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Treating Common Fish Diseases: How to Treat Anchor Worms. – Water Garden Q & A

Picture of Koi with Anchor Word

Q: Treating Common Fish Diseases: Anchor Worm

A: What are Anchor Worms? Anchor worms are small crustaceans that start out their life as free swimming and find a fish to burrow their way into. The anchor worm will bury themselves into the fish’s muscles where they live for several months while developing. After developing, they make their way out of the fish, a process that often leaves bad wounds. Right before the anchor worm dies, it will release its eggs. The cycle is then repeated over and over again.

What are the Symptoms of Anchor Worms? First off, an obvious sign is a very visible parasite attached to the body of the fish. In early stages, it will look like a red sore or pimple. The fish will also “flash” or try and scratch the parasite off its body by running itself into rocks.

What Causes Anchor Worm and How can I Treat It? Anchor Worms are not caused by high levels of fish stress. Fish are usually infected by newly added fish already carrying the parasite or newly added aquatic plants that have anchor worm larvae on them. Since Anchor Worms’ larvae are free swimming in the water garden, the whole body of water must be treated to get rid of future cases. This can be accomplished with Microbe-Lift® Lice & Anchor Worm. Microbe-Lift® Lice & Anchor Worm is specifically designed to treat Anchor Worms. Although Anchor worms are a parasite in many cases a secondary bacterial infection will occur due to the open soars. To help fight against this secondary infection it is recommended that PimaFix be added along with the Microbe-Lift® Lice & Anchor Worm.

There is an Oil Slick Film Covering My Pond. How Do I Get Rid of It? – Pond & Lake Q & A

Algae, Duckweed, Watermeal & Pollen Identification

Q: There is a brown rust-like film/oil slick covering my pond. Do you have an idea what this might be and how to get rid of it? - Several Customers

A: There are several things this could be: Algae, duckweed, watermeal or pollen.

Determining if Algae is a Problem: Filamentous Algae will float around the pond’s edges in mats while Planktonic Algae will make the whole body of water to look like a “pea soup” green color. If this is the case, using Algae Defense® Algaecide will provide quick control. Follow up with PondClear™ for long-term clear water.

Determining if Duckweed or Watermeal is the Problem: Duckweed and Watermeal are very rapid growers and will cover an entire pond if they get out of control. Looking to the pictures to the left, you can see that Duckweed is a small plant the size of a pencil eraser, while Watermeal is about the size of the tip of a pencil. If you determine that you have Duckweed or Watermeal. Your only long-term option is Sonar™ A.S. for Duckweed and Clipper™ for Watermeal. If you only require short-term control (3-4 weeks) for an event or party Ultra PondWeed Defense®” may be used.

Determining if Pollen is the Problem: What may look like a greenish, brownish algae, may actually be pollen. Pollen may even cause an oil-slick or film on the surface of the pond. There is no magic product that will give you a quick fix. Many times a heavy rain will settle it to the bottom. In many cases if your pond receives good circulation from an aerator or fountain you will not see pollen becoming much of a problem.

Why is One of My Koi Is Bumping Into Another? – Water Garden Q & A

Picture of One Koi Bumping Another

Q: I have koi in my pond and one of them is constantly chasing the other fish by bumping and nuzzling the other fish on their bottom side in front of the tail and behind the ventral fin. Is there a reason for this behavior?

A: Yes there is a reason for this. The fish getting bumped into is a female carrying eggs, while the fish doing the bumping is the male. The male fish is trying to knock the eggs out of the female so it can fertilize them. This is very common, but it is best to keep an eye on the fish during these times to make sure no injuries happen. Also, if you would like the koi to have babies, I would suggest making sure you have a sufficient amount of bog and submerged plants. Koi are known to eat their own young and adding aquatic plants will create hiding spaces for the babies to allow them time to grow.

