Pond Algae Solutions & Pond Care - Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to our frequently asked questions page. Please note that this is a work in progress. Here you'll find a wide array of answers to some of the more common questions we receive everyday. We've grouped all of these in categories which we hope will make it easier for you to find the correct answer to your question(s). Simply click on one of the links below to go directly to a specific section of this page or feel free to scroll down the page to find what your looking for.
Pond Algae Solutions 2500 Small Pond Beneficial Bacteria System Questions
Q. I'm concerned about my dog and children playing around the pond. Is the PAS 2500 system really safe?
A. Yes, the 2500 as all of our beneficial bacteria products are totally safe for people, pets, fish, and most plants. The 2500 doesn't really kill anything directly but works to reduce the organic "compost" and nutrient levels in the pond. By doing this, it not only helps to break down organic matter in the pond but it also cuts algae off from it's nutrient sources, thereby starving it off. It is a gradual process as well, which means that the fish and plants in the pond won't go through rapid changes in oxygen and pH levels...both of which can be lethal for fish. The 2500 system is a totally safe alternative to using chemicals in your pond.
Q. How do I know how much to use in my pond?
A. Small ponds are dosed based on gallon size. You can calculate this quite easily by taking the length in feet X the width in feet X the depth in feet, then multiply this total by 7.5 to get an estimated gallon amount.
Or you can use the pond size calculator on our site to make this easier for you.
The 2500 will treat any pond up to 2500 gallons. We have two different refill packets available for 500 and 2500 gallon ponds. The main thing to keep in mind is you do not want to underdose with any natural product. This will only lead to poor results. So the gallon statements are for any ponds up to the recommended sizes.
You can also combine several 2500 units to treat ponds up to 5,000 gallons very effectively. We recommend using the small pond Biosphere for any ponds much larger than 5,000 gallons.
Q. What if I use too much beneficial bacteria? Can I overdose my pond with it?
A. Not really within reason. Unlike chemicals where there is a great risk for overdosing, natural bio products will simply quit working when there are no excessive nutrients in the water. The 2500 is designed reduce or eliminate the excessive build up of nutrient loads in the pond but it will not "outcompete" rooted plants. Since algae has no roots and is totally dependent on nutrients that come directly from the water, it can outcompete algae for these nutrients and in that way, it can eliminate it.
A good way to look at biological treatment is that it is a very good supportive agent for desired plants in your pond. Having enough aquatic plants in a pond is great natural way to reduce algae. The problem is most experts recommend having a 60 to 80% coverage of the surface to make this work. Most people don't want that many plants in their pond and would prefer a bit more open water. By combining a bacteria with a few desired plants, you can achieve the same results as having many plants in the pond.
Biosphere Pro Questions
Q. I'm concerned about my dog and children playing around the pond. Is the Biosphere Pro really safe?
A. Yes, all of our beneficial bacteria products are totally safe for people, pets, livestock, horses, fish, and most plants. Bacteria doesn't really kill anything directly but works to reduce the organic "compost" and nutrient levels in the pond. By doing this, it not only helps to break down organic matter in the pond but it also cuts algae off from it's nutrient sources, thereby starving it off. It is a gradual process as well, which means that the fish and plants in the pond won't go through rapid changes in oxygen and pH levels...both of which can be lethal for fish. Therefore beneficial bacteria is a totally safe alternative to using chemicals in your pond.
Q. How do I know how much to use in my pond?
A. Dosage requirements for larger ponds, and by that we mean anything from 10,000 gallons up to multi-acre lakes, can vary quite bit. One aspect that needs to be considered is the depth of the pond. This adds to the acre-feet for the estimation. As a base rule of thumb though, you can start with the surface area of the pond. A one acre pond for instance will be right around 210 square feet. Or think of this as about 70 yards on a football field. In dosing a one acre pond like this, a one acre Biosphere would be the miminum to start with. Keep in mind that underdosing usually produces poor or inconsistent results.
We normally suggest using a Biospshere pro for 60 days (or two treatments) and we use an liberal amount for dosing. If a pond has a lot of algae present already or may have a heavy muck build up we may use as much as double the amount that the pond volume may indicate. It's important to not only match the pond size requirement but also match the nutrient loading as well.
