Pond Chemicals

Copper Compounds for Ponds

Aug 5, 2013 – Many pond owners are resorting to various pond chemical treatments to deal with the issue of pond algae. Copper has been used for many years as an effective algaecide to treat farm and residential ponds.

The problem that we face is that there is a narrow margin for error when treating your ponds with chemicals such as these. For example, too much copper in the water can cause a massive fish kill, destroying all your aquatic life such as trout, salmon etc… Copper compounds come in many forms, the least expensive and most commonly used is copper sulfate. Usually available in crystals or powder form (called bluestone).

Unfortunately, due to the wide spread availability and costs, the addition of copper still remains a common practice for many pond owners and often the instructions and product literature does not consider the water alkalinity or the presence of aquatic life in the pond that is being treated. Depending on the alkalinity of the pond will dictate the degree of sensitivity the fish may have to a treatment of copper sulfate.

You should register all the chemical products that you use in your pond with the local government pest management or control office. Many regional authorities require you to apply for a permit to use chemicals in your pond, especially if your water feeds into other streams or rivers.
You need to be aware that treating the algae alone with copper chemicals is not going to solve your problem. Once treated, the algae blooms will die off and as it decomposes will deplete significant amounts of oxygen in your pond causing potential fish kill.

So instead of using copper compounds as a first step in controlling algae, perhaps one should consider the longer term effects and review solutions that can alleviate algae problems before it becomes an issue. Algae problems can be addressed in the following ways listed in order of priority:

  • Pond Aeration Systems – injecting oxygen into water will help cool the pond, circulate the water, replenish water with healthy levels of oxygen for fish and aquatic vegetation
  • Good Watershed Management Practices – ensure that fertilizers and other run off can be diverted away from the pond
  • Try adding Barley Straw To The Pond Water (economical and environmentally acceptable) – a chemical in the straw is released which inhibits additional algae cells from multiplying
  • Last Resort – pre-approved chemical treatments in very small dosages at the early stages of algae development. Conduct at early stage where very little chemical is need to kill off algae. Install a pond aeration system before applying these chemicals