Ponds and Water Gardening forum→Battling algae in full sun pond

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Portland, Oregon (Zone 7b)
Jul 21, 2019 3:37 AM CST
I like to help my friends, but I find I have less and less enthusiasm. I need a booster shot of ideas to get back on track.
A friend of mine put in a cement pond sixteen years ago that is about 7 feet in diameter and 3 feet deep and has a run that is about fifteen feet from top to bottom. It wasn't built correctly in the first place and it has been nothing but problems. I've made numerous suggestions, to no avail.

I was there the other day and removed the cattails that had volunteered themselves, because their roots had grown into the pump. Without the plants, the water is going to heat up and there will be even more algae then there already is.

He turns the pump off when he leaves town, so half the summer, it isn't running. He makes no effort to clean out the algae, but I'm suppose to magically make it go away. He lives about 45 minutes away, so it isn't like I feel like driving over there every week to help him.

Over the years, I've put barley straw in the top pool. I've used barley clear in the bottom pool. All of the oxygenators and floating plants I've put in the lower pond grew excessively long roots and clogged the pump, which sits atop of the growing silty mush at the bottom, instead of in its own separate housing. He won't allow me to put fish in the pond because the fish would eat the tadpoles.

I've used water hyacinth, water lettuce, mosaic plant, and the now illegal parrot feather, to name a few. I'd like to put in a water lily, but I'm not sure it would handle the persistent algae. In addition, there are no planting shelves, and no flat bottom to place the pots on. They tend to tip over.

Have I missed something? Is there something I haven't tried?

Portland, Oregon (Zone 7b)
Jul 30, 2019 9:07 AM CST
Really? No ideas? Sigh.
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jul 30, 2019 9:45 AM CST
The pump should be running, get a new friend.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Portland, Oregon (Zone 7b)
Jul 30, 2019 9:52 AM CST
crawgarden said:The pump should be running, get a new friend.

Name: Paul Anguiano
Richland, WA (Zone 7a)
GW & DG: tropicalaria
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Garden Photography
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tomato Heads Organic Gardener Greenhouse Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs
Jul 31, 2019 10:23 AM CST


Put an intake filter on the pump...?

If you've got nutrients, you'll have algae. There's algae in all my ponds. Smiling

I don't know of any way to defeat it long term except active removal (chemicals, algae eaters, hand scrubbing). Everything else is just keeping it under control.
Mid-Columbia Gardens
Geodesic Greenhouse
Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Aug 14, 2019 7:52 AM CST
"In addition, there are no planting shelves, and no flat bottom to place the pots on. They tend to tip over."

At 3' deep you should be able to build a platform to set a container on. I use galvanized stock ponds which are about 3' deep and I've used cinder blocks, but my favorite are cat litter buckets. They are plastic, hold 35lbs of litter when new and have attached tops which snap back on. So I just let them fill up with water and snap the lid on. That keep them from floating. If I need it to be a bit taller or want to hide one with a colored lid, I put a flat rock or one of the flat cinder block rectangles on it. I have also used leftover PVC septic pipe and cut it off to the desired length and then used stones combined with some kind of container to anchor it down and keep it stable. The stones being both inside and out (in the container) act just like setting a post in concrete. Sine septic line pipe has drain holes on one side, the pipe also fills up with water, giving it more stability.
Jun 7, 2021 1:01 PM CST
Yeah, get a new friend is the best suggestion. Other than that, add a UV sterilizer to the pump/filter setup, and make him run it full time.

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