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WGD Blog

  1. Garden Pond Blanketweed

    Garden Pond Blanketweed

    What is Garden Pond Blanketweed

    Blanketweed is the common name given to filamentous (string) algae, but it actually comes in different forms, from a short (2-3mm) growth on the side of the pond which breaks up as you touch it to strong strands which can grow 3-4m long and allsorts in between.

    Although it is unsightly, it can have it uses.  Fish love to spawn in it, it makes a fantastic home for fish fry and is the first food for tadpoles when they emerge from their eggs.  However, it can also be dangerous.  Some large fish can get tied up in it and die, Sturgeon are well known for this but we have also heard of large Koi being affected.  It can also have a negative impact on the oxygen levels in your ponds.  Like most plants algae produces oxygen during the day, but reverses the process at night, so too much blanketweed in a pond may mean that the fish are starved of oxygen just before dawn.

    So how do you solve the problem?

    The natural way is to use pond plants to compete against the algae for the limited nutrient and light available. Any plants will compete for nutrients but the faster growing varieties are better, lily leaves will spread to block out light, and floating plants will compete for light and nutrients.  However, there can be problems with using plants. The first is that the blanketweed can start growing at much cooler temperatures and as such has a chance to get hold early in the season. Secondly not all fish are very plant friendly, the large species are well know for destroying lilies and other potted plants. Lastly the design of some ponds is not suitable for plants.  If you are just starting out or redesigning a pond then you may want to include a large bog or slow moving stream area which could be planted up and would work as a vegetable filter.  If the water from your filter is fed in to the planted stream, then the plants in this zone have a chance to remove the nutrients before they go in to the pond, effectively starving the algae of food.  I make this sound very easily but it is not always and some time and thought needs to go in to the design.

    Click Here to go to our Plants and Accessories Page

    Liquid and Powder Treatments?

    The most common way of solving Blanketweed is treatments and the choice of treatments is huge.  The more traditional Algicides have become less popular, with most customers preferring more eco or natural treatments such as Extract of Barley Straw and No More Blanketweed. We often get asked “Which is the best treatment” and to be honest they all have their merits and can have varying degrees of success depending on what kind of Blanketweed is in your pond.  I have stood in our shop while two customers have had a very heated argument about the effectiveness of one particular treatment, once singing it praises the other stating it is a total waste of money.  Our most popular treatment at the moment is the No More Blanketweed, but you may have to try a few until you find the best one for your pond. For any treatment to be effective it is vital that the pond volume is calculate accurately and the appropriate dose used.

    Click Here to go to our Blanketweed Treatments Page

    Electronic Treatment

    More recently a few manufacturers have launched electrical products such as the T-Flow Tronic, which slowly releases a small amount of copper in to the water to inhibit algal growth. These units once in place need very little work and can help avoid the regular dosing of the pond with a treatment.  A word of warning though, you need to be very careful with these products, because they have very strict guidelines.

    Click Here to go to our Electronic Blanketweed Treatments Page

    Blanketweed is a very basic plant which has been around for millennia, it comes in many forms and is a great survivor, don’t be surprised if it take you a few attempts to find the right solution. Be patient you will get there!

     

     

     




  2. Garden Pond Heron Protection

    Garden-Pond-Heron-Protection

    Garden Pond Heron Protection

    Why are Herons a problem

    This is the time of year when Herons can be the biggest pests to pond owners. They are rearing young and as such their need for food increases and they are tempted in to our gardens for easy pickings. The early sunrise in Spring and Summer means they can visit our ponds before many of us are awake, in fact one of the most frequent comments we here is “ I opened the curtains and I just saw him (the Heron) flying away”

    Herons are mostly solitary birds of prey who enjoy peace and quite whilst fishing, so they prefer to visit ponds in the early hours when they will not be disturbed. As a rule they will land away from the pond, often on an open area of lawn, and slowly walk in to the pond to avoid disturbing the fish. To be effective they really need to wade in to the water because once in the pond they release a chemical which actually attracts the fish to them. If they are prevented form doing this, they are much less likely to be successful. It is rare that you will find any obvious evidence of the heron after a visit. However, the chemical they release is slightly oily and in the right light you can sometime make out the rainbow colour of the oil on the surface of the water.

    So How can you protect you pond

    So how do you stop them? Unfortunatly the only certain way is to net the pond preventing them from getting in to the water and removing fish from the pond. Obviously this can be unsightly and detracts from the appearance of the pond, to minimise this you could build a frame or structure, which would enable the net to be removed when you are in the garden.

    However, there are other options.

