When it comes to controlling string algae in ponds, this is one of the simplest techniques I’ve ever learned in pond maintenance.
Note that Blanketweed is another name for this long filamentous angel-hair algae.
Same thing – same problem.
In short, this is an imbalance in your pond environment in some way or other and this can be both tricky to identify and deal with. Some folks just apply some chemical to deal with the problem but I confess I like simple organic gardening techniques for all my pond work (and my regular gardening work as well)
The simplest way to describe this is to show you how I take a stick – any stick will do – shove it into the mass of string algae and start twirling the stick. The green slime wraps itself around the stick and you can pull it out.
You’ll see I use my hands to separate the really sticky bits that are wrapped around the water lily leaves, this reduces damage but in my experience you won’t lose too many if you just pull with a steady pressure and not “yank” it out.
Does This Damage The Plants?
I get asked whether this damages the plants. The answer to that is “maybe” and “sometimes”.
It doesn’t bother water lilies too much but floating oxygenators such as anacharis need to be carefully separated from the algae as you’re twirling it up.
You’ll lose some of this no matter how carefully you do it but as it grows so quickly, I don’t consider it a problem.
Caution re Pond Chemicals
Do be careful if you purchase one with Atrazine in it as overdosing can kill the good plants as well. And understand these materials will often kill off the beneficial algae along with string algae
Stick twirling and wading about in the pond on a hot day to collect the algae is a minor garden chore – and a safe one at that.
And yes, really do wade into the pond to do this task – and feel quite free to do it on the hottest day of the summer. 🙂
More backyard pond articles can be found here