You may be familiar with the term ‘algae’ and how it relates to pond and fish life. If not, let me quickly enlighten you: algae are plants that are usually marine in origin that can grow rapidly and are responsible for creating ‘green water’ or ‘green scum’ in fresh water bodies. While they are usually considered to be a nuisance in fresh waters, algae do provide numerous benefits to fish and other aquatic life. Because of this, many people are inclined to keep aquariums stocked with tropical fish and fresh water corals in order to reap the rewards of rich algae life. However, keeping tropical fish in an outdoor pond or connecting pond is not without its challenges. One of the most crucial things you need to keep in mind is the need for algaecide. Why are algae such a threat to your fish? Let’s take a closer look.
The Rapid Growth Of Algae
If you’re not familiar, algae can grow rapidly and create a thick mat of green material on the surface of the water. As a result, it forms a dense covering that can dramatically reduce light penetration and hinder the ability of other organisms to thrive. If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘Roger And His Red Hair’ (it’s about a mouse that accidentally winds up in a children’s fairyland and has to fight his way out), you’ll understand the disastrous effects of algae growth. When pond owners see the thick green layer forming on their pool’s surface, it’s usually a sign that they need to clean their pool or change its water source. For those who own a saltwater pond, this can be even more complicated. This is because algae do not only affect the visible aesthetics of your pool but can also be dangerous to the well-being of your fish.
The Harmful Algae Can Proliferate Quickly
If you’re not familiar, harmful algae can cause a number of problems for your fish. Some species of algae are known to be especially virulent and can form slimy masses that clog your gills or covering, making breathing difficult. Furthermore, some algae have been known to secrete a potent toxin that can cause severe liver damage in warm-blooded animals. Lastly, some algae are prolific producers of ‘reactive oxygen species’ or ‘free radicals’ that can cause cell damage and even cancer. The presence of these toxins in the water makes algae a threat not only to the visual appeal of your pool but also to your prized possession.
Why Does Algaecide Matter?
Algaecide, in general, is important because it prevents algae growth. Since algae are a significant source of food for many fish, preventing their proliferation is a crucial step to protect your pool and its inhabitants. If you’d like to learn more, a comprehensive list of algae and their effects can be found on the ‘Center for Aquatic Research’ website. For those who’d like to keep tropical fish as a pet or as a centerpiece for an entertainment pond, learning how to prevent the growth of algae is vital. Luckily, there’s an easy solution that won’t require you to be a marine biologist: simply add algaecide to the water! This will cause any algae that’s present in your tank to die, therefore preventing future growth and the problems that it can cause.
How Long Does It Take For Algaecide To Work?
If you add enough algaecide to the water, any algae that’s present will be unable to grow and reproduce. While it can take some time for the full effects of the algaecide to be felt, it will begin to show results almost immediately. In general, it is recommended that you add a bit more than the recommended dose to get maximum results. This will, however, depend on the type of algae and the quality of the algaecide. For example, some algae will only take a few days to weeks for the full effects of algaecide to be realized; others may take longer.
What Should You Look Out For?
Although algae can pose several threats to the health and well-being of your fish, it is not always easy to identify. This is because algae are often microscopic and can grow virtually undetected in a tank. The best way to combat this is by keeping an eye out for any unusual changes in the appearance or behavior of your tank’s inhabitants. If you notice that your fish are growing unusually fast or have begun acting strangely, it may be a sign that they are in need of a health check-up. If you catch an alga in the act of growing, this is often the best way to identify its species so that you know exactly what kind of toxin it is producing. Even if you don’t see any signs of trouble, it’s still a good idea to check your water for algae once a month with a microscope or take a swish of algaecide in the water every week or every other week and give your fish a treat in the process.
To prevent the growth of algae in your pool, add algaecide to the water and continue to monitor its effects. By regularly cleaning your pool, removing excess leaves and grass, and refilling it with fresh water, you can be sure that its ecosystem is stable and its inhabitants are healthy.