Sunday, 16 May 2010

Blanket Weed Problems .. Have you checked ?

1. Is the ph of the water close to neutral? If not investigate possible cause of alkalinity.
2. Is the pool free of rotting vegetation ( I know this is the hard bit ...gardening with wellies ).
3. Check that nutrients are not entering the pool via runoff from the surrounding area.
4. Are domestic animals and wildlife ( ducks, geese etc) using the pool excessively?
5. Are the plants within the pool suited to their environment? Have their numbers been drastically reduced by what has been a hard winter?
6. Are the plants in your pool good filter feeders?
7. Bubbles floating on the pools surface can indicate excessive nutrient levels.

Ecotreat Clarity Pro

As I mentioned earlier Chris has found that clarity Pro has performed well in his pool and we have been sufficiently encouraged to stock this product. How does it work? Clarity Pro is a bacterial additive that biologically converts the components which string algae/blanket weed require in order to thrive and therefore work in a similar fashion to the naturally occuring cultures on the substrate filter and maybe thought of as a pedigree version of bacteria which which we believe would be unlikely to colonise our pools by natural means. Anyone requiring Clarity Pro can contact us on the usual numbers or via the website

The Scurge of pools..BLANKET WEED

My pool plants do not want to grow, a combination of cold nights and winds is enough to make them uproot and leave for a life of easy growing in a nice warm pool!
I have been receiving inquiries concerning string algae/blanket weed via the phone and blog.
We are used to having string algae during the spring months but this year it has been particularly prevalent. The problem is almost certainly brought about by an awakening of the substrate filter as it begins to process the early algal blooms and the build up of matter from the previous season. With the lengthening days this process will kick off in relatively low water temperatures, the plants within the pool will however require higher water temperatures and a good dose of sunshine to grow effectively. We therefore have a situation .... the plants fuel (nitrate) is building up in the water whilst the plants are unable to extract this nutrient. String algae/blanket weed will proliferate in these conditions especially in oxygen rich water.
Hopefully the warmer weather will soon help, mother nature always manages to put us in our place!
Some of you ( thanks for comments on the blog ) are wondering whether there are any out of the bottle remedies, we generally find such intervention unnecessary.... nature and a bit of
algae grabbing usually works. Our colleague Chris has had relatively good results with Ecotreat.
More to follow

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The Scurge of pools..BLANKET WEED

We have been having a few calls from people concerning blanket weed problems as well as a couple of comments on this blog. I will be in the office at the weekend and will explain why this has been a particular problem this year.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Toad Alert

Mr. and Mrs. Toad are not the swimmers they think they are and at this time of year they can end up at the bottom of your pool. They will find crawling out of a steep sided lined pool impossible, fail and die.
Check the bottom of your pool and help Mr. and Mrs Toad get out so they can see their
Frogs generally don't have any difficulty.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Get going ....Spring is coming

At last I've been able to cut and pick out dead leaves and stems from the pool. An ideal time for working on this job is when Tim has cleaned the pool with his vacuum, the water level is lowered leaving a tide mark of debris for me to easily pick up from around the edges of the pool and plants. There are a few shoots appearing on the Iris, lily and Cyperus but as I am clearing out I prefer there to be no shoots in the way of this job. The skimmer is switched on at the same time to collect any floating bits and bobs. I always do a good spring clean.

More info on vacuuming coming soon.

On Sunday afternoon I was finishing off cleaning the regeneration area whilst listening to the chatter of Will our nephew and his friend James, they were collecting any wildlife they could find from the pool. Their treasure was a handful of male and female smooth Newts, a couple of Watersnails, a selection of Dragonfly nymphs and a Great Diving Beetle.... they were wary of this fellow! Once their hoard had been released they had the first paddle of the year across our underwater wall. The temperature was hovering around six degrees making their white legs bright pink.

The recirculation pump has now been running day and night for about a week since the onset of cloudiness in the water, which we always get as the spring temperatures trend upwards. If ignored we would possibly get a stronger algae bloom as the nitrobacta population on the gravel filter will have deminished due to low water temperatures.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

A Splash in the Dark!

This blog will let you know what is going on throughout the year concerning the natural swimming pool at Bramble Ridge from maintenance, plants and wildlife ( including any humans! ). the real knitty gritty of looking after a natural pool.
My first entry starts with literally a ....... splash. I was coming to our back door in the dark when I disturbed something in our pool. I heard a huge splash. My first thought was our blind as a bat, old alsatian dog had fallen into the water. Lights were quickly switched on to reveal..... no drowning overweight bird that had crashed landed... no seals.. nothing. Slightly mystified I was about to carry on when I caught sight of an Otter checking out our fish supplies. What a treat! the first time I've seen a wild otter. I don't think he will be back as the lights and lack of fish would put him off calling again. If he did think we were worth another visit in a few weeks he will have newts for nibbles.
If anyone has had an interesting vistor to their pool let me know.
We have had the pool frozen for a very long time this winter, my concern being will the plants have survived? I had some Cyperus die last winter which was'nt such a long frozen period. I planted cuttings of Purple Loosestrife straight into the gravel last year and hoped to see them growing well this summer just hope the mini ice age in Britain has killed them. Only time will tell.
With Spring hopefully on its way soon I will be looking to clear out any of the stems and leaf that were left to protect the plants young shoots along with the debris that collects throughout the winter. Vacuuming usually takes place twice a year( with the exception of a sprucing up for the odd gathering ) in the spring before the amphibians arrive and the sediment generated from the spring algal bloom has settled. The second vacuuming is usually late autumn.
I will keep you posted on the jobs I will be tackling as the year progresses, just need the warmer weather now to start the ball rolling.
If anyone has any questions I will do my best to answer them .. or I know someone on our team who will help.