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Blanketweed The EVIL Weed

It is fair to say, that blanketweed is the scourge of the koi pond. Designed, constructed and maintained for their beauty, never was a weed so out of place as in an ornamental pond - particularly when stocked with koi. koi ponds have risen to become one of the koi keeper's most common complaints.

The Evil Weed ... Blanket: "Heavy or dense covering". Weed: "A herbaceous plant, not valued for use or beauty".

  • Designed, constructed and maintained for their beauty, never was a weed so out of place as in an ornamental pond - particularly when stocked with koi.
  • Blanketweed and Nishikigoi share two things in common: They both have names that accurately describe their physical features.
  • We don't resent blanket weed's grip on our ponds because it poses a direct threat to the health of our koi, as in fact, it can actually lead to improved water conditions.
  • When there is a thin, beardlike covering on areas of the pond, koi will browse and graze on the soft, lush growth.
  • However, koi find it less appealing when the beard has grown into lengths of weed several feet in length (hence its other names such as hair or thread algae).
  • Furthermore, blanketweed is beneficial to a pond in that it will very actively take up minerals and nutrients from the pond water (just like a vegetable filter), the only difference being that this one is in the pond!
  • So vigorous is the growth and uptake of nutrients by blanketweed that should we find a way of confining it to a vegetable filter, it would be our number one plant choice.
  • Unfortunately, like all other weeds, blanketweed does not know its right place and freely enters any koi pond, doing so at its own risk, as its presence is likely to be challenged.
  • Its fine filament structure and submerged position lend it to producing a ready supply of microscopic oxygen bubbles.
  • So intense may be its aerating effect that in strong sunlight, rafts of blanketweed will rise up to the surface, buoyed up by the mass of oxygen bubbles caught within its filaments.
  • Cladophora means 'branched plant' and when viewed under the microscope, it is possible to see the regular-branding filaments, each of which is divided by cross walls.
  • They reproduce both sexually (releasing gametes that unite and develop into new plants), and asexually (releasing small motile spores or simply smaller fragments that break off from the main body).
  • Algae will readily absorb nitrates and phosphates to satisfy their need for nitrogen and phosphorous as they grow.
  • As we want our ponds to be as warm as possible (to stimulate koi health and growth), we must look at reducing sunlight and dissolved nutrients.
  • Erecting shading on a pergola will reduce sunlight straight away and reduce blanketweed photosynthesis.
  • Several blanketweed and algae controls work by adding dark vegetable dyes to the pond, filtering out the sun's rays.
  • Blanketweed and green water have a mutually exclusive relationship, where ponds tend to suffer from either one or the other.
  • Several pond treatments are available that control blanketweed growth by locking up or removing the vital nutrients from the pond water, starving the growth of blanketweed.
  • Barley Straw Barley straw is a green method of controlling blanketweed and green water.

blanket pond growth koi algae water nutrients weeds sunlight control plant "green water" filter beauty reducing click for full article

 

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