Author Archives: oliverbio8

Featured Product – Pond Equaliser

What Is Pond Equaliser?

This weeks featured product is Pond Equaliser.
Pond Equaliser instantly stabilises key water parameters in ponds and aquariums such as pH, KH, GH and ammonia. It is crucial that these parameters are balanced as they determine the biological balance in a pond. Balanced and stable water parameters provide both fish and beneficial bacteria with perfect living conditions and reduces the risk of algae, sludge and blanket weed.
Pond Equaliser only contains ingredients that are naturally found in water and are completely harmless to fish, wildlife and humans.

How Does Pond Equaliser Work?

Pond Equaliser adds essential minerals to pond water to stabilise the key water properties such as the carbonate hardness (KH), the pH and the general hardness (GH)
It also adds calcium to the water to neutralise any toxic heavy metals (found in tap water) and eliminate ammonia which is a by-product of fish waste breaking down.
By improving the water quality, the biological capabilities of the pond are dramatically increased, ensuring bacterial based maintenance products work at maximum efficiency.

Don’t Just Take Our Word for It…

MJA – Pond colour has definitely changed from Pea Green and getting clearer – not fully there yet but is looking good.

Jules – Used in conjunction with Envii Pond Klear worked miracles. Within 4 days could see the fish again and green weed cleared.

Amazon Customer – Did what it said on the pack tested water and fish are happy now!

What Are the Ideal Water Parameters for Fish?

Oxygen levels in your pond should be a minimum of 5.0 mg/L and a maximum of 18mg/L.

Ph levels should be kept as neutral as possible at around 7, but they can fluctuate down to 6.8 and up to 8.2 whilst still be classed as healthy.

KH levels, or carbonate hardness levels, should be kept at around 105ppm but can fluctuate by 15ppm either way and still be classed as healthy.

Ammonia levels should be at zero as they can be very harmful to fish, Nitrite levels should be as close to zero as possible and Nitrate levels can be up to 50ppm.

For more information, read our blog on the Ideal Water Parameters.

Why Is It Important to Monitor The pH Of Pond Water?

It is essential to monitor your pH levels very closely as they can have fatal effects on your fish if you don’t. Your pH level should sit around 7, which is neutral on the pH scale. With every digit above this, your fish come closer to being exposed to dangerous levels of high acidity and alkalinity. High acidity and alkalinity can increase the toxicity of any ammonia in your pond. Ammonia can cause physical burns to your fish’s gills and if it becomes too high will cause ammonia poisoning.

How to Lower Pond pH?

Lowering your ponds pH levels is very easy. As you are reading this we will assume you have checked your water with a test kit and found that your pH levels are too high.

The next step is simple. Follow the instructions for Pond Equaliser and your water parameters (pH, KH, GH, Ammonia & Heavy Metals) will be stable within a few hours.

Why Is My Pond pH So High?

The first thing to do if you get a high pH reading is to take another. Make sure you take one reading in the morning and one later in the day, ideally with similar weather conditions. The reason for this is that algae is more active in the late morning and will be sucking up carbon dioxide which will in turn cause your pH to read high. The algae are less active first thing in the morning and later at night which is why it is best to take two readings.

If your pH level is still high, treat your pond with Pond Equaliser and then take two readings 24 hours later.

 

How To Get Rid Of Blanket Weed

What Is Blanket Weed?

If you have not yet come across this nuisance, congratulations! Blanket weed or long string algae is one of the most well-known (and hated) pond weeds in the UK. It is a long thin alga that has no leaves, stems or roots and forms large, dense pillows of green weed that float around the top of your pond and attach themselves to the side walls. Blanketweed thrives in ornamental ponds with pumps due to the exposure to sunlight, flowing water and abundant nutrients available.

Is Blanketweed Dangerous?

Short answer, yes it can be dangerous to your pond and its habitants.
Blanket weed needs the same nutrients to grow as all your other aquatic plants. It can grow very quickly and will easily outperform and outgrow your other marginal or floating plants as well as killing off any submerged plants due to blocking out any natural light.

As well as competing with your plants, blanket weed will compete with fish for vital oxygen which could lead to your fish dying through lack of oxygen. Not only can the blanket weed deprive fish of much needed oxygen, fish can sometimes swim into the blanketweed, get stuck and then not be able to free themselves and eventually dye.

How to Remove Blanketweed

It is not advisable to remove living blanket weed as this will cause the weed to release spores into the pond which will in turn, create more blanketweed. We suggest treating your pond firstly with Pond Equaliser to get your ponds water quality perfect and then using Blanketweed Klear. Blanketweed klear is easy to use, simply scatter it on the blanket weed, wait for it to die and then scoop out the dead weed and either throw it into your garden waste bin or composting bin. Blanket weed is full of nitrogen which is good for composting.

