Nitrogen and phosphorous are food sources for
algae (phoslock.eu). Nitrogen is not as big of a concern as phosphorus because
algae can get nitrogen from the environment (phoslock.eu). Phosphorous is a
limiting nutrient which can stop algae from growing (phoslock.edu). When
there is excess phosphorus, algae can use it to help grow and sustain life (phoslock.eu). The growth of some more nasty algae will
fight off healthier ones (phoslock.eu). Macrophytes
use up most of the phosphorus as a bundle of weeds (syngentaprofessionalproducts.com).
is cycled through the water as ammonia, nitrate and nitrite. As ammonia becomes
excessive, bacteria called Nitrosomonas use it as a food source and
change it to nitrites (pondexperts.ca).
Nitrites are less harmful than ammonia, but if in excess, they can become
dangerous. As nitrites increase, a bacteria called Nitrobacter changes
the nitrite into nitrates which are even less dangerous (pondexperts.ca).
As the Nitrobacter increase, nitrites will decrease. (pondexperts.ca).
The cycle ends with nitrates. Nitrates will appear in a pond that has no plants
or algae and are not broken down by bacteria. (pondexperts.ca). The immune systems of fish cannot
handle accumulated amounts of nitrite(pondexperts.ca).
When nutrients become excessive in ponds,
eutrophication occurs. “Eutrophic is the term used to describe the condition of
nutrient enrichment when aquatic plant growth becomes excessive. One of the key
concerns of eutrophication is the impact of oxygen levels.” (Bruulsema, et al.,
Large sprouts of algae occur because of eutrophication (nature.com). These
large sprouts of algae can block the sunlight which can kill off algae, plants,
and animals in the water (nature.com).
Predators are also affected by the blocking
of sunlight because they need the light to see and catch their prey (nature.com). After
the algal sprouts die off, the decomposition process begins which uses up the
oxygen in the water (nature.com).
The decomposition process causes anoxic and hypoxic conditions. Anoxic means there
is no oxygen present and hypoxic means there is only little oxygen and not
enough of it (ozcoast.gov.au). Hypoxic water can cause the death of animals living in the
water and can cause a specific
temperature effect (ozcoast.gov.au). This effect
is where the warm water mixes with the water that has little oxygen this causes
stress for the fish (wtop.com). Hypoxic water can make harmful chemicals
such as hydrogen
sulfide and ammonia gas, which can harm the animals in the water
(ozcoasts.gov.au). Anoxic water can also cause the death of animals living in the water (ozcoasts.gov.au).
Anaerobic and aerobic bacteria can live in water. Anaerobic bacteria does not
need oxygen. They use chemicals from the water to survive instead (www.dunnfishfarm.com).
The decomposing process of anaerobic bacteria occurs without containing oxygen.
This makes the process slow (www.dunnfishfarm.com). Because the process is slow,
it does not fully complete the process which makes the chemicals sulfur dioxide
and sulfuric acid (www.dunnfishfarm.com). The rotten egg smell is
caused by these chemicals (www.dunnfishfarm.com). Aerobic bacteria need oxygen
because they use it as energy to make food (study.com). Because there is oxygen involved,
the decomposing process is faster, but it still makes a chemical that makes the
rotten egg smell. The chemical is carbon dioxide. Both kinds of bacteria use up
the decomposed junk that is floating in the water and put it back into the
water in a way that animals living in the water can now use themselves (extension.psu.edu).
When large sprouts of algae die, bacteria have to use up oxygen on the water in
order to decompose the organic matter (Bruulsema, et al., 2011, naturespondcare.com).
This causes less oxygen on the water which of course will harm animals who
depend on oxygen to survive. Many types of fish and insects do not survive well
without oxygen (Bruulsema, et al., 201l, naturespondcare.com).
There are many treatments to help with
maintaining water quality and nutrients. Buffer strips can help by collecting runoff
water before it flows into a body of water causing many nutrients to accumulate
in the water (grit.com).
A very helpful device called a pond aerator helps to keep water clean. (solitudelakemanagement.com).
