What The (Bleep) Is That In My Pond?

WHAT THE (BLEEP) IS THAT IN MY POND!???

Ever found yourself saying that to yourself from time to time?

That’s what most people at least think when they find an unusual plant growing in the water.

And it’s not all that uncommon.

Ponds that have been crystal clear for years can suddenly be infested with a weed or algae and it’s very frustrating for the pond owner.

But I probably don’t have to tell you that.

One of the first questions that always comes up is, “what the heck could that be”?

And this week, I want to share a couple of resources with you that will make this, all important, plant identification work much, much easier.

Sometimes ID’ing a plant can be difficult, afterall there are a wide variety of pond weeds, mosses, and algae types that you could find in North American ponds. And it’s important to clearly identify what you have in order to come up with the best treatment plan and options.

For instance, you may have one of the various pondweed (yes, it is an actual name of a species and not just a generic description) types, or you could have a form of pond algae. Treating these two plants can vary quite a bit in terms of what will work and what won’t. A copper algaecide might do the trick on something like Chara (which is an algae but looks like a weed), but it won’t even touch other plants.

Some treatment products are darned expensive too, and it’s not been unheard of for pond owners to waste a lot of money, time, and sweat equity trying to deal with the problem and still not get results.

So it’s a good idea to save yourself the added burden and get a good ID right from the start.

Here’s those references I promised that will help you do that.

The first one is from the University of Florida and it’s a real gem. You’ll find detailed descriptions, pictures and most notably, video segments describing the various pond plants in detail.

http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/

Although the focus of the site is on Florida plants it will very likely be useful to anyone in the U.S. since the database is so large.

The other website that I’ve referred to quite often, and sent a lot of customers too as well is from Texas A&M Universtiy. It’s called Aqua Plant and it also has detailed descriptions, photos, diagrahms, and treatment options listed there.

http://aquaplant.tamu.edu/index.htm

Between these two sites, you should have almost all the information you’ll need to deal with a particular pond weed problem. And remember, knowing what you’re dealing with is the first step in effectively clearing up your pond for good!

P.S. Please note that for the most part the treatment options that are outlined on these websites are for large ponds. Small ponds, and particularly those with fish, need to use more care and will likely not use most herbicides or algaecides to control a plant problem. When possible, we always suggest manual removal or management of pond plants in a smaller pond.

2 Responses to What The (Bleep) Is That In My Pond?

  1. Jeffrey Lear September 21, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

    Hey Bud…

    How come I haven’t seen HYDRILLA listed as a nuisance floating weed on your site? Or have I missed something?

    I used your “Search Pond Topics” driver, but nothing came up…

    I live in NE Florida, have a 1 acre pond… We had a record heat wave this summer (45 straight days over 90)…. This weed was multipling radically in my pond… I have about 3-4 Triploid Carp (2+ ft) that seem to chawed the weed down to a manageable level now that Fall has just about begun… I just hope next summer, the Carp get a good head start…

    Any comments?

    Bye for now

    Jeff

  2. Mark September 21, 2010 at 11:53 pm #

    Hi Jeff,
    One reason is that Hydrilla isn’t a problem for everyone…namely small pond owners actually use it for great benefit in a backyard pond.

    But you’re correct, it’s a very invasive species in large waters and in particular areas of the country.

    This is one of the reasons I’ve included the references above. They cover just about everything that can show up in a pond and believe me this can be quite varied.

    Over time we might talk more about specific species of weeds and such but for now, these two sites should help a lot of folks.

    And more good news hopefully…if your carp are still fairly young, they should do better in the second year. They can be voracious eaters and clean up a lot of unwanted growth, but they also have preferences and can be selective…meaning they might not eat everything.

    Keep up the great work with your pond Jeff!

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