Frequently Asked Questions...
FAQ's - ClearWaters Blanket-Weed
What Is Blanket-Weed?
Blanket-weed, sometimes called "string algae", is a filamentous green algae often found in ornamental garden ponds which has been introduced accidentally in a variety of ways, including the addition of new pond plants and lilies or simply a bird which previously visited another pond with the algae present within it and has inadvertently carried some over from it.
Will Fish Eat It?
Basically, no. Grass Carp are often added to a pond for this sole purpose, but they will eat other beneficial water plants first, and even then, they will not eat sufficient of the algae. In addition, these fish grow very large and unless housed in an extremely large pond they are not suitable for normal garden ponds.
When Can I Use ClearWaters?
ClearWaters is still effective down to a water temperature of 4 degrees celsius, but results are quicker in water above that.
Use ClearWaters as instructed within the instructions when blanket-weed is present, or the reduced rate as a preventative during the spring and summer months.
As the algae dies, it will consume valuable dissolved oxygen from the water. Particularly in the warmer months of summer, ensure that there is ample aeration to counteract this oxygen deficit when using any water ClearWaters or any other treatments.
Dissolved oxygen can be improved by circulation the water more rigorously at the surface by turning on water pumps to their maximum and/or adding an air pump.
I have used ClearWaters Blanket-Weed Solution and my water Lillie is affected.
The effect of ClearWaters heavily depends on dosage. If the dosage is too high Water Lillies or even marginal plants can be affected. Calculating the amount of water can sometimes be a challenge especially when ponds have a curved design with different depths.
ClearWaters Blanket-Weed Solution is oxidised in the pond water over time, often affected water Lilies recover after several weeks. Reduce the dosage when you use ClearWaters again.
Will ClearWaters Harm Wildlife?
ClearWaters is harmless to all present and visiting pond animals, including cats, dogs and birds which may visit the pond in order to drink the water.
It is suggested not to add ClearWaters to the pond whilst frogs and toads are spawning and when tadpoles are there. Once the tadpoles have transformed into frogs however, ClearWaters can be used.
I Still Have Blanket-Weed in my Pond After Using ClearWaters!
In order to eliminate the algae from the pond, two doses are required with 14-days apart. Even of the first dose seems to have removed the algae we advise to still perform the second dose.
Like all treatments, its is important to ensure the correct amount of ClearWaters has been used. Make sure you have calculated the water volume of your pond accurately. If the dose treated is too weak then the algae can survive.
Distribute evenly over the pond surface as instructed on the product carton, including coverage of waterfalls and watercourses.
We advise the regular check of water hardness of both KH and GH. Water hardness is a vital factor in regard to the wellness of the pond inhabitants, including those of plants and water snails. This is even more important to check after the winter months when rain and snow will have softened the water.
Provided the temperature and dosage are correct there is no reason why ClearWaters Blanket-Weed will not eradicate the algae from the pond.
I Used ClearWaters to Cure My Pond of Green Water and it Didn't Work!
Green water in ponds is caused by millions of tiny single algae cells. ClearWaters is formulated to kill filamentous algae which is the string sort known as Blanket-Weed, and there is a difference between the two algae species.
Although ClearWaters may reduce the amount of single algae cells resulting in a cleaner looking pond, the result is often very short term and it is recommended that you use a treatment for that job which is focused on green water rather than blanket-weed.
Is Blanket-Weed Dangerous to Fish?
To species such as Koi and Goldfish, and provided there is plenty of actual free swimming space within the pond, some blanket-weed does not create a problem to them and only to us because it looks unsightly.
For Sturgeon and Sterlet species however, filamentous algae is highly dangerous and can easily be the cause of these fishes death.
These fish have spiny fins and body covering which are like lots of time anchors. The Sturgeon or Sterlet can swim into the blanket-weed, but the small anchors latch hold of the algae that entangles the fish which eventual dies due to suffocation.
Therefore, it is of paramount importance that blanket-weed is eliminated from the pond before the introduction of these fish.
