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Does pondweed contribute to algae?
#536568 06/15/21 08:49 PM
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Hello All, is it beneficial to do algae treatments each month without first getting rid of pondweed overgrowth? It just seems to defeat the purpose of treating the pond if the pondweed is contributing to the ponds unhealthy condition. But, this is my first pond, so I don't know enough to say if one has anything to do with the other. So, I'm wondering if by not removing the weeds, am I wasting my time and money with monthly treatments ($110)? This will help me determine my approach when engaging with my pond maintenance company about their failure to follow through with removing the pondweed. According to my contract they spray to treat algae, control the regrowth of cattails and control weed and algae growth on the surface. However, the owner also told me that that they remove submerged weed overgrowth for an additional fee of $75hr. This is extremely important, because I was specifically looking for a company that does weed removal when I called them. Since they said they provided that service, I went with this company for the weed removal and maintenance. However, now they are backpedaling on the weed removal. After my first treatment in May, I tried schedule the weed removal and was now told that they do not provide this service. I forwarded the email from the owner that says they do provide the service and after a month of them acting as though they never got the email, even though I sent it to every account they told me to, Friday they finally responded acknowledging what I was told and said I can schedule the weed removal. Then today I get an email saying they are booked for the season and I can see about getting it done in the Fall. I'm livid, because if they'd not given me the run around and providing the service, I could have been on the schedule already. And, if they'd not said they provided weed removal, I would have never hired them in the first place. I just don't see the benefit over paying $650 for the season, if the pond will continue to unhealthy and look like crap. All responses are greatly appreciated. Thanks

Re: Does pondweed contribute to algae?
Lenox #536569 06/15/21 09:08 PM
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I think algae is its own entity. Spending $110 a month to control algae seems like a lot to me, but I'm not sure how big your pond is. Instead of fighting the algae, I'd invest in researching why you're getting so much. The 2 main factors for algae growth are nutrients and sunlight. If you have too much of both, you'll have algae problems. Do you have very clear water? Feeding too much?

Maybe pond dye would be an option? I know it reduces the amount of sunlight penetration and thus should reduce algae. I don't think Tilapia would be an option for you in IL, either. Do you have golden shiners? I know they'll eat algae.


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Re: Does pondweed contribute to algae?
Lenox #536570 06/15/21 09:26 PM
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In my opinion several factors become important for dealing with plant growth in ponds.
1, What is the main purpose and goals for the pond? Some plants and plant diversity can be very beneficial and necessary in the pond habitat and ecosystem.

2. When one has plant problems, similar to illness problems it becomes very important to what specifically is the illness or cause, so treatment is effective and efficient. In your case it is important to know the species of plants that are causing problems because different species as in illness differences are best controlled by specific treatment methods. What are your specific problem "weed' Species? AND how much is present in how big of a pond?

3.. In discussing algae there are two main types planktonic (microscopic) and filamentous (stringy hairy). I assume your problem is with the filamentous algae (FA). FA and plants compete for basically the same food = dissolved nutrients mainly nitrogen and phosphorus. The nutrient balance in the water often determines which plant is predominant and often becomes most abundant. It is usually one or the other. Planktonic algae can when abundant reduce light penetration so neither FA nor submerged plants can grow to be common. Abundance of FA and or submerged plants can create clear, high water transparency that reduce numbers/density of planktonic algae. All compete for nutrients. The winner thrives best.

4. Species and abundance of submerged rooted stemy plants can have big pros and cons depending on goals of the pond. Too many or overabundance of any plant and most anything else in life can cause problems. Moderation and balance is important.

5. Eliminating all of any one of the above 3 types of plants often results in one of the other two or both types becoming overabundant due to lack of competition and a presence of abundance of nutrients (plant foods) in the pond. Abundant nutrients is evidence why plants are growing to be overabundant in the pond - excess fertility.

6. Control of the plants can be natural or chemical or some of both depending on goals for the pond. Control method is dependent on species of plants and goals for the pond.


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Re: Does pondweed contribute to algae?
Lenox #536572 06/15/21 09:33 PM
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By your name, I'm going to assume that you are in the New Lenox area and not Chicago? wink

I concur with Bill Cody's post above and want to add one caveat. If it is a type of underwater weed that will grow from fragments, then mechanically removing the weed will only do so for a short amount of time and long term, just spread it around all over the pond.


