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Furface
11-06-2008, 12:37 AM
This was the first year I used GreenClean for algae control. Mat and string algae have always been a problem in my pond because of a high nutrient load. The reasons behind this are uncontrollable, given the circumstances.
The pond is situated in a 40-acre public garden that is excellent bird habitat. Tree areas are mixed with open areas, and many of the plants are good food sources and nesting sites. In the spring summer and autumn there are high songbird populations that garden visitors enjoy. The birds also control many insect pests, so it is undesirable as well as impractical to attempt to control the birds. When the pond went in, the birds stopped using the birdbaths and use the pond instead. They much prefer using the waterfall and rock surfaces for bathing and drinking. Not being concerned with sanitation they often defecate in the water. I believe I would have the high nutrient levels and algae growth even if I ran the pond empty of fish.
In the past I tried algae control chemicals that always had adverse, unintended consequences, either pond plant injury or damage to the plants surrounding the pond. Besides this, their use was very expensive.
This year for the first time I used GreenClean. The pond is large so the most cost effective method was to purchase the granular concentrated form. The first applications were in early spring before the fish were moved from their over-wintering tank to the pond. Iím always skeptical of manufacturersí claims and always observe closely. After 2 weeks I hadnít observed any damage to the plant and insect life in the pond or attached bog. It also didnít seem to have any adverse effect on the birds and frogs around the pond. Next I added the fish and watched closely. These fish are very valuable because they are 6 years old and a center of attraction for visitors.
On another forum a user of GreenClean had remarked a year ago that it seemed to him that Green-Clean didnít work as well when pines were pollinating and large amounts of pollen were going into the water. As it turned out, this was a very astute observationóa connection I donít know if I would have made without that suggestion to fall back on.
As it turned out, in late spring when the pines, spruce and some other wind pollinated trees were doing their thing, mat algae control dropped and algae regrowth started nearly immediately. I have a brother, a biochemist, and when he observed this, he remarked that the Green-Clean works by damaging the algae through rapid oxygenation much as hydrogen peroxide does in cleaning bacteria and damaged tissue in wounds. Acting on the pollen and not controlling the algae sufficiently was consuming the Green-Clean. This lack of control was serious enough to prompt me to apply the full dose twice a week. This resulted in reasonable control again. When the trees were done pollinating in early summer this problem abruptly disappeared and the lower dose once a week again worked. However, the problem returned in late summer when many weeds were pollinating. In the surrounding farm fields and along country roads at this time of year the wind-pollinated weeds were flowering, such as ragweed and lambs quarter (hay fever season). I again had to commence with the twice a week application for adequate control. Because of the timing of these problem periods I donít believe they were connected to temperature, algae usually grows most rampant during high summer temperatures, precisely when I received better control.
During the dose increases I did not observe any adverse effects on the surrounding plant and animal life, nor on the pond bacteriological balance.
There was however an unforeseen consequence of my using Green-Clean. It seems I can never change a parameter without unintended consequences. Up until now I had never had a problem with green water, caused by single cell free-floating algae. After using Green-Clean for a while, the pond water turned a murky green. No matter how often I did water changes the green water remained. My hypothesis is that when I freed up the nutrients from the mat algae they became constantly available for the single cell algae. Green-Clean has no effect on this alga. My next choice was to purchase an inline ultraviolet sterilizer and installed it right before the waterfall filter. Within a week the water was crystal clear and remained so as long as the light remained on. The filter then caught much of the killed and clumped algae, which I rinsed out once a week.
Do I think the experiment was a success, and do I think itís worth another yearís trial? Certainly the answer is Ďyesí on both points. People who have seen the pond over the years remarked about the viewing improvement. The fish were always clearly visible, and enough algae remained on the rocks to keep the fish, frogs and insects flourishing. However, the cost factor of increased application is an important factor. I would not consider the use of Green-Clean without the much cheaper granular concentrate option.

smaug
11-06-2008, 12:41 AM
Very nice post on a very irritating subject.Your experiment is valid and the results are correct.