How to Get Rid of Blanket Weed

Published: 30th April 2010
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If you leave the pond for about a week or months, you will possibly run in distress as the water turns green and becomes swarmed with carpet-like plants known as blanket weeds. This alga appears on the pond lining, pump, or tube, and even in running water. It may be impossible to completely eliminate those blanket weeds in your pond because they multiply rapidly.

Why do blanket weeds grow so fast? Blanket weed algae are types of microscopic plants that branch out into tiny parts and colonise into new areas. These plants cannot adapt to changing environment, but thrive on ponds with consistent conditions, more commonly in koi ponds. A pond crowded with nitrogen, phosphates, and sunlight is the sanctuary for blanket weeds.

It's hard to determine exactly what substances are present in the water; most of these elements are excreted by fish and the water itself, making it hard for the human eye to distinguish which causes the problem. Blanket weeds can sprout anytime in your pond, especially during summer, when the terrible heat and sunlight help these plants rife.

So how do you control blanket weeds from coming back in your ponds? Is it possible to get rid of those unwanted plants? Here are some ways on how to get rid of blanket weeds:

• Extreme heat and sunlight hasten the development of blanket weeds. With this in mind, it is important to create shade around the pond, so the sun will not penetrate directly in the water. This can be achieved by planting aquatic plants such as water lilies, hyacinths, lotus in the pond to cover the water. Also, floating plants such as water lilies do a great job in shading and reducing excess nitrates in the pond. They can prevent blanket weed from growing in the pond as well as beautify the pond at a fraction of a cost.

• Adding vegetable dye is another practical way to block the sun's rays from penetrating the pond and encouraging the tiny blanket weeds from forming in the surface. Vegetable dyes give a dark tint on the pond water, creating an artificial shade against the sun. Using this treatment provides long-term and effective results. Otherwise, erecting pergola at the top of the pond is also cost-effective way to suppress one important factor in the photosynthesis of blanket weeds.

• Bacterial treatment is another option for controlling blanket weeds. Bacteria that can be included in the water are Azotobacter, Bacillus, Pseudomonas and Chaetomium genera. Those bacteria fight with filamentous algae for nutrients including ammonia, nitrate, phosphate, and proteins. However, this treatment is not an immediate solution for blanket weed removal, because it can take time for bacteria to create equilibrium in the pond. Also, bacterial treatments work effectively when used with ultraviolet filter.

• Barley straw does wonder in controlling blanket weed, but it takes time to work. It produces oxidizing agent that abrupt the photosynthesis of filamentous algae.

• Once you have found the right blanket weed treatment or blanket weed controller , don't forget to clean the bottom of the pond to keep it clear from dead algae cells. If the dead algae cells remain in the pond they can re-enter the food cycle and wreak havoc once again.

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