The aerator keeps the accumulation of nutrients under control by flowing oxygen
throughout the water (solitudelakemanagement.com). To keep the accumulation
of nutrients under control by putting a little pool connecting to the pond. The
pool helps to collect the extra nutrients and sediment before they go to the
pond. (extension.psu.edu). Certain plants can absorb nutrients and use them for
their own gain before they enter the pond. The nutrients are good for food for
the plants and the plants help to provide a habitat for animals around the pond
There are several chemicals that help to take away excess
nutrients, especially phosphorous. Phoslock is a granule that you can add to a
pond to make the phosphorous go to the bottom which makes it impossible for
other plants and animals to take in (solitudelakemanagement.com). Phoslock are little
pieces of clay and lanthanum. Phoslock will take away algae which in turn helps
revive other phytoplankton that are beneficial to the pond (phoslock.eu). One
thing that can decrease phosphorous and maintain how much is put into the water
are aluminum salts. These salts will still do their job in ponds even though
the pH is a little off (solitudelakemanagement.com). Lanthanum works by
turning phosphate into a more usable and better form for ponds called
rabdophane. Lanthanum can be used in different water conditions. It can work in
water that has a deficiency in oxygen. (solitudelakemanagement.com).
Alum is a beneficial solution because it binds to particles usually in water. This
clears the water of any substances or particles that will make the water dirty (syngentaprofessionalproducts.com).
Some common particles in water are the sediment and soil (scienceclarifies.com).
Barraclear is a product that contains a chemical called Alum, a type of clay,
and a barrier to protect from the pH (www.dunnfishfarm.com). A mechanical way to remove
nutrients is by performing a process called dredging. You do this by taking out
all of the grime and filth from the pond (www.dunnfishfarm.com). In order to
dredge the pond, you must empty it first. After doing that, you can then dig up
the silt and muck at the bottom by using a shovel or via another means of
digging. You can finally put fresh water back into the pond (livingthecountrylife.com).
There is another type of dredging which is just another way of regular dredging
that is used so that you do not have to empty out the pond before you start
digging. You can dig up the muck with the water still in the pond. (livingthecountrylife.com).
This could be a bad or a good thing because it’s nice to empty the pond and
then put fresh water back into it, but at the same time it is more work and it
would be a longer process.
Aerating devices are a great benefit for
ponds. Aerating devices spread oxygen through the water. This helps with the
decomposing of aerobic organisms who need to use enough oxygen to carry out the
process (www.dunnfishfarm.com). Any unpleasant smells that come from murky and
dirty water can be prevented by the oxygen that spreads from these devices by
making currents in the water (www.dunnfishfarm.com). The
aeration device causes the currents from the wind (www.dunnfishfarm.com).
Floating islands are large floating plants
that serve many purposes. Floating islands can be made out of materials such as
plastic and of course plants (floatingislandsinternational.com). The main
purposes floating islands serve are as follows: “purifying water, providing
more habitat for water and terrestrial plants and animals, shoreline erosion
protection, and landscape features” (ascelibrary.org). Floating islands consist of large
roots that go down to the depths of the waters and these roots have plenty of
room for microbes to live on them (midwestfloatingisland.com). These microbes maintain
excessive nutrients by using them for their own gain as a source of food along
with cleaning the water (midwestfloatingisland.com). Pollutants which produce
chemicals such as phosphorous, and the accumulation of algae are big contenders
for making ponds dirty so the insertion of microbes helps to reduce both of
those things since they compete with algae for food sources and also use up
nutrients in the water (midwestfloatingisland.com). Not only are their
microbes helping, but there are also plants that can be put on floating islands
that help to reduce excess nutrients by sifting the nutrients so that they can
be used up by the plants (nualgiponds.com).
artificial floating islands have roots that go down into the water while the
dry ones do not (acelibrary.org).
The “wet” artificial floating islands are most commonly used (ascelibrary.org).
The “dry” artificial floating islands, however, are not used very often. The
way that these are built is by using a sheet of concrete and putting it on a
floating device that can withhold the weight of the concrete (ascelibrary.org) “Wet” artificial floating islands can be made out of
floatation devices like small buoys or mats connected by ropes (ascelibrary.org).
There are many other ways to make artificial floating island frames such as
wood, steel, plastic, fiber, and concrete which was mentioned above (ascelibrary.org).
Plants that surround ponds along with animals
that are found near water are great for and prefer “wet” artificial floating
islands considering they are moist, but are also small which can be a downfall
(ascelibrary.org). It is the opposite for “dry” artificial floating islands considering
they are not wet or moist enough for animals and plants that need water as a
A study showed the difference between normal cells of the water without artificial
floating islands and cells of artificial floating islands. The study showed
that an increase in density of algae was more prevalent in the normal cells
compared to the cells of artificial floating islands and the artificial
floating islands helped with getting rid of or at least slowing down the
nutrient accumulation in the water column as well (ascelibrary.org).
