Every self-respecting pond owner strives to achieve clear water and healthy livestock. At Perfect Ponds and Landscapes we pride ourselves in assisting our customers to gain and maintain that crystal clear water. With regular maintenance and a little bit of care and attention to detail this is an easily achievable goal. We are always on hand to give you advice or guide you in the right direction.
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Algae and Blanket weed
Green water is caused by the growth of large numbers of single-celled algae, which live suspended in the water and is fuelled by light and excess nutrients in the water – typically making its appearance as the days begin to get sunnier in the spring. There are many different symptoms, depending on the algae present. These are the most common symptoms:
- A ‘pea soup’ effect caused by fine algae suspended in water
- Floating green scum
- Blanket weed or silk weed, are very common pond algae and have dense growths of hair-like green strands that float under or on the surface, or cling to plants at the side of the pond
The principal culprit is nitrate, a nutrient which forms naturally as left-over fish food, fish faeces and dead plant material decays. Nitrate test kits are widely available and very simple to use, but often simply clearing out fallen leaves, cutting and discarding dead water-plant foliage and avoiding over-feeding your fish can make a big difference.
Where blanket weed and algae are already a problem in an established pond, consider the following;
- Blanket weed and other floating algae are easily removed by twirling them out of the pond with a cane
- All pond algae can sometimes be discouraged by floating a mesh bag of barley straw on the pond – about 50g of straw per sq m of water surface area is ideal. Add the straw in spring and remove it when it has turned black (usually about six months later). Sometimes lavender is added to the barley straw for additional effectiveness
- For smaller ponds and water features try a liquid barley straw extract bought from a garden centre or aquatic nursery. Various other products are available that combine barley straw extract with a blend of micro-organisms designed to remove nutrients from the water and discourage algal growth
- Various other treatments are available. Some appear to be effective only in settling suspended debris, others may give short-term control of free-floating algae. Some have been claimed to be effective in controlling the most troublesome types, such as the filamentous algae or blanket weeds. There are, however, several different groups of algae collectively called blanket weed. These individual treatments only affect certain algae, so you might have to try several products to find one that works in your pond. Treatment needs to be repeated at intervals
- Do not be tempted to change the water in the pond, as it will bring only short-term relief, the problem becoming worse subsequently
- These methods should all be treated as quick fixes, and the conditions that caused the algae to grow in the first place should be improved
Perfect ponds and Landscapes have been dealing with these problems for many years and can assist with your aquatic plant management and algae and blanket weed control.
Contact us for more advice