Water Fall

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  #1  
Old 01-10-08, 04:58 PM
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Water Fall

Hello,
I installed an artificial waterfall in my garden area that is about 33 inches high by about 38 inches wide. I had an heavy buildup of dark green algae last summer and am looking for a product that will prevent or control the algae. Does anyone have any recommendations?
I have a well kept lawn in front of the waterfall and the product should not harm grass. There is plenty of water movement and birds use it to drink and bathe and they also leave droppings in it. I heard about using hay and tried it but did not see results. Maybe I did not use enough of it. I just place some in a mesh bag with a ping pong ball for flotation and let it float around the basin.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-17-08, 03:52 PM
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The well kept lawn could be part of the problem. Algae needs nutrients to survive. The bird droppings add some but fertizer might be the main culprit.

Do you have any fish in the pond/waterfall? Many chemicals that control algae are bad for fish especially goldfish and koi.

Controlling algae is a never ending task, and you will not win without harsh chemicals. You can nuke the pond with chemicals and treat it like a swimming pool. It is high maintenance, you cannot have fish, and it is not the best drinking water for wildlife.

I would settle for controlling the algae as best possible. After all algae is a naturally occuring plant. If it is going out of control it is because it has too much food. Keep all nutrients out of the pond. If you have fish feed them the minimum amount. Remove any leaves that fall in the pond. Vacuum out the scum/muck layer that develops on the bottom. Use no fertilizers near the pond. Do not let runoff from the lawn get into the pond.
 
  #3  
Old 01-17-08, 07:34 PM
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I am very careful about not getting fertilizer in the catch basin. I believe the nutrients are mostly coming from whats in the replacement tap water. There is no fish or plants. I know there are algae killers in the freshwater hobby but I do not know if the chemicals are safe near grass although they do not harm fish if used correctly. So I am looking into that.
I was in the marine hobby for ten years and learned early that I needed a very good skimmer to pull out nutrients in the form of waste matter. The marine algae in that tank eventually got under control but not totally eliminated even though I used a water purification system using mechanical, carbon filtration coupled with reverse osmosis and deionization filtration for pure water.
But as I advanced in the hobby, I found that if one wants to fight undesirable algae, then one must use another form of marine algae. This other form of algae would compete with the undesirable types for the nutrients in the water, then the undesirable will eventually die off. So It appears I might have to look into placing some fresh water plants in the catch basin if the chlorine content of the water is not strong enough to kill the plant. More investigation on my part is needed here. Thanks for replying.
 
  #4  
Old 01-20-08, 04:18 PM
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Algae Control...

Fish waste, dead leaves, bugs, uneaten fish food, dead algae, plenty of sunshine and warm water would be a perfect source that helps to produce nutrients for the algae to feed and grow.

Algae eating fish is the best eradicator. Goldfish is good choice but the pond may need lots of them. Koi is best but being very aggressive it will eat your good plants.

I use Bacteria-Enzyme-Microbe products occasionally. Published studies indicate a dramatic drop in phosphate when microbes are added to water column. The lower the phosphate, the less string and scum algae can be found. After I clean my filters, I periodically add Bacteria for best results.

Jon
creative-waterfall-pond
Sharing of hands-on experience is an invaluable source of information in the practical ownership of a pond.

Originally Posted by rjordan392 View Post
Hello,
I installed an artificial waterfall in my garden area that is about 33 inches high by about 38 inches wide. I had an heavy buildup of dark green algae last summer and am looking for a product that will prevent or control the algae. Does anyone have any recommendations?
I have a well kept lawn in front of the waterfall and the product should not harm grass. There is plenty of water movement and birds use it to drink and bathe and they also leave droppings in it. I heard about using hay and tried it but did not see results. Maybe I did not use enough of it. I just place some in a mesh bag with a ping pong ball for flotation and let it float around the basin.
 
  #5  
Old 01-20-08, 04:50 PM
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I do not want to get into mechanical and chemical filtration or even adding bacteria because the waterfalls basin holds only about 8 to 12 gallons. If it had a pond, then I would have fish and a good filtration system. What I am going to do is add about two floating plants like hyacinth or lettuce or duckweed and do 100 percent water changes each week and see what results I get this year.
 
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Old 01-21-08, 05:01 PM
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I spent a fortune $$$ getting duckweed out of my pond. It sounds funny to hear you think of adding it on purpose. It would probably do the trick though. When I had duckweed I did not have algae. You could skim off half the duckweed once a week and compost it. It will remove the nutrients from the water and when it's composted it will be great in the garden.
 
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Old 01-21-08, 05:16 PM
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I did a search on duckweed and it did not appeal to me. I think I'll go with Water Lettuce.
 
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Old 05-21-08, 09:01 AM
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Duckweed

Originally Posted by rjordan392 View Post
I did a search on duckweed and it did not appeal to me. I think I'll go with Water Lettuce.



You made a very wise decision about the duckweed. I spent much time and money trying to get rid of it. It will take over a pond. To anyone trying to get rid of duckweed.....the solution is sterile carp. They must be sterile or they will reproduce and eat all vegetation in any body of water. I bought some and have had no duckweed for two years. Of course, they do eat some other plants also. I don't know if they eat Water Lettuce.
 
