How to Solve Algae in Ponds


Whether you have a small garden pond or a larger hobby pond, you will undoubtedly encounter issues with algae. Warm conditions and an imbalance of plants, animals, and nutrients spark the onset of algae and when left untreated, it can quickly convert an area of beauty to a sea of sludge. There are ways to solve algae in both small and large garden ponds. Read on to find out how.

Step 1

Use a pond net to remove as much of the algae as you can.

Step 2

Remove all rocks, plants and pond equipment, including fish. If fish are present, have an aquarium available and fill with enough pond water to house the fish until you have finished treating the garden pond (plan on three to four days). Plants can be successfully housed in a bucket containing pond water.

Step 3

Drain the pond once everything has been removed.

Step 4

Clean any rocks and pond equipment with a soft-bristled brush and water while the pond is draining.

Step 5

Apply a light, even layer of kosher salt to the garden pond bed.

Step 6

Allow the salt to sit on the bottom of the pond bed for up to three days, longer if you are not pressed to return fish and plant life to the pond.

Step 7

Rinse the pond bed thoroughly with a water hose to remove the salt. Continue to rinse until no salt residue remains.

Step 8

Replace any rocks and pond equipment.

Step 9

Refill the pond with water.

Step 10

Apply barley straw in appropriate amounts based off the size of your pond. Barley straw is available at pet supply stores and many home and garden centers. When applied in proper amounts, barley straw is safe for fish and plants.

Step 11

Reintroduce fish to the pond when the water has reached a safe temperature for your specific type of fish.

Step 12

Remove leaves and any debris from the pond as soon as you notice them to prevent conditions conducive to algae.

Step 13

Use a shade screen to provide shade for your pond to help eliminate the development of algae.

Step 14

Apply good bacteria routinely to help keep algae in check and prevent algae growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Pond net
  • Bucket (to house plants)
  • Aquarium (to house fish)
  • Water
  • Water hose
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Kosher salt
  • Barley straw
  • Friendly bacteria such as AquaClearer
  • Sunscreen (optional)
  • Fountain (optional)
  • Waterfall (optional)
  • Aerator (optional)


  • World of Water: Common Algae Problems
  • Pond Appeal: How Is Your Pond Water?
  • Got Algae?

Who Can Help

  • The Water Garden: How to Control Pond Algae
Keywords: how to solve algae problems, algae problems in ponds, get rid of pond algae

About this Author

Patricia Hill is a freelance writer who contributes to several sites and organizations, including, Associated Content and various private sectors. She is also the managing debt examiner for the Charlotte Examiner.