Zombie Winter Algae won’t die.

Do you have zombie winter algae that refuse to die even though you have treated it?

Winter algae can begin to appear when the water reaches 45 degrees.  But, the beneficial bacterias that fight algae do not become effective until the water reaches 50 degrees.  In that 45 to 50 degree temperature range, the algae grows freely.  In warmer waters, the bacteria in the bio filter, the cultured bacteria such as Microbelift PL and PBL and the natural barley straw, do a great job.  But at these low temperatures, only the low temp bacteria such as Microbelift Autumn Winter Prep are active.

Many people resort to an emergency first aid for the algae by using algacides.  Hopefully they at least use the environmentally friendly algacides such as Green Clean and Algaway 5.4.    In warm water Green Clean usually works over night and Algaway 5.4 works within 2 to 3 days.  Results are frequently not as stellar in cold water. Why?

Why indeed?  Think of it this way.  If you go out to your garden in the summer and cut off lettuce, the cut lettuce is definitely dead.  Put the lettuce out in the sun on the picnic table and within hours it will wilt, turn brown and curl up, almost gone.  Now take that same piece of dead lettuce and put it in your refrigerator.  There, it is still dead, but it will stay green and crisp for several weeks.

So, even if you kill your winter algae in refrigerator cold water, it will still stay green and life like for several more weeks.

What to do?  One product that will block the growth of algae regardless of temperatures is Microbelift Barley Straw Extract. This works regardless of temperatures.  Another approach is pond dye.  Both Microbelift Bio Blue and Bio Black, added to the pond before the algae appear, will block algae growth.  The downside to the dyes is that they will also block your view of your fish.

There is an up side to winter filamentous algae.  Algae is a perfect spring food for your koi.  High in vitamins, low in hard to digest protein.  A true Popeye Spinach for your sleepy koi.  Later in the season they will turn up their noses at such fare.  But in the spring when they are very hungry, (and you are not yet feeding them, please) they will readily nibble algae.