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snrub, do you mind shooting a picture of your pond with the black dye in it at concentrations that you find pretty ideal? (point where you feel you don't have to add any more in to get the desired color)

I'm curious how dark the water has to be to get the desired effect. A close up may not be that helpful, I'm thinking more a shot from 100-200' away to get the whole idea of the color.

Only if you have time...

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Funny you should ask. A few days after adding the black dye back March 19 I took a series of photos specifically for the benefit of PBF members to see the effects. As happens all too often, I got lazy and never did anything with the photos on my phone.

Thanks to you, I now have the needed "push" to do something with them so they are now downloaded and are posted below. The first picture listed is of the main pond with the dye and the second picture is taken at the same time of day and angle of my adjacent sediment pond to get a comparison of dye vs. no dye. At times the water in my sediment pond looks drastically different than the main pond but at this particular time we had not had much rain so the waters were similar when the dye was added. The rest of the pictures are taken at different angles to show how "different" the pond can look depending on the angle of the shot and time of day taken.

All pictures were taken March 19 except for the last two. It was kind of overcast on the 19th and sunny the next day. Pictures labeled Black dye 3 and 4 were taken the next day one right after the other. One is of the right side of the dock and the other is of the left side both at 12:45 pm. I took these two just to show how the same water at the same time can look different simply because of the angle looking at the water. Pictures were pointing NW and SW. Notice the other picture taken off the dock the day before the water looks very much different because of sun/time of day.

In my opinion, for the most part, the black dye doesn't really make the pond look "black". Too little dye in too much water to do that. What it does is give it a slightly darker color but much more of a reflective "mirror" type surface rather than actually changing the overall color that much.

Hope this helps. My wife and I love the turquoise blue water of the Caribbean when we go scuba diving there. But somehow we neither one liked the similar color the blue dyes sometimes gives ponds. For our local setting and surrounding landscape it did not seem the right contrast for our taste. Thus the reason we decided to try the black dye which is much less popular than the blue.

So far so good. We like it ok.

Attached Images
IMGA1641 Main pond with black dye.JPG (213.33 KB, 1257 downloads)
Main 3 acre pond with black dye
IMGA1640 Sediment pond with no dye.JPG (166.39 KB, 1089 downloads)
Sediment pond with no dye right next to main pond
IMGA1638 Black pond dye 1.JPG (133.68 KB, 993 downloads)
Shows reflective surface well
IMGA1639.JPG (230.85 KB, 809 downloads)
off side of dock
IMGA1642 Black dye 2.JPG (185.09 KB, 936 downloads)
another angle around the pond
IMGA1643 Black dye 3.JPG (134.4 KB, 944 downloads)
looking NW to the right side of dock next day
IMGA1644 Black dye 4.JPG (228.67 KB, 993 downloads)
looking SW to left side of dock next day
Last edited by snrub; 05/19/16 01:57 PM.

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Snub you started this thread saying FA was teaming with life. So that'a positive for FA. But we don't want it to cover our pond. I love the stuff and I only have it around the edge of my pond but when it hits the plants in my pond it stops dead in it's tracks. So many try to control it with chemicals or dye's which stops not only FA but much of the beneficial plants in a pond. I go with nature and not fight it.


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snrub,
Thanks, those pictures are worth a lot! Much easier to see than try to describe. I see how it isn't jet black or totally reflective but yet has a darker hue. I like it!

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John I agree with you and hopefully I'm on my way to getting some desirable plants established. I have no desire for the expense or trouble of treating with Cutrine and/or dye every year. I'm hoping the current treatment only has to be done a year or two till I get things in more of a self regulated state.

To me the natural dye is a better partial solution than using larger amounts of Cutrine, both from an environmental and an economic view.

I also don't mind some of the FA around the edge. But I don't like where the pond is half covered with floating blobs that shift from side to side of the pond with the wind and make swimming and fishing very difficult or undesirable.

There is some water primrose starting naturally around the pond and some spike rush getting established. I think the addition of the sediment pond has also helped some with the nutrient load.

