Having algae problems in your lake?
Whether it’s because of lawn chemicals or overgrowths, you must deal with it immediately. Otherwise, the water becomes scummy. It makes the water taste and smells horrible, alongside the fishes swimming in it.
To get rid of algae, you must understand what it is, its various types, and methods of extermination. Read the rest of our guide to learn more.
What Is Algae?
Algae is the blanket term for various organisms making oxygen using photosynthesis. These are primitive, uni- and multicellular organisms found in both fresh and seawater. Certain features make them distinguishable from land plants.
Despite their nature, algae are good because they consume carbon dioxide. They convert oxygen into the air as a result. Unicellular algae account for over 50% of the world’s oxygen supply.
When used properly, algae are good biofuel sources.
You might ask, “does algae get rid of waste in the lake?” The answer is yes, as long as it’s in moderate amounts.
So, how does algae get rid of waste? It’s through removing harmful elements from wastewater, such as nitrogen and phosphorus.
Algae overgrowth can block out sunlight, preventing it from reaching your lake’s underwater inhabitants. They also decrease oxygen levels in the water. Once they die, their debris will release nitrogen into the water.
Algal blooms are poisonous to wildlife in the water and surrounding areas. It often causes fish kills because the water quality is a lot lower.
Types of Algae
Around 1 million species of algae exist in the world. However, it’s exhausting to deal with everything at once. It’s why we simplified them into five primary categories:
This algae type has chloroplasts and can make their food through photosynthesis. You can find it in both fresh and saltwater environments. Unlike other algae types, they have no cell walls.
Instead, they have a protein-rich layer called a pellicle. Their habitats are their food source, feeding on other unicellular organisms and other foods rich in carbon.
2. Green Algae
Most algae in this category inhabit freshwater environments. However, some make saltwater environments like the ocean their home. They have flagella, enabling them to eat organic matter in surrounding areas.
Green algae also have chloroplasts, allowing them to process food alone. They’re either unicellular or multicellular organisms. Some of these include horsehair algae and sea lettuce.
3. Golden-Brown Algae and Diatoms
This algae type is one of the most widespread unicellular species around. Over 100,000 species exist in both salt and freshwater environments. Of these, diatoms are the most abundant in the ocean as various plankton species.
Golden-brown algae cells are small at 50 micrometers. In ocean environments, their rate of reproduction is faster than in diatoms.
4. Fire Algae
These unicellular organisms are mostly in saltwater environments. Only a handful make freshwater habitats. They use flagella to move in the water.
Fire algae have two types: cryptomonads and dinoflagellates. Some fire algae species light the ocean through bioluminescence. They make neurotoxins harmful to both humans and other organisms.
5. Yellow-Green Algae
These are some of the rarest unicellular organisms. They only have about 450 to 650 species around. They have silica and cellulose cell walls with two flagella for movement.
They have a lighter green appearance because of the lack of chloroplast pigmentation. They’re common in freshwater habitats. However, a few species live in saltwater environments.
How to Get Rid of Algae
Controlling algal blooms is a severe challenge, especially for big ponds and lakes. All current algal bloom treatment methods have advantages and disadvantages. Some aren’t safe for the environment, while others can get expensive.
To prevent algal blooms from happening, here are some algae control options:
1. Ultrasonic Algae Control
Ultrasounds are sound wave frequencies above the limit of normal human hearing (22kHz). Some frequencies prevent algae from growing.
During the day, algae photosynthesize in the top layer. They use gas vesicles to control depth and buoyancy. They dissolve carbon dioxide and nutrients in the water to make oxygen and polysaccharides.
At night, they sink to the bottom by emptying their vacuole. They use oxygen and other nutrients to make biomass. How does ultrasound relate to all these facts?
Ultrasound waves make a sound layer at the topmost layer of the lake water. It impacts algae buoyancy, making them sink to the bottom. There, they can’t photosynthesize because of the lack of light, dying eventually.
