The Best Way To Control Cattails Around Your Pond

Cattails page image

Personally, if you ask me, I think one of the charms of a wild pond (even if it’s man-made) is the emergence of native grasses and plants that can come about just because you’ve created a sort of wetland area.  

And nothing seems more natural than cattails near a body of water.

To an extent I love them because they provide a natural beauty or accent to a pond.  They provide cover for fish and other wildlife, and they can help, as grasses to do, with limiting erosion around the pond.  

But like any good thing, cattails can be overdone.  Not intentionally of course.  What I mean is they can grow out in an uncontrolled fashion and become more of a nuisance pretty quickly.

So it’s no big shock when questions come in about the best way to control cattails.

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Can Acid Rain Affect Your Pond?

We don’t hear as much about acid rain in the news any more.  Certainly not like we used in to the 70’s or 80’s.  Back then, new research was emerging that indicated that rainwater was becoming more acidic due to emissions of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide.  Most of these emissions come from the burning of fossil fuels released by automobiles, or power plants that use coal or oil to generate electricity.  Nature can also produce some of these gases, such as when volcanos release various gases into the air.

The gases that are produced from these processes end up combining with water vapor in the atmosphere and form nitric and sulphuric acids.  So the term “acid rain” is actually quite accurate in it’s description.

But a question came up regarding acid rain.  Since we don’t hear so much about it anymore, is it still happening?  Is it a problem?  And specifically for a pond owner (which is who this article is mainly for), can it affect my pond in any way?

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IonGen Pond Ionizer – What Does It Do?

IonGen G2

There was a time when about the only way you were going to stop algae from taking over a pond is to add more of the plants that you actually liked in order to try to choke the unwanted stuff out.  This isn’t such a bad way to go of course, after all it’s worked ever since people started to try and manage a pond.

As the years passed, as often happens with an adventurous and industrious group of deep thinkers, someone tossed some barley in a pond and that helped some too.  Maybe mix in a bit of lavender and you’ve got yourself some algae control.

Ah, the good old days.

Today however, technology will have a part to play, not only in our lives (think iPad) but also in our ponds.  And one of the newer pond algae control devices is called the IonGen.  In this article I’ll attempt to explain what it does, how it works, and why it’s useful in a battle against algae.  Oh, and I’ll through in a few tips on how to use it safely too.

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There’s No Better Way To Protect Your Fish From Herons


Carol, a pond friend of ours, wrote into us recently and had a great question about heron decoys.

Last fall, a Great Blue Heron came into her fish pond and may have taken out any number of fish.  It was hard to tell just how many, but some were likely eaten, and while eventually they did get the bird to move on, she was worried about the return of another one.

It’s a valid concern for fish pond owners, particularly in the spring and fall when herons are migrating around.  They’re always on the lookout for an easy and tasty meal, and fish ponds tend to provide that in droves.  These easy pickings tend to keep a bird around, and it’s not unheard for them to clean a pond out in a few days of feasting.

But this doesn’t have to happen to you…or Carol.

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What’s So Special About Starter Bacteria For Ponds

We live in a complicated world.  Go to most doctors and there’s a good chance he’s a specialist in something.  I know general practitioners still exist but they sure aren’t as common as they used to be.  As I found out recently, even the common car key, just isn’t so simple anymore.  I still haven’t decided if having a computer chip in the things is an upgrade.  

Nevertheless, progress, as they say will move forward whether we like it or not.  But coupled into that evolution is an increase in complexity, and with that, usually an increase in confusion.

Which leads me to a recent question that came in from a concerned pond owner.  He wanted to know more about starter bacteria for ponds.  If he should use one.  Where he could find one.  And how long he should continue to use it.

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Watch Out For Chlorine In Your Fish Pond

I recently came across this post in a pond forum and wanted to share this with you…and while you’d think this would be a rare thing to happen in a fish pond, that’s not really the case.

“Late last fall ,I allowed a distraction to cause me to effectively KILL all  of my Goldfish ,I had just turned on the tap water to add about 50 gals of make up water,company came ,and you know the rest ,5 hrs later ,the massacre was found ,I was SICK ,after the funeral for 85 of our friends.”

If you live in a city and/or use municipally treated water, then you’re facing a challenge of dealing with either chlorine, or worse yet, chloramines, in the water.  These chemicals are commonly used to help disinfect drinking water and while they may not cause any issues for us in the short term, the fact is they are deadly to pond fish.

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