Preventing Blanketweed

After you have removed the blanket weed from your pond you will want to do everything possible to prevent it from returning in the future. Be sure to have lots of aquatic plants that will absorb excess nutrients in the pond. Keep your fish stock in line with the size of your pond, too many fish can lead to excess waste being produced which can create even more excess nutrients. Check your water quality regularly with a test kit and keep your pH, KH & GH levels balanced.

Should I Keep Aquatic Plants?

There is a split between pond owners as to whether to have plants or not. Aquatic plants can be a great aesthetic addition to your pond, as well as providing several health benefits to the water and fish. They offer shade, compete with algae, remove harmful nitrogen and give back useful oxygen into the pond.

How To Stop Koi Eating Plants

One reservation some pond keepers have when deciding whether to keep aquatic plants is that some fish, Koi especially, like to eat the plants, upset pots or disturb the soil, resulting in a dirty pond. This can easily be resolved by either planting in aquatic cloth liners or aquatic gravel.

Alternatively, there are some plants that would benefit from being planted in waterfalls or streams, keeping them out of reach for fish, whilst still purifying the water.

 

Different Varieties Of Aquatic Plants

Water lilies and lotus’ are common floating plants that provide much needed shade for fish. This shade also slows down the growth of any pond algae and sludge as it restricts the amount of sunlight that can reach the algae. As well as providing shade, these plants also compete for nutrients with existing algae. The combination of shade and nutrient competition results in very little algae growth.

Submerged plants such as hornwort and water moss are essential to a well-structured pond or water garden. They provide small fish with cover from predators such as herons and cats. They also provide the water with copious amounts of oxygen whilst absorbing some of the more harmful chemicals in your pond such as ammonia and nitrogen. Be sure to plant these plants in aquatic gravel or cloth liners to avoid fish digging them up.

Shallow water or marginal plants can sit on the shelves of ponds and provide all the health benefits of submerged plants whilst providing shelter and protection for other aquatic wildlife such as frogs, newts and dragonflies. Some varieties such as water iris produce vibrant flowers that add another dimension to your pond throughout the year.

Liquid Seaweed Fertiliser Benefits

History Of Seaweed Fertiliser

Seaweed has been used for centuries, mainly in coastal areas, as a natural way to improve the condition and fertility of soil. As well as containing several useful plant nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphate and magnesium, seaweed also contains several trace nutrients that are essential to improving a plants health.

Seaweed used to be used in its natural form and just thrown onto the compost heap. This method is still good practice as seaweed is high in nitrogen and compost loves nitrogen. However, unless you own the beach where you intend to collect the seaweed, there is no public right to collect seaweed, unless it is for scientific use. If you intend to collect seaweed, we advise you contact the local council before doing so.

As seaweed grows in very harsh conditions, it acquires unique anti-stress compounds that are then passed on to plants when used as a fertiliser. Seaweed is immersed in salt water, dried out, baked in the sun, soaked with rain and bathed again in salt water.

Organic Liquid Seaweed Fertiliser

SeaFeed Xtra is a new organic, liquid seaweed fertiliser that differs from other seaweed fertilisers as it contains a higher percentage of physical seaweed. Most seaweed fertilisers contain between 1-3%, ours contains 5% and that is why it is so dark in colour!

As well as a higher percentage of seaweed, SeaFeed Xtra also contains an additional nutrient that helps deliver micro nutrients directly to the main arteries of the plant.

Don’t just take our word for it though!

Richard, one half of the Two Thirsty Gardeners has used SeaFeed Xtra on his Chilli plants with some great results.

Read his review here>> SeaFeed Review

What Is Pond Sludge?

Ponds have sludge, that’s a fact! No matter how often you clean the pond, there will always be a layer of organic matter sat at the bottom.

What Is Pond Sludge?

Pond sludge is made up of the organic materials that are found in and around your pond. Ranging from fish food, faeces and plant debris, all this matter falls to the bottom of your pond and starts to rot. This sludge then becomes impenetrable to oxygen and goes into an anaerobic state, causing the bacteria to produce Hydrogen Sulphide. As many of you will know, Hydrogen Sulphide smells like rotten eggs (you may have come across this smell after disturbing the bottom of your pond or cleaning out your filters). As Hydrogen Sulphide is toxic, it will eventually start to kill off other living things in your pond, starting with the important aerobic bacteria. The lack of bacteria will then lead to your pond plants and fish suffering, deteriorating and eventually dying. As more and more of your pond life dies it adds to your layer of pond sludge and creates a vicious cycle.

However, pond sludge is not the end of the world and if you have sludge in your pond, don’t worry, it is easy to treat and we will come back to this.

How Do I Prevent Pond Sludge?

