Matchless Pond Dyes – Pond Health Advantage
A pond's water may become dull, cloudy, or a dirty brown. A great way to correct this problem and enhance the beauty of your pond is to use special dyes designed for ponds. Not only do the dyes color your pond, but many dyes also have UV filtering properties which lead to lessened weed growth. An immense benefit of using pond dyes is that you get to see instant results. Most pond treatments take weeks before you see results, but with pond dyes you will have instant satisfaction in a single day. Pond dyes are best used in conjunction with herbicide and algaecide products because neither will interfere with the other while both help to control the weeds and algae in different ways.
Pond dye's UV filtering properties, is beneficial for limiting algae growth. Algae can easily over take a pond and damage the overall health. By using pond dyes, you can help limit the algae's ability to proliferate throughout your pond. All Matchless Pond dyes are food-grade, which means that they will pose no threat to wildlife, if the dyed water is consumed. This means there are no restrictions on swimming, fishing, irrigation, or livestock watering when using a pond dye. How Dyes Work Like all plants, submerged aquatic plants and algae require nutrients and sunlight to flourish. These plants can grow only where sufficient light reaches the bottom of the pond or lake. This zone is called the "photic zone". Beyond this zone, usually in deeper waters, plants cannot grow. Many factors affect how deep the photic zone extends, including plankton density, water color, and even wind.
Aquatic dyes work by changing the level of the photic zone coloring the water a dark blue or black. The absorption and scattering of sunlight in the blue water significantly reduces the depth of the photic zone. This limits submerged plant and algae growth to only the shallowest areas of the pond or lake. For some pond owners, this reduction in plant biomass may be sufficient to meet their desired pond condition. Other pond owners may need to spot treat with herbicides and algaecides to eliminate remaining plants.
Applying Aquatic Dyes
Aquatic dyes must be applied in March or early April to be effective for plant and algae control. The key to controlling aquatic plants is to prevent germination and limit early season growth. Because this occurs in April for most submerged plants and algae, the dye must be present to prevent germination. Late applications that occur after plants have grown several feet off of the pond bottom yield poor results. Sufficient sunlight will reach the top of the plants, allowing them to continue growing.
Application is as easy as pouring the dye into the water. It will quickly spread throughout the pond, usually within a few hours. Because the dye will naturally diffuse throughout the water, there is no need to use a sprayer. The applicator should take precautions to avoid getting the undiluted dye on skin or clothes, as it will stain. The initial application in March will begin to fade in May or June, sometimes even earlier. Color is gradually lost due to rainwater dilution, photo degradation, and biodegradation. As the dye fades, sunlight reaches deeper water and can trigger plant germination there. This leads to a late summer aquatic plant or algae problem. Maintaining the correct level of blue color throughout the growing season can eliminate a late-season plant problem.
Pond owners should try to maintain the desired color through August to prevent late summer plant or algae problems. As water cools in September, submerged plant and algae growth will slow considerably, and the residual color will continue to inhibit their growth during fall. A pond with an existing abundant submerged plant or algae community should not be treated with dyes for the first time in late spring or summer. This will cause a substantial die-off of plants in deeper water where sunlight no longer reaches. These dying plants begin to decay and can cause a fish kill due to oxygen depletion.
Ponds that have been dyed should not be used as a drinking water source for humans; however, consumption by livestock is permitted. Water can also be used for irrigation of all crops. Fish from dyed ponds are safe to eat, and recreational swimming is permitted. Swimming in dyed ponds once the dye has diluted to the proper level will not result in stained clothes, skin, or hair. Dyes do not inhibit growth of all aquatic plants found in ponds. Dyes are recommended for use on submerged plants, such as pondweeds, watermilfoil, naiads, coontail, and elodea. Dyes also inhibit growth of filamentous algae, mat-forming algae, and single-cell planktonic algae. Dyes do not inhibit the growth of emergent plants, such as cattails, and are not effective in controlling floating-leaved plants (duckweeds and water lilies) once their leaves are floating on the surface.
Aquatic dyes are a viable tool in managing many submerged plant and algae species. Dyes work best in excavated ponds receiving very little runoff water. They inhibit plant growth by limiting how deep sunlight can penetrate into the water, which allows plant growth only in areas of very shallow water. The keys to effectively using pond dyes are to make the initial application in early spring prior to germination and then add supplemental applications as needed to maintain the desired color. Ponds already having an overabundance of submerged plants or algae that contain fish should not be treated with a dye as the dark blue water will begin to kill plants in deeper water and can trigger a fish kill.
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