Backyard Pond Problems: Dealing with Seaweed

Despite the word “sea” in its name, seaweed isn’t merely found in the ocean and can wreak havoc on your pond. Seaweed is often considered an invasive aquatic weed that can quickly multiply, choking out other plant life and fish. Thankfully, you don’t have to just live with seaweed and can take the necessary steps to get rid of it and keep it from returning.

Remove the Seaweed

If seaweed is an issue in your pond, your first step is to manually remove it. This can be done by putting on some waders and getting right into the water, yacking the seaweed out of the pond. Make sure you’re tossing the seaweed onto the bank and not back into the water. If you don’t want to get wet, you can also use a rake, skimming the pond’s surface and removing the seaweed in that manner.

Get the Water Moving

Installing pond aerators and fountains are a great way to keep the seaweed from returning. This is because seaweed is less likely to grow in water that is constantly moving.

Add some Fish

Grass carps are a useful tool in helping to naturally keep aquatic weeds down. These fish consume the seaweed, algae, and other aquatic plants, getting rid of them without harsh chemicals. Keep in mind, however, that some grass carps may require a permit and you should speak with your local Department of Natural Resources before adding any fish to your pond.

Dye your Pond

Pond dye, either black or blue, blocks the light from penetrating the water. And without sunlight, seaweed can’t grow. Make sure that the dye you use is designed for ponds, which means they can be safely used without harming other aquatic life, such as plants and fish.

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If All Else Fails

If you are dealing with a difficult seaweed infestation, your last option may be applying an aquatic herbicide designed specifically for seaweed. You can find aquatic herbicides at garden centers, home improvement stores, and various online merchants. Remember to always read and follow all the instructions and warnings found on the herbicide’s bottle. This will help prevent any unintended damage to your pond while increasing the herbicide’s effectiveness.