Preventing and minimising the amount of sludge is easy enough to do and will keep your pond running efficiently. Be sure to remove any floating debris as and when you see it. Take care when cutting your lawn as lawn cuttings can easily find their way into the pond and quickly sink to the bottom. Finally, use aquatic cloth liners or aquatic gravel in submerged plants to keep the fish from digging them up. Koi especially, find digging up plants very amusing!

How to Remove Pond Sludge?

So, you have done all you can to prevent this layer of sludge from forming, but the inevitable has happened and you have acquired pond sludge.

There are two things you can do at this point. You can either physically remove the pond sludge using your hands or a pond vacuum. These will get rid of the physical matter but will remove some of the helpful, aerobic bacteria and leave behind some of the harmful Hydrogen Sulphide.

The second thing you can do is to add extra, beneficial bacteria into the pond to “attack” the pond sludge, break it down and digest it whilst topping up the aerobic bacteria in your pond. Envii Sludge Klear contains a unique blend of bacteria and enzymes that break down and digest the pond sludge. Sludge Klear can be used as a treatment product and maintenance product to keep your bacteria levels high and sludge levels low all year round.

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Jobs For Your Pond

It’s March 20th and spring is officially here so it’s time to start working on your pond, clearing up after the winter and preparing for the rest of the year.

Most of the UK had a mild winter and despite the Met Office’s warning of Thundersnow back in January, we haven’t had much snow or ice this year. Because of the milder temperatures, there is a possibility that pond sludge and algae have been active in your pond for a good proportion of the winter months as they can grow down to temperatures as low as 8°C.

Preparation Is Key

First things first, if you have any plans for your pond this year, now is the time to start putting them into action. Make sure you have all your pond maintenance supplies and feed stocked up, there is nothing worse than running out of something when you need it most! Go over your filters and pump and make sure everything is clean and working as it should be.

Remove Debris

Remove any obvious debris that could have made its way into the pond over winter. Small pebbles, rocks, leaves & twigs can all be blown or washed into your pond and if they degrade, they will eventually turn into pond sludge. Be sure to clear any loose debris from around the edges of your pond as well as these will make their way in.

Inspect all your aquatic plants and remove any that have not survived the winter. Remove any dead leaves and trim back accordingly.

Pond Sludge & Algae

As we mentioned above, the winter has been mild and pond sludge may have been active in your pond for a few months now. Be sure to use your Pond Klear and Sludge Klear early as it can work down to temperatures as low as 4°C. If you have been using Winter Pond throughout the winter months you may not have much sludge so have a look before dosing up.

pH Levels

Your pond hasn’t had much attention for a few months and although chemical and bacterial levels don’t change much in the cold, it is always good practice to use a test kit to ensure your water conditions are perfect.

Poor water quality and the fast transition in a ponds conditions coming out of winter and into spring can lead to “spring kill” which refers to the loss of fish at the start of spring due to series of related water quality issues

How To Protect Your Waxy Hostas From Slugs & Snails

Over the last few year Hostas have become one of the best-selling plants out there. They’re popular because they’re easy to grow, low maintenance and they will out-live a lot of the other plants in your garden. They do have one natural-born enemy though… slugs and snails.

There are few things tastier to a gastropod than a big, juicy Hosta which is why it’s important for gardeners to take their protection seriously. We have developed a product that can be applied directly to the plants leaves, which is perfect for the large leaves of a Hosta.

Envii Feed & Protect

Envii Feed & Protect is a plant food AND slug & snail deterrent.  Its first job is to provide essential micronutrients to the plant which allows it to grow to its full potential. But what makes Feed & Protect so special is that it makes the leaves taste bitter to gastropods. Rather than filling your garden with ugly blue pellets that could endanger other wildlife, you can deter slugs and snails in a harmless and natural way.

Feed & Protect comes in a powder form that you dilute in water. Because Hostas have very waxy leaves you can add a small squirt of washing up liquid into the solution. This helps the plant’s leaves absorb the solution and make sure it is fully effective.

Envii Feed & Fortify

Our other slug and snail protection is called Envii Feed & Fortify. Unlike Feed & Protect, this is a physical protection. It’s a form of food-grade diatomaceous earth that desiccates (dries out) gastropods as they pass over it. This means it basically acts as a barrier to your plant the same way a moat protects a castle. Feed & Fortify also contains iron silicates which are absorbed into the soil and improve the plant’s intake of nutrients and therefore its health and growth.

Stopping Slugs & Snails For Good

All gardeners know that slugs and snails will never stop in their mission. That’s why having a two-pronged approach to stopping them is so important. While both products work well alone, adding them together will stop the relentless gastropods for good.

For more information or to buy our slug and snail protection, click on these links:

Feed & Protect

Feed & Fortify