Pond Algaecides – Usage and Precautions

Hey guys, Justin here! Its about that time of year when your pond may be turning into something resembling large vat of pea soup. The water turns green, the liner turns green, and thick green strings of algae grow on everything! It’s painful to see, because you work so hard on your pond to keep it nice, clean, and clear. Though I recommend using algaecides only as a last resort, it is very important to ensure that you are using them correctly if you choose to go that route.
The first thing to know when treating your pond is the size of you pond in gallons. This is imperative, as over dosing algaecides can kill ornamental plants, frogs, snails, and even fish. Under dosing, while not harmful, is wasteful and will obviousle make the product less effective in combatting the algae. If you are not sure of how many gallons your pond holds, there are many formulas to help you determine the volume. Rectangular ponds use the formula Length x Width x Average Depth x 7.5,  Circlular ponds Width x Depth x 70.5. Make sure that all of your measurements are in feet. Oddly shaped or angular ponds may be a little tricky, but generally you want to calculate using the surface area x the average depth. Once you have the volume of your pond calculated, simply follow the directions based on the manufacturers suggested doses.
Once you have added the algaecide to the pond, it is important to remember the last half of algaecide is “cide”. This means that algae will in fact die, and those of us that have kept ponds and aquariums know that dead organisms left in water start to break down. As the dead algae is being broken down by bacteria in the water, Ammonia and CO2 will be released into the water. Ammonia is very toxic to fish even at low levels. It is important to add bacterial additives to your water in conjunction with algaecides. The additional bacterial additives will convert the excess Ammonia to less toxic nitrite, then again into nitrate.
As the bacteria are breakdown the dead algae, they also release CO2. As the CO2 is released, it will actually force the available oxygen out of the water. When treating your pond with an algaecide, it is very important to have adequate aeration and surface agitation to supply your fish with vital oxygen. This is especially important during the warmer water months, as warmer water tends to hold less oxygen than cooler water. CO2 build-up in conjunction with the demize of oxygen contributing (and unsightly) algae, will cause an instant drop in available dissolved oxygen! Be aware of treating in the evening, too. Oxygenating plants will not produce as much oxygen in the evening and through the night. Even if you have bunches of oxygenating plants in the pond besides the algae, fish may still suffocate if the pond is treated late in the day. It is best to treat early in the day when you are able to observe how your animals are responding and take steps if necessary to add more aeration. (Low oxygen levels may cause fish to become sluggish, listless, or cause them to gasp at the surface or congregate at a fountain head or waterfall where more oxygen is available.)
Remove dead and decaying algae as much as possible, before it begins to cause other problems. Once the algaecide has run its course, it is recommended that you do a water change to remove the remaining algaecide and free floating algar, and vacuum the pond bottom to remove the debris. There are also a variety of “sludge removers” to help breakdown the remaining debris before problems begin.
Following these simple steps and precautions will ensure that your pond remains clean and clear and help you to avoid any algaecide caused fatalities (except the nasty green invader). Good Luck and happy pond keeping!

Cleaning Substrate in Reef Aquaria – Popular Sand-sifting Cucumbers

Holothuria Feeding TentaclesYour reef tank may be immaculate except for a rusty-brown dusting of diatomic algae on your substrate. Tired of siphoning just to have the diatoms come right back? Relatively inexpensive and highly efficient, a sand-sifting sea cucumber may be the solution you’re seeking.

There are many species of sea cucumber available in the aquarium hobby. They get their name from their elongated, cylindrical body shape. Some are colorful, some are not, some are smooth, while others appear knobby or textured. Some are filter feeders that cling to the glass, waiting for food to come to them in the water flow. There are three specific types of sand sifters that are commonly offered which do a really great job cleaning up your sand. All of them belong to the genus Holothuria and they are very efficient at what they do.  Read More »

Wreck divers find a diver’s Holy Grail on the Andrea Doria

Andrea Doria
Every SCUBA diver and beachcomber dreams at some point of finding long-lost buried treasure or unearthing some relic lost to the sea. Two Andrea Doria divers recently did just that when they unearthed the bridge bell during their first dive on the wreck. The SS Andrea Doria is a fairly recent wreck. It sunk after it collided with the Swedish ocean liner, the MS Stockholm on July 25, 1956. Even though many of the lifeboats were unuseable once the severely damaged ship started listing to one side, only 46 lives were lost on the Andrea Doria and 5 on the Stockholm. Read More »

Fishing and Fish Conservation – Not Mutually Exclusive!

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Many aquarists, myself included, enjoy fishing from time to time.  I come home from each fishing trip with new insights and observations…and some of my most interesting aquarium pets have been native species taken by net or hook while angling.  But in these times of plummeting fresh water and marine fish populations, one cannot help but question the ethics of recreational fishing.  Well, fear not – there are many ways that responsible anglers can continue fishing and support conservation in the process. Read More »