Filamentous algae is a broad term encompassing many different species of algae which form in many different ways. Some algae growth which occurs in light controlled amounts can be a beneficial source of food and possibly habitat for aquatic organisms; however if left untreated these mats can cover the entire surface of the pond causing both biological and aesthetic issues.
The species of algae listed here are the most commonly encountered in the aquatic ecosystems McCloud Aquatics services.
Pithophora is a fairly common type of filamentous green algae which grows from both the bottom of the pond or on the pond surface where it occurs in thick mats. The algae itself is very thick and tangled resembling wool; the texture is coarse and rough. Heavy wind or rain can sink the algae mats making it seem as though it died, however it can resurface days later. When mats become very dense they can be difficult to eradicate from the body of water and could be a sign of excessive nutrients in the water.
Cladophora is a genus of green algae with many various species that vary in appearance; this variation is brought on by habitat, environmental pressures, and age. Two of the most commonly encountered types of cladophora are in the forms of algae mats and floating balls of algae. Cladophora can be both a beneficial and a nuisance algae; in small controlled amounts it provides food for fish and other aquatic organisms.
Hydrodictyon is a green algae which filaments are net like; if you pull one clump of the algae into two separate chunks, filaments will be tied and tangled together in penta/hexagonal patterns. This algae can grow from both the top and bottom of ponds and due to the character of hydrodictyon's reproduction cycle, the algae can grow quickly and takes up a lot of physical space due to structure. This algae can be very difficult to manage if it becomes established in a pond
Spirogyra is a type of filamentous algae that is more common in clean water which has an abundance of nutrients. The algae is bright green in color and begins growing under water; if enough sunlight is present and water warm enough, oxygen production is increased and small adhering bubbles caught in the algal filaments cause the bloom to rise to the surface. Spirogyra is also very slimy in texture.