In many cases, pond owners will see an improvement in the condition of their pond within 30 to 60 days. If you see any indicate of the algae regressing or the water becoming clearer then you know you're on the right track. You may want to adjust the dosage upwards if only partal clearing is achieved, or maintain or even decrease the dosage if the pond is completely clear. Eventually through a bit of trial and error, you'll determine just the amount of beneficial bacteria that will be needed to maintain clarity.
It should be noted that every pond will be different in how it responds to the treatment. Some ponds, and particular those with aeration will usually respond more quickly and will maintian clarity with minimal ongoing treatments. Ponds without aeration in place may require a higher dosage or a longer treatment program to achieve results. Older ponds with a lot of organic debris and muck may also require a longer term treatment program to establish clarity.
Several tools that we've used to help with the estimation is a laser range finder like those used by golfers. You would get a yardage estimate from two sides of the pond and then calculate out the square footage. You would then take the width X the length X the estimated average depth and multiply this number by 7.85 to get the gallon size.
A simpler option might be to use our pond size calculator to get estimates for gallons, acre feet, and square feet. It's really easy to use.
Pond Algae Solutions Blast Supplement Questions
Q. What is the Blast product and what does it do?
A. The Pond Algae Solutions Blast is a supplemental product for the Biosphere treatments. It's intended to assist them during highly stressful times of the year (high heat and sun) or in problematic ponds that are not clearing up readily. It provides a boost (or a blast) of bacteria to the pond and supercharges a standard treatment. The Blast will not operate or sustain support for more than about 10 days so it's not meant to be a monthly treatment to replace the Biospheres.
The Blast contains all natural ingredients and is in a water soluable bag. When the packet is tossed into the water it will dissolve within minutes and begin releasing beneficial bacteria to help clear the pond. Blast is particularly useful at reducing muck build up at the bottom of the pond.
Green Clean Algaecide Questions
Q: Where can I use GreenClean or Algae-Off (peroxide based products)?
A: GreenClean and Algae-Off can be used in any water feature such as water gardens, ornamental waterfalls, fountains, and bird baths.
We generally recommend using peroxide based algaecides for spot control and they particularly are well suited to water fall areas, stream beds, and other hard to treat areas. We generally don't suggest treating green water issues or wide spread string algae with it due to cost considerations and the fact that if the underlying issues aren't addressed with beneficial bacteria the algae will often return quickly. Both products however work very well with bacteria and are a much better option than copper based algaecides.
Q: Is GreenClean/Algae-Off safe for animals?
A: Yes. GreenClean granules are non-hazardous to animals such as birds, bees, and even your pets once diluted in water. KLM note: BioSafe indicates that Green Clean is safe for fish up to double the recommended dosage rate. Still caution should be used and directions must be followed to ensure safety. KLM does not recommend using Green Clean to treat green water or to treat an entire pond for algae problems. We now only use Green Clean for spot control of algae masses and have had excellent results and no safety issues.
Here's another tip when using any type of algaecide product (ie. one that kills algae quickly and directly). The concept of treating only segments or parts of the pond at one time is advised. When treating an entire pond all at once with an algaecide it's possible to kill all the algae very quickly which will pull or rob the pond of it's oxygen content. This often can harm or kill the fish very fast. Therefore, it's best to use any algaecide with care when treating a lot of algae growth, and where fish are involved.
Q: Will GreenClean/Algae-Off harm my plants?
A: No. However, GreenClean’s concentrated granules may leave contact burn marks if left sitting on plant leaves.
Q: How does GreenClean/Algae-Off work?
A: GreenClean works through a powerful oxidation reaction, breaking down algae cells on contact.
Q: How quickly does GreenClean/Algae-Off work?
A: GreenClean begins working within 60 seconds of application. Results can be seen in 24-48 hrs.
Q: Has GreenClean/Algae-Off been tested?
A: Yes. Both GreenClean and Algae-Off are registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Organic listed by OMRI. Both products underwent extensive research and testing to be proven an effective algaecide.