Floating islands can bring pizazz to your
pond. There are plants and other objects that are perfect for any specific
habitat for animals (midwestfloatingisland.com). There are more objects
that you can place onto a floating island to give it even more pizazz and give
a temporary home for animals (midwestfloatingisland.com). Little trees that can
provide branches or large sticks can be great for birds to perch and lay eggs
Rocks both big and small are useful because they have crevices that are great
for tiny animals to take refuge in (midwestfloatingisland.com). A little area
of sand could even be added to provide a place for turtles to sunbathe and take
a break from the water (midwestfloatingisalnd.com).
Although the ideas above are important decisions
to make for a floating island, deciding which plants to place is a huge deal
when it comes to floating islands. “Water irises, aquatic forget-me-nots,
papyrus, arrowheads, and pickerel rush” are other great plants for floating
islands that give it the beauty that it needs (floatingislandswest.com).
Plants grown natively are also a great option and are probably more easily
Like it was mentioned earlier, plants are a huge deal for floating islands
since it gives the island beauty and character along with the very important
aspect of providing temporary shelters for animals. With this aspect, floating
islands can bring different species of animals together
(midwestfloatingisland.com). The roots that hang down from floating islands not
only are homes to microbes, but also have the purpose of protection and food
from the microbes for animals living in the water (midwestfloatingisland.com).
Floating islands can be built to have
different objects and plants on it that are perfect for animals and birds that
need to get away from predators on the land that cannot get to them when they
are in the middle of the water (midwestfloatingisland.com).
Bigger plants on the islands have the purpose of protecting baby birds or other
small animals from large birds that would not be able to see them as they are flying
overhead due to the large plants covering them (midwestfloatingisland.com).
This way, birds especially can lay eggs and have their young hatch without any
worries of them being eaten (midwestflaotingisland.com). The plants and other
objects on floating islands make for great rest stops while birds are migrating
and need a break from all of the flying that obviously takes a toll on them and
their wings (midwestfloatingisland.com).
Floating islands give all kinds of bugs a
chance to live and make homes because of the plants and flowers that provide a
place for them to find food and a place to lay their offspring (midwestfloatingisland.com).
All of these bugs are necessary to help feed the birds and other small animals
on the island (midwestfloatingisland.com). Not only does the island help out
the bugs, but pollinating bugs that accumulate on floating islands help the
flowers on the island to spread their seeds so they can germinate so as to help
their species to keep on growing (midwestfloatingisland.com).
It is a symbiotic relationship that the islands encourage.
Erosion is a big problem for bodies of water
because it causes shorelines to deform and fall apart. Floating islands help
shorelines to withstand erosion (brittanica.com). The first thing that causes
erosion is sheet erosion (brittanica.com). Large chunks of soil come apart
because of not being very solid or tightly packed together because of storms
and powerful rain (brittanica.com). This causes an avalanche of these chunks of
This avalanche of water mixed with chunks of soil can be a serious event (brittanica.com).
The avalanche will cause the shoreline to keep falling and losing soil which
makes the water channel much wider and this can keep a cascade going of more
loss of soil as time goes on (study.com).
Waves are the second cause of erosion (sites.google.com).
Waves usually get their energy from wind, especially if there is a lot of wind.
The stronger the wind, the bigger the waves get (sites.google.com).
This is why beaches have regulations for swimming when wind or storms are
present or on the way because wind makes waves bigger and have a stronger
force. Waves usually carry soil and other material from the bottom of the water
as they move across it which makes the waves rougher so when they crash into
the shore, the shore will start to fall apart. This is what causes the erosion
is a floating island’s job to control the erosion process by controlling the
size of the waves and how much energy they are producing and by also ensuring
that their roots will help the shore to stay firm and not fall apart so easily
(canadianpond.ca). This will help to keep the soil and other materials at the
bottom of the water to stay compacted together (canadianpond.ca).
There is a difference between floating
islands and artificially constructed islands. Floating islands contain microbes
that grow on the roots of the floating island (scholarworks.montana.edu).
