July 2013 Newsletter (vol.20)   >>   All About Water

 

 

Pond

Water is essential to our lives; it covers 70 percent of the earth’s surface. We drink it; use it for cooking, cleaning and growing plants. It is a vital part of recreational activities; fishing, boating and swimming all require large bodies of water. When weeds and algae are present, the simple beauty of water can diminish quickly. Dyes, algaecides, and herbicides are readily available and can help you retain the beauty of your pond or lake. If chemicals are not an option for you, there are tools to help with physical removal.

Water dyes not only keep the water looking its best, they also help restrict the growth of invasive plants, weeds and fungi. Fertilizer can run off of property and ultimately be deposited in ponds, causing an abundance of nutrients (mostly phosphorus) which causes unwanted growth in your water. Water dyes can help stop plant growth by making water too dark to allow sunlight to reach the bottom of the body of water. Water dyes are available in blue or black pigments and are safe for people and the environment. Since it is made from food grade colorants, it will not stain rocks or water equipment. True Blue Lake and Pond Dye and the Jet Black/True Blue EZ Solupaks are great options when considering pond dyes. They can be used all year long to keep your pond or lake looking its finest.

Algaecides have been used for many decades to control algae buildup in lakes and ponds. Different varieties include; copper based products, sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate, and active microbes.

  • Copper based products work for a very short period of time. They work best if they are applied at the first signs of an algae bloom. The two products that work great are the K-Tea and the Pondmaster Aquatic Algaecide.
  • Sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate products are a very fast acting algaecide. They act as an oxidizing agent to kill algae and are used to prevent algae blooms. Sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate breaks down into sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide. Greenclean Pro is a form of this product and is a good alternative to copper based products.
  • Active microbial products are not registered with the EPA as an algaecide, but they have been shown to reduce the amount of algae that a lake or pond produces. They are mainly used to reduce the amount of organic material on the bottom. A good non-copper based microbial product is Greenclean WSP. No matter which type you choose, algaecides are a good choice as a preventative and treatment measure. They work best at the first sign of algae bloom, not after it has covered the whole body of water.

 

Aquatic herbicides can be used to control vegetation without harming the fish. There are three different types of weeds that could be in your lake or pond. They are submerged, emergent, and floaters. When trying to find which type of aquatic herbicide to use, you need to first identify the weed. Once you have identified the weed type and the exact name of the weed, then you can find which herbicide will work best. There are many different products, so you will want to find the right product to make sure it kills the correct weed. Some good options are; Aquaneat and Diquat which can kill all three kinds of weeds, Pondmaster Herbicide that kills only submerged weeds, and Rodeo that kills emergent and floaters. Aquatic herbicides are a great treatment option against vegetation in your water.

In addition to beautifying the landscape, ponds provide important ecosystem services such as storm water management, habitat for aquatic life, and ecosystem health and stability.  Also if the water in your lake or pond is looking a bit cloudy we have a solution for that as well.  You can either use aluminum sulfate or gypsum.  Aluminum sulfate can be toxic to fish because it lowers the pH of the water; a water pH test needs to be done before using this product.  Gypsum is a great option because it will not lower the pH and run the risk of a fish kill but you will have to use more of this product.  Ponds and lakes serve many purposes in a beautiful landscape.  

If you don’t want to use any of the above options don’t worry, physical removal of algae or weeds is another option. This is best when done on a small scale or in a small pond. This method will be time consuming in the spring and summer while the algae and weeds are growing quickly, due to the warmer weather and the extra supply of nutrients in the water from runoff. There are a few products that can make the job a bit easier. The lake rake will help remove floating weeds and algae from the surface of the water. The aquatic weed eradicator cuts and plucks all weeds in its path. Physical removal is very environmentally friendly and you can use what you get from the pond or lake and put it in your compost pile. This is a great option if you want to get some exercise, have a small pond and don’t mind getting a little wet and dirty.

Whether you have a small landscape pond or a large lake in your backyard, problems will arise. With the help of chemicals or a little physical removal, you can have the pristine lake or pond of your dreams.

Sources

Lake Dyes. http://ezinearticles.com

Aquatic Weed Control. www.uky.edu

Algae Control Program. www.ecy.wa.gov