Posted on March 1, 2013 by thepondguy
Cattails and other emergent aquatic plants can add natural beauty to any pond or shoreline, but if left unchecked for too long, they can overtake these areas and create a maintenance nightmare. A consistent program is the most efficient way to combat excessive spread of unwanted weeds. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to keeping cattails in check. Follow these tips to maintain a pristine shoreline all season long.
Set Boundaries – Cattails are not all bad. They are nature’s solution to providing habitat for wildlife, preventing soil erosion and they make a great visual barrier to add some privacy to your pond. Like most things however, cattails are best in moderation. Highlight boundaries where you would like to contain cattails by using landmarks, rocks or other unobtrusive markers. Treat cattails that try to stray from these boundaries to keep their growth under control.
Spray Unwanted Growth – To maximize the effectiveness of your cattail treatments, wait until there is at least 12” – 18” of exposed growth to apply product. A systemic herbicide like Shoreline Defense® & Treatment Booster™ PLUS will kill the cattails down to the root to prevent the plant from re-growing. The roots of cattails are the most difficult part of the plant to kill. So, allow the mixture to absorb into the plant for one to two weeks. This will ensure the treatment gets into the root system. Do not try and stretch the application further than the instructions state. This will likely lead to unsatisfactory results and end up in more product used in the long run.
Remove Dead Cattails – Wait until treated cattails are brown and wilted to remove them from your pond. Cutting them down too early will prevent your chemical treatment from fully reaching and killing the cattail rhizome (root) resulting in a quick return of the weed. Don’t leave dead cattails, or any other vegetation, in your pond to decompose. This decomposition turns into nutrient-rich pond muck that fuels new weed growth. Tools like the Weed Cutter and Pond & Beach Rake exist to make the process as quick and simple as possible.
Retreat As Needed – Due to the fact that cattails have a robust root base, multiple treatments may be necessary to properly gain control. Once under control, they will make a nice addition to your landscape and encourage wildlife to call your pond home.
Filed under: Cattails, Emergent Weeds, Learning Center, Pond & Lake | Tagged: chemical for cattails, how to get rid of cattails, how to kill cattails, kill cattails | 8 Comments »
Posted on March 1, 2013 by thepondguy
Installing an aeration system in your pond or lake is key for creating the perfect pond whether you use your pond for swimming, fishing or just for looks. The benefits provided by bottom diffused aeration will keep your water clean, clear and balanced all season long.
Spring Head Start
The increased oxygen and circulation provided by spring aeration will help evenly warm the water body and encourage the colonization of beneficial aerobic bacteria. These bacteria are responsible for preventing muck and nutrient accumulation and maintain clear water.
By reducing nutrients in your water body, weeds and algae have less food available to grow and thrive in your pond. The circulation provided by summer aeration will prevent pond stratification and eliminate the risk of pond turnovers, protecting your game fish.
With excess leaves, dormant pond weeds and organic debris being introduced to your pond in the fall, your pond needs more help than ever breaking down waste and reducing pond muck. The boost in beneficial bacteria counts and exposure created by constant aeration helps rapidly reduce accumulated debris in your pond. The less organic debris left in your pond leading into the winter months, the better.
As organic debris decomposes in your pond, gases are released into the water column. When your pond freezes over in the winter, these gasses become trapped and begin to take the place of clean oxygen. If enough oxygen is displaced, your fish will suffocate resulting in a winter fish kill. Running an aeration system in the winter infuses fresh oxygen into your pond while maintaining an open hole in surface forming ice to release decomposition gases.
No matter the season, your pond will benefit from constant aeration. Even better; when you allow us to size and recommend an Airmax® Aeration System for your pond or lake, we guarantee the results.
1Note – While we always recommend running the aeration system year round, if there is a chance someone will be using the pond for recreation during the winter or simply venturing out onto the ice, we recommend turning off the system during the winter. The ice around the aerator opening may be thin and dangerous.
Filed under: Learning Center, Pond & Lake | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 1, 2013 by thepondguy
As daylight hours get longer and the temperatures warm up, you want to start enjoying your water garden again.
First things first, decide whether or not you need a full pond cleanout. If you kept your pond clear last season and did basic maintenance tasks before the winter, you may only need to do a water change and some cleaning to get your pond in tip top shape. If not, a full spring cleanout may be the way to go. Here are 10 simple steps to get your pond ready:
- Inspect your pond. Check to see what affect the winter weather has had on the pond liner, skimmer or biological filter. Make repairs as needed.