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Re: Does pondweed contribute to algae?
Steve_ #536579 06/16/21 07:05 AM
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Hi Steve, thanks for the response. To be honest, I’ve never algae before the weeds showed up. And even then it was very little. Being new to this, when I called about the weed clean up and they told me about the seasonal maintenance, which I was told is required to maintain the health of the pond by preventing algae. My biggest concern was/is the submerged weeds, which have taken over the pond and how it is affecting the health, fish, etc.

Re: Does pondweed contribute to algae?
Bill Cody #536583 06/16/21 08:25 AM
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Cody, thank you for such an in-depth and informative response. I see that I have a lot to learn in order to maintain the pond ecosystem. So, please if I understand correctly, a certain amount of plant life is needed to balance things out, but too much of any kind can be a problem. The pond is 1/8 acres and aside from it adding to the aesthetics of the property, I’d like for my parents and their friends to be able to fish (catch and release). There are blue gill, bass and goldfish, with gold fish being the primary species from what I can tell. There is also an abundance of frogs. I’d also like to be able to use the paddle boat. Right now, both fishing and paddle boating are out of the question due to the amount of weeds. So, my goal is to maintain the health of the pond for the fish, etc., recreation and maintain the beauty because it is the first thing you see when you come to my home.

As far as the weed species, through my research it looks like I have American Pondweed and Curly-Leaf Pondweed. The curly leaf showed up first and is most prevalent. The curly leaf starts at about 10ft in from the edge around the whole pond, but stops after about 8ft from the center. On the opposite side it has grown all the way to the aerator in the center of the pond. The American weed starts at the edge around the pond and extends about 3ft out, then stops. But it’s primarily on the side where the curly leaf is abundant. So, the whole pond is pretty much weeds. I hope that makes sense. I’ve tried taking some of it out myself and the curly leaf comes up fairly easy. I can even clear the parts sticking out of the water with my skimmer, but it’s all a long and tedious job, which is why I’d rather pay someone to do it.

As it relates to the algae, I really haven’t seen much. I first saw filamentous algae after the weeds showed up in April, which I skimmed off. It’s always very little, but still exists despite the treatment sprays. This is why I considered that maybe the weeds are influencing algae growth and not removing the weeds may be counterproductive to the treatments. It’s also why I’m concerned that I’m paying this comps y for nothing.

Thank you for any additional info you can.

Re: Does pondweed contribute to algae?
esshup #536584 06/16/21 08:38 AM
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Hi esshup, funny that you ask about the name, lol. It’s actually my cat’s name, who is indeed named after New Lenox, but not for the reason you think. Lenox’ mom decided it was a good idea to go into labor on the day that I was going to see Kenny Loggins in concert in New Lenox. Bit, I couldn’t go because she had a hard delivery and I ended having to take her to the emergency Vet for a cesarean (yep, you read that right). Only one kitten survived and Lenox is his name. I considered Loggins, but it didn’t flow as nicely. Oh, and I live in Crete. So, you were on the right track.

So, is there a way to keep some of the weeds at bay long term?

Re: Does pondweed contribute to algae?
Lenox #536587 06/16/21 10:54 AM
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Lenox look into what is called a weed razor. It is like a rake except it has a blade on each side and a rope tied to the handle. You throw it out and yank it back in and it cuts the weeds off at the bottom you can then pull the weeds out. You might try to find an energetic teenager( I know it's hard to find one that is willing to work hard) . On a pond that size you could keep quite a bit of it under control.

Re: Does pondweed contribute to algae?
Lenox #536591 06/16/21 02:53 PM
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Okay two submerged weed species. American pond weed is not nearly as bad nor as aggressive as the curly leaf (CL) . The two weeds have different primary growth periods or seasons. APM is primarily a warm season plant and Curly leaf is a cold season plant. IMO APM is beneficial due mainly to its lack of depth spread, its niche and behavior in the pond. Eventually the CL will create enough water clarity to allow it go grow into the center of the pond. CL is an invasive species from Europe. Grass carp (white amur) do not readily eat CL due to the coarser plant textures especially when the hard dormant turions form. Amur will eat APM and can denude it from the pond - a bad thing because you want some APM to compete with the filamentous algae(FA). You kill or eliminate all the submerged weeds and FA will replace all the plant growth biomass as FA or some other nuisance plant. Accumulated nutrients dictate how much plant growth occurs. Lack of competition determines what or which plants grow and by how much to use all the available nutrients that have entered the pond.

