How To Get Rid Of Blanket Weed In Your Fish
Ponds ... Introducing "Goodbye Blanket Weed"
Blanket weed is a plant or to be more precise it is a form of
algae. It loves sunshine and warm fish ponds.
Algae are plants and as such they grow through
the process of photosynthesis. This means quite
simply that if blanket weed algae spores exist in
the pond and if there are sufficient nutrients
dissolved in the water then when the sun shines and
especially if the water is warm as in summer months
then the blanket weed will take on a life of its
Once a fish pond has become "infected" with
blanket weed it used to be virtually impossible to
get rid of it. Thankfully there are blanket weed
controllers, blanket weed cures, blanket weed
removers and a whole host of other blanket weed
treatments or killers. Not all of them work all the
time and the reason for this is not well known but
it probably revolves around the many different types
of algae in the blanket weed class.
A side benefit of having blanket weed in your
fish pond is that the pond water is generally very
clear and herein lies part of the modern day secret
to getting rid of blanket weed. Why does this kind
of pond water stay clear? The answer is that the
nutrients are taken up so greedily by the fast
growing blanket weed (also called string algae or
filamentous algae) that the tiny suspended types of
algae referred to normally as green algae can't get
a grip on life. They are virtually starved out of
The Nutrients Required For Blanket Weed Growth
It's simpler than you think ... algae are plants
(and mainly green at that) as I said and this means
they love nitrogen and phosphorous. In pond water
these chemical elements show up as NITRATES and
PHOSPHATES and the nitrates are in turn produced by
an in-pond process called nitrification. Don't worry
too much about the detail of this nitrification
process here save to say that fish are the source of
ammonia and the ammonia is turned into nitrates by
bacteria in the pond biofilter. Nitrate is dissolved
in the pond water. What's very important is to
recognize that nitrates and to a lesser extent
phosphates are needed for blanket weed to survive.
No nitrates = No blanket weed.
So all we have to do is get rid of the nitrates.
Unfortunately it's not quite so simple but Bradshaws
now sell a couple of products that really do work
and they work by mopping up nitrates dissolved in
water. Removing nitrates by using specific naturally
occurring bacteria mixtures was proven in
independent tests carried out by Brooksby College to
be the best way to control blanket weed. They
discovered that by using the right bacterial mixes
and regular treatment with the bacteria it was
possible to reduce nitrates to extremely low levels.
During 2001, Brooksby College, the well known
aquacultural college in Leicestershire, England,
were asked to undertake some blanket weed trials by
"Koi Ponds & Gardens" magazine. The results were
published in the August 2001 issue of "The Koi Ponds
and Gardens" magazine under the feature entitled
"Beat the weed".
Six blanket weed control products were tested.
Two were electromagnetic, one was a water purifier
with a copper releasing cartridge, another was a
water colorant and two of the products were
microbial in nature.
Nishikoi developed a bacterial treatment and gave it a most marvellous
name ... "Goodbye Blanket Weed"
The product comes in sachet form and is a secret
mixture of bacteria and barley straw extracts. It
has become an award winning product and a top seller
How Do These Secret Bacteria Work In A Garden
Just as it was explained that blanketweed is more
greedy than suspended green algae (the type that
causes water to go like pea soup) the bacteria in
Goodbye Blanket Weed are even more greedy for
nitrate nutrients than the blanketweed itself and as
such the bacteria starve the blanketweed out of
existence. It's a process called competitive
exclusion ... where 2 species compete for the same
food and because life is such a great motivator for
all species the stronger one will always survive
As the bacteria get used up then they must be
replenished by adding the correct dosage to the
What is blanket weed?
Blanket weed spreads and recolonises vegetatively, by branching
off and breaking off parts of its own structure which will then
colonise new areas. Biologically speaking, this can be a risky
strategy, as if the environmental conditions change, it does not
have extensive means of adapting to the changing environment.
However, where the environment provides consistent conditions, (as
in a koi pond), and the blanket weed is adapted to those conditions,
it is a very successful strategy, allowing it to thrive and spread
rapidly throughout its life cycle.
There are numerous types of blanket weed (also referred to as string-algae). The most common
general are Cladophora,
Oedogonium and Spirogyra. Cladophora means 'branched plant' and when
viewed under the microscope, it is possible to see the
regular-branding filaments, each of which is divided by cross walls.
Thanks to Ben Helm for this description.
Other Ways To Combat Blanket Weed and Control
Its Rapid Growth In Fish Pond Water ... based on
reducing sunlight, reducing nutrients, lowering
temperature & killing the algae. Notice there are
blanket weed control, removal, killer, treatment and
blanket weed cures.
penetration into your garden pond water using blue
dyes like Nishicare Blanket Weed and Algae
Control. These are only partially effective
based on the Brooksby College tests but do make
a difference and are especially useful in very
large ponds like those on golf courses. Create
shade conditions around the pond ... the best
way is to plant
aquatic plants and especially plant water
lilies with their large surface area leaves. Of
course the water lilies also reduce nitrates as
well. Floating plants do a good job of providing
shade also. Very green pea soup algae ponds do
not have blanketweed because not enough light
can penetrate the pond water ... but we want a
clear pond full of life that we can enjoy; there
is little point in having pond water looking like a
dense green pea soup, is there? This kind of
approach would be classed as a blanket weed
in pond water is best achieved by using "Goodbye
Blanket Weed" as described. Plants will compete
with any type of algae for nutrients in the
water and as such will help to deter blanket
weed growth. This is a blanket weed remover
Blanket weed does
not grow well in winter because the water is
cold. I'm not suggesting you cool the water
though ... it does help to control blanket weed
but it is, not always practical.
Algaecides are a
type of herbicide. Blanc Kit Excel supplied by
the UK's leading koi food producer, Nishikoi, is
an extremely effective one and safe in water and
pond environments. With the use of off the shelf
algaecides there is a need to be extremely
careful of toxic side effects. Using Blanc Kit
Excel is a blanket weed killer process. Whenever
you use algaecides also read the instructions
carefully and especially take care of any impact
there might be on your pond bio filter. Fish are
very sensitive to even minor concentrations of
chemicals and filter bacteria even more so.
Don't kill your bio filter whatever happens and
this is why "Goodbye Blanket Weed" is such a
good solution. If adding chemicals know the
gallons or litres of water in your pond quite
Barley straw or
the more active and preferred barley straw
extract take time to work. The process as to how
barley straw or the barley straw extract works
is complex and has to do with the in-situ
production of hydrogen peroxide. This chemical
is a very strong oxidising agent (bleach) and
this probably interferes with the photosynthesis
(green) process of growth.
For garden ponds
that are high in calcium dissolved in water then
electronic blanket weed controllers are claimed
to work well.
If all else fails
then you'll need a blanket weed remover and the
best on the market is the EASY WEEDER ... what's
important about this device is that it has blunt
ends to ensure you don't puncture
liner. It's always a good idea to remove as
much blanket weed as possible before adding any
treatment of any type to your garden pond water.
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