Eutrophication is described as the natural aging process of a water body, when chemical nutrients, typically compounds containing nitrogen and phosphorus start to overwhelm it. This happens naturally but is accelerated by manmade activities and events. As nutrients start to take over, the water body starts to favor plant life over animal life.
Plant life can vary, but there are types of nuisance algae that are very common in eutrophic water bodies. Not all algae are bad. Diatoms are a very beneficial form of algae and have the benefit of keeping other nuisance forms of algae in check. Generally there are 3 types of nuisance algae that are most common;
As nutrient levels increase, plant life will increase as well. If an abundance of algae grows, the water will be shaded and weeds, which need sunlight, will be unable to grow. If the problem is excessive weed growth, the weeds will take up most of the nutrients so the algae will be unable to grow.
Algae blooms can be an eyesore, make recreation and fishing difficult, and cause an odor. Blue green algae blooms can also be toxic or harmful. When bodies of water experience rapid algal blooms, the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water can vary greatly–dissolved oxygen can increase significantly during the day but can also drop dangerously low after dark because of respiring algae. In many circumstances, oxygen levels decline dangerously causing fish and other aquatic life to suffer. For all these reasons and more, algae control may become necessary.
Popular Algae Control Methods: Why They May Not Be Best
Chemicals: Chemicals are used frequently to control algae growth. As the algae dies and decays, nutrients are released back into the water column, where new algae growth occurs. This re-growth then requires another treatment and starts a series of growth-kill cycles involving numerous chemical treatments. Oxygen levels decrease rapidly after chemical treatments and many sources indicate that excessive chemicals can do more harm than good. Chemicals can also kill off beneficial bacteria that help remove and control organic bottom muck. Copper compounds add new toxic sediment to the bottom of a pond or lake. Some forms of algae also become resistant to chemicals over time.
Alum: Alum is a flocculent used to precipitate phosphorus from water. Alum used to control algae can leave aluminum hydroxide and flocculated sludge on the bottom that can interfere with fish reproduction, and interfere with beneficial bacteria and insects that naturally feed on organic muck. Although it may reduce phosphorus levels, there may be unintended consequences. These may include increases in the surface and pore water concentrations of free (dissolved) Aluminum (Al), sulfate (S04), and nitrous oxide (N20). This could play a significant role in damaging the microbial and invertebrate communities that inhabit the bottom (benthic) zone of fresh water bodies.
CLEAN-FLO inversion oxygenation along with bioaugmentation will not only increase and stabilize oxygen levels throughout the water body, but will reduce nutrients safely and naturally. Without eliminating the source, NUTRIENTS, algae will be an on-going concern. This is an effective and long term approach to naturally reducing and controlling algae. Even more important, there are numerous other benefits that include improved water quality and clarity, reduced odor and organic sediments (muck), improved fish health and growth rates, and improved appearance.
Bring life back to your water body naturally with CLEAN-FLO.
Installing one of our inversion oxygenation systems along with the products below is the best way to naturally control algae.
Need help identifying the algae that you have? Check out our algae identification page.
Lake Clear – Lake Clear is a proprietary blend of microbes specifically formulated for controlling nutrients that filamentous algae use for food.
Bio Booster – Bio Booster is designed to increase diatom populations and reduce nutrients needed by algae.
Bio Stimulator – Bio-Stimulator stimulates and enhances natural microbial populations in situ for increased nutrient and muck reduction.
RLS letter – “Statistically significant shifts in algal genera composition from a blue-green algal dominated state to a diatom and single-celled green algae dominated state.” View letter from Restorative Lake Sciences [PDF]
“As you know, we have a 3+ acre, man-made and spring fed pond that is about twenty years old. When I first contacted you two years ago, our pond was in poor shape with extensive algae coverage. I’m happy to report that we now have a beautiful pond with minimal algae in only our second full season using the CLEAN-FLO aeration system and products”– Broad Run Ridge HOA
Indian Lake Report – “Graph 13 below shows the changes in relative abundance of algal taxa before and after implementation of the (CLEAN-FLO) LFA system. There was a significant decline in blue-green algae from 2012 (pre-aeration) to 2014 and a significant increase in beneficial diatoms post-aeration. Also, the relative abundance of green algae has declined over the past two years. View graph 13 on page 20 [PDF]