Now is the time of year to start thinking about getting the pond ready for the year ahead.
Keep checking the water temperature and when it is above 55°F and the last hard frosts are over check for the dreaded Blanket Weed the pond keeper’s nightmare. Although it should not be as it is now easy to control with modern methods.
Firstly what is Blanket Weed?
Blanket Weed (Spirogyra adnate) is a prolific aquatic weed. The descriptive name is quite accurate as it is a filamentous algae and not a plant.
Blanket weed thrives in ornamental ponds and its growth is increased by bright sunlight and shallow fast flowing water and so it is found in and around waterfalls and unshaded areas of the pond. Garden ponds are usually stocked with fish, so they are usually overstocked and overfed which means excess fish excrement which contains ammonia and nitrates which are fertilisers to the Blanket weed.
Blanket weed can suddenly appear after several years and infest a pond. Pulling out the Blanket weed actually does more harm than good. By pulling it out the weed releases spores produced by conjugation (the fusion of the nuclei of a male and a female gamete in algae and fungi) and so produces even more of the weed.
If kept unchecked it can cause serious oxygen depletion and cause stress in fish especially the larger ones.
There are three options open to control this menace electrical, natural and chemical. For me the best option is electrical with this you simply install the Blagdon Blanket Weed Control Unit which only takes a few minutes and is a permanent solution. It uses a multi-frequency processor, which constantly disrupts the calcium ions in the water; this has the effect of weakening the blanket weed and finally breaks down.
- Quick and easy to install
- One solution hit
- Safe for the fish, plants crustations and insect life
- Treats up to 22,700 litre ponds
- 1.6 watts
The natural way to control Blanket weed is by bacteria or barley straw.
Barley straw restricts the speed at which algae grows. It can take a while to start working it seems to depend on the individual pond. We have customers that swear by it and other where it does not seem to work. It seems to work best if it can be place where the pond-water flows through it.
ValueAquatics offer barley straw in both straw pouches (treats up to 3673litres) and pellets (2.5 litres treats 9000 litres) by NT Labs.
- Both will need to be changed every 6 months.
- Natural and safe to pond life
- Controls green water and Blanket weed
- Mostly works well
- Easy to use
ValueAquatics also offer the Barley straw extracts by Interpet, there are also other natural remedies available by Bio-Clair and Nishi Koi.
Blanc-kit by Intercel is another product that uses a natural formula and is very effective.
The chemical methods use herbicides to kill off the Blanket weed the problem with these are that you have to keep adding chemicals to the pond every so often.
They are good if you have a very bad Blanket Weed problem and use them initially to kill off the blanket weed.
ValueAquatics offer Tetrapond Algofin which is an approved agecide for Blanket weed.
- Approved by Health & Safety
- Directly suppresses blanket weed
- Harmless to fish, plants and wildlife
- Easy to use