Green Algae Control Lake Management

Vegetation Identification - Algae

Algae come in many shapes and sizes, some algae even resemble higher plants. However, algae lack true roots, stems and leaves. In fact, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, algae are defined as "eukaryotic (nucleus-bearing) organisms that photosynthesize but lack the specialized reproductive structures of plants." It's estimated that world wide there are at least 5,000 unique species of algae. Algae can even be found in extreme environments, such as growing under the sea ice of Antarctica. The algae we find in our freshwater ponds and lakes can be further grouped into three groups, Planktonic, Filamentous, and Chara/Nitella.

Planktonic Algae are microscopic, free floating Algae. Phytoplankon is often the base of the natural food chainWhen a pond experiences an "Algae Bloom" it is from an abundance of Planktonic algae and is recognizable by the green tent to the water. Most Planktonic algae are harmless and in fact beneficial in small amounts. The worst of the Planktonic Algae are the Blue-green algae.
For more information on Bluegreen algae Click Here.

Filamentous Algae are the most common group of algae. This Algae can form dense mats along shorelines and on top of submerged vegetation. It is formed of many single filaments or strands of algae intertwined to form a large mass of vegetation. Clear water, large masses of Submerged vegetation and excessive nutrients are the major contributing factors that lead to excessive Filamentous Algae growth.

Chara and Nitella are among the highest forms of algae. Resembling true vascular plants Chara is the highest form of algae. Resembling higher plants Chara and Nitella are often confused with other species. They often appear to be rooted but being true algae they lack any true roots. You will find these algae types in clear, relatively shallow water. Available sunlight is a major limiting factor to the growth of Chara and Nitella so they are often found in gin clear water, like that of the Texas Hill Country. Chara is an especially effective water filter and will many times lead to clear water once it has been established. Control of this algae is done with a granular algaecide. At times Chara can be a stubborn plant to treat but generally speaking it doesn't cause major problems.

Typical Algae Treatments

     Planktonic Algae and Filamentous Algae can both be treated with liquid algaecides. If a pond has a particularly large amount of plant matter extreme caution should be used to ensure that conditions don't favor oxygen depletions and fish kills. Most algaecides are Copper based products. These are safe when used according to the label, however copper can be toxic to certain fish species. The toxicity can be multiplied by water with low alkalinity, like that of east Texas. The amount of the pond that is treated should be 25% of the total surface area of less when massive amounts of vegetation are present. Seven to Fourteen days are usually required between applications but you should always consult the product label as well as local and federal laws.

     The proper Surfactant should always be used when treating algae. Surfactants help reduce surface tension and allow better absorption and distribution of the algaecide. The word surfactant comes from "Surface Active Agent". The effectiveness of your product will be greatly increased by the use of a proper surfactant. Again we can't stress enough to read the product label and MSDS. Material Safety Data Sheets are required by law to be offered by the seller of such products, if you ever have any concerns about a product ask for a MSDS all products have them, including Elmer's Glue.
Triploid Grass Carp can, at times, be effective at controlling Chara. Grass Carp offer very little if any control over the other forms of algae.
Planktonic Algae
Filamentous Algae
Chara
Planktonic Algae
Filamentous Algae
Chara