It is not that I don't like to use what nature provides when I can. It is just that sometimes nature has different desires and goals than I do for this particular spot on the planet. My garden is the same way. Were I to let it go "natural", it would mostly be weeds and grass. I prefer to eat vegetables.

Last edited by snrub; 05/20/16 10:20 AM.

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Originally Posted By: canyoncreek
snrub,
Thanks, those pictures are worth a lot! Much easier to see than try to describe. I see how it isn't jet black or totally reflective but yet has a darker hue. I like it!


On the cloudy day or viewed at a low angle, it can almost look black at times but so can natural water without the dye. That is why I showed the last two pictures where the view was on a sunny day looking more directly down into the water. The dye just replaces what would preferably be an algae bloom.

I much prefer to have an algae bloom rather than using the dye. Something I have not done but should is take a water sample. I may very well have excess phosphorus and not enough nitrogen at times. I might could add a slight amount of nitrogen to get the bloom. I just hate to go that route adding even more nutrients when I know I have an excess to begin with. Plus adding five or six pounds of fish food per day (about 2-3# per acre)for 2/3 of the year adding more nutrients.

The dye was an experiment based on some other posts here on PBF having success with it. So far I am happy with results. Never ever thought I would ever be using pond dye. smile

Last edited by snrub; 05/20/16 10:28 AM.

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The trick to controlling FA is to get ahead of the curve. If you wait until it breaks free from the bottom and is floating, you are already behind the curve and have to play catch-up.


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An update to this thread on using black pond dye to control the FA. It appears to have worked and I have added no more dye for the last month. As water temperature got warmer a natural algae bloom seemed to take the place of the dye so I have had no need to add any more.

At least so far this year, as Esshup pointed out, getting ahead of it early before it became a big problem the very limited amount of Cutrine at the very beginning and the dye to keep it from coming back seemed to work till I got the desired algae bloom. Of course every year may be a little different so will try about this same procedure next year to see if it is actually a workable plan or I just got lucky with the year.

Right now I don't see any FA at all. Maybe the variety I have is a cool weather type because the hot weather/warm water seems to have knocked it out. Went snorkeling the other day and the bottom was bare. Last year green fuzz six inches deep everywhere light penetrated. But I only had about two feet advisability because of the algae bloom so the snorkeling sucked. All I got to see was small BG that would come up to my face when I held still for a couple minutes. Would feel larger fish brush up against my legs but never come up front where I could see them.

The dye seemed to work for me early but I no longer need it.

Last edited by snrub; 06/22/16 10:22 PM.

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And yet another update. We had large multiple rain events and HUGE flow through a week or two ago. So I suspect most of the dye is gone due to both normal degradation as well as dilution.

Been noticing a week ago a little FA around the edges of the pond and out a few feet on the bottom. Today I have some floating out to a couple feet from the bank. I do not mind that. We do not keep this pond like an urban showcase property and I actually like a little FA around the edges for the critters and small fish refuge.

But I can see this is starting to take hold and possibly become a problem. So I added a couple more quarts of black dye today (supposedly a quart of this dye is equal to a gallon of ordinary pond dye - who knows if it is sales hype or the truth). That is on three acres with recommended rate of 1-2 quarts per acre. Will monitor it for a week and see if the FA stays at current levels or if it gets worse. If it gets worse may have to use a small amount of Cutrine liquid around the edges. Will wait and see.

I have some concern if I kill off all the FA the nutrient load will cause blue green algae to replace it. We had a problem with Blue green algae last year. But last year water levels were low with little flow through. I would think nutrient levels should be much lower this year do to the dilution effect. We will see what happens.

I have been very happy with the water quality so far this year. Hope it stays that way through the dog days of July/August.

Last edited by snrub; 07/19/16 11:40 PM.

