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ALGAE CONTROL IN WATER For floating paint-like and filamentous algae in water, use cornmeal at 5 lbs. per 1,000 square feet or 140 lbs. per surface acre. The cellulose in the cornmeal helps tie up the excess phosphorous in water, balances the water chemistry, and thus kills off the algae.  The carbon in the cornmeal enables the beneficial bacteria in the water to flourish at the expense of the algae, then the decomposing algae provide a source of carbon for the bacteria.  One or two treatments is usually enough to control the algae for several months.  Getting the cornmeal to the bottom of the water increases the effectiveness. One technique is to put in a burlap bag with a rock. Small water features can use cornmeal in mesh bags. Pelletized cornmeal is good because it sinks. Caution:  any fast algae kill from any product can cause oxygen deprivation and result in fish kill. Cornmeal from the grocery store (unless whole ground) is just the starchy endosperm of the corn kernel and not as effective.

QUESTION: I have an indoor pond, and we live in area where the water has a high calcium content. In less than a year, the calcium buildup in the pond got so bad that I decided to drain the pond and clean it by hand. Can I remove calcium from the water or neutralize it? We filter the water before adding it to the pond to remove chlorine, which also is high in our area. There are no plants or living things in the pond.C.C., Plano

ANSWER: You need to balance the pH. Baking soda can be used to raise the pH, and vinegar will lower it. Litmus paper for testing the water can be purchased at pool-supply stores.

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