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Author Topic: Can chemicals be used to help protect ponds?  (Read 4897 times)

Offline Matthew Burnett

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Can chemicals be used to help protect ponds?
« on: 18/08/2009 09:30:03 »
Matthew Burnett asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hello Naked Scientists!

In the interests of Britain's garden ponds, I was wondering whether aspects of biological/organic chemistry could help everyday or even expert gardeners look after their pond environment at home with the use of simple, harmless chemicals? Can such compounds help the ecosystem, maintain its cleanliness and hygiene as well as balancing out the concentrations of food, oxygen and CO2.

Basically, can such chemicals do the hard work for us?!?

What do you think?


 

Offline Don_1

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Can chemicals be used to help protect ponds?
« Reply #1 on: 18/08/2009 10:02:34 »
There are a number of such chemical, electronic and organic systems available on the market now, and have been in use for many years. They can be used to control algae, blanket weed and sludge. The problem is, they all, even the 'sludge busters', create sludge. The more algae and blanket weed you kill, the greater the sludge problem.

The probelms can be exacerbated by the use of tap water to keep the pond topped up. Also, a quantity of fish over and above the number that a particular pond can reasonably sustain, will mean all the more problems with nitrates. i.e. far too much fishy poo!

Good filtration can help, but the filtration system requires a regular cleaning regime. Blanket weed is best controlled with a stick with a rough end. Algae, by positioning the pond out of too much direct sunlight and introducing pond life which will eat it.

Only ponds large enough to sustain a good balance of plant/vegetation/insect/microbe life will be successful in keeping the environment healthy. Even so, these ponds can take years to naturalise. The more human intervention, the longer the naturalisation period.

Perhaps I should round off with an answer to your question! No, chemicals can only do so much to help and some simply replace one problem with another. I'm afraid the hard, dirty and sometimes smelly work will have to go on.
« Last Edit: 18/08/2009 10:05:20 by Don_1 »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Can chemicals be used to help protect ponds?
« Reply #2 on: 18/08/2009 19:14:11 »
Why doesn't anyone ever realise that water is a chemical?
 

Offline Karsten

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Can chemicals be used to help protect ponds?
« Reply #3 on: 18/08/2009 21:16:31 »
Why doesn't anyone ever realise that water is a chemical?

Unfortunately, "chemical" is often equated with artificial or human-made. The fact that many people do not think of water as a chemical may have to do with the fact that for the last few decades chemists have spent most of their time creating new stuff (at least in the public eye).  Water is not exactly rare or new. What a chemical is depends on who you are talking to.
 

Offline Matthew

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Can chemicals be used to help protect ponds?
« Reply #4 on: 20/08/2009 10:08:46 »
Thank you Don 1.
Your answer suggests that basically chemicals are useful in the sustenance of ponds such as the use of nitrates although, we should depend predominantly on the gift of nature itself to create a water-ecosystem that has natural balances of food, oxygen and waste. We can always enhance the quality of those cycles by introducing filtration and water-cleaning technology but, in this case, nature presides over the use of chemicals to protect ponds!
 

Offline BenHelm

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Can chemicals be used to help protect ponds?
« Reply #5 on: 10/01/2011 21:31:09 »
There are naturally occurring chemicals in a pond (water is such a good solvent) such as nitrates, phosphates, etc - and unfortunately, toxic chemicals can also find their way into a pond via treatments or leaching of chemicals from surrounding media (rockwork, cement, decking etc). [Spam removed - Mod]
« Last Edit: 11/01/2011 10:49:14 by peppercorn »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Can chemicals be used to help protect ponds?
« Reply #6 on: 11/01/2011 03:19:19 »
:-\ :-\ :-\ :-\

I like the idea.
Add more chemicals to fix the environment. 

[xx(] [xx(] [xx(] [xx(] [xx(]

Stuff like Chlorine and Bleach is effective in killing "bugs", even in relatively low doses.  However, that is done more to protect humans than to actually purify the water, and won't support a healthy eco-system.

Sand and carbon filters will get rid of other gunk in the water.

One idea.

Some people are going to pond aerator windmills. 

http://www.meijer.com/s/outdoor-water-solutions-20ft-galv-windmill-aeration-system/_/R-154691?cmpid=goobase&CAWELAID=537776525


Is aeration adding chemicals?

It is supposed to help fish, and help fight algae and bacteria.
 

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Can chemicals be used to help protect ponds?
« Reply #6 on: 11/01/2011 03:19:19 »

 

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