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How do I get rid of Blanketweed?

If you’ve ever been relaxing in your garden and suddenly caught yourself thinking ‘what is the green stringy stuff in my pond?’, you’re likely among the many pond keepers that have fallen victim to blanketweed. Blanketweed, also known as string algae, is something that every dedicated pond keeper wishes to never see. Ugly, hard to control and potentially damaging to the health of your pond livestock, don’t let this stringy menace reduce your enjoyment of your pond by facing it head on.

If you’re suffering from a blanketweed problem and are wondering how best to kill and remove the pesky problem, you’re in luck. In this blog, we’ll be going over how to get rid of algae, what the best blanketweed treatment is and sharing our top tips on how to keep it away once and for all.

Is string algae bad for a pond?

In small amounts, string algae doesn’t pose much of a problem for the health of your pond. In fact, if growth is kept to a minimum, blanketweed can actually be a good thing! A natural absorber of excess organic matter, blanketweed can help to clear up your water but, once it grows and spreads, issues are likely to set in. In ponds where there is enough algae growth, the oxygen levels of the pond will begin to change which can be harmful to the health of your fish. After this, severe cases of blanketweed can even pose a physical threat to your pond life, with the long, spider web-like strings capable of trapping some fish breeds.

How do I get rid of Blanketweed?

The first step in removing blanketweed from a pond is to manually lift the algae from the surface of the pond. In places where it's tangled up in plants and pond decorations, try to carefully cut the blanketweed until it lifts free. Keep in mind that some pond wildlife may get caught up in the spiderweb algae, so it may be worth setting the removed blanketweed next to your pond for a day or two. This short pause should give any accidentally displaced critters time to return to your pond, helping to maintain the ecosystem you’ve built in your pond through the removal process.

Once the bulk of your blanketweed infestation has been removed and cleared away, you’ll also want to spend some time clearing up any remnants of the algae. Clearing away small free-floating pieces will help stop the algae from growing again and will also help prevent the little pieces getting caught up in your pond filter and clogging it up.

Time consuming and strenuous, the process of manually removing blanketweed is certainly a chore you’ll only want to do once, so make sure you follow our maintenance steps (which we’ll cover soon) to ensure the algae can’t grow this much again.

What naturally kills algae?

Once you’ve removed the blanketweed by hand, the next step is to treat it with an algae remover. There are a few different types of pond algae remover to choose from, with the cheapest choice being barley straw. As a natural algaecide, barley straw sits on the surface of the pond where any blanketweed is naturally attracted to it. Over time, this natural algae treatment slowly releases hydrogen peroxide into your pond, killing the blanketweed. Unfortunately, the downside of using barley straw for ponds as a natural algae treatment is that it can take a long time to work, usually needing to be left for anywhere between a few weeks to a few months.

What is the best pond algae treatment?

If you’d prefer to avoid the long time frame of using barley straw for ponds to solve your string algae problem, then there are still plenty of safe and effective choices available. Your main two choices are a bacterial algae remover, which starves blanketweed by clearing up any excess nutrients in your pond, or a chemical algae treatment, which is a mineral and enzyme mix that directly targets the blanketweed’s growth by changing the chemistry of the water.

Both types of blanketweed treatment have proven to be extremely effective and are the easiest and fastest way to control the growth of algae in your pond. At Aquacadabra, we have a wide range of algae remover treatments that fit into these categories. To find the right one for you, follow our easy guide below.

Algae treatment for fish and wildlife ponds: If you care for a wildlife pond, then your top priority is creating a safe and healthy environment for frogs, bugs and fish to thrive. Because of this, we recommend choosing a pond algae remover that poses no threat to their health such as Cloverleaf’s Blanket Answer. A natural pond algae remover that is 100% safe for fish, plants and other pond life, Cloverleaf’s blanketweed treatment doesn’t harm the bacteria cultures in filters, allowing you to keep your pond filters working while the treatment does it’s work.

String algae treatment for ornamental ponds: In ponds without fish or wildlife present, we recommend using the highly rated Evolution Aqua Stop Blanketweed treatment. An incredibly powerful chemical string algae treatment, Stop Blanketweed should kill any pesky algae in your pond on the first treatment. Available in multiple sizes at Aquacadabra, including the largest Evolution Aqua Stop Blanketweed 4kg, this effective algae remover will keep your pond blanketweed free.

What causes Blanketweed?

The best way to keep blanketweed at bay once you’ve gotten rid of it is to understand exactly what causes the persistent algae in the first place. Typically, blanketweed is carried to ponds through plant life but, as blanketweed is native to this country, its spores can easily reach your garden pond regardless of the number of pond plants you have. Because of this, there’s really no way to stop blanketweed at its source. Instead, your best course of action is to target and continually manage the elements that cause blanketweed to grow. By creating a pond that is naturally hostile to the algae, you’re less likely to have to remove another infestation later down the line.

  • Light: As with any algae, blanketweed needs plenty of light to grow and, during the longer days of summer, algae growth caused by light can be a real issue. In order to limit the amount of light hitting your pond, we recommend building your pond under a shaded area or, if your pond is already established, constructing a pergola or planting bushes nearby to offer partial shade through the day.
  • Water: Water quality is another factor worth controlling as blanketweed thrives in hard water areas. In order to combat this, we recommend using a water test kit to test your tap water. If the water has high pH and phosphate levels, your best course of action is to try and regulate this.
  • Food: Blanketweed feeds on organic fertilisers in your pond such as uneaten fish food, fish waste or organic debris such as fallen leaves. These fertilisers can be reduced by stocking your pond with a manageable number of fish, feeding them the right amount of food and ensuring the surface of your pond remains debris free, either by clearing using an automatic pond skimmer or with pond netting. By doing this, you will be limiting the amount of excess nutrients in your water and starving any algae. It’s also a good idea to purchase a strong filtration system as these will help to maintain the health of your water and limit algae growth further.

Clear your pond with blanketweed treatment from Aquacadabra

Removing blanketweed from your pond is a three-step process, starting with manual removal, then using a pond algae remover and finally maintaining a pond environment that is hostile to any further algae growth.

Ready to tackle the blanketweed in your pond? Browse through the blanketweed treatment collection at Aquacadabra to find everything you need to stop string algae from spoiling your pond.