Watch Ponds for Algae Problems
is the time of year ponds frequently experience algae problems,
according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). With
the weather warming and days becoming longer conditions for algae growth
and algae problems in small ponds are increasing.
According to Dave Rizzuto, a fisheries biologist with the TWRA,
small ponds may experience a number of problems in the Spring.
Fish in ponds may die due to diseases, water chemistry problems, or
serious algae conditions.
"There are two main groups of algae that can be
harmful," Rizzuto said. "Filamentous algae is a long,
stringy algae and blue-green algae forms a light green, frothy mat on
the surface of the water."
"Both of these types should be treated chemically to
eliminate the problem," Rizzuto said. "A common
misconception is that fertilizing the pond will take care of the algae,
but fertilizer may just make it worse by accelerating growth of algae
already present. The algae needs to be killed first, then the pond
should be fertilized. Chemical treatments for farm ponds are
available at most Farmer's Co-ops."
Fish diseases and chemical problems, especially low oxygen levels,
often cause fish die-offs in small ponds. Rizzuto says that if
fish of just one species are dying and they are dying a few at a time,
it is probably a disease causing the fish kill. If fish of several
different species die overnight, it is probably a water chemistry
For further assistance with farm pond problems, contact your local
Agricultural Extension Agency or the TWRA.