To maintain efficiency, specific frequency programs are necessary. Your choice depends on the kind of algae inhabiting your lake. For example, the process of how to get rid of blue-green algae is different from green algae.
Also, algae can adapt to the sound waves depending on the season. It’s why you must adjust your frequencies now and then. It’s the best move for long-term algal control.
Algal control with ultrasound is a widespread technology. It’s effective for preventing green and blue-green algae growth. It’s friendly and harmless to both flora and fauna in the area.
It’s a viable method for both small and large lakes. It comes with real-time water quality tracking to predict when algal blooms happen.
The ultrasound must cover the entire lake surface. Treat each spatial spot for a minimum period to ensure full efficiency.
2. Chemical Control
Controlling algae using chemical additives involves alum, lanthanum, and other products. They either precipitate or sequester ionized orthophosphates. Algaecides often use copper-based compounds like copper sulfate, copper chelate communes, and chemical Endothall.
Treating the entire surface means having an effective method of eradicating algae. The type of algae won’t matter once these substances are in the water. Sometimes, these come with compounds that prevent its future growth.
Depending on your algaecide choice, they can be expensive and regular dosing. Use them with care since it causes algal cell rupture. When it happens, it triggers toxin release into the water.
Rapidly decaying algal blooms can make the water full of algal toxins. It’s dangerous for both fish and plants. If used carelessly, it has significant long-lasting effects on the ecological balance of the lake.
To ensure you’re using the best products, try our Black Pack Max package. It’s great for handling algae problems, regardless of the scale. It’s safe and does a lot to improve your lake’s ecosystem, smell, and aesthetics.
Lakes must have healthy levels of dissolved oxygen. It helps to break decaying vegetation and other nutrients present in the water. At the bottom, microbes break the silt.
Both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria contribute to the decomposition process. Aerobic decomposition requires oxygen to function. It becomes more intense when dissolved oxygen concentrations are near saturated levels.
Aerobic bacteria decomposition produces carbon dioxide. As for anaerobic decomposition, it’s a slower process. It produces organic compounds like alcohol.
Aeration is friendly to the environment. It revitalizes water bodies by increasing the levels of oxygen in the water. Aeration systems are better alternatives than chemical use when making a healthier lake ecosystem.
Depending on your choice, maintenance and labor costs can get expensive. It functions more as a means of preventing algae growth instead of killing them. It needs treatment for the entire lake surface.
This method circulates water to destratify your lake. It often circulates the Epilimnion and Metalimnion to control algae. It gets rid of iron, manganese, and anoxic odors in the Hypolimnion layer.
Doing all these makes algae growth harder in some layers.
Artificial circulation is a more environment-friendly method of getting rid of algae. It’s more effective if your lake is deeper. On average, that means a depth of 15 meters or more.
Circulating water requires high maintenance costs. It also has varying results when algal blooms happen. It often affects the surface layers close to the destratifiers.
How to Prevent Algae Growth in Lakes
To ensure its freshness, learn how to maintain your lake to prevent algae growth. Use a lake muck and weed blower for your lake shorelines to sweep muck and sludge. Here are some tips:
1. Be Careful with Fertilizers
A nice green lawn with healthy plants can make your lake house more desirable. However, the fertilizer for your garden can make algae bloom faster. Avoid fertilizers if your garden is close to the lake.
2. Don’t Use Soaps Near the Lake
Keep biodegradable and organic soaps from your lake. Use a bucket for your wash water and bury it. It enables bacteria in the soil to break various contaminants and prevent algae growth.
3. Never Use Garburators
Garburators put food waste into the water system. It loads nutrients into lakes because of water treatment plants. Use land composting methods for your kitchen waste.
Get Rid of Algae Now!
Preventing algal blooms preserves the beauty and ecosystem of your lake. Get rid of algae whenever they become too much using the methods above.
Do you need help with your algae problem? Check our contact details and call us today.