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Does it matter what color pond dye I use for my pond? – Ponds & Lakes Q & A

Dyed PondQ: Does it matter what color pond dye I use for my pond? – Jen in West Virginia

A: With a wide variety of dyes appearing in the pond industry, how do you choose the one that’s best for you?

Black dye, blue dye, dyes with bluish green or blackish blue, concentrated dye, dyes with added bacteria…..some pond guys and gals may find themselves asking, “What does any of this mean to me?” or just plain “HELP!”.

One thing that we can all agree on is that these pond dyes are no longer perceived as singularly decorative or unimportant to maintaining a healthy pond. Although adding dye to your pond does enhance its visual appeal, it also plays a major part in preventing algae attacks by restricting the amount of sun exposure your pond floor receives. How many of us can truly say that less algae outbreaks is a bad thing?

Black or Blue……Why Not Both?

Now that we’ve cleared the air about dye’s importance in your pond, there is only one question left to ask: “What’s your favorite flavor?”

Previously, the process of adding color to your pond involved the simple process of grabbing what was on your retailer’s shelf taking it home and dumping it into your pond. Pretty easy right? How about pretty boring? What if you don’t want your pond to be bright blue? What if you don’t want it to look like a Caribbean oasis? This is where options become a good thing. So which to choose?

Black: Perfect for natural looking ponds in wooded areas where you want a reflective surface to show off the surrounding landscape.  Black DyeMondPond Dye

Blue: You have a manicured yard with lush green grass and the true blue color beautifully offsets the scenery. Nature’s Blue

Twilight Blue: So you wanted the best of both worlds? Now you can have it. Thanks to your input we are proud to present Twilight Blue. If you want a little blue in your water but you don’t want your pond to contrast its surroundings too much. You will achieve ample color while also creating an attractive, rich look. Twilight Blue

Aqua-Blue: The Caribbean color looks great with sandy beaches and tropical landscape and can turn your pond into our aforementioned oasis. Aquashade

POND TALK: So which is YOUR favorite color? Share with us pictures of your favorite colored pond!

What do I need to do to overwinter the fish in my farm pond? – Pond & Lake Q & A

Winter is coming, are your fish ready?

Pond & Lake Q & A

Recently, someone asked me a fantastic question regarding winter aeration and if it can “super-cool” your pond in the winter, possibly causing harm to your fish. I had one of our expert Fisheries Biologists, Justin McLeod, answer this question. Below are some easy solutions that he suggests to ensure a fish-safe winter for those of you in the colder climates. – Jason Blake, The Pond Guy®

Winter aeration (bubblers) can be very important in areas where ponds can freeze over. Along the Northern US border and into Canada, mid-winter temperatures dip well below freezing for prolonged amounts of time. This can put your fish into jeopardy if the pond freezes completely over. To answer your question regarding “Super-Cooling your pond, extremely cold surface temperatures cause ponds to stratify in the opposite way of the summer. Because water is most dense at 39 degrees Fahrenheit, the water beneath the winter thermocline stays around that 39 degree mark, while the water above the thermocline drops down near the 32 degree mark. This is a small difference, but it could mean life or death to a fish.

A “super-cooled” condition is created generally when surface aeration (fountains, High Volume Surface aerators, or really anything pump or pushing water into the atmosphere) is used during winter months. “Super-Cooling” happens when the colder water on the top is circulated to the bottom, leaving no warmer water refuge for the fish. Although it is uncommon to see “Super-Cooling” with sub-surface aeration (bottom bubblers), there have been instances when it has happened. With that said, I would never let this stop me from operating my aerator in the winter – my fish are just too important to me!

Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your aeration system and possibly avoid the chance of “Super-Cooling”:

    1. If you have multiple diffuser plates, it is ok to run only 50% of your diffusers. Even though the mixing power of your system is decreased, it will still add oxygen to the pond and allow gases to escape out through the hole it creates in the ice. Note: You only need 10% of your water surface open in the winter for gas exchange.
    2. If your pond is extremely small (1/8 acre or less), you may want to move your plate(s) out from the deepest area into a shallower spot. This will leave room for fish to winter in the deeper water.

POND TALK: What do you do to prepare your lake fish for winter?

Why do people put dye in their decorative ponds? – Water Garden & Features Q & A

Pond Dye

Water Garden & Features Q & A

A: If you’re new to the hobby, the thought of adding dye to your pond may seem like a foreign concept! Why would you want to add color to the water that you’re working so hard to keep clear? Well, there are aesthetic reasons – and some practical reasons, too.