I Have a Wildlife Pond in my Garden But It says I Cannot Use it There!
This term is a legal requirement that all manufacturers have to show on the instructions with products of this nature, and the term "wildlife pond" refers to ponds in public or natural places and that could be connected to other waterways. Such a pond would be the one found on the village green for example, where if sufficient treatment was entered into it and allowed to flood into the national waterways it may damage the local natural flora or fauna and upset the natural eco balance.
ClearWaters is perfectly safe for use in domestic wildlife ponds in the garden.
Since Using ClearWaters my Fish Have Died or Are Not Well!
Simply, this is not going to happen if you have used the product as described within the instructions. ClearWaters Blanket Weed Treatment is safe for use with all ornamental pond fish, including Orfe and Sturgeon species. It is also perfectly safe with water plants such as lilies, iris and submerged oxygenating plants. Likewise, visiting wildlife such as frogs and birds are safe too.
All algae treatments will lower the dissolved oxygen content within the pond water, although it is not the treatment itself doing this but the side effect of the algae dying. Any matter such as rotting vegetation (including algae), uneaten food, high fish stock levels to mention a few will consume high levels of oxygen as part of its biological process. The warmer the water the more this situation is enhanced. Certain species, including Orfe and Sterlet are particularly susceptible to poor oxygen conditions, and under those circumstance these fish are often the first to show oxygen efficiency symptoms, including death.
When administering water additives to the pond, always ensure adequate oxygen is added to the water at the same time. This can be achieved using pond air pumps or existing water pumps which agitate the water surface well. It is always a good idea to avoid adding treatments at times of hot humid weather or just before nightfall.
I Have Treated My Pond With ClearWaters Blanket Weed and My Dog/Cat Has Just Drank From It!
Used correctly and as instructed, ClearWaters is safe to use in all ornamental ponds, including those where visiting wildlife and pets are likely to drink from it. This will do no harm to your dogs drinking from the pond. The bacteria in ClearWaters is non-pathogenic and occurs in any natural water body. Nevertheless, it would be advisable during the treatment, to give animals (e.g. dogs and cats), who drink water from the pond, a dish of water.
Should any of the water be consumed by a human, ClearWaters Blanket Weed itself will not cause a problem although medical advice should be undertaken due to numerous bacteria and pathogens that will naturally be in the pond water, which of course makes it unsuitable for human consumption.
Newts and tadpoles are residing in my pond and I would like to know if ClearWaters is safe for them or should I wait to use?
ClearWaters product is safe for use with fish, frogs and toads etc as long as you follow the directions and do not overdose. However please bear in mind that the frogs and newts will lay their eggs in the blanketweed if you are trying to remove this from your pond.
Do you have a recommended waiting period before carrying out water changes?
We would suggest you wait 3 weeks for the ClearWaters to take effect and then check the clarity of the water, if you feel you need to do a water change sooner then just try to do a partial one. If you have a filter this should be removing debris.
Will any overdose adversely effect fish and plants?
The bacteria in ClearWaters is non pathogenic and occur in any natural water body so will cause no harm to fish or wildlife.
Should I stop treating ClearWaters in the Winter?
In lower temperatures algae tends to grow a lot slower and although there is no set minimum temperature that ClearWaters stops being effective, while algae is growing at a reduced rate they may absorb less of the active ingredient that is in ClearWaters making it less effective. However we have good results from water temperature of 10 C and above. We would recommend for optimum results that you dose when your pond is sitting above this temperature.
Can I leave my pump on when I use ClearWaters?
Yes, blanketweed will take oxygen out of the pond, it is vital pumps are left on day and night, hot weather will also take oxygen from the pond.
When is the best time of day to treat ClearWaters?
Preferably not in the hottest part of the day, early morning is ideal.
Is ClearWaters safe to use in duck ponds?
ClearWaters would be safe to use, however ponds with ducks will never become clear because there are so many nutrients in the water for the algae to grow on.