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Decided to add the last two quarts I have on hand of black dye today. Thought I should document in case someone else wants to try dye to control FA. FA still mostly around edges but seeing just a little floating out in some other shallow water. With the two quarts I added earlier, it is getting in mid range of the recommended amount. The big rains had pretty well washed out what was left of the earlier spring application. Will wait about a month and report back here if control was maintained or no. Decided not to use any Cutrine and just see what develops for the rest of the season. Had another inch of rain today and brought the pond back to within a half inch of full pool, so the water depth and quality has been a lot better overall this year than last. That may have as much to do with the FA behaving better this year as the dye and Cutrine.

If anyone is interested the black dye I am using is made by Rain Biologics. You can do a search if more information is desired.

Last edited by snrub; 07/25/16 08:05 PM.

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I forgot to come back and make the final report for the year. The last two quarts I put in seemed to keep the FA to tolerable levels. I am satisfied with the control achieved and will try it again next year.

One concern I have is that in surpressing the FA there seems to be more problems with bluegreen algae outbreaks. I guess that gets back to the message heard multiple times here on the forum. Nature is going to find some organism to take advantage of excess nutrients. Surpress the FA and something else is going to come along.

My longer term goal is to have some rooted plants take care of the nutrient problem. That and my sediment pond helps slow the flow of nutrients into the main pond.

This thread reminds me, I need to get some dye ordered early to have it on hand. Last year with a warm March thr FA was already going good.

Last edited by snrub; 01/07/17 07:40 AM.

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Snrub - Good report. What brand of black dye do you use? Do you see black as having benefits compared to blue? My understanding is most black is made with blue, yellow, and red.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/07/17 11:09 AM.

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Originally Posted By: snrub
One concern I have is that in surpressing the FA there seems to be more problems with bluegreen algae outbreaks. I guess that gets back to the message heard multiple times here on the forum. Nature is going to find some organism to take advantage of excess nutrients. Surpress the FA and something else is going to come along.


Bill Cody, can you weigh in on this? I thought that BGA was a bigger problem when using copper products as some BGA are copper-resistant. It's my understanding that BGA are photosynthetic and would also be slowed down by pond dyes that block the wavelengths they need to make energy just like FA.

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Bocomo - ""It's my understanding that BGA are photosynthetic and would also be slowed down by pond dyes that block the wavelengths they need to make energy just like FA.""
Algae and especially bluegreen algae (BGA) are not this simple. One cannot generalize and apply it to all BGA. This is a complex topic due mainly to there are so many species of algae - tens maybe hundreds of thousands. The smaller the organisms become the more species there are in that group. Not all algae including BGA are the same. We can't assume they all have the same requirements. Each species is unique and many if not most, are adapted to often a unique set of environmental variables; that is why they don't all bloom at once in the same conditions. Some algae are what we call generalists and can grow in a wide variety of conditions. Some algae species are indicator species and are very specific as to what they need to thrive. This is similar to fish. Carp are generalists and can grow in almost any water type, not true with say brook trout or other species sensitive fish called an indicator species. Invertebrate species are are similar in their wide range of environmental requirements that span all the species.

Yes some BGA are copper resistant although some other species belonging to other algal groups are also tolerant to various concentrations of copper. Some algae will thrive or bloom in higher concentrations of copper that kill all the others - they have adapted as tolerant or needing abnormal amounts of copper ions.

I am convinced bluegreen algae species are stimulated by various types of light wavelengths and intensities. The floating planktonic BGA usually prefer high intensity light. Bottom growing BGalgae often tolerate low light and some BGA I think can thrive on different wavelengths than green algae. Many algae in all groups can thrive in low light conditions. Beginning to see the 'rub'?

The BGA that Snrub is seeing in his black dyed pond could be thriving in the areas where the dye is less effective such as shallow water zones or on the surface. Or his BGS could be adapted to black dye better than a dye of another color.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/07/17 06:52 PM.

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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Snrub - Good report. What brand of black dye do you use? Do you see black as having benefits compared to blue? My understanding is most black is made with blue, yellow, and red.


I thought I had replied to this but see I had not.

