A lake is one of the best additions a property can have, as long as it remains properly maintained. Whether you plan on creating a lake or have a natural lake that’s seen better days, there are numerous ways of reinventing and/or keeping it maintained. If you have a lake that needs reinvention, step one probably involves removing vegetation that grows along its bank, particularly cattails; laying down sod or grass seed in place of the removed vegetation; finding a solution to limit the growth of algae and water plants; and finding a way to improve the overall color of the lake from a murky brown or green to a pleasant aqua, blue, or black. Below, we take a look at some solutions for each issue.
1. Removing Unwanted Vegetation
To remove the wild vegetation at your lake’s perimeter, you’ll probably need more than a lawn mower and a weed eater. In addition to weed build up, untended lakes and ponds often feature unwanted trees near their shore, dead trees that have fallen into the water, and a dense barrier of cattails that are difficult to uproot. For a lake whose condition is this deteriorated, soliciting the help of a landscaping company for vegetation removal is usually the best choice. Hiring landscapers also brings the benefit of having a supplier of sod on hand, one that can evaluate your needs in terms of your lake’s setting.
2. Limiting the Growth of Water Plants and Algae
Water plants and algae can add to a lake’s character, but their overgrowth can turn a lake into a vegetation fest and not much more, as excessive water plants and algae rob water of the oxygen necessary to support gilled aquatic life, turning a lake into a playground for turtles, snakes, insects, frogs, and water animals. Preventing this scenario can be as simple as using herbicides and an algaecides that are formulated to coincide with all aquatic life except the plants and algae to be removed. Thanks in part to the green movement; various brands of herbicides and algaecides that have minimal environmental impact are now available.
3. Using Dye to Beautify Lake Water
Using dye is the most effective way to beautify lake water in terms of color, turning it from deep green or brown to gentle blue, uplifting aqua, distinctive blue/black, or reflective black, among other colors. Pond dye—also referred to as lake dye—works best in lakes and ponds that have a moderate water turnover ratio; one that doesn’t cycle new water in and old water out too quickly or too slowly. Water dye is extremely affordable, with a 1-pint supply that covers 1-acre feet of water and lasts 6-8 weeks retailing for roughly $20.Water dye’s 6-8 week duration makes it easy to change you lake’s colors with the changing seasons.
Once you start beautifying your property, it’s hard to stop. But for many people, the stopping point comes when they try to beautify their pond. After years of being untended, most ponds have numerous aesthetic issues, such as thick perimeter vegetation, poor water color, and out of control algae. Perimeter vegetation can be addressed with weed whackers, or if you’re going for a manicured look, by tilling and laying sod. But curing your pond of murky water and excessive algae is bit tougher. For the algae, you could use a water rake or apply algaecide, or using them in combination if your pond is large enough, while for water color, you could use pond dyes, also known as lake dyes and water dyes.
Using Pond Dyes to Beautify your Pond
For better water coloration, pond dyes are the ideal choice, allowing you to improve you pond’s color without taking extensive algae removal methods that still don’t significantly improve the natural hue of pond water. What’s more, the last thing you should do is remove too much algae from your pond, creating a chain reaction that harms aquatic life, beginning with making it difficult for algae dependent aquatic life to thrive. Using environmentally preferred algaecides and herbicides can have a positive affect on the color of your pond water, just don’t use them as singular methods for achieving a lighter, more resonant, more reflective water color.
Four Benefits of Using Pond Dye
Pond dye’s natural formulation is a benefit in itself. But its biggest benefits for property owners deal with aesthetics. Below, we list the three important aesthetic benefits of using pond dye.
1. It Creates a Translucent Effect
Using pond dyes to beautify your property doesn’t make your pond opaque. Rather, it supplies it with a pleasing translucence down to 3 feet when algae and sediment are reasonably controlled. Ponds with a moderate water turnover ratio typically experience the best translucence due to the consistent cycling of sediments.
2. It Can be Changed With Ease
Water dye gradually dissipates in your pond, with an average treatment lasting roughly 6-8 weeks. That means that you’ll need to add maintenance doses if you want your water to remain the same color. But it also means that you can switch the color relatively often, changing from a lighter summer color, such as aqua or blue, to a darker fall and winter color, suck as blue/black or black.
3. There are Plenty of Colors to Choose From
What color do you want your pond to be: a pleasant aqua, a refreshing blue, a regal blue/black, or a reflective black? These and other colors are available to turn your water from drab to fabulous. Among frequent users of pond dye, lighter colors such as aqua and blue are chosen for summer and spring, while darker colors such as blue/black and black are chosen for autumn and winter.
