Ultrasonic Algae Control – Best Practices For 2012

After six or seven years of using ultrasound technology in ponds, we’ve discovered several things that can improve performance.  These simple steps have literally made the difference between success and failure in terms of algae control.  Watch the video below to learn more.

 

 

Ultrasound works to control algae by creating a targeted, resonating vibration in the cells of the plant. Over time these vibrations help to degrade or damage the cell wall and the algae becomes disabled or damaged enough to die off. This all sounds really sci-fi until you look at the results under a microscope or better still, see the reduction in algae in a pond first hand. In a word, it’s amazing technology.

But it’s not perfect.

Ultrasonic algae control works around 70 to 75% of the time.  And it does work on most algae types, but certainly not all of them.  Due to the cellular structure of certain algae, such as Oscillitoria or Pediastrum, it just can’t damage them enough to kill them.

So how do you decide if ultrasound is right for your situation?

As I mention  in the video, there may be some tell-tale signs that may help if you watch the algae.  For green water types that get denser or greener during the day and lighten up or even go away at dusk or dawn, then ultrasound may help by disabling the air bladder that these algae use to move up and down in the water.  They come up during the day for photosynthesis, but if they can’t rise to the surface they’ll simply die off at the bottom.  These particular algae respond best in waters that are not so shallow.  Six to eight feet of depth or more should provide enough to keep them at bay on the bottom after the ultrasound has damaged them.  In shallower waters they still sink, but can hang on for longer periods of time since sunlight penetrates deep enough into the water.

For most algae cases though we’ll have two things we can do to check on ultrasound’s effectiveness. 

The first is a microscopic evaluation of the algae.  This may tell us if an algae type that can’t be controlled is present, and if it is, we can assume ultrasound won’t help that much. 

The second, and most effective option (with 100% accuracy) is a short term trial period where an ultrasound system is actually placed in the pond for 60 days and the performance is evaluated.  It’s about the only way to know for sure if a system will work well or not. 

Due to this fact, at the beginning of 2012 we started a full scale trial / rental program for ultrasounds and it’s helped pond owners determine, without a lot of risk or investment whether the technology will fit their needs. 

If you’re interested in either sending in a sample of your algae to be evaluated, or conducting a trial / rental of a system please contact us for more information.

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