I started with Black Dyemond. Then when I needed more ordered from Rain Biologics. You can do a Google search and find both.

I saw no difference in the performance of the two.

I only used black because my wife and I did not think the blue turned the water color to a shade that went with our decor'. grin


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Originally Posted By: Bill Cody
Bocomo - ""It's my understanding that BGA are photosynthetic and would also be slowed down by pond dyes that block the wavelengths they need to make energy just like FA.""
Algae and especially bluegreen algae (BGA) are not this simple. One cannot generalize and apply it to all BGA. This is a complex topic due mainly to there are so many species of algae - tens maybe hundreds of thousands. The smaller the organisms become the more species there are in that group. Not all algae including BGA are the same. We can't assume they all have the same requirements. Each species is unique and many if not most, are adapted to often a unique set of environmental variables; that is why they don't all bloom at once in the same conditions. Some algae are what we call generalists and can grow in a wide variety of conditions. Some algae species are indicator species and are very specific as to what they need to thrive. This is similar to fish. Carp are generalists and can grow in almost any water type, not true with say brook trout or other species sensitive fish called an indicator species. Invertebrate species are are similar in their wide range of environmental requirements that span all the species.

Yes some BGA are copper resistant although some other species belonging to other algal groups are also tolerant to various concentrations of copper. Some algae will thrive or bloom in higher concentrations of copper that kill all the others - they have adapted as tolerant or needing abnormal amounts of copper ions.

I am convinced bluegreen algae species are stimulated by various types of light wavelengths and intensities. The floating planktonic BGA usually prefer high intensity light. Bottom growing BGalgae often tolerate low light and some BGA I think can thrive on different wavelengths than green algae. Many algae in all groups can thrive in low light conditions. Beginning to see the 'rub'?

The BGA that Snrub is seeing in his black dyed pond could be thriving in the areas where the dye is less effective such as shallow water zones or on the surface. Or his BGS could be adapted to black dye better than a dye of another color.


Great explanation for us laymen Bill. An update on my algal situation of my main pond.

Early this spring I was getting some FA growing around the banks in shallow water that looked like it could become a nuisance. I had a little Cutrine granules left over from last year so treated the area from about 1-3' out from the bank. Did not put any granules right at the edge of the bank because I do not mind a little FA for the critters and fish larvae to use for cover as I have little bank vegetation yet. Ordered some more Cutrine Granules and black pond dye at that time (early March).

The Cutrine knocked it back and have done nothing since. Got a good planktonic algae bloom going and looked like I might not need the dye. Lots of water flow through with local flooding lately so that should cut the nutrient load down on the pond and I am crossing my fingers I am done with FA management for the year. We will see. I'll have the Cutrine granules and dye for next year.

Bob Lusk had chimed in on another thread about using dye that if you are going to use it for FA control do it early in the season, not later when the YOY larval fish need the phytoplankton to survive and the phytoplankton need an algae bloom to survive and thrive. I was glad to get that information as otherwise I might have used dye later in the season than I should.

An odd thing happened when I ordered my black dye from Rain Biologics. I kind of forgot about it and a couple months later wondered where my dye was. I emailed them saying I had never received it. They promptly emailed back and said they had screwed up a few orders and mine was one of them. They were going to ship my case of black dye out immediately and for my trouble at no cost also ship me a case of blue dye. I would have settled for an apology (mistakes happen) but they went beyond that and gave me a bunch of free product. I thought the company was trying very hard to keep pleased customers. I was impressed how they took care of it and without me pressing them or asking for any special favors.

With the free blue dye I may try mixing blue and black next spring should I feel the need to dye the pond. Ideally both cases will sit on a (non-freezing location) shelf and never be needed.

Last edited by snrub; 05/05/17 09:05 AM.

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My pond is less than two years old. It's too young to dye!


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grin grin grin

I thought the same thing. My pond was too young and should not have excess nutrients.

But I did line the pond with a thin layer of topsoil to have more clear water (less clay suspension) and that soil was pretty fertile. Plus I was feeding pretty heavy.