Controlling Sago Pondweed – Pond & Lake Q & A

Picture of Sago Pondweed

Q: Sago Pondweed is taking over our pond! What can I do to get rid of it? - Sue of DePere, WI

A: We are hearing more and more customers having an issue with pondweeds that are taking over their ponds. One we hear a lot about so far this year is Sago Pondweed. The Texas AgriLife Extension Service describes Sago Pondweed as:

“[…] a perennial plant that arises from thickly matted rhizomes and has no floating leaves. The stems are thin, long and highly branching with leaves very thin and filament-like, about 1/16 of an inch wide and 2 to over 12 inches long tapering to a point. The leaves grow in thick layers and originate from a sheath. The fruit is nut-like 1/8 to 1/4 inches long and 1/10 to 1/8 inches wide.”

There are a couple ways to treat Sago Pondweed. These solutions will not only treat Sago Pondweed but also a majority of other pondweeds as well.

For spot treatments, the best product to use is Ultra PondWeed Defense®. Its fast acting and works very well. One quart of Ultra Pondweed Defense® will treat up to 5,000 square feet of Sago PondWeed.

If Sago Pondweed is getting out of control, then the best product to use is Sonar™ A.S.. Sonar™ A.S. is a long-term solution and will treat the whole body of water. One 8 oz bottle will treat up to a 1/4 acre pond with an average depth of 4′.

After the Sago Pondweed has died off, it is very important to rake it out. If the dead vegetation stays on the bottom of the pond, over time it will break down into “muck” and create more food source for other algae and
pondweeds. The Easy to Use Pond & Beach Rake is a great tool to accomplish this.

Why Are My Aquatic Plants Dying? – Water Garden Q & A

Picture of Water Hyacinth
Q: My aquatic plants that I bought are turning brown and soggy around the edges. What could be the problem?
-Shelly of Jacksonville, TX

A: This is a very good question and it starts with testing your pond’s pH levels. The nuetral pH level in water 7.0, but if the pH gets up to 8.5 or higher it will have a harmful effect on plants. If your pH is high, you can use pH Drop to slowly bring it back down. Another thing to do is to test your tap water’s pH level. If this level is high, you may want to count on using pH Drop every time you do a water change or after it rains.

Controlling Duckweed & Watermeal – Pond & Lake Q & A

Q: I think I have duckweed and watermeal. It’s taking over my pond! I can’t seem to get ahead of it! What do I do?
- Several Customers

Picture of DuckweedA: Duckweed and watermeal are very prolific growers and can cover a pond before you know it. When covering a pond it can look like algae, but up close you can see it’s not (see pictures on the left). You can try to rake the duckweed and watermeal off the pond’s surface but more will be back within the week. The absolute best way to get rid of duckweed is to use a product called Sonar™ A.S.. The best way to get rid of watermeal is to use a product called Clipper™. Sonar™ A.S. works by inhibiting the weed’s ability to produce carotene. Without this ability, chlorophyll is rapidly degraded by sunlight and the weeds die. The only water use restriction is a 30 day irrigation restriction.

Both Sonar™ A.S. and Clipper™ will also get rid of many other submerged weeds in the pond and will produce season-long results in as little as 30-45 days.

Picture of WatermealFor more information on these herbicides and the aquatic weeds they will control, click here.

Do I Need an Aerator During the Warmer Months? – Water Garden Q & A

Picture of a water garden with a koi aeration system

Q: Does my water garden need an aerator during the warmer months of the year? -Several Customers

A: That depends on a two things: Fish Load & Depth.

Fish Load: The greater the fish load, the higher the oxygen demand. A water garden aeration system is highly recommeded for high fish loads.

Depth: If your water garden is deeper than 24″, it is important that the water towards the bottom is also being circulated. In a skimmer/waterfall filtration system, the water will circulate across the surface of the water and leave the water towards the bottom stagnant. Adding an aeration system will prevent any stagnation by lifting the bottom water towards the surface. See our selection of Water Garden Aeration Products.

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