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The "4 Its" of Algae Control

Pondby Doug King
Tsugawa's Water Garden Expert

Keeping it simple Algae Control:
  1. Know the gallons amount in your pond. L x W x D x 7.5.
    1. example the pond is 15 x 10 x 3 x 7.5= 3,375 gallons.
  2. Do not treat in the afternoon or on a hot day.
  3. Treat in the early morning.

Use the 4 It’s of Algae Control:

Kill it --------- Algaefix
Sink it -------- Accu-Clear
Eat it ---------- Microbe Lift
Starve it-------Water plants cover 50 to 70% of the surface area.

For algae control we like to recommend the 4 Its of Algae Control: Kill it, Sink it, Eat it and Starve it.  Algae, like a plant, produces oxygen during the day so when you kill, it the algae stops producing oxygen and as the algae decomposes it actually starts consuming oxygen. Also, on warmer days, there is less oxygen in the water. So when you kill algae on a warm day, just make sure your pump or aerators are working.  Also when adding any new products to your pond do not just throw them in, you need to mix them in a bucket and pour them around the edge of the pond or into the waterfall.  Then come back in about 10 to 15 minutes and check on your fish to make sure they are ok. If the fish are gasping at the surface of the pond, just do a quick water change of about 20-25%.

Kill It • This is the first step in killing algae. This will kill the three forms of algae that we have: the string algae, the single cell algae (this is the one that causes the pond to turn pea green) and the slime coat algae that grows on the side of the pond or on the rocks.  We recommend PondCare Algaefix. You use it every three days until the algae is under control and then once a week to maintain your filter’s performance. Don’t forget your weekly maintenance dose because the algae will come back. In warm weather, always make sure the pump or aerators are running, especially when you are killing algae. 

Sink It • I call this the bottle of “instant gratification”. It does not solve the problem, it just clears the pond quickly, typically within 24 hours.   We recommend the Pond Care Accu-Clear, it works by pulling all of the floating particles together and sinking them to the bottom of the pond, where beneficial bacteria can break down the dead algae and organic matter.  Accu-Clear can again be used in 24 hours if needed.

Eat It • Ok, we’ve killed it, and then we sank, it now we need to eat it. That’s where the next product comes into play.  We recommend Microbe-Lift PL. This is beneficial bacteria. With this product, it will begin by helping create a natural and healthy environment. It creates a natural eco-system in your pond.  By adding beneficial bacteria to the pond, it will help to break down organic matter that ends up at the bottom of the pond. Remember, we just sank all that dead algae and floating particles to bottom so now the bacteria will eat it.  

Starve It • The last step and the most important one is to starve it.  By adding water plants to the pond you will shade the pond by not allowing the sunlight to get to your water.  You will need to cover 50 to 70% of the pond’s surface area with water plants to help control the algae growth.  Water plants will remove nutrients from the water so the algae can not use the nutrients to grow on.  So we starve it by not giving it sunlight or nutrients to grow in.  Water plants add decorative accents with blossoms and foliage to your pond to enjoy. Water plants are one of the most important steps to control algae in your pond.

Keep in mind the 4 Its of Algae Control with your water gardening this season! If you need more advice, come in and see us. We'll be happy to help!


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