I am actually feeding less feed than I used to to try and not put so many nutrients in the pond.


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speaking of topsoil part my shallow end was left as "dirt" as my pond was built. We worked the dam end with a core and money got tight as it took more effort and depth than originally planned we wanted this end right and left a portion to "backwater" if this did not hold then we would attach that later as long as the dam was good. That said maybe this is where my higher nutrients are coming from. I had not thought that to be an issue at the time.
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Pictures below are of my sediment pond with a terrible FA problem. I treated one time around the edge with Cutrine liquid and it knocked it back a couple weeks (when the FA was mostly noticeable around the 3' perimeter). It was getting to be summer and hot weather so I thought I would be in the clear as the water got hotter. Nope.

First picture is the pond as it was a couple weeks ago. I then raked the FA off around the edge that I could reach with my rake. This helped as far as the fish go as once I had clear water around the edge I could see the fish utilize this new open water.

Ran out of time (and it was horribly hot to be raking FA out of the pond) and left for a couple weeks on vacation. Got back and it looks like I had done nothing. Just a small area around the aeration plume of open water and several small other openings.

Raked some more tonight to open up the edges again.

I do not really care too much about this pond being covered. It is after all a sediment pond. I am raising some LMB fingerlings in it to later transfer to my main pond (in the back ground in some of the pictures). My main concern is if it comes a big rain event and water goes over the emergency overflow (which it will if it comes a 3" rain pretty quickly) all the FA will end up in my main pond where all the water flows to.

Some background. This sediment pond had a massive fish kill earlier due to some very fine dusty chicken litter (manure and wood shavings) applied to the adjacent field and a sudden unexpected downpour rain that washed this fine dusty litter into this sediment pond. It was a near total kill of the remaining fish that were not transferred to my main pond (strong wind blew the gasping fish to one end where I dip netted most out and transferred to main pond). A small number of 1 to 1.5" fish did survive (including GSF naturally). The sediment pond did its job. Some of the excess nutrients did flow through to my main pond (3 acres) but the majority settled out in this 1/10th acre pond. So the nutrient load in it was tremendous with all the organic fertilizer that has high levels of N, P and K.

The first year the water primrose that had started around the edge thrived and was the darkest green color I have ever seen water primrose. It extended out about 3-4' nearly all around the pond. I actually liked this as I thought it would be a good use of the excess nutrients. I drug some of it out at the end of the first year (the next year after the fish kill). So I thought it would be back this year. But instead this year the FA overcame the water primrose and essentially chocked it out.

I would have much rather had the primrose back instead of this FA. Interesting how the pond has utilized the excess nutrients in two completely different ways in the two years following the fish kill.

When raking the FA out of the pond I figured we would have a really windy day that would compress it to one side of the pond making it easier to remove. Have not had the windy day at least to date when I was at home. If the FA is still touching the bottom the wind will not blow it very well. If you get it "broke loose" a good wind really compresses it and makes it much easier to remove.

Attached Images
20180707_112221.jpg (127.94 KB, 374 downloads)
Before raking around the edge about two weeks ago.
20180707_112229.jpg (129.21 KB, 378 downloads)
Showing main 3 acre pond in background. This sediment pond catches sediment and nutrients from the adjacent agriculture ground before the water flows into the main pond.
20180708_083732.jpg (139.93 KB, 378 downloads)
rake to remove FA
20180708_083750.jpg (115.44 KB, 426 downloads)
what the edge of the sediment pond looked like after raking.

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Hello.

Lots of FA, and lots of work.

I work with Toad tadpole they eat FA, I don't know for the Bass,but my Yellow perch don't eat Toad tadpole.

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Originally Posted By: snrub
Pictures below are of my sediment pond with a terrible FA problem. I treated one time around the edge with Cutrine liquid and it knocked it back a couple weeks (when the FA was mostly noticeable around the 3' perimeter). It was getting to be summer and hot weather so I thought I would be in the clear as the water got hotter. Nope.