- Make a water change and clean-up winter waste build-up. Use a skimmer net and pond vacuum to remove dead leaves, debris and muck that have accumulated in the bottom of the pond over the winter. Pond Logic® Oxy-Lift™ Defense® works great for lifting debris off rocks and bringing debris to the surface for easy removal. Water changes are also helpful in eliminating dissolved organics that have built up over the winter. Make a 15-25% water change over several consecutive days to reduce stress to your fish.
- Condition your tap water. When doing a spring start-up water change, don’t forget that you need to eliminate chlorine and chloramines found in municipal water with Pond Logic® Water Conditioner. Even small traces of chlorine will irritate fish and damage their gill tissue, and large amounts can be lethal.
- Start the biological filter. Clean or replace filter pads, seed them quickly with PL Gel and begin adding Pond Logic® Seasonal Defense® to boost biological activity. For longer life span filter pads, try using Matala® Filter Pads.
- Test pond water. It is not possible to know the condition of your pond water without testing. Using the Master Test Kit offers a quick and accurate way to evaluate pond water quality and stop problems before they occur.
- Inspect your fish. If you see torn fins, blood streaks and/or ulcers, CrystalClear® KnockOut™ PLUS is a great all-in-one product for both koi and goldfish treating bacterial infections and parasites.
- Feed your fish a low-protein food. As the temperature of your pond water approaches 40° F, your fish will start looking for food. The Pond Guy® Spring & Fall Fish Food is recommended as a good wheat germ, low protein, high carbohydrate, vitamin-enriched diet, specially formulated for all pond fish when water temperatures are between 40-50° F.
- Provide your fish with essential electrolytes. Pond Logic® Pond Salt provides all the essential electrolytes fish need to stay healthy and vibrant. Pond Salt can also help to reduce the chance of parasites and disease by up to 80%.
- Care for pond plants. Root bound plants should be divided and re-potted. Fertilize plants with CrystalClear® Thrive™ to provide the essential nutrients for strong growth and early spring blooms. Adding floating plants such as Water Hyacinths or Water Lettuce will provide your pond with shade and remove excess nutrients reducing algae growth. It is also a great time to add Pond Snails to begin consuming algae keeping your pond clean. Don’t have any plants yet? Consider one of our Complete Plant Packages.
- Keep your water feature clean, clear and healthy all season. Digest sludge, reduce dissolved organics and keep you pond filter working its best with the all-in-one awarding winning package, the Pond Logic® DefensePAC®.
If a full pond cleanout is necessary, the following steps will help you get on track.
- Get a holding tank: Before you tend to your pond, have a holding tank ready for your koi and other fish. Kiddie pools are great for this! Make sure to house them using existing pond water and place a pond aeration kit in the tank to ensure oxygen levels remain high. Even though this is a temporary space for your fish, they may be startled by their new environment. It is always best to place some pond netting over the holding tank to ensure none of the fish jump out.
- Drain the pond: Once the fish are safely housed in their temporary holding tank, drain the pond with a pond pump and drain hose.
- Power wash: Power wash the rocks and remove any algae, muck and other debris build up. For stubborn debris that just won’t wash away, use Pond Logic® Oxy-Lift™ Defense® to take care the problem. Simply sprinkle over stubborn debris, wait 10 minutes and rinse away. We recommend rinsing and pumping out dirty water a few times to ensure a good cleaning.
- Make adjustments: At this point in the cleaning process with no water in the pond, it’s best to check for any rocks or plants that might need to be adjusted as some of the scenery may have been displaced during the power wash.
- Check the lights: This is great time to check any pond lights to ensure they are in working condition. Now is also a good time to add new pond lights if desired.
- Reconnect plumbing and filters: Reinstall any pumps, UV clarifiers, filters or spitters once the rest of the pond is clean, and get ready to refill and reintroduce your fish to your pond.
- Refill and re-acclimate: After you refill your pond, add Pond Logic® Water Conditioner to remove any chlorine and to detoxify heavy metals from the new water. Re-acclimate your fish to the new pond water by slowly adding some to their holding tank. We recommend using Pond Logic® Stress Reducer PLUS to your pond as well to help reduce any stress caused by transporting them.
Filed under: Learning Center, Water Gardens & Features | 2 Comments »