Algae solution for small duck pond during vacation


Mar 3, 2016
I have a small duck pond (one of those landscaping type ponds) for 4 ducks. I usually dump and refill it twice a week. It takes about that long for the algae to start growing and the pond turns bright green. I would love a long term solution but right now I am needing advice on how to keep the algae at bay for a week while I go on a family trip. I have someone coming over to check on things but don't want them to have to deal with the pond. I have pool alcaecide, would a little of that be ok? What about barley Straw? Thanks for your help.
I've heard good & bad about barley straw, but can't hurt to try it. The main source of algae production is sunlight, so putting the pool in the shade is a big help.
What size pond? (gallons)
Really small. Only 50 gallons, I think. Looks like this.
I have a 50 gallon tank too. I bought a brass spigot on Amazon, used a hole drill bit and attached a hose to spigot. Just open spigot to drain every 3 days. Water runs out hose and away from pool.
We have a drain spigot too, but its not very good and hard to turn, especially for my mom. Maybe we will replace it with one like that, but for right now I just want a solution to keep the pond as algae free for the week without draining and refilling. Anyone used algaecide or barley straw? I read that barley straw takes a while to get started.
Let me know if you figure something out.
In these smaller pools it seems the only real solution is emptying and refilling.
Bottom filters and beneficial bacteria with a Skippy system work well for larger and deeper ponds, but I'm in New Hampshire - "The Granite State" - and we can't dig to build or insert a larger pool, so emptying every other day is what we have to do. Just the cost of doing business when you choose to have ducks I guess!
Actual true barley straw works great for algae. All you need is a handful in a tank that size. The big algae eating snails work great too. Fair warning, though, my Cayugas figured out how to eat the snails in the late fall. They were curious about them in the warm months but never tried to eat them until the seasons changed.

If you use the straw you'll need to make sure the snails still get some vegetation to eat.

You'll still need to change the water out reguarly because the snails aren't terribly happy to live in the sludge that accumulates in duck water.

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