I hate CL and always fight it in my three ponds. I have frequently used the weed razor. It is a lot of work and is not very effective in cutting and removing all the CL. The good thing about CL is it floats when cut. The other early invader plant that will likely become established in your pond is Chara - technically it is a true algae and not a true aquatic macrophyte. The stuff that kills CL and APM will not kill Chara since it is an algae not a rooted vascular plant. Chara does not float when cut or raked. Amur eat Chara pretty well.

In my experience the easiest and cheapest way to annually reduce CL is to correctly use by label instructions a diquat product (37.3% active ingredient). FYI Weedtrine D is a dilute form of diquat. Diquat quickly chemically degrades in the with in a week or two after applied to the pond. In your 0.125 ac pond around 1 qt of diquat diluted with water around 5water:1diquat and sprayed or spread on the surface,,,, although it is better mixed and placed (injected) underwater into the beds of CL. A bottom aerator helps a lot to spread the chemical throughout the pond. Good distribution of chemical is key to the best success and results.

I say I annually reduce CL because all the old dormant turions can sprout into new plants years after they are formed and drop to the bottom. Plus a treatment often does not kill all the hidden - remote CL which will produce some turions for the next growth season. Treatment may only need to be done every 2-3 years???

CL typically sprouts from mostly the turions in late summer and grows until the water gets cold around 50F or lower. It as a cold season plant vegetates as a healthy plant on the bottom all winter long and grows again quickly in spring when water gets above 50F. When pond dye is not used it reaches the surface when the water gets to around 70F+ and produces seed heads at the surface while also forming the dormant turions. Pond dye can slow the seasonal growth cycle. After the seeds mature the plant usually dies back, turions sink to the bottom. Most of the turions sprout new plants in late summer to start the growth cycle again. Chemically treat the CL BEFORE the turions and seeds form.

I have chemically treated CL successfully in fall and or early spring before the vegetation reaches the surface. Another common aquatic herbicide that can be used to kill the CL is a fluridone product such as Sonar. Floridone has other brand names. I think if you apply diquat early spring (water 50F to 57F) before the APM sprouts in spring, the diquat MIGHT not kill the APM. No guarantee on this assumption. Your pond needs some sort of beneficial plant to help use nutrients and compete against a strong invasion of FA that will occur when all the CL and APM is eliminated. Nature DEMANDS that some plant uses the available nutrients that increase more each year of the pond’s existence. That is Nature’s law. The pond is a big bathtub with no drain if the pond is not flushed or does not have a water flow through cycle. Thus each year more nutrients that grow plants accumulate in the pond.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 06/16/21 03:05 PM.

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Re: Does pondweed contribute to algae?
Lenox #536594 06/16/21 03:40 PM
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Something I was thinking about today, but what happens when you kill off a bunch of algae and/or vegetation and just leave it in the pond? I always assumed it decayed and added those nutrients back into the pond, thus further adding to the nutrient load in the pond, and further creating more algae/vegetation problems.


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Re: Does pondweed contribute to algae?
Steve_ #536596 06/16/21 05:50 PM
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I killed off almost all the southern naiad, and more besides, last summer. Pond turned healthy green for a couple of months, nothing grew due to lack of sunlight penetration beyond about a foot. Fortunately no issues with toxic cyanobacteria, but then my place is naturally infertile.

Pondweeds have slowly come back this year, but still not at levels they were prior to treatment. Obviously it depends on your situation, in a very fertile pond you may need to exercise great caution & only kill a portion at a time to avoid trouble.


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Re: Does pondweed contribute to algae?
Lenox #536600 06/16/21 07:39 PM
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I really like Fluridone to treat the Curly Leaf. 10 PPB and it will kill it and not the APW.

Again start close to 2 months before the turions are set and you might not have to treat for a few years.


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Re: Does pondweed contribute to algae?
Lenox #536602 06/16/21 08:02 PM
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Good comments from Steve, anthropic and esshup. I have also used fluridone (Sonar) with success for CL.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 06/16/21 08:04 PM.

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