    We offer a Decoy Heron, which because they are mostly solitary birds will hopefully persuade a Heron flying above, to keep going and pick on some one else’s pond.

    Click Here to go to our Blue Decoy Heron Page

    As mentioned Herons want to land away from the pond and walk in to the water, putting a physical barrier in the way may deter them. If you know where it lands you can put clear nylon threads up to disrupt the flight path. This method is entirely dependent on the layout of your garden allowing overhead wires and may have an impact on other birds, but does mean the Heron can be deterred with out impact on the appearance of the pond.

    We offer a Heron Stop which consists of 8 stakes that can be positioned around the pond through which you thread clear nylon wire to create an invisible barrier.

    Click Here to go to our Heron Stop Page

    If you’re not convinced the trip wire would be enough by itself, then step up to the Pond Protector which is an electrified version carrying a mild charge through the wire so that the Heron is put off trying to figure out a way around the barrier. This product is our industries version of a livestock fence and should not harm the Heron, but will certainly put it off.

    Click Here to go to our Pond Protector Page

    Other options might include custom made decorative metal covers or screens. We must point out that Herons are a protected species and as such can not be harmed or killed.




  3. Pure Pond Bomb – Facebook Pond Photo Competition

    Pure Pond Bomb Competition

    Pure Pond Bomb – Facebook Pond Photo Competition

    For our first competition on Facebook, we are giving away 10 Evolution Aqua – PURE Pond Bombs.

    If you need an intensive, fast acting pond treatment which will help you achieve crystal clear and healthy water. Then the Evolution Aqua PURE Pond Bomb is the product for you. Evolution Aqua PURE Pond Bomb is a fast acting, concentrated version of the Award Winning PURE Pond and is ideal for use in Koi ponds, ornamental ponds, self contained water features or ponds which do not have conventional filtration, to achieve crystal clear, healthy water.

    To enter just upload a photo of your pond and tell us why your pond deserves a Pond Bomb.

    Click Here – To go to our Facebook page




  4. Fish Spawning – Your fish will soon be ready, are you ?

    Spring Time Feeding Advice

     

    As the weather warms up (yes it will one day) your female fish are quite likely to start producing eggs ready for spawning.  If this is something you want to encourage then you need to take appropriate action.

    First making eggs and the whole process around spawning uses a lot of protein and so getting your fish on to high protein foods (often called Growth Foods) as soon as possible can only help them get ready, be careful not to over feed though.

    Click Here – To go to our Growth Foods page

    In the wild fish spawn in and around plants, if you do not have any suitable plants in your ponds then the females can become egg bound and die in quite a horrible way.  We offer artificial plants which can be used to give them an area on which to spawn and can also be removed afterwards if you want to take the eggs away to another location.

    Click Here – To go to our Artificial Pond Plants page

    The adult fish are exceedingly bad parents and as soon as the eggs are spawned they will start eating them. In most cases the fish spawn first thing in the morning and so one of the first signs that this has occurred is all of the fish are eating at/hoovering the sides of the pond.  As previously mentioned the whole process is very rich in protein so another sign that they have spawned is a foam on the pond surface. This is called Protein Froth and is natural but unsightly oil which is produced by the high levels of protein discharged by the fish.  We offer a product called Foam-Clear to get rid of the foam.

    Click Here – To go to our Foam Clear product page

    If you want to try to keep the eggs and encourage them to hatch then you need to isolate them from the adults.  Some pond designs may have header ponds or area’s suitable for this, but most don’t and the eggs will need to be collected and moved to a separate pond/tank.  Whilst in this separate area it is vital that the water moves and is aerated to prevent the eggs from being attacked by fungus.  A small air pump is ideal for this.

    Click Here – To go to our Air Pumps page

    Obviously the idea of collecting the fertilised eggs and growing on the fry can be very attractive – mini fish farming, but be wary, as a rule you have a very high mortality rate, not only do the adults eat the eggs and fry, but the fry will eat one another as well, this is a natural process to ensure survival of the fittest.  If however you are successful and by the time next spring comes around you have quite a few baby fish in the pond, so it is important to remember the load on the pond.  100 x 25mm (1”) fish will at least double in the first year and often treble in size, this can equate to 7.5m (300”) of fish or the equivalent of 10 x 750mm(30”) fish. So be prepared.




  5. Exotic Pet Refuge May Close

    We are very sorry to  here that an animal sanctuary near Peterborough that takes in people’s unwanted exotic pets is facing the threat of closure because of a lack of funds.

    Video Story Exotic pet sanctuary faces closure on ITV or Click Here to go to thier web site




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