How to Get Rid of Hair Algae in Garden Ponds


Green hair algae can quickly turn a picturesque garden pond into an unsightly mess. This rapid growing algae produces long, hair-like fibers that grow in large clumps. If left untreated, it can take over and choke a pond in a matter of weeks. Luckily, hair algae is relatively easy to get rid of. However, if you don't change your pond into a less attractive environment for the algae, you'll spend a lot of time removing it.

Step 1

Remove the bulk of the algae by hand. Submerge the pool skimmer in the water and swirl it around to entangle the hair algae's long threads then yank them out. Then use the net to scoop up smaller floating pieces.

Step 2

Use the pool skimmer to scrape the bottom of the pond. Remove any dead plant material, dead fish or other debris.

Step 3

Add barley straw to the pond at a rate of 25 grams per square meter of surface area. Hair algae thrives in and creates acidic water. The barley straw will help neutralize the water, and in roughly two months it will inhibit the growth of the algae.

Step 4

Plant floating plants in the pond so they cover roughly half of the surface area. They will reduce the levels of sunlight, oxygen and nutrients in the water that hair algae needs to grow. Ideal plants include water lilies, water hyacinth and water lettuce.

Step 5

Don't let fertilizer, pesticides or herbicides drain or drift into the pond. Any one of these will encourage the growth of hair algae.

Things You'll Need

  • Pool leaf skimmer


  • Pond World: Controlling Hair Algae
  • Fish Pond Info: Barley Straw
  • Van Ness Water Gardens: Beautiful Ponds the Natural Way
Keywords: hair algae, rid hair algae, hair algae pond

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.