First picture is the pond as it was a couple weeks ago. I then raked the FA off around the edge that I could reach with my rake. This helped as far as the fish go as once I had clear water around the edge I could see the fish utilize this new open water.

Ran out of time (and it was horribly hot to be raking FA out of the pond) and left for a couple weeks on vacation. Got back and it looks like I had done nothing. Just a small area around the aeration plume of open water and several small other openings.

Raked some more tonight to open up the edges again.

I do not really care too much about this pond being covered. It is after all a sediment pond. I am raising some LMB fingerlings in it to later transfer to my main pond (in the back ground in some of the pictures). My main concern is if it comes a big rain event and water goes over the emergency overflow (which it will if it comes a 3" rain pretty quickly) all the FA will end up in my main pond where all the water flows to.

Some background. This sediment pond had a massive fish kill earlier due to some very fine dusty chicken litter (manure and wood shavings) applied to the adjacent field and a sudden unexpected downpour rain that washed this fine dusty litter into this sediment pond. It was a near total kill of the remaining fish that were not transferred to my main pond (strong wind blew the gasping fish to one end where I dip netted most out and transferred to main pond). A small number of 1 to 1.5" fish did survive (including GSF naturally). The sediment pond did its job. Some of the excess nutrients did flow through to my main pond (3 acres) but the majority settled out in this 1/10th acre pond. So the nutrient load in it was tremendous with all the organic fertilizer that has high levels of N, P and K.

The first year the water primrose that had started around the edge thrived and was the darkest green color I have ever seen water primrose. It extended out about 3-4' nearly all around the pond. I actually liked this as I thought it would be a good use of the excess nutrients. I drug some of it out at the end of the first year (the next year after the fish kill). So I thought it would be back this year. But instead this year the FA overcame the water primrose and essentially chocked it out.

I would have much rather had the primrose back instead of this FA. Interesting how the pond has utilized the excess nutrients in two completely different ways in the two years following the fish kill.

When raking the FA out of the pond I figured we would have a really windy day that would compress it to one side of the pond making it easier to remove. Have not had the windy day at least to date when I was at home. If the FA is still touching the bottom the wind will not blow it very well. If you get it "broke loose" a good wind really compresses it and makes it much easier to remove.


I'm sure no expert but this is from my experience. I think the FA grows in deeper water too and when some breaks loose and floats to the top, the mats tend to drift around the edge of the pond. I doubt you impacted that much only treating out 3 ft. I had the same severe problem about 3 years ago nearly covering my pond. I divided up the pond into 3 sections and treated each section at 2 week intervals. Since then I have used pond dye and nearly no FA at all but I do see small patches of it still growing next to the shore.

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Snrub,

We have had good results controlling FA with pond dye. You can add as much or as little as you want to achieve the desired effect. We don't add enough to eradicate it, just enough to knock it down for aesthetics and nuisance abatement for fishing. It sure beats trying to rake it out!

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I don't mind a little around the shore, especially in this pond. Next year I will get more aggressive with it early.

I used pond dye in my main pond with success but have not had to the last two years. seems like the stuff is not consistent or maybe conditions are not consistent year to year.


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Originally Posted By: snrub
I don't mind a little around the shore, especially in this pond. Next year I will get more aggressive with it early.

I used pond dye in my main pond with success but have not had to the last two years. seems like the stuff is not consistent or maybe conditions are not consistent year to year.


I think you're right about it not being consistent. About 4 years ago the Water Primrose was a horrible problem. The stuff was all around my pond growing 10 feet or more out from the shore. I noticed it heavy in other ponds also as well as drainage ditches going under the highway. Then it just died off for no apparent reason everywhere. I know at least some plants do get viruses and other diseases, so maybe that's what happened. A few years ago nearly all the wild blackberry vines around here died off the same way and a university said it was a virus. The Water Primrose never has recovered. I see a sprig of it here and there but it seems to die back by itself.

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