Understanding Dye

First, let’s discuss the dyes themselves. Pond dye typically comes in two colors: black and blue. Black pond dye, like Pond Logic Black Pearl Pond Dye, gives shaded ponds a rich look and turns a brown or gray water feature into a stunning pool that reflects the trees and landscape. Blue pond dye, like Pond Logic Blue Sapphire Pond Dye, gives ponds a natural-looking blue color and looks best in features surrounded by manicured or open landscapes. You’ll find these pond dyes in concentrated form. When you add the recommended amount, the coloring will diffuse throughout the pond within several hours. They’re safe for people, pets, fish and water fowl.

Why Dye?

Adding dye to your decorative pond does more than give your water feature a unique and appealing look. The dye actually serves several purposes, from controlling algae and simulating depth to protecting fish and masking a murky pond.

Simulate depth: Some people use dye in their ponds to make a shallow pond seem deeper. If you have a 14-inch-deep pond, adding black dye can make it seem 5 feet deep. The optical illusion creates a mirroring effect that appeals to many pond owners.

Fish safety: When predators fly overhead or lurk alongside the pond, a little pond dye – along with some predator control – will go a long way in protecting your fish. Koi and goldfish will dart to your pond’s dark depths when a heron or raccoon threatens them. The pond dye serves a similar purpose.

Aesthetics: Of course, aesthetics remain an important reason why folks use dye in their ponds. A crystal blue pond or a rich reflective pond mimics what you’d find in nature. Couple that with a tranquil landscape, and you have an attractive water feature that draws oohs and ahhs!

Algae control: The top reason why people add dye to their ponds is that it is widely known throughout the industry that it may inhibit algae growth. Algae thrives in sunlight and pond dyes filter those rays, preventing them from reaching below the surface, thereby preventing algae from growing.

POND TALK: Why do you use pond dye in your decorative pond or water garden? If you don’t use pond dye, why not?

Blue Pond Dye Versus Black Pond Dye – Pond & Lake Q & A

Picture of Blue Pond Dye & Black Pond Dye.

Pond & Lake Q & A

Q: I notice you have a black pond dye. Is there any reason why I should use black pond dye versus blue pond dye? – Nick of New York

A: We’ve received some calls lately about the difference between our Nature’s Blue Pond Dye & Black DyeMond Pond Dyes. What’s the best color for the pond? Is one better than the other? When would I use one of them and not the other? It really comes down to color preference as well as the environment surrounding your pond.

Nature’s Blue Pond Dye is the most widely used of the pond dyes. It looks very good in almost any situation. Our blue dye has a very deep, natural blue shade as opposed to some of the yellowish-blue colors you find with some other brands. Nature’s Blue Pond Dye works great in ponds that have a manicured and open landscape where the open sky can help reflect the color.

Black DyeMond Pond Dye is growing popularity extremely fast in the pond market. What we’ve found is that Black DyeMond pond dye fits very well in natural ponds in wooded areas. It gives the pond a pure, reflective quality that rivals some of Mother Nature’s best work.

Either way, whichever color you choose, blue or black, pond dye is an important aspect of keep your pond looking beautiful all year.

POND TALK: Do you use pond dye in your pond?

Controlling Pondweeds: Duckweed – Pond & Lake Q & A – Week Ending March 28th

Picture of Duckweed Floating in a Pond.

Pond & Lake Q & A

Q: Last year I had an uncontrollable case of duckweed in my pond. It covered my entire 1/2 acre pond! I’ve heard of your product called WhiteCap and wanted to use it this spring. I don’t see any signs of duckweed yet, but was wondering if it is too early to treat.
– Cameron of Michigan

A: Duckweed can take over a pond. This prolific grower can come from many sources although most commonly brought in on the feet of waterfowl such as ducks, geese or even herons. The small plant can stick to the feet or the feathers of such birds and be carried for miles. Duckweed can start out slow and in some cases take several seasons to become a problem, although I would recommend treating for it as early as possible.

There are a few options when treating duckweed. You can use a fast-acting aquatic herbicide such as PondWeed Defense or RedWing although this will only give you temporary relief and require multiple applications of spraying the duckweed directly. These are not usually suggested unless your treatment areas are not contained or you have heavy water turnover. When possible I always suggest WhiteCap. WhiteCap is the least expensive method of treating an entire pond, is easy to apply and lasts an entire season.

