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Blanketweed – how to prevent and control filamentous algae.

What is blanketweed?

Blanketweed is a filamentous algae that is a common occurrence in many UK ponds and water features. It is also known as blanket weed or string algae. Blanketweed is simple aquatic plant made up of many single celled algae in a mass.

When and where do we see blanketweed?

Blanketweed gets a hold in ponds with good water clarity and oxygenation and is often found gripping to waterfalls, rocks and liners or intertwined with other plant material. Blanketweed had some habitat value and can trap organisms such as baby newts on removal as its open structure is compressed on leaving the water.

Why control blanketweed?

Some blanketweed is good for your pond along with most other plants. It provides some habitat and food value. Blanketweed can cause issues for a pond owner if there is a large quantity which can supress other plant growth by competing and smothering other species. Some speciesmof fish can struggle with heavy blanketweed growth as it make moving a struggle or steip a lot of oxygen f4om the water. The main reason for conroll however is usually aesthetics; its simply not the look we are trying to achieve.

How to control blanketweed?

The cheapest, low tech method is removal. The blanletweed can be collected by hand, rake, a stick or special tool. A gentle rotation and/or pulling action with a hand or stick will allow the weed to be spooled like candyfloss. The collected weed can be left pondside or in a bucket of water to allow any life a chance to return to the water body before being composted or added to beds and borders.

Which skimmer do I need?

When specifying or sizing a skimmer to a pond we look at the model number and cross reference it to the pond surface area. A 400 model corresponds to a pond surface area up to 400 ft² or 37m², a 1000 model to a pond surface area of up to 1000ft² or 93m². This must be considered in relation to all the other features and components within the specific system.

The skimmer 1000 offers an adjustable weir door and more substantial basket.

Is there a skimmer alternative?

There is an alternative to the skimmer called an intake bay which can be installed instead of or in unison with a skimmer. Watch out for a blog post on the Intake bay.