Koi Pond UV Lights: Why They’re a Better Choice Than Algaecides

Koi ponds are ecosystems that require continuous maintenance and care. When building your koi pond, you need to operate in a way that ensures your fish will be their healthiest, free to thrive in their environment. One of the most significant risks to the health of your koi fish is algae blooms. New koi ponds are especially prone to algae blooms up until the point that the pond's ecological system matures, and this process can take several years. So how can you keep these algae blooms under control? Koi pond UV lights, also known as UV filters, are ultraviolet light systems that have been used for years to control green water algae. 

Today, Koi Fish USA will be explaining the importance of installing koi pond UV lights. We'll also be taking this opportunity to discuss why certain alternatives to controlling algae (such as the use of algaecides) are not the best choice, contrary to popular belief. After reading this article, you'll have all of the information you need to make the best possible choice for your pond. In ensuring your koi fish live their longest, happiest lives, knowing the best practices is essential. With that, let's get started!

Why You Need to Control Algae in Your Koi Fish Pond

While koi activity in your pond will be at an all-time high after enduring the winter season, algae will also begin to grow. In particular, springtime is infamous for algae blooms in a koi pond. Spring algae blooms can not only be an eyesore, but they're also dangerous to the health of your koi fish. Algae thrive off of the type of matter typically found in most koi fish ponds: CO2, sunlight, and food (nitrates). During the spring season, there are enough of all three of these factors to facilitate algae growth.

One of the main draws of owning a koi pond is taking in the beauty of the fish. So why should you be wary of algae blooms in your koi pond? The most apparent downside to algae has to do with visibility. With an overflow of algae growth, the natural beauty of your fish will be muted and difficult to enjoy as they swim beneath algae-covered waters.

Secondly, and more seriously, there are other potential hazards associated with algae growth. For one, algae can deplete the amount of oxygen required to support your koi fish. While algae create oxygen during the daytime as a byproduct of photosynthesis, it consumes just as much- if not more- oxygen during the night. For this reason, algae blooms are notorious for causing a dangerous drop in oxygen in a pond, leading to the death of your fish.

Additionally, it should be noted that if algae blooms are not kept in check, they will only continue to grow with time. When there is an overgrowth of algae, it can even clog your filters and pumps, possibly damaging the equipment. This problem can be particularly frustrating for koi fish owners, wasting both their time and money.

What Are the Different Types of Algae?

There are two main types of algae: green water and string algae.

Green water algae are most closely associated with visibility problems. Green water algae are also the most commonly combatted algae found in spring blooms and are incredibly fast-growing. Without a proper handle on preventing the growth of green water algae, your koi pond can go from clear to positively murky in just a couple of days.

On the other hand, string algae grow in strands and attach themselves to the pond's bottom. String algae grow more slowly than green water algae. While some koi fish owners believe that they can rip out string algae when it appears, this leads to spores releasing back into the water. Once these spores are released, it only facilitates the growth of more string algae.

Controlling Algae Growth With Koi Pond UV Lights

Now that you understand the importance of controlling the growth of algae in your koi pond, you may be wondering what the best method of control is. That's where koi pond UV lights come in. Koi pond UV lights are designed to kill any algae floating in the water. UV filtration is a popular method of algae growth control for koi ponds centered around combatting green water algae, in particular. Put simply, the UV rays damage the reproductive capabilities of the algae cell so that it is unable to replicate itself.

Additionally, koi pond UV lights effectively remove various other potentially harmful bacteria free-floating in your koi pond. It should be noted that UV light wattage is rated according to the size and volume of the pond. For this reason, learning the adequate amount of lights and light size you'll need for your pond is essential.

How Do Koi Pond UV Lights Work?

When water is pumped through their light path, koi pond UV lights go to work. All single-celled, free-flowing algae in your pond's water are then exposed to high levels of ultraviolet light. The light then destroys their DNA, killing them. 

It is important to note that UV lights do not physically remove algae from the pond. It simply kills them. Fortunately, the damage caused to the algae's DNA also causes them to clump together, a process known as flocculation. Flocculation makes the algae much easier to trap and remove from the water by hand.

What to Consider When Choosing Koi Pond UV Lights

When selecting koi pond UV lights for your pond, there are a couple of things you should carefully consider: size and water flow rate.

As a general rule of thumb, we highly recommend that koi fish owners select a koi pond UV lighting system that is oversized compared to the manufacturer's recommendations. If the light is not big enough for the pond, you will notice little effect on the control of algae growth. Always plan to select a bigger light rather than a smaller light to be on the safe side.

Additionally, the water flow rate is critical to consider when choosing koi pond UV lights. If the water flow through the light is too fast, it will reduce the overall efficiency of the light. A certain amount of consistent UV exposure is required to actually kill the algae. Also, remember that koi pond UV lights are not designed to control string algae. This type attaches itself to the bottom of the pond and isn't free-flowing.

Why Koi Pond UV Lights Are Better Than Algaecides

In learning about the best ways to control algae growth in your koi pond, you've likely heard recommendations to use algaecides. The use of algaecides, however, is a topic of heated debate among koi fish enthusiasts.

While some koi fish owners seek to help the natural process by adding chemicals to the water designed to fight algae growth, others know that such additives can be dangerous. When algaecides are used, caution is always advised. Algaecides will affect not only the algae in your pond but also all of the pond's plant and fish life as well.

Here at Koi Fish USA, it is unfortunate that we have customers contact us regularly reporting that they have killed their fish due to the use of algaecides. When overused or overdosed, algaecides can prove fatal to koi fish. Unfortunately, in what is a vicious cycle, algaecides are only temporary and, therefore, must be dosed regularly to keep the pond water clear.

It is dangerously easy to use too much when it comes to algaecides. When the algaecides have nothing else to kill (like the algae, as is their purpose), they will harm the next thing in line- your fish. For the reasons listed above, koi pond UV lights are a much better option for controlling algae growth than the use of algaecides. To effectively control algae in your koi pond without the risk of harming your fish, koi pond UV lights are by far the best possible option!

Koi Fish USA: Your One-Stop Shop For Koi Fish For Sale

We hope that our discussion of the benefits of koi pond UV lights has been helpful to you. At Koi Fish USA, we have a passion for setting koi fish owners up for success. If you want your koi fish to remain healthy and happy for as long as possible, we highly recommend using a koi pond UV light to control algae growth.

Want to know what else we're passionate about at Koi Fish USA? Supplying beautiful, healthy koi fish at reasonable rates! If you're looking for the best koi fish for sale, look no further. Our selection of standard koi, butterfly koi, and goldfish is unmatched by our competitors. Better yet, we offer next-day delivery, as well as a 14-day guarantee that covers all fish for up to 14 days after the arrival of your shipment. We're in the business of supplying high-quality fish that you can enjoy for years to come, all while offering exceptional customer service. Ready to make your dreams of owning a koi fish pond a reality? Koi Fish USA is here to help!

Stay tuned to our blog for more helpful tips and information surrounding koi fish ownership, care, and pond maintenance! There's no better resource to use when learning about everything koi fish-related. Thanks for reading! Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.