If you have a pond that suffers from poor coloration and excessive algae, pond dyes—also known as lake dyes—in combination with algaecide, could improve its appearance. Professional landscaping and pond care companies commonly use pond dye following applications of algaecide, as do private business owners and homeowners. If you’d like to apply your own dye after applying algaecide but you have some questions concerning pond dyes, we answer some commonly asked questions about pond dye below.
1. Are Pond Dyes Dangerous to Aquatic Life?
Most dyes are not dangerous to aquatic life. Naturally formulated without chemicals, they contain no chemicals that could jeopardize fish or microorganisms. However, algaecides, which are often used in tandem with dyes, can be hazardous to the environment. Therefore, the best idea is to purchase an algaecide that’s environmentally safe or environmentally preferable.
2. What Dye Colors Are the Most Common?
Technically, water dyes could come in any color. But the most common colors are medium blue, aqua, blue/black and reflective black. Blue and Aqua are popular colors for ponds located in manicured settings, while blue/black and reflective black are popular for ponds and lakes located in open woodland settings. Regardless of setting, any dye color could improve a pond’s color.
3. How Long Does the Dye Take to Work, and How Long Does it Last?
Some dyes claim to change general water color within a few hours, while others suggest waiting 2-4 weeks for final results. The larger your pond is, the longer you should plan on waiting for optimal results. Dye strength and area of coverage cause length of dye presence to vary widely. But most dye, if properly applied, can be expected to last between 6-8 weeks.
4. Are Some Ponds More Receptive Dye Than Others?
How receptive a pond’s water color is to dye depends in part on its water turnover ratio. Ponds that have a high turnover ratio can cleanse themselves of dye in a short period of time, while ponds that have a low turnover ratio can contain too much sediment for dye to achieve its full color effect. Ideally, a pond should have a moderate turnover ratio.
5. Does Pond Dye Reduce Algae?
Some water dyes reduces algae by preventing sunlight from reaching deep growing algae, but the primary reason for applying dye is to improve water color, hence the application of algaecide and water dye in tandem.
6. How Much Does Dye Cost?
Water dye has become progressively affordable, with a pint of high strength dye that services 1-acre feet of water for 6-8-weeks retailing for roughly $20. If you have a single pond or a small to medium sized lake, maintaining it with dye is extremely affordable. For those with large lakes or property that features numerous ponds and lakes, wholesale quantities of dye are available.
If you’ve heard about the benefits of pond dye but you aren’t clear what those benefits are, it’s time to learn about a solution that can help to beautify your property and make life healthier for the aquatic life in your pond or lake. Below, we list the top seven pond dye benefits that result from adding pond dye to your lake, pond, or fishpond, beginning with the most sought after benefit of all: improved water color.
Seven Pond Dye Benefits
1. Improved Water Color
The top reason for applying dye to lakes and ponds is to improve their water color. Pond Dye comes in several colors, with refreshing aqua, gentle blue, majestic blue/black, and reflective black being some of the most preferred. Improving your lake or pond’s water color can turn it from an eyesore to one of your property’s most sparkling attributes.
2. Higher Water Temperature
Some dyes are designed to gently raise a lake or pond’s temperature, preventing it from freezing in the winter. In addition to preventing your lake or pond from freezing, this feature could also be valuable for helping certain fish survive cold winters in fishponds.
3. Hides Fish from Predators
If you stock your lake with fish, you probably don’t want birds and other predators sampling your stock. Water dye helps to make fish and other water creatures more invisible to predators by decreasing the predator’s ability to judge their location.
4. Improved Curb Appeal
If you have a lake or pond that sits in your front yard, it’s probably the first thing people notice as they approach your property, making keeping it top condition imperative to ensuring your property’s curb appeal. Whereas untended ponds and lakes can make even the nicest properties less appealing, keeping pond and lakes well tended can have the opposite effect.
5. Extremely Affordable
Compared to the benefits it brings, pond dye is one of the most affordable property improvement methods. As an example of its affordability, a 1-pint supply of high strength dye designed to keep 1-acre feet of water dyed for 6-8 weeks costs roughly $20.
The first question many people ask as they consider implementing pond dye is whether the dye stains. The answer is no. Pond dye is designed to be non-staining to fish, water vegetation, people, and animals. So, you never have to worry about catching a blue gill that’s actually blue.
