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Dye for pond water

Whilst watching Alan Titchmarsh on t.v. this morning - he suggested adding black dye to pond water - something I had never heard of before.  Has anyone any experience of this?  He said it was perfectly safe to use with fish - does that mean it is safe for other "wildlife"? 

Our pond has lilies in it although they have died down now and hopefully will re-emerge in a few months time.  We also have far too much blanket weed which we thought would have disappeared over the winter - so the pond doesn't look too good right now and I thought the black die would "hide" these nasties. Any suggestions please.



  • LynLyn Posts: 21,340

    I don’t know, but I wouldn’t.  

    Your pond will get blanket weed in the winter, the plants are dormant, once they start growing again it will be ok, as soon as they spread to cover over half the pond there will never be blanite weed again. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • That programme must be being repeated ... we've had the same question before ....  I think Googling found the stuff ... as usual some thought it was a good idea and some didn't.

    my instinct is to leave well alone ... ponds sort themselves out unless they're very small and shallow. 

    Last edited: 18 February 2018 18:12:24

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • I think the theory is that the black  is supposed to absorb the light so that there's none in the water and the algae can't photosynthesise ....... what happens to the pond plants goodness only knows.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Here it is 

    I was right ... it'll stop the growth of oxygenating pond weed below the surface ........... I'm sorry I think it looks hideous ... just what I'd expect from old Groundforce Titchmarsh ......... all style and no substance. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • FireFire Posts: 17,116

    There are several threads here discussing it. I think Monty also recommended it at one point, to discourage algae.

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    But did AT not use it in a water feature rather than a pond?

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Thanks for your input and comments - all very interesting and I looked up the link - thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

    You are of course all right - it was the "look" that interested me and if I had thought it through properly then I wouldn't be asking this daft question.  I DO want the water lilies that are dormant now to grow and flower and this dye would not encourage them at all - in fact I wonder how the water boatmen and pond skaters that would manage as mostly they are below the surface now.

    I must admit I don't watch many garden makeovers on the box as mostly they use all hard surfaces or decking which just becomes slippery and rots after a few years.  But for a few minutes viewing whilst waiting for the ARchers omnibus to begin it seemed like a good idea.

  • SuesynSuesyn Posts: 624

    They have black dye in the lily pond at Tintinhull  (N . T.) which I think is to make it more light reflective. It doesn't stop the water lilies but last time we went there was no sign of alge or duckweed 

  • That's interesting Suesyn - I must admit that I liked the idea, even though it isn't natural - my pond looks a mess with green blanket weed at this time of year.  I think we will have to buy some more straw bale things - they weren't a success last year and neither was the water cress - all three bags of it died off fairly rapidly.

  • LynLyn Posts: 21,340

    Do you twiddle out with a stick, mine had loads in its first winter. I found it very therapeutic twiddling it out when I had a lot of family problems, well, one family problem really??

    Dove will remember.

    Be patient, it will go as the plants start to grow. And they will, I have to pull out loads of it now ( Plants I mean, not blanket weed ) and put it on the compost heap. It grows amazingly fast once it gets going. 

    As Philippa says, get three or four bags of water cress from the supermarket and just throw it in.  That will help for now.  

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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