Answer: There are several methods of controlling algae, but the best way is to avoid it in the first place. Maintain a good balance in the pond, using surface growers such as lilies to shade the top and ample underwater oxygenating plants. These plants will use the nitrogen from the fish wastes and blcok the sunlight and thus starve out the algae. Avoid overstocking the fish so that the pond is capable of recycling their wastes. Avoid overfeeding the fish as this also contributes to excess nutrients in the pond. Next, a certain amount of algae is inevitable each spring while the pond comes out of dormancy and the balance reestablishes itself. Once the plants come into growth the algae should disappear on its own; it is not necessary to have totally clear water at all times.
Finally, in extreme cases, it may be desirable to use an algicide (beware of damaging other plants) or in some cases barley straw will counter the algae. The straw can be bundled in a mesh bag and floated in the pond. In no case however does draining the pond help, especially in a new pond, the new water will cloud and the system will still need to balance itself.
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