How To Remove Blanket Weed

Blanket weed is a significant problem in ponds. Not only does it look unappealing, but it can also overwhelm plants and pond life you may have in your garden pond. Blanket weed can be a sign of imbalance in your pond, so eliminating it before it takes hold is essential.

Any keen aquatic enthusiast knows how detrimental blanket weed can be to a pond. However, if you’re unfamiliar with this major pond problem, keep reading to find more.

What Is Blanket Weed & Where Does It Come From?

There are around 20,000 different algae forms with over 500 species under the umbrella of blanket weed or string algae as it is also known. 

Blanket weed is a hair-like algae that consists of long green fibres that multiply and, if left untreated, quickly spread throughout a pond. This form of algae can either free float on the pond’s surface or cling to the pond walls, rocks and plants. Just like all forms of algae, blanket weed reproduces through spores. These spores are present in the air and can also be carried from pond to pond on birds, amphibians and plants.

Garden ponds that sit in the sunlight are usually the perfect places for algae to thrive, which is why they’re a problem all pond-owners need to know how to deal with.

What Causes Algae and Blanket Weed In A Pond?

To understand how best to get rid of algae, then you need to understand what causes it.

Excess Nutrients

Organic waste and poor filtration can cause excess, unwanted nutrients to start to linger in your pond water. These nutrients are what the blanket weed feeds on and help it to multiply.

Too Much Sun

Algae is most common in ponds created open to sunlight. The sunlight helps the algae to photosynthesise and to continue to grow. 

High pH

Higher pH ponds allow the algae to grow and succeed, further imbalance the pond water and create the perfect environment for algae to thrive.

What Problems Can Pond Blanket Weed Cause?

Takes Oxygen From Eco-System

Like all plants, algae require oxygen when not photosynthesising. Algae will consume a large amount of the pond’s oxygen levels that your fish and pond plants need to survive. Creating more competition for oxygen, the algae will create an unhealthy environment within your pond.

Hinders Sunlight

Once it has multiplied, blanket weed can do precisely that and blanket the whole pond surface. This covering stops the submerged plants within your pond from getting the sunlight they require to live.

Ruins The Look Of Your Pond

As well as all of these reasons, blanket weed also just looks ugly for your pond’s overall aesthetic. 

How Do I Remove Blanket Weed From My Pond?

Restore The Water Balance

If you find that your pond is affected by blanket weed, it is a sign that your pond is not balanced. The most cost-effective way to control blanket weed is to help everything in the pond reach the right balance. It is important to remember that a pond is a mini eco-system. Each element within the pond combines to balance it as a whole.

Plant Your Pond

We would advise ensuring your pond has enough plants within it, as these will use up the excess nutrients that can lead to blanket weed building up in your garden pond. It is essential to have the right balance of plants in your pond, aiming to mix up oxygenators, marginal and deep water plants. The use of phosphate removers/absorbers provides an alternative method of removing these excess nutrients in ponds where plants are not an option.

Blanket Weed Pond Treatment

If you find that blanket weed is a severe problem in your pond, why not try one of our blanket weed removal products? This selection of handy treatments provides a temporary solution to the problem, so you must balance the problem from the root. Once the pond has been treated, you can then balance your pond correctly to ensure the problem does not return.

How To Prevent Blanket Weed From Coming Back To My Pond?

If you’ve used a treatment to remove blanket weed from your pond, then you must create the right balance in your pond after this. If you fail to do this, you can guarantee the problem will reoccur.

  • Keep the amount of fish in your pond to a minimum, as waste from pond life can increase the water’s nutrient level, causing algae to build up.
  • Remove any rotten vegetation, including dead leaves. Although these seem like small issues, they can unbalance the water levels again, boosting the nutrient levels.
  • Regularly maintain pond filters to remove uneaten fish food, fish waste and other debris, contributing to excess nutrient levels.
  • Ensure all plants in your pond are healthy and thriving. This may seem like a simple step, but it can differentiate between a healthy and an unhealthy pond.
  • In ponds where plants are not an option, use phosphate removers to artificially reduce the excess nutrients to cut off the blanket weeds food source.

Can Plants Help To Control Blanket Weed? 

Plants are an excellent way to balance your pond. They can thrive on high levels of nutrients and can be a key indicator as to whether your pond is healthy or not.

Rorippa Nasturtium Aquaticum or Water Cress as it is commonly known is an excellent choice if you have issues with blanket weed. This plant will only grow where there is a high level of nutrients in the water. When the balance is corrected, the plant will gradually shrink, helping you know you’ve achieved the right balance.

Pond Lilies are also a great idea as blanket weed thrives on sunlight. Adding pond lilies to your pond will reduce sunlight levels and absorb nutrients that otherwise the blanket weed would use to succeed. They also provide shade and shelter for your fish.

Pond Blanket Weed

For more pond ideas, why not check out our range of pond filters & pumps, pond treatments and much more in our full range of pond products online at Pond Planet.

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