Tips on keeping your garden pond algae free

This summer is reported to be one of the warmest across many parts of England. The perfect weather for outdoor activities, but not necessarily so for many garden pond inhabitants. Some types of pond liners, if not protected can get damaged by exposure to UV rays and ponds sited where they get little shade in the summer daytime hours, may suffer an increase in algae growth.

An exposed pond liner and an increase in algae can be dealt with, however it is always better to put preventative measures in place rather than having to deal with a perished pond liner or a mass of ‘green sludge’. Algae is a common problem, but mostly in newly established ponds and often clears up over time. The organisms that cause algal growth thrive in sunny conditions. If your pond is sited where it receives little shade particularly in the summer months, then a way of providing shade is to grow waterlilies and other floating plants so that about two-thirds of the surface of your garden pond is covered. It is also a good idea to introduce plants to oxygenate the water. Algae needs carbon dioxide to thrive. 

Monitoring the amount of food fed to fish will also help reduce the risk of algae. Fish should only be fed exactly the amount they need. If after 5 minutes your fish stop feeding and there is food floating in the water, you have provide an excessive amount which will end up at the bottom of your garden pond and start to decompose thereby increasing carbon dioxide levels which algae thrive on.

Flexible rubber pond liners are resistant to UV rays but a PVC liner may get damaged by prolonged exposure. If you have installed the latter type, it is advisable to keep it covered. This is achieved by keeping the water level of your pond topped-up particularly during the warm spells. The edging of your pond must be maintained to ensure it keeps the liner covered – this also offers protection from being damaged by visiting wildlife. For more on the subject, please visit Pond Liners Online Blog post on caring for your garden pond during the summer months.

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