Friday, 21 December 2012

Controlling algae bloom in goldfish pond

Pond facing severe algae bloom
Mild greenish pond water with a little bit of algae is actually beneficial for your goldfish as it helps to provide some extra nutritious foods to enrich the diet of your goldfish and overall it also clean up the water. However, things may turn to worse when algae growth becomes uncontrollable and instead of bringing some positive effects, it will bring the negative harm instead. Algae bloom not only depletes oxygen content in the water when it rots but the slime layer that builds up on the surface of the pond will prevent oxygen will dissolving into the water. On worst case scenario, layers of slime actually get sucked into the filter intake and this jams the whole filtration system making the whole condition become anaerobic (lack of oxygen). Pond experiencing severe algae bloom if left unchecked will even kill your goldfish.

It is almost impossible to totally get rid of algae but however, controlling the algae quantity to low level should be your main agenda. Although many goldfish keepers that I’ve met lament on how hard it was to check the greenish slime buildup, but however, if you follow these few simple pointers, nothing should be difficult. But first, in order to deal with the issues, you must first understand what causes algae bloom in the first place. Most types of algae are unicellular microorganisms and because of their simple cellular structure, this allows them to grow and regenerate quickly to produce in numbers. Excessive growth of algae is actually driven by the presence of phosphate (imagine it functioning as fertilizer) which is derived from the breakdown of fish waste and because goldfish are heavy eaters and at the same time discharge a lot, it is not a surprise that phosphate is always readily available in the water. Apart from waste, sometimes, uneaten fish food will also contribute to the pond water phosphate content and therefore, these are something that you need to take note of.

These are certain things that you can do to help control and prevent algae bloom. First, regularly clean your fish pond and make it a habit to remove whatever waste you can see floating in the water. Dead plants and rotting leaves can accumulate and then contribute towards the phosphate content. Another effective way to reduce the phosphate content is by planting floating plants like lilies which will compete for the nutrient, and thus directly helps to control the algae. Usually a mature pond with healthy population of water plants will rarely encounter issue on algae bloom, thus this should be your direction if you prefer biological method to deal with it. However, a note of caution though, the plant itself will also eventually rot and die off and thus it still goes back to the cleaning regime that I’ve mentioned earlier.

Another possible approach but deemed costly is the installation of UV sterilizer. Although it is somehow effective but bear in mind that the lamp needs to be constantly changed and thus will contribute towards maintenance cost. Some people resort to hard fast approach using algaecides which is basically a mixture of chemical solution that works to kill the algae but claim that it will not harm your goldfish. Although that is what stated on the bottle, however always use it with caution. It might be poisonous to your goldfish if you accidentally overdose and thus; there is always a risk there. Some people will take the extra step to totally empty out the pond to do a thorough cleaning and applying the algaecides but this will take a lot of work and time. In the end, to avoid all these hassles, always remember to regular clean the pond, test the water and make it a point to control how much you feed to your goldfish. Avoid excessive leftover at all cost!


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