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Algae Chemical Control

Chemical treatment is the most common approach to algae management especially among the low-cost vendors. Lake managers spray toxic chemicals to kill algae. This was the accepted practice before we understood algae the way we do today.

Algae species are not equally susceptible to these formulas. Some species are far more difficult to kill, so some lake managers use more chemicals, more frequently. This usually results in a lake full of hard-to-kill algae. This may be your lake today. 

 

Algae are very adaptable. Being a simple life form similar to viruses or microbes, algae sometime develop resistance to repeated use of common algaecides.

Many algae species sense toxic chemicals in the water & go dormant until the water is safe again. These algae are ready to grow & reproduce within a day of chemical application. 

 

The biggest problem with chemical treatments is that many beneficial organisms are susceptible to algaecide. Snails, clams, beneficial bacteria, freshwater mussels, immature insects, frogs & young fish often die from chemical algaecide applications.

 

Guess what the snails, clams & other creatures do for your lake? They filter the water & eat the algae. So, what happens if you kill the natural, beneficial creatures that keep the lake balanced & clean? 

 

Chemical treatment cycle

  • You kill the algae with a harsh chemical. 

  • The dead algae sink to the bottom & become food for the next generation of algae.

  • Some of the algae “goes dormant” to avoid the chemical poison.

  • The chemical also kills many of the tiny animals that eat the algae.

  • Algae just return with a vengeance in two weeks

The long-term effect is that nutrients build up month after month for years. These excessive nutrients feed future generations of algae. 

 

Your lake manager must be thoughtful & careful when using chemicals in your lake. Even though chemicals are dangerous to the lake ecosystem, there is a place for these products. Applied at proper doses, chemicals are a useful lake management tool. 

 

You might suspect that your past lake management vendors overused chemical treatment. Contact Beautiful Ponds if you’re interested in discussing responsible chemical use or the other environmentally friendly lake management techniques.