WATCH PONDS FOR ALGAE PROBLEMS
Spring 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
"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 problem.
For further assistance with farm pond problems, contact your local
Agricultural Extension Agency or your TWRA Regional Office.