  #9  
Old 05-21-08, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rjordan392 View Post
I do not want to get into mechanical and chemical filtration or even adding bacteria because the waterfalls basin holds only about 8 to 12 gallons. If it had a pond, then I would have fish and a good filtration system. What I am going to do is add about two floating plants like hyacinth or lettuce or duckweed and do 100 percent water changes each week and see what results I get this year.
You said earlier "I believe the nutrients are mostly coming from whats in the replacement tap water."

water changes probably won't work.
no fish - use an algicide

fred
 
  #10  
Old 05-22-08, 05:04 AM
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That's correct.
But I heard that when water evaporates, the nutrients do not. so when adding replacement water, I am adding more nutrients on top of whats already there. So If I replace the water (6 to 8 gallons) once a week, then the nutrients will stay the same. I plan to add a floating plant or two to deal with the nutrient content of the replacement water. If this works out ok, then I'll will try just adding replacement water instead of water changes to see if the plants can keep up with the nutrients.
I tried an algaecide and it did not work. If I had added more of it then it might have worked but it would have made it cost prohibitive. I think I paid $10.00 or $12.00 for a 8 ounce bottle. I believe the directions said to dose once a week.

I have 10 years experience in the marine hobby and I seen how effective using the right type of marine algae to compete with the undesireable types can do. So I think I am on the right track using plants like the floating type that will not clog my filters like the potted plants. Soil from these plants were leaching from the pot and requiring me to clean the filter every two days.
My water fall has a catch basin that holds very little water and investing in more equipment meant for ponds and fish is overkill.
 
  #11  
Old 05-22-08, 05:26 AM
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Do a google search - you'll find less expensive algaecides.

fred
 
  #12  
Old 06-27-08, 01:19 PM
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"Update on my waterfall algae problem"

I added two Marsilea mutica (four leaf water clover) plants to the catch basin after washing off the soil from around all the roots and let it float.
But as summer came, the algae was still overtaken the waterfall and the plants were growing well and have produced new plants. So I decided I needed a bigger plant. I purchased a Myriophyllum aquaticum (parrot feather) plant and removed the soil around its roots also. Its been in the catch basin a week now and seems to be doing fine. being as these plants are doing well, tells me that nutrients are being taken up by them. Now whether its enough, time will tell.
The only product I am using is "Pond Amquel" at 1/2 milleliter per gallon for topoffs per day due to evaporation. I have cloramines in my tap water. So I think I will have better success then last year.
 
  #13  
Old 06-28-08, 05:31 PM
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I have a small pondless waterfall in my backyard and was getting that string algae in my upper basin. I read in this forum about using water plants to help control it. I bought 3 water hyacinth plants and so far it's worked great. It's been about 3 weeks now and no green!! Thanks for the info
 
  #14  
Old 06-28-08, 08:16 PM
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When I first thought of using water plants, I thought I would have to place the plant in the catch basin with its pot intact with its soil. Then I realized that the only reason that a water plant needs a soil pot is to keep it in place when one sets up a pond. Its differant when one has a plant in the garden. The roots need moisture and nutrients from the soil, but in a waterfall arrangement, the water takes the place of the soil. So I would think that any water plant can be used without a soil pot if one desires. So I removed the pots from both water plants and wash the soil off the roots in treated water and place them back in the catch basin. It now looks better then having a pot exposed above the surface.
My tap water contains 4 ppm nitrate and some phosphate and with the birds providing a bit more phosphate, I am hoping that the nutrient uptake matches or exceeds the nutrient imput. My waterfall was not working out with potted water plants because the soil was leaching out of the pots and clogging up my filter too soon. A potted plant that is exposed above the water surface just does not look right anyways.

I don't know if this idea will work for all waterplants, but waterfall owners will have to experiment. One should also treat replacement or topoff water before refilling their catch basin. I use "Pond Amquel" and dose at a rate of 1/2 milleliter per gallon. You can find a syringe marked in milleliters at most drug stores in the baby products section or maybe in a fully stocked marine fish store.
 
  #15  
Old 07-08-08, 04:18 PM
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You said you had tried hay do you maybe mean barley? Barley is good for getting rid of alge. You can find some at Pets Mart and maybe some other source. I know I read on the internet of a girl in northern michigan who makes small bales of barley just for use in ponds. Can't remember her name but you might be able to google and find it.

Jim
 
  #16  
Old 07-08-08, 07:36 PM
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Yes, I meant to say barley straw. Most fish stores have it for sale. I got some in my waterfall. I hear its agood phosphate remover. I just did a test of the water in the waterfall and my tapwater and the nutrients are far less then whats in my replacement tap water. So adding the plants plus barley straw must be working. Here are the results of the tests:
Tap water nitrate equals 8 ppm.
waterfall nitrate equals 0 ppm.
Tap water Phosphate equals 1.5 ppm.
waterfall phosphate equals 0.1 ppm.

In another week, I'll be testing again.
I am getting algae on the waterfall but the catch basin water is still clear. I got to see if I can get the phosphate down to 0.05 ppm or less and maybe I will see improvement. When I test again, I will make a decision to add more barley straw based on the results.
Overall, I am pleased with my results so far.
 
  #17  
Old 07-09-08, 01:12 PM
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I just saw a large pond/waterfall/stream at a campground. There use to be a lot of alge. Now it is perfectly clear using the barley. They have three very large mess bags full of barley. Maybe you just need to use more?
 
  #18  
Old 07-09-08, 01:40 PM
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Its only slime algae thats on the rocks. The catch basin (only 5 gallons) had none. I think you may be right, although I do not have much room as the plants take up most of the area in the waterfall basin.
 
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