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Water Garden Algae

by Michael Greifenkamp (June 12th, 2007)

I've had a water garden for a few years now. I started out with one in a big plastic planter on my deck. One winter that managed to get enough water/snow into it that it froze and cracked and had to be relegated to being, well, a planter once again.

A few years back I bought a kit from Menard's that had a round tub with three shelves, as well as a fountain and pump. I dug a hole for it and back-filled with sand, and then got rocks to go around the outside. I've used this set-up for the last few years

And every year I end up having a problem with algae. It gums up the pump which then makes the water stagnate, and the fish quite unhappy.

I've gotten all sorts of advice over the years, and none of it seemed to work. The folks at the gardening place said to use a barley bale. That didn't control algae, but it made a mess. The guy at the pet store told me to put tadpoles in the pond. Well, this last time I was totally algae-fied and assumed my tadpoles had grown legs and hopped away, but after emptying the gross green water I found all four tadpoles in the bottom of the pond, flopping around.

Check out that water. Blech.

Well I talked to an old friend, and she had a suggestion for me: furnace filters. Eureka! So off we go...

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