KLM Solutions recommends that you read the following MSDS information from the manufacturer before purchasing to ensure that your comfortable with using Green Clean.
For MSDS data and other information on Green Clean Algaecide click here.
Ultrasonic Algae Control Questions
Q. How does Ultrasonic Algae Control work?
A. In simple terms, ultrasound which is tuned very precisely to match the given frequeny of many algae cells will send sound waves through the pond and create resonance and vibrations within the cells themselves. Over time, these vibrations will begin to damage the algae and it will die. The technology has been proven to work on a variety of algae types such as green water and string algae however there are certain species that may be resistant to it's effects. Primarily this is due to their particular cell structure.
Ultrasound should be looked at as a viable, non-chemical way to help control algae in ponds. It may be effective entirely on it's own or it may be best to combine it with beneficial bacteria supplementation and aeration to improve a pond's overall condition as well as to control the algae more directly.
Q. Is it safe for fish?
A. Yes, ultrasound has been proven to be safe for fish and all aquatic life. The frequencies that the machine uses are very precisely tuned to match that of the algae and nothing more.
To get a full history of our experience with ultrasound technology please read our Special Report On Ultrasonic Algae Control.
Pond Aeration Questions
Q. Why do need pond aeration?
A. Pond aeration, or in other words using a surface fountain or a bottom based diffuser, airline, and compressor, is incredibly useful in improving the condition of any size of pond. Aeration increased the amount of dissovled oxygen in the water which is very important to maintaining fish health as well as insuring that the biological cleansing processes (which use aerobic bacteria) are optimized.
Aeration is particularly useful during very hot weather conditions because water tends to hold less dissolved oxygen in water temperatures over 78 degrees. This is why fish loss is more common during summer weather. Aeration is also useful if a pond owner is treating an algae bloom because as the plant dies off it will pull oxygen from the water. Aeration can help guard against losing too much DO.
Q. How do I know which aeration kit is right for my pond?
A. All of the aerators in our line have suggested pond sizes and depths associated with them which makes it easy to pick the right system for your pond. For small ponds and water gardens it's best to use the gallon volume as a guide. For larger ponds you would use a combination of the surface area and the depth. Depth is probably the most important consideration here because large shallow ponds require more diffusers placed around the bottom of the pond to adequately aerate an area. Deeper ponds often can use less diffusers, and in the case of ponds from around 1/4 acre to 1 acre, a single diffuser can be use if the depth is greater than 10 to 12 feet.
For a more detailed explanation of pond aeration and the systems we offer, please visit our pond aerator page.
Pond Algae Questions
Q. How do I control pond algae in my pond?
A. This is a simple and complex question and one that we get a lot! Obviously the traditional route to controlling algae in a pond is to use chemcials like algaecides to kill the plant off. There's a problem with this however in that this may not be the best treatment for the pond over the long term. There may be a time or times when an algaecide would be useful of course but for many ponds there is a more healthy way to deal with the problem.
Algae is present in it's various forms simply because, like most plants, there are things in the pond that are helping it grow. The key support elements that algae uses are adequate to high nutrients like nitrates, phosphates, etc along with sunlight and when these are abundant, algae can grow very well.
Using beneficial bacteria in any size of pond is useful because bacteria will help to lower nutrient loads and make this unavailable to algae. Along with this tool you might see other things like pond dye, barley straw, or mechanical tools to help. In small ponds desirable plants can be useful and as always good management practices are helpful too.
Generally we could create volumes of information on pond algae control and the questions that surround it. However once you know some of the basics of why algae is present and how to control it you can make some headway in clearing up your pond. In the short term our best advice is to use our Pond Advisor online wizard and go through the steps to find out what will work best in your pond. Click the following link to use the Pond Advisor.
Pond Weed Control Questions
Pond Barley Products And Questions
Pond Dye Questions
Mosquito Control Questions
Water Testing (Includes pH and Ammonia) Questions
How To Estimate Pond Size Questions
Pond Filtration and Filter Questions
General Pond Related Questions