Filtration or other aquatic plants such as Anacharis.

Indeed going green, we see nature teaches us that there are certain formulas and quantifications we can abide by for the proper establishment of this delicate balance. And to achieve such, we must have patience. Even when a pond is set up with these proper proportions it is normal for the pond to get cloudy and turn green with algae. This is only for a temporary period of time and if the right set up of the pond is done it will naturally turn itself around. The biological filter needs to “seed” and get up to speed. Or in the case of relying on plantings to balance, the plants must get up and growing. Many factors come into play but there is a normal schedule that Mother Nature tends to follow. Expect for the pond to turn green a few weeks from the initial filling. Then the clearing will normally happen 6 to 8 weeks from the start if not before. Cold weather normally lengthens this cycle of events and warm weather may accelerate it. If too many fish are introduced at the start, this too may lengthen the time and make it harder to reach a balance.

In a pool of water with just fish, algae will have a “boom” of growth on all of the “nutrients” put into that water by the fish. Yes fish are little “fertilizer factories” (or big dependant on their size or numbers). Algae are a plant at its very basic level. Now the natural process or eco-system that Mother Nature has put in place very basically goes like this; fish eat and put out “fertilizer,” plants in-turn take in that “fertilizer” to grow, fish subsequently feed on that plant growth and again put out “fertilizer”, …thus the cycle goes on. This cycle, sometimes called the nitrogen cycle, or circle of life, is the eco-system that naturally takes place and will take place with or with out us doing anything. Once this cycle becomes self-supporting we call it “balanced.” And a green body of water is not necessarily bad, in fact it may be healthier than that of a clear body of water that could be toxic in quality! But a green pond is unsightly and therefore not what we desire. Green water, algae, will just happen if nothing else is done to help this process. So what can we do to help this process and achieve clear water?

The Answer: Anacharis or biological filtration