I have used ClearWaters Blanket-Weed Solution but the blanket weed is still growing.
The effect of ClearWaters Blanket-Weed Solution heavily depends on dosage. If the dosage is too low it will have little or no effect. Calculating the amount of water can sometimes be a challenge especially when ponds have a curved design with different depths. If you have used ClearWaters Blanket-Weed Solution and the blanket weed is still growing you can repeat the treatment. Some of the active ingredients are still present in the water so another dose is sufficient to remove the blanket weed in most cases. If this has helped the content of your pond may be higher than previously thought for on the initial dosage, dose accordingly next time you treat your pond.
In water with a low General hardness ClearWaters Blanket-Weed Solution sometimes have a limited effect. We advise to maintain a General hardness of at least 10˚DH. Use ClearWaters GH-booster to increase the hardness.
Can we swim in the pond when ClearWater is added?
Our product is tested on ponds with ornamental fish. The effect on humans who swim in a pond with water treated with ClearWaters Blanket-Weed Solution has not been tested. Hence, we recommend to refrain from swimming at least 14 days after the last administration of ClearWaters Blanket-Weed Solution.
FAQ's - Feeding Nishikoi Growth Food
Which Fish Can Eat Nishikoi Growth?
This food is suitable for all species, including goldfish and orfe etc in ornamental garden ponds. It is highly suitable for koi fish where best colour, growth and vitality are required.
Which Pellet Size Should I Use?
Chose a pellet size that all of your fish can manage, remembering that small fish cannot eat large pellets, but large fish can eat small pellets.
If you have very small fish such as fry, you can break down the pellet by putting some in a plastic bang and "smash" it up using a mallet or pasty rolling pin.
Why Does Nishikoi Growth Food Float? I Prefer A Sinking Food!
Most ornamental fish foods are designed to float for numerous reasons; We can enjoy our pet fish more the the come to the surface to eat and we can observe any damage or possible parasite infections during this time.
More importantly, we can note how much our fish have eaten, and should there be food left over it is easy to scoop out the left overs so that the water does not become polluted and allow us to reduce feed quantities the next time.
When Should I Feed Growth Food?
Feeding Nishikoi Growth can be done when the pond water temperature is constantly above 10 degrees centigrade. Below this temperature your fish will have problems digesting this high protein food and an alternative food such as Staple, Health or Wheatgerm is advised.
Will Nishikoi Growth Pollute the Water?
In essence, no. Nishikoi Growth is a premium fish food with high digestibility amongst many of its attributes. Always observe your fish eating, and if there is food left over after say 15-minutes of feeding, remove the excess and reduce the quantity of feed the next time.
Quite often, cheap or budget priced food will yield excessive waste where pond filters will require more regular maintenance and cleaning of the pond bottom too. This is not the case with Nishikoi Growth.
FAQ's - Feeding Nishikoi Health Food
Why Should I Feed Nishikoi Health Food?
Nishikoi Health is a food crammed with prebiotic inulin, beta-glucans and positive micro flora for outstanding intestinal balance within your pet fish. These elements amongst others within "Health" will give your fish all the well-being ingredients for a healthy and vibrant life.
Is Health Food Suitable For All My Fish?
Yes, all species of pond fish will benefit being fed on this feed.
How Often Should I Feed Nishikoi Health?
You can feed your fish on Nishikoi Health all year should you wish, and there are many advantages of doing so. Or, you can use Health in the spring when your fishes natural immune system is low, after buying new fish for the same reason, during and after treating your fish for a disease or parasite and in the autumn in preparing the fish for the hard winter ahead .
Only feed as much as the fish will eat in 10-minutes. If food is left over, remove and offer less on the next feed.
When Should I Feed Nishikoi Health?
Start feeding Health once the water temperature is consistently above 9 degrees centigrade. If the temperature is lower we suggest feeding with Nishikoi Wheatgerm.
What Size Pellet Should I Use?