7. Color can be Frequently Changed
How long pond dyes remain in your lake or pond depends partly on its water turnover ratio. But most dyes last 6-8 weeks before another application is needed to maintain color, meaning you can easily change your water’s color. Many dye users prefer to keep their water aqua or blue in the summer, then turn it blue/black or black for autumn and winter.
If your pond or lake is an eyesore due to murky water, there are at least three ways you could improve its appearance: manually rake and spoon away excessive algae, use algaecide, and/or apply algaecide in tandem with pond dye, which is usually purchased in aqua, blue, blue/black, or black. Traditionally, algaecide and manual measures are the choice improvement methods. But today, most public and private property owners also choose water dyes due to their ease of application and ability to completely change water color.
Advantages of Applying Blue Pond Dye and Other Dye Colors
Because the term dye connotes harmful chemicals that could damage nature, it’s important to point out that blue pond dye and other dye colors are formulated to be safe for aquatic life. Below, we list the four biggest advantages of using dye to change your pond from the inside out.
1. It Works Well with Algaecide
Algaecide can curb algae growth and improve water clarity, but it doesn’t significantly alter a pond’s natural water color, usually a dull green or a murky brown. Implementing water dye after using algaecide can have a synergistic effect that produces water that appears translucently blue, aqua, blue/black, black, etc., giving your pond water the cleanest look possible.
2. It’s Less Time Consuming than Manual Methods
If your pond is small, you may be tempted to remove its excessive plant life using a water rake, waders, and/or a small boat, which brings three disadvantages: the work is dirty; it usually takes lots of time to produce a noticeable effect; and you’ll soon have to repeat the process. Raking away water plants is similar to cutting off weeds at ground level; sooner than later, the plants are back. Applying algaecide and following it up with dye is significantly easier, allowing you time to enjoy your pond instead of constantly working on it.
3. It Improves the Color of Your Water
Removing your pond’s excess algae doesn’t automatically improve its color. But applying dye does. By applying dye to your pond, you don’t make its water an opaque blue or black. Rather, you change its tint form mucky green or brown to translucent blue or black. The longer you apply lake dye, the more resonant your pond’s color becomes, potentially giving it visibility down to 3 feet.
4. It’s the Best Method for Maintaining Water Appearance Long-term
The more time it takes to maintain your pond’s appearance, the less likely you are to maintain it over the long-term. Pond dye requires almost no work at all, and its effects are more pleasing than the effects of algaecide alone, further reinforcing its use. Instead of trying to beautify your pond with methods that you’re likely to abandon, let easy to use water dye give you the results you need.
If you have a pond that you haven’t tended to in awhile, it may have developed enough algae to make its future maintenance seem impossible, especially if you aren’t familiar with pond algae control methods. With algae overgrowth comes two main drawbacks: a pond’s appearance becomes unattractive, and its aquatic life, with the exception of its algae, is gradually faced with not having enough oxygen to survive, which results from algae consuming most of the water’s oxygen, until, eventually, a pond becomes little more than an algae farm.
From traditional approaches to contemporary approaches, performing pond algae control can take various directions, with traditional methods such as spooning the algae away with water rakes or applying bleach to the water being less effective than newer methods such as applying pond dye. In the case of water rakes, the algae soon grows back, and applying bleach trades one problem for another: while some of algae may go away, so will some of a pond’s fish and microorganisms, which in turn jeopardizes the existence of other its life forms.
In the case of water dye, on the other hand, a pond’s appearance is immediately improved as a result of the dye, Dye for ponds is typically purchased in one of the following hues: blue, blue/black or black. On average, one application of dye lasts for 2-4 months in a pond that has a moderate water turnover rate.
Garden ponds usually receive constant attention from their owners, which can add up to thousands of dollars before one realizes it. If you have a garden pond and you stay abreast of the recommendations for its upkeep and improvement, then you know that to practice all of them is impossible. So, which ones should you choose? Below, we look at the three most important aspects of garden pond maintenance, regardless of pond’s size or location.
Three Tips for a Cleaner Pond
Buying a Good Pond Pump and Filter
Most people build garden ponds with the idea of stocking them with fish; particularly Koi and other docile, colorful species that can easily be seem swimming beneath the surface. If this describes your garden pond, then having a pump and filter appropriate to its water volume will be key to keeping the fish alive and the nasty pond water accumulations away.
Using Pond Dye in the Right Instances
For smaller garden ponds, organic pond dye is usually applied for aesthetic purposes only. But if you have a larger, more natural garden pond, especially one that can’t be easily cleaned by hand or pump and filter, then pond dye can be useful for keeping algae in check. In addition to supplying your pond with a translucent blue, blue/black or black hue that permits visibility down to three feet, the dye limits the sunlight that algae receives.
