Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Remember! Weed'em & Reap this coming Saturday at the Hong Kong Restaurant!

Posted Thursday, April 16, 2009, at 1:06 PM
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  • Have you tried the natural bacteria for the ponds? (Can't remember the exact name of it off hand.) It's always worked wonders on our ponds. Last year I had a tough time with green algae blooms in one of my ponds. I used "blue" tint to help it until my plants were doing it naturally and it worked wonders. So far I haven't had to tint, but it's not been warm enough days in a row to get a full bloom either. I've had small blooms, but nothing I can't handle right now. We've really had a bad time with string algae though. Hopefully that will be controlled with the plants coming back also.

    -- Posted by neighborhood mom on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 4:39 PM
  • I tried a natural one last year with similar results, or lack thereof, but it might have been different from what you used.

    I tried barley straw one year, but that did not work.

    I have not tried the tinting. Is that hard on goldfish or frogs?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 5:58 PM
  • Sorry I will not beable to make it once again. But I will be attending a plant sale in Huntsville, AL and will be thinking about everyone! Hopefully I find some good stuff I can share with everyone!

    -- Posted by tamerajesch on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 6:44 PM
  • My fishies didn't seem to mind the color and actually, may have enjoyed it as I didn't have too many lilies in there for shade. (We have since created a rock hideout for them.) It only comes in one size though and a "small dab'll do ya", so I have a big bottle of it. We only "blued" it once and it lasted about 2 months, gradually fading with time and getting us thru the "bloom" season. I looked it up and the bacteria I use is by Pond Care and it's called Simply-Clear. Petsmart sells a small bottle of it and the petstore on Broad sells a bigger container of it...at a better price oz for oz. I've never had a problem with it with my fish, snails, frogs, etc. I've tried barley, but have never had sucess with it. Some people love it though.

    p.s. my fish are addicted to bologna and hot dogs :)

    -- Posted by neighborhood mom on Thu, Apr 16, 2009, at 7:18 PM
  • Tamera, plan to tell us all about it when you get back. Hope you don't get rained out.

    neighborhoodmom your fishies wouldn't have nice sharp teeth by any chance? Feed in a frenzy and strip bones clean and white?

    Would food color do the job?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 8:05 AM
  • For algae in ponds, I have just discovered that Japanese Trapdoor Snails are the thing! They overwinter here as well, and are prolific in their breeding habits.

    -- Posted by wildwoman on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 8:06 AM
  • I have a BUNCH of trapdoor snails that have thrived in my ponds over the winter and seemed to have spawned a FEW youngins this year! I bought them thru LilyBlooms with some plants last year. (www.lilyblooms.com) Maybe because of the algae. I don't think food color would work...maybe...but you would have to buy a couple containers. Although I really don't know. The Pond Blue Tint says non-toxic/safe for fish/plants. Food color is just another type of dye (that is edible), so maybe. You use it for the hummingbirds. (the red, that is.) I wonder though about the food color...how it will turn a white flower another color when you color the water...I wonder if it would turn the plants color? The blue tint does not give me any ingredients on "what" it actually is.

    We started feeding bologna when we had some bluegills in the pond last year. (Cheaper than worms!) The koi decided they also liked it! I started with a 4 inch koi and in a year or so, she's now up to about 15 in long!

    -- Posted by neighborhood mom on Fri, Apr 17, 2009, at 10:59 AM
  • I like the snail solution. Did you pay a couple dollars each? According to this http://www.pondkoi.com/trapdoor_snails.htm they seem to be non invasive and don't seem to come out of the pond to be problem elsewhere.

    I had not thought about food coloring changing blooms and other items. Hmmmm. Guess this needs more research.

    I wonder if tilapia would survive in our pond. I could justify all the expense better that way, just eat them at the end of the season.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Apr 18, 2009, at 7:19 AM
  • Yes, food coloring will change the color. Also, different minerals in the soil will do the same.

    -- Posted by espoontoon on Sat, Apr 18, 2009, at 7:59 AM
  • I ordered my snails thru LilyBlooms and they were 5 for $8 or 10 or more for $1.30 each. (My current catalog still has that pricing in it.) A couple of the ones I received were large (ping pong ball size) and some were a little smaller. But they were not tiny. They may have them at the petstore on Broad St in Murfreesboro though. After a little research yesterday cleaning my newer pond, I don't think the snails in there are trapdoor. When I bought the snails, we didn't have this pond, so I only put them in 2 of the ponds. And unless I'm looking for them, I don't know they are there. So I'm guessing my overabundance is from another source.

    I have googled pond tinting and cannot find anything on food color. I did find one blog that that person said while food color may be safe to eat, it may not be safe for fish to swim in. I don't know. The blue tint is a type of food dye also, just highly concentrated. And I learned that it is neutralized with bleach or chlorine...so it cannot be used in pools. I didn't know that.

    -- Posted by neighborhood mom on Sat, Apr 18, 2009, at 8:19 AM
  • I guess the fish are safe for now. I noticed this algae treatment says it will kill snails. Great, it isn't killing the algae but it will kill something I put in there to eat the algae. I knew I should not have swerved from my natural approach.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Apr 18, 2009, at 11:06 AM
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