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What causes severe algae blooms?

July 18, 2018

What causes severe algae blooms? 

Have you ever seen this unpleasantly green algae in your pond or lakeshore? Well for those of you who have struggled with this green goop, we have some facts and solutions for you! 

 

Algae is a very common form of aquatic vegetation that feeds off of many environmental factors. When algae grows out of control, it can turn into toxic (blue-green) algae, which can be harmful to humans, animals, and your fish and wildlife. It is very important to control and treat your algae as soon as possible, and as frequently as needed, to ensure your safety, along with preserving your pond or lake appearance.

 

 Causes of algae:

Excess amounts of nutrients such as Phosphorus

Animal manure & fertilizer runoff

Warmer temperature

Sunlight

Still water

 

Hazards if left untreated:

Algae blocks sunlight and depletes oxygen levels

Fish need a food source and oxygen to survive

Decomposing algae increases the depletion of oxygen

Algae can turn into blue-green algae, which is toxic to household pets and humans

Toxic blue-green algae can cause rashes, allergic reaction, stomach aches, vomiting, ect in humans and animals if exposed.

 

Solutions for algae:

Lake Restoration has several treatment options:

 

For lowering phosphorus levels and excess nutrients: PhosControl®, SparKlear®

It is important to treat with nutrient reducers early on in the season so to prevent algae overgrowth issues. When using nutrient reducers, you can expect to see improvement in water clarity and a reduction in organic matter and pond muck.

Algaecide Options: Mizzen® Algaecide

Use a pond algaecide frequently throughout the summer to battle existing algae and spot treat when needed.  

Aeration: Vitaflume® Vortex floating, aerating fountain

Aeration can help improve the oxygen levels and gas exchange in your water by moving 7,000 to 10,000 gallons per hour! It can also keep movement in your water so that algae mats have a hard time forming. Shop our Vitaflume® floating pond fountains to learn about aeration benefits.

With Lake Restoration solutions for algae, there's no way you'll have anything but a perfect summer on your water!

Granular Herbicide Options for Lakes

July 11, 2018

Granular Herbicide Options for Lakes

Lake season is in full-swing! Fun on the water can include all sorts of things, like boating, swimming, and fishing to name a few. Your summer is going great, until you notice those pesky lake weeds sneaking up on you, threating to take all your summer fun away.

Instead of struggling with raking your weeds (which will just spread the problem and be a waste of time) you can look