News and Tips

Green water or Blanket weed Problems? - Some helpful advice

When dealing with algae, many people don't think beyond their current problem of removing the stringy green mess or clearing the pea soup coloured water.  However, algae occurs for a number of reasons and if you can deal with some of these you have a greater chance of preventing it returning.
Algae thrive for three main reasons:
1 - they use sunlight and nutrients from water to produce food 
2 - they grow by cell division, which allows them to grow very quickly 
3 - they can also produce spores, which allow them to remain in the pond through the Winter so that they can grow back in the Spring when the weather is warmer.
To help prevent the growth of algae, you need to think about these three factors and try to reduce the likelihood of them occurring in your pond.
1) Limit the amount of nutrients and sunlight to prevent the algae from growing.  You can do this by providing shade for your pond and by adding plenty of plants to the water.  (1/3 to 2/3 of the surface covered in lilies or other aquatic plants is ideal)  If you don't want plants in your pond, try adding them to a filter - a vegetable filter using plants such as watercress is an excellent way of maintaining good water quality.
Keep organic matter down by removing dead leaves from lilies and surrounding plants, as these contribute to the nutrient levels in the pond.  You can also use a sludge digesting product like Ecopond Mud Muncher to reduce the amount of organic matter on the pond bottom.  And don't overfeed your fish as excessive feeding produces excessive fish waste, or even just decaying waste food if the fish don't eat it.  Some cheaper fish foods contain a lot of filler which has no nutritional value to your fish but will encourage algae growth.  It's best to choose high nutrient, low waste alternatives.
2) Don't give algae the opportunity to grow - Algae are like grass; when grass is cropped by animals, it grows faster in order to maximise it's survival.  Every time you pull algae out of your pond, you are encouraging it to grow faster.  All the microscopic cells that break off as you remove the algae will form brand new algae strands. 
 3) Prevent algae from growing by using an eco-friendly, natural, product, such as Ecopond Barley-bio Algae Control, the natural successor to Extract of Barley Straw (which can no longer legally be sold in the UK) and which utilises micro-organisms specifically selected for their ability to control algae by removing nutrients required for its growth.  As a preventative measure, start dosing early and dose regularly as recommended on the product label.  A useful guide for when to start dosing is that if your lawn has grown sufficiently to need mowing, then it's also time to start algae prevention.  If you already have blanketweed you should remove as much as possible, just once, before starting dosing.
For further help and information you can contact Ecopond on 01225 867760.