Chose a pellet size that suits all the fish in the pond, remembering that a small fish cannot eat a large pellet, but a large fish can eat a small pellet.
FAQ's - Nishikoi Sinking Food
What Is Nishikoi Sinking Food
Nishikoi Sinking is a small pellet food made specifically for bottom eating fish such as Sturgeon and Sterlets and has all the correct ingredients including stabilised vitamin C for their livelihood and wellbeing.
Other bottom feeding fish, such as Tench will also thrive on this food.
Can I Feed My Sturgeons with Normal Koi Food?
Yes, but they will more than likely be out paced by the other pond fish which are used to surface feeding and result in problems for the Sturgeon.
Sturgeon are also poor surface eaters compared to koi or goldfish and have problems finding it.
When Should I Feed My Sturgeon?
All year round. Sturgeon are very much a cold water fish, and compared to the other species in the pond not only will the Sturgeon want to eat all year but they need to as well.
In the winter reduce the Sinking Food amount and offer 2 or 3 times per week.
What Happens if my Koi Eat The Sinking Food?
Nothing, but it is not the ideal diet for them long-term. If both koi and sturgeon fish are kept in the same pond, try feeding the koi first with their normal floating pellet, and whilst they are busy eating that also add some Sinking Food to the pond. This food will sink whilst most of the Koi are feeding from the surface and allows time for the Sturgeon to find and eat the food before then other inhabitants do.
Nishikoi Wheatgerm Food
What Is Nishikoi Wheatgerm Food?
Nishikoi Wheatgerm is a specifically formulated food for all pond fish and for feeding in the cooler temperatures of autumn and spring.
Do I Need to Feed Wheatgerm to my Fish?
Pretty much yes, although Nishikoi Health can be fed in temperatures down to 9 degrees centigrade too.
In the cooler temperatures, the fishes metabolism slows and this includes the ability to digest food. If a constant high protein food was to be offered it could result in int rotting in the fishes gut causing bacterial infections. Nishikoi Wheatgerm is both low in protein and high in digestibility which avoids that problem.
When Do I Feed Wheatgerm?
The ideal time to feed Wheatgerm is when the water temperature falls below 10 degrees centigrade and above 6 degrees and when the fish are still actively looking for food. Therefore, autumn and again in early spring is the best time for feeding Wheatgerm, and once temperatures have risen it is safe to move on to say Health Food or Growth Food.
Why Does This Food Float? Isn't A Sinking Wheatgerm Better?
The problem with a sinking food is that you can observe so well how much (or not) your fish are consuming. More often than not, this leads to over feeding and the left over food pollutes the pond water. With a floating Wheatgerm pellet, the fish-keeper can remove any uneaten food from the pond with a skim net and offer less food on the next feed time, resulting in cleaner and healthier water.
What Size pellet Should I Use?
Chose the best size pellet for the smallest fish in the pond, using the same rule as other foods that little fish cannot eat large pellet whereas large fish can eat small pellets.
Water pumps for pond use generally fall into two categories; fountain pumps and filter / waterfall pumps.
Filtration / Watercourse Pumps:
This style of pond pump is designed to operate 24-hours a day to feed pond water into filtration systems and/or to operate waterfalls and watercourses. They are generally offer high flow with low pressure and can handle solid waste matter typically around 8mm albeit you may find some pumps which can handle larger than that.
Because of their solid waste capability and low pressure, these pumps are not suitable for operating fountains or gargoyles. When buying pipe or hose for the outlet of these pumps always chose the widest bore possible. Don't try and push high volumes of water through a small diameter hose as it will inevitable slow the pump down.
Filtration pumps such as illustrated on the right, are by design low pressure.
When choosing the pumps for the pond, check its maximum flow and maximum height (H-Max) so that you know it is capable of delivering the required amount of water into the filter each hour.
Narrow or long lengths of hose will add to the fact that these pumps will slow down from their maximum delivery (Q-Max) very quickly.
