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Blanket weed.


 
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:13 pm    Post subject: Blanket weed. Reply with quote

Well, I spent ALL DAY in the pond today, raking out blanket weed. In an easterly wind as well. Sad

I must have a ton of the stuff sitting in little hayrick shaped cones at the side of the pond. It's heavy stuff. Must have upset a few thousand water shrimps, as they busily shimmied and slipped back towards the water. A few giant diving beetles as well. (they're BIG aren't they?)

Those water shrimps are all different colours, brown, grey, white, green-striped, etc, etc. Big ones, small ones, the blanket weed is alive with them. Didn't notice so many in the Parrot's Feather though.

My question is: should I continue removing all the blanket weed? It took all day today and I'd say there's as much again but I couldn't see in the end because I'd made the water all cloudy by continually traipsing backwards and forwards.

Someone mentioned that blanket weed is a sign of a healthy pond? So should I just leave the blanket weed to colonize the pond? or will I have to go back in again next Sunday? What do the panel think Question

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vulkan
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say good luck in removing the blanket weed.
Blanket weed is an algae, so is not really the sign of a good pond, its a sign that algae can thrive though.
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Rockworld
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi kindredspirit
Just read your post and looked at your pond picture at http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/about1885.html
Yes you do need to get rid of all blanket weed. Its a tough job and there's always more than appears. For large floating clumps you can use a bamboo stick or similar and try and wrap it around the stick. If you use a pond vacuum its best to take it slowly .i.e. slow gentle movements, when the water gets cloudy in an area move on to next area and then come back later when sediment has settled. Now is the time to do this before the weather, sunlight improve and hence water starts to get warmer and more growth ensues.
I presume your filter is on 24 x 7 as this is what you really need to get circulation moving, especially if filter is undersized, so the more water exchanges you get the better. If you have an ultra violet clarifier don't forget to change bulbs at least every year.
It may also be worth emptying pond completely as it sounds like you have a lot of algae present. If you are prepared to do this I recommend you dose all pond first with a String algae control agent (string algae is another name for blanket weed, the candyfloss like green filament that is fond of sticking to rough surfaces). To do this you need an accurate measurement of pond volume to find out how much you need. To measure pond it is length x width x depth in metres (1 cubic meter = 1000 litres) and for large ponds such as yours it may be best to break measurements up into separate areas, eg top section +middle section + plus end section. Once you have accurate volume you will know how much string algae control you need as manufactures state dosage.
Ponds can be emptied using your existing filter pump and disconnecting hose from filter inlet to garden. But naturally you need to be able to take all that water in your garden soakage. For larger ponds its is often worth hiring in a pump lorry like the kind used to empty septic tanks as they will do the job quickly and take away the pond water. After all the water is out you could use a pond vacuum again to get last remaining algae that is still clinging to pond surface. So basicaly you are starting afresh with clean water. This is a solution that works but if you have fish they should naturally be removed first and left in a holding tank with same pond water, then after refilling wait about 2 weeks before putting the fish back into pond.
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Roger
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi kindredspirit,

i'm not sure how "busy" plantwise is your pond but... in my experience, having built a pond about 4/5 years ago, the blanket weed thrives in new ponds or ponds lacking plants. My pond was covered in it also the first 2 years until i got loads of water plants into it (especially oxigenators!)

During those two years i was, like you, spending days trying to remove it to no avail! But once my plants in the pond got established (and they don't take long!) the blanket weed just disapeared.

From what i know, blanket weed thrives in ponds that have:

-Not enough oxigenation hence the need for a good flow and oxigenating plants (these are vital in winter when the artificial flows are turned off)

-Too much direct sunlight on the water surface (if i'm remember correctly 60/70% of the water surface should be shaded - again, oxigenator plants tend to float and provide excellent shade...)

So i think that if it's the case that you don't have many plants in it you should try to fill it up a bit... still try to take out blanket weed if it gets too much until the plants really settle but after a while it should just stop increasing.

Also, i confirm that blanket weed in a pond is definetly not a healthy but quite the opposite.

Good luck! Wink

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frengers80
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:18 pm    Post subject: blanket weed Reply with quote

hi,think above advise re established plants helping control blanket weed as this blockes out the light the algae needs to try.Heres something else youy could use and i have used this myself-malted barley straw.Ithink its also availeable in mats that you can add to your pond,number depends on pond size.google barley straw for algae control and you should find some info.
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frengers80
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:23 pm    Post subject: blanket weed Reply with quote

found this site-www.organiccentre.ie/node/759
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Frengers 80 and Roger.

I've actually been looking locally for a farmer who has a bale of barley straw but without success so far. (I'd just lob the complete bale into the pond)

I've most of the blanket weed removed now. It was all in the deepest part of the pond, i.e. under 3 feet deep; there was none in depths shallower than 3 feet. The trouble with plants covering the surface is that they all die back in the winter leaving the surface exposed. I had the pumps turned off over the wimter. I think I'll run them 365 days of the year from now on.

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vulkan
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its generally accepted that a pond filter pump is never turned off as the good bacteria built up in the filter will die. The UV is switched off and by passed. (To save ice build up)
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, the water in our pond is always crystal clear. You can see right down to the deepest parts clearly - which is where the blanket weed was congregating on the bottom. It looks black from above but when you rake it to the surface, it then appears in all its green finery.

The water is HEAVING with insects already. What'll it be like in the summer? My favourite are the whirlygig beetles but I like all of them except the leeches.

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