How to Use Pond Dye

Learn how to naturally limit aquatic plant and algae growth in large ponds and lakes, through the use of pond dye. Before becoming involved with ponds and living in an area that is home to thousands of ponds, I always wondered why anyone would want the potential for a stagnant, algae covered, mosquito infested body of water on their property. Little did I know how important a pond is to a homeowner, farmer, rancher or property manager since many of these ponds are used for irrigation, fire suppression, run-off control and recreation. Maintaining a healthy pond ecosystem is a necessity for these folks. Two of the biggest problems a pond owner faces are nuisance aquatic plants and algae.

Traditionally, pond owners have relied on herbicides and algicides to control outbreaks of algae and submerged plants. Copper Sulfate, Diquat, Endothall and Floridone are just some of the chemical treatments many have become dependent using year after year. Often, pond owners are reluctant to use these chemicals due to irrigation restrictions, aquatic species limitations and chemical residues.

Pond dye is a low cost all natural alternative that can significantly reduce submerged aquatic plant and algae growth. Like all plants, aquatic plants and algae require sunlight and nutrients to flourish. Plants can only grow when sufficient light reaches the bottom of the pond or the “photic zone”. If light cannot penetrate the lower layers of the pond plants cannot grow. Limiting light by adding dye limits the potential for algae and plant growth.

Dyes are less effective in shallows, but in many cases the reduction in overall biomass is sufficient for most pond owners. Dyes will not impact emergent plants, such as cattails or floating leaved plants.

The effectiveness of Pond Dye depends the time of year you apply the product, water shed, dosage rate and maintenance schedule. Apply dye early in the spring to prevent germination and limit early season growth. Water exchange is also critical, so if you shed water, you will have to re-treat.

Getting the color right is fairly easy as most manufacturers base their dosage rate on water volume, typically four acre feet per gallon or concentrated quart. This represents the typical 1 acre pond with an average depth of 4 feet. The key is maintaining the color throughout the season. If you see the color fading-add more dye. Pond dye is easy to use, simply pour around the edge of the pond and natural water movements will disperse the dye in 24 hours. Once dispersed the dye will not stain you, your pets or your fish.

There are a variety of dye colors available on the market including; blue, black, a blue/black combination and a blue/yellow product, so the choice is yours. I’m partial to Blue or Black Dye. A dark blue dye will look natural, similar to fresh water. You will find that pond dye is easy to use, very effective and earth friendly.

Things You’ll Need:

  1. Pure Blue Pond Dye
  2. Rubber gloves
  3. 10 minutes of your time

Step 1

Measure the water volume of your pond. This is a simple calculation of length x width x average depth x 7.5 = water volume in gallons.

Step 2

Buy your favorite brand of Pond Dye.

Step 3

Wait 24 hours and check the color. It should be distinctly different from the day before and should be a deep shade of the color you have selected. Follow the dosage instructions on the packaging that matches your water volume.

Step 4

Maintain this color throughout the season for best results.

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