What Is Lake Algae?

In Florida, you may have noticed lakes or ponds being covered with this blue/green type of plant. That is called an algae bloom and it is harming the lake and should be treated immediately. Algae is usually good or a body of water with living plants and fish in it. But sometimes, when the water is not being managed, algae can grow out of control. This out of control algae will end up killing the fish and plants in the water.

What is Lake Algae?

Algae are primitive plants. That means they are one-celled plant-like organisms that lack true stems, roots, and leaves. But they do contain chlorophyll. Algae can be found in both freshwater and marine water anywhere on the earth.

They only grow with the right conditions. They need nutrients and other factors in the water to grow. These include

  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Light levels
  • pH
  • Temperature

The main ingredient that controls the amount of algae that can be grown is phosphorus. The more nutrients a body of water has, the more lake algae will grow.

Algae are essential for a healthy lake. In moderate amounts, algae help with the productivity of the lake. They add to the food chain with being primary producers. Algae are desirable in lakes that are used for fishing or supporting food for fish.

Harmful Algae

Although, algae are good for lakes, there are some algae that can be harmful to lakes. The two types of algae that can be harmful are filamentous green algae and blue-green algae.

Filamentous Green Algae

This type of algae is dangerous because it forms billowing clouds of algae in the air. They tend to grow in the summer or fall of lakes. This algae is not ideal for lakes that are used for recreational uses. They are considered to be a nuisance and are hard to be removed and stay removed.

algaeBlue-Green Algae

Large amounts of blue-green algae are called algae blooms in lakes and other bodies of water. These grow in lakes that are very nutrient rich. They are cyanobacteria and composed of toxin-inducing species. Blooms can become harmful because they block the sunlight from entering in the water. The plants at the bottom need sunlight to grow and without it will die. The plants at the bottom are the fish’s main food source, and when those plants die, the fish will shortly after.