Blanket weed is a major problem in ponds, not only does it look unappealing but it can also overwhelm plants and pond life you may have in your garden. Not only this but it can also 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 then keep reading to find out more.
What is blanket weed and where does it come from?
There are around 20,000 different forms of algae 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 which grow rapidly and if left untreated will quickly spread throughout a pond. This form of algae can either free float on the ponds 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.
How do I remove blanket weed from my pond?
If you find that your pond is affected by blanket weed then 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.
We would advise ensuring your pond has enough plants within it, as these will use the excess nutrients that can lead to blanket weed building up in your garden pond. It is important to have the right balance of plants in your pond, so aim to mix up oxygenators, marginal and deep water plants. The use of phosphate removers/absorbers provide an alternative method of removing these excess nutrients in ponds where plants are not an option.
If you find that blanket weed is an extreme problem in your pond, why not try one of our blanket weed removal products? This selection of handy treatments provide a temporary solution to the problem, so it is vital you look to balancing the problem from the root. Once the pond has been treated you can then look to balancing your pond correctly to ensure the problem does not return.
Why does blanket weed keep coming back to my pond?
If you’ve used a treatment to remove blanket weed from your pond, then it is vital you 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 nutrient level in the water causing algae to build up.
- Remove any rotten vegetation, including dead leaves, although these seem like small issues they can unbalance the levels in the water again boosting the nutrient levels.
- Regularly maintain pond filters to remove uneaten fish food, fish waste and other debris which all contribute to excess nutrient levels.
- Ensure all plants in your pond are healthy and thriving. Again this may seem like a simple step but it can really make the difference between a healthy and 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 source of food.
Are plants good at controlling blanket weed? And if so which plants?
Plants are an excellent way to balance your pond, they can thrive on high levels of nutrients and can be 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. Meaning when the balance is corrected the plant will gradually shrink, helping you know you’ve achieved a good balance.
Pond Lilies are also a great idea as blanket weed thrives on sunlight. By adding pond lilies to your pond these will reduce sunlight levels as well as absorbing nutrients which otherwise the blanket weed would use to thrive. They also provide shade and shelter for you fish.