Changing your Pond Water Regularly
In most cases, smaller garden ponds are self-contained and don’t experience a high water turnover rate, which necessitates changing the water on a seasonal basis to eliminate water borne sediments and debris. A good rule of thumb is to replace 20 percent to 50 percent of your pond’s existing water with new water on a regular basis, always leaving enough water during the changeover for fish to swim about comfortably.
Caring for your garden pond is similar to caring for some of the perennials that might surround it: certain measures are taken in colder months to ensure its hardiness during warmer months; and during warmer months, certain measures are taken to sustain that hardiness, the most important of which deal with the pond itself.
One important pond care measure is to remove dead foliage and excessive algae from the pond, as the former can clog a water filter and too much of the latter can hurt fish by drawing too much oxygen out of the water. If you have a larger garden pond that contains algae in hard to reach places, you can use organic pond dye to control the amount of sunlight your pond receives in its depths. Pond dye can also improve the appearance of your pond water, creating a blue, blue/black or black hue that can be as opaque or transparent as you please.
If your pond contains fish, another important pond care measure is to ensure that it receives maximum aeration in warm weather. Warm water contains less oxygen than cool water, and fish consume more oxygen in warm water. Therefore, it’s a good idea to aerate your pond 24 hours a day during warm months.
Another important measure is to clean your pond’s filter regularly, as a partially occluded filter can leave unwanted accumulations in the water that foster the growth of other unwanted accumulations. However, don’t clean your filter too thoroughly, as it contains bacteria that bolster the health of your fish and aquatic plants. Practicing these tips along other helpful tips that you’ve picked up along the way should keep your garden pond in prime condition, making it the worthy centerpiece of your garden that you want it to be.
If asked whether we would like to see a pond in its natural state or in an altered state, most of us would choose the former. But we might not be thinking about something that can compromise a pond’s aesthetic: excessive algae growth. For ponds that are located in dense woods, the presence of excessive algae usually looks in keeping with the surrounding environment. But for ponds that are located in back yard settings, front yard settings, gardens, or in manicured woods settings, an overgrowth of algae can make a pond appear out of place by turning its water a murky green, or, in some cases, an opaque green, as unchecked algae overtakes a pond’s entire surface.
If this describes your pond, the solution to improving its appearance may be easier than you think. If you have ever driven by a pond that looked refreshingly blue or pleasantly green, chances are that its owner isn’t lucky enough to have one of the few ponds that don’t experience algae problems, but has learned how to use of pond dyes.
At first glance, applying dye to your pond may seem environmentally unsafe. Pond dye are formulated using technical grade equivalents of Food grade dyes that contain no chemicals that harm plants, fish, frogs, microorganisms, or animals that feed and drink from ponds. Its only effects are immediately improving your pond’s appearance.
While algae is necessary for pond life, its overgrowth can become dangerous to pond life by significantly reducing a pond’s oxygen content, making it difficult for fish and other organisms to thrive, and, in many cases, even survive. Improving the appearance of your pond water benefits your pond’s aesthetic and the quality of its aquatic life. But, if you plan on selling your property, it can also benefit your curb appeal, as well as the overall perception of your property in the minds of prospective buyers. By purchasing an easy to apply gallon or quart supply of water dye, you can improve the appearance of its water for months at a time.
Is the Lake Dye Environmentally Friendly to All Aspects of Lake Life?
Dyes recommended for lakes and ponds are formulated from technical grade equivalents of Food, Drug or Cosmetic dyes. As long as they are used as directed they should be save for living organisms, including any and all life forms associated with lakes, such as fish, frogs, microorganisms, aquatic plants, birds and animals that feed and drink from lakes, and plant life that surrounds lakes.
What Lake Dye Colors are Available?
The most common dye colors are blue, blue/black, aqua and black, which can be used in greater quantities to give water an opaque appearance, or in lesser quantities to give it a translucent appearance.
How Long Does the Lake Dye Last?
The dye’s persistence depends on two factors: the amount of dye applied, and the water turnover rate of the lake where it is applied. On average, the dye lasts between 2 and 4 months in self-contained lakes and ponds, although high concentrations of dye can take longer to diminish.
How Long Does it Take the Lake Dye to Work?
In most cases, dyes applied in correct proportion to water volume will take full effect within 24-48 hours. However, some customers prefer to add the dye gradually in order to achieve a specific effect, in which case the dying process make take as long as a week.