Pond & Lake Q & A
Q: I have mats of pondweeds in the bottom of my pond. I used Pondweed Defense to treat it, but it seems to be unharmed by it? What am I doing wrong? If there another herbicide I am supposed to use? – Ted of Michigan
A: I remember when I first began treating ponds the importance of being able to identify what I was treating was vital. For example, after talking with Ted we discovered that what he had in his pond wasn’t a pondweed at all , it was actually a form of algae called chara. Chara, (refer to picture on the left), mimics true plants with its shape and form. At times, its hard to tell the difference between chara and pondweeds by just their physical appearances.
Aquatic Weed Identification: Chara Vs. Pondweeds
Even though there are times when it may be difficult to tell the difference between chara and pondweeds there are a few distinct qualities that chara has that will help you set them apart from pondweeds.
- Skunky Smell: Chara has an awful musky smell. Simply walking close to or around your pond will tell you right away if you have a chara problem or not.
- Easy to Remove: Chara is not as rooted into the pond as pondweeds are and is extremely easy to pull out from the water.
- Gritty Texture: Diagnose chara by pulling some out and rubbing it in between your fingers. Chara has a gritty feel to the touch.
Treating for Chara: When treating for chara, since it is a form of algae, you need to use an algaecide. We prefer to use Algae Defense® , but you can also use Cutrine®-Plus Granular as well. Approximately two weeks after treating the chara we sugget to use a Pond & Beach Rake to rake out as much as you can (Note: DO NOT rake out chara before treating it, it will spread). Doing this will help you gain control relatively quickly.
WE CAN INDENTIFY WEEDS/ALGAE FOR YOU!: If you are ever unsure of what you have, just go ahead and send us a sample and we can diagnose it for you. Its FREE. You can either e-mail us a picture of mail the sample to us. See below for instructions.
E-mail: E-mail us pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail: Mail weed samples to: The Pond Guy, ATTN: Weed Sample, 15426 Chets Way, Armada, MI 48039. When mailing just be sure to ship priority or exprss shipping to ensure the sample arrives quickly and fresh. Also, please wrap samples with a DRY paper towel and place in a plastic bag.
POND TALK: Have any of you had trouble identifying pondweeds or algae? Please comment and let us know how we can help.