The low pressure and the fact that they can handle solid waste particles makes them useless for fountains, purely because the pump will lose performance prematurely but also the solid waste will immediately clog the small jets in fountain nozzles.
Most filter pumps can be removed from their outer case and operate dry sited. This is of particular use if your pond has a bottom drain with gravity return filtration.
Fountain / Water Feature Pumps:
Fountain pumps are ideal suited to operate fountain jets, nozzles and water features such as a gargoyle. Although you can attach a hose to most of these pumps, they are not really suited for pumping water to filter systems or waterfalls.
In the pond where both a fountain and filter are installed, it is best to buy one pump for the filter and a fountain pump for the features. Although the initial purchase will be a little bit more this is easily off-set by having the ability of turning the fountain pump off at night and saving electric costs.
Most fountain pumps are supplied with a selection of different spray nozzles.
These are quickly and easily attached to the riser pipe and usually include a tier nozzle, bell jet and foaming nozzle.
The intake of these pumps are protected with a strainer which filters out debris which otherwise would block the fine jets within the fountain nozzles.
Ultra Violet Clarifiers
An Ultra Violet Clarifier (UVC) when fitted and serviced correctly will guarantee a pond free from green water created from single celled algae.
It is of paramount importance to install the right sized unit. One too small or one where the pump is too strong will not do the job in which you intended it for. Each pond is different in regard to size but also sunlight exposure and fish stocking. Discuss your pond installation with your aquatic or water garden dealer in order that they can recommend the right size UVC.
Depending upon your pond design the UVC is situated somewhere out of the water but between the pump and the filter, or can be installed after the filter in a bottom drained pond with pump fed return.
The ultra violet is a sealed unit which encases a ultra violet transmitting lamp wrapped by a quartz glass tube.
The algae responsible for creating green water are millions of small single celled algae, which are so fine that they easily pass through filtration systems. With an ultra violet clarifier installed, as the pond water passes over the quartz sleeve, the UV light damages the single celled algae and makes then flocculate, thus making them large enough to be caught by the filter or simply drop out of suspension and settle on the pond bottom.
We suggest operating the UVC all year round whilst the filter pump is operating. When adding any pond treatments it is advisable to read the manufacturers instructions carefully and observing if they instruct the UV to be switched off or not.
ClearWaters Solution Against Blanket Weed can be used whilst the UVC is switched on without any adverse effect. With a product such as Goodbye New Pond Problem we suggest switching off the UVC for a week after treatment in order to give time for that biological product to work effectively.
A UVC will not kill blanket weed. This is a different algae species which only grows on surfaces within the pond and therefore does not pass around the pond filtration system.
The UVC should always be installed that the water is pumped through the unit under pressure, not gravity fed.
In ponds where the filter is gravity fed and pump returned, the UVC should be sited after the filter and after the pump.
Where a pump fed filter (flow through) is installed, the UVC should be sited between the pump (not submersed) and filter.
Many pumps fed filters, including the pressurised style normally have an ultra violet clarifier already fitted within them.
General Care of UVC's
The ultra violet wavelength within the lamp slowly degenerates over a 6-month period. After this time the light could well still operate but there is little actual ultra violet left and therefore a new bulb is required. Always install a new bulb with the same wattage as the old one, and to gain the best results we suggest changing the lamp in early spring so that the light is at its strongest when you need it the most, the summer.
At the same time of changing the bulb it is good practice to clean the quartz glass sleeve in which it is located in. By nature, quartz glass is very brittle so care should be taken when handling it so as not to crack or chip the glass making it useless for operation. A replacement quartz glass does not come cheap!
Clean the quartz from any limescale build-up or any other discolouration with an approved cleaner or white vinegar. Rinse the sleeve well before putting back into the pond. At the same time, check and replace any seals which will deteriorate over time resulting in leaks.
Never switch the pump off in the winter with the UV installed, even with it also switched off. Any water within the UVC can freeze and crack the delicate quartz glass.
We suggest keeping your UVC switched on all year provided the pump is too.