These are considered to be aquiculture plants because they grow without soil
and just use nutrients that their roots take in from the water that surrounds
The artificial floating islands have roots, but theirs do not grow by just
hanging in the water collecting nutrients from it. Their roots grow into the soil
and sediment at the bottom (scholarworks.montana.edu). This means that they
aren’t able to take in nutrients from the water, but only from the soil and
sediment at the bottom (scholarworks.montana.edu).
Artificially made floating islands can be put
just about anywhere where there is water draining into it which can be a good
thing considering how well they do at minimizing excess nutrients
(green.blogs.nytimes.com). It would be a good idea to put them in ditches where
water runs off into it so that way the island would collect the water and
nutrients before it has the chance to enter into drains or pipes which would
flow into bigger bodies of water like a lake (green.blogs.nytimes.com).
Artificially made floating islands are usually made from plastic material,
especially things like bottles, or containers of some sort tied together very
tightly to make a raft-like object (green.blogs.nytimes.com). Then you can
place plants connected to the part of the mat that goes into the water so that
the roots from the plants can reach into the water in order for the microbes
living on the roots to be able to use up the excess nutrients in the water and
clean it properly (green.blogs.nytimes.com).
Artificially made floating islands have been
shown to get rid of or minimize nutrients that are in excess by quite a bit. The
rates for getting rid of the nutrients skyrocket (floatingislandinternational.com).
Organic substances like carbon are minimized from the water and becomes a major
feeding ground for the fish and other aquatic animals because they make contact
with adhesive substances on the roots containing microbes which are easy access
for the fish and other aquatic animals to feed off of (floatingislandsinternational.com).
Shade is something that is certainly a given
when it comes to floating islands and their purposes. There are negatives and
positives to having the appearance of shade. A positive effect from these large
plants that produce shade on a floating island is that they interfere with the
sun’s ultraviolet rays from reaching the surface of the water
(nualgiponds.com). This will deter the algae from using the sun’s rays to perform
photosynthesis and therefore not be able to survive (nualgiponds.com). On top
of that, algae thrive best in warmer temperature water so this does not work
out well when the shade makes the water colder (nualgiponds.com).
mentioned above, there are also negative aspects of shade on not just the
water, but also on the animals living in it, as well. The negative aspect of
shade is that shade can also block not just the sun’s rays from reaching the
algae, but also blocks the sun’s rays from reaching lilies and other plants in the
water from performing photosynthesis (extension.psu.edu). As we know,
photosynthesis produces oxygen so without photosynthesis there is not enough oxygen
production meaning that the water is in need of more oxygen (extension.psu.edu).
Since oxygen is necessary for fish and plants to live, a depletion of oxygen is
a big deal and can harm them if not enough oxygen is presented to them. As was
mentioned above, the water is also affected because without enough oxygen the
water can turn into a gross color and produce a potent and foul smell, as well (extension.psu.edu).
Although, there are negative impacts of shade on algae and water, the shade
produced by floating islands did mitigate the nutrients after all because the
shade greatly impacted the production of algae in the water which is what causes
an accumulation of nutrients in the first place (ascelibrary.org).
Wet and dry artificial floating islands purify
and clean the water that they are placed in. (ascelibrary.org). Even though shade greatly impacts
the increase and survival of algae, artificial floating islands contain plants
that will decrease the excess nutrients so it sort of balances each other out (ascelibrary.org).
Lakes have the disability to maintain aquatic plants because of the ever not so
constant water level that rises and drops at the drop of a hat which is
something that floating islands help out with. They can help to maintain the
plants by controlling the stability of them as the water frequency changes (ascelibrary.org).
Artificial floating islands are used quite a bit in Japan (ascelibrary.org).
The first floating islands ever to be used were in Japan and they were built
with sticks and twigs that were stuck or woven together (ascelibrary.com).
of scientific researchers from Japan wanted to examine the water that
artificial floating islands were placed in to see the differences in the condition
of the water compared to areas without floating islands (ascelibrary.com).
They used three cells in three different areas where there was a difference in
how much surface area was covered by floating islands (ascelibrary.com).
Two of the cells were placed in areas where there was a little shade, and the
other cell where there was a little bit more shade from the floating island. The
third cell was put in an area where there was no shade at all
(ascelibrary.com). They found that floating islands do not cause a loss of chlorophyll
in plants that live in the water (ascelibrary.com). There was about the same amount
of plants, if not more from when they started the research (ascelibrary.com).
This can show that floating islands are beneficial for the quality of the