Green soup in my barrel pond

I have a problem with my barrel pond, the water has recently turned very green.  We set this up last year during the late Summer 2012 and left it unplanted until the end of May this year when I put a water lily in.  The lily is still alive and is throwing up new leaves but the water has gone this horrible green - I haven't got oxygenating plants yet so I'll get some today but is there anything else I sould be doing?



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,619

    It needed to have oxygenating plants from the start - now I'm afraid you've got a stagnant mess.  Even with oxygenating plants it's hard to stop this happening - when I had one I used a small pump and filter to make a tiny fountain which helped oxygenate it, but the filter needed cleaning every few days.  

    You can get stuff that will make the green algae clump together and sink to the bottom is one of them, but you'd have to do sums to work out the dosage as it's designed for bigger ponds.

    To be honest I'd start again, and set it up properly from the start.

    Good luck image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,719

    Pop in some watercress- just stuff you buy from the supermarket. It starves the algae of the nutrients it feeds on and clears the water. Easy to pull out if gets too much. The water lily will help block out light and heat which also encourages the algal growth.

     I'd agree with Dove that starting again might be the best idea and you can then get some oxygenators in right away.image

  • Thanks both - interesting about the watercress, I'll give it a go but it looks as though I'll have to start again.

    We live and learn!!  image

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,719

    Hope it works BL. You have the water lily so you've got a head start and you won't need much in the way of oxygenators  so it won't be expensive! A quick clear out and you'll be enjoying your lovely little pond in no time! image

  • Keen 1Keen 1 Posts: 187

    Hi. In my small Pond I also have the green water problem. have tried a safe to all chemical but this has not worked. By chance a caller at ours this week was talking of her Pond with the same problem. Apparently she saw a prog on TV with a large pond with the trouble and the cure was suggested as "Barley Straw" such as you can buy at the Pet Shop. I will pass on what she said and am going to try it myself, cannot see any harm being done really.The quantity depends on the size of the Pond but a bundle of suitable size in a porous netting (stocking) wrapping and either floated on the surface ( it will sink or can have a weight to sink it) was said to kill off the algae quite quickly - something in it did the job. Passed on as heard. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,719

    Yes Keen barley straw's a well known solution and is available in all sorts of forms. You can get pelletted forms as well. Again it feeds on the nutrients the algae needs. If it's a big pond you'll need a fair bit! Has to be barley straw though not wheat! You might get some from a farmer if you have one nearby- it's dear from pet shops and GCs.

  • Yes, I had already decided to try that but hadn't actually got around to doing it!

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,719

    I'd use watercress if I was you as it's cleaner, cheaper and you'll only need a little for a barrel Bird Lady. A bag out the supermarket's about a pound! image

  • I've already got barley straw so no worries there.  image

  • DaintinessDaintiness Posts: 949

    50g of barley straw per 1m square of surface area of your pond - no matter what the depth. It will take a few weeks to start to work but will then continue working for months. When you are topping up your little pond, do not use tap water as you are just introducing more chemicals/nutrients into your mix. Top up with rain water only.

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