We recommend to use 32 oz or 1 quart per surface acre (4-6′ deep) when treating for duckweed. This means Cameron’s 1/2 acre pond can be treated with just 16 oz of WhiteCap!

To answer the question above, treat with WhiteCap in the early spring before the duckweed even appears. This will allow you to get ahead of it before it reaches the surface. Although you don’t generally see it Duckweed is actually growing at the bottom of your pond long before you see it at the surface.

There are also other nice benefits to WhiteCap such as: It works very slowly so there is no chance of oxygen loss that could harm your fish or other aquatic life. WhiteCap is also very effective at controlling most other nuisance aquatic plants. So when your treat for your duckweed you will be controlling most other species as well.

Please Note: WhiteCap needs to stay in your pond for up to 90 days. It is not recommended to use it in ponds with a heavy overflow or when during times of heavy rain. If you are unsure of your pond’s turnover (or amount of water that is exchanged) use Nature’s Blue Pond Dye to shade the water column and track the time it takes for the color to disappear. You may also use Nature’s Blue Pond Dye during a WhiteCap treatment to track turnover and shade the pond from sunlight which can also reduce the life span of WhiteCap.

Using Pond Dye to Shade Your Pond – Pond & Lake Q & A

Picture of blue pond dye & black pond dye

Pond & Lake Q & A

Q: How do you turn a one acre pond blue in color? My wife has fish in it and wants the blue tint? – Scott of Mississippi

A: Turning your pond a blue color is a great way to not only to provide your pond with a beautiful blue shade, but also will reduce the amount of sunlight that penetrates through the pond. Surprisingly enough, just one quart of Nature’s Blue Pond Dye will shade a one acre pond (43,560 sq. ft.) with an average depth of 4′-6′. I would use one quart, wait 24 hours and evaluate. If you would like a deeper color add another 1/2 quart. Also, with Nature’s Blue Pond Dye, there are no water use restrictions and it is safe for fish, birds, pets, horses, livestock and wildlife.

If you are more into beautiful reflections and a richer tone instead of the blue shade, I would recommend Black DyeMond Pond Dye.

Algae Growth During the Winter – Pond & Lake Q & A

Picture of Algae in Ice.

Q: That isn’t algae growing under the ice, is it?

A: A common question that we receive in the winter pertains to winter algae and what to do with it. In the northern climates, there are strains of algae that do thrive in temperatures down to freezing. The good news is that typically these strains do not reach nuisance levels in ponds or lakes. They tend to hang out in warmer locations, usually around an inflow of water, where it is nice and sunny. In optimal growing conditions, these algae can generate enough biomass to put your fish at risk. A sudden die-off caused by a sudden swing in temperature, overcast weather, etc. can deplete the dissolved oxygen levels under the ice which leads to unnecessary fish stress.

Solutions: Nutrient management in your watershed as well as your pond will slow down the growth of any algae or plant all season. Typically phosphorus is the key nutrient for algal growth, so try switching to phosphorus free fertilizers if you fertilize your lawn. Our Pond-Clear Packets and Pond-Clear Pellets eat away at the muck/nutrients found in the pond. Our Nutri-Defense Packets bind up any excess nutrients flowing in from the watershed. These are things to do in the summer, but what about winter? With the pond frozen over, your options are limited. Dying the pond a deep blue with pond dye will reduce the amount of sunlight that passes through the water column. If you can safely do it, I would suggest adding an extra dose through the ice to slow down growth.

Is There Anything I Should Be Doing to My Pond During the Winter? – Pond & Lake Q & A

Picture of a pond during the winter.

Q: Is there anything I should be doing to my pond during the winter? – Cindy of Colorado

A: During the winter season there are just a couple things you should be continuing to do help make the following spring a breeze:

Continue to run your aeration system: As I’ve said many time before and will always continue to say it…aeration is important. Continue to run your aeration throughout the winter to help prevent winter fish kills as well as promote an overall healthy pond.

Add pond dye & natural bacteria: Now is a great time to use Pond-Clear 2 in 1 with Nature’s Blue before the ice begins to accumulate. Not only will this continue to shade your pond, it will also add a boost of beneficial bacteria that will go to work to break down fall leaves and debris.

Remove any dead debris from around the pond: Remove dying or dead cattails, tree branches or twigs from around the edges. Allowing these to decay in your pond throughout the winter will add more nutrients for algae and pondweeds to grow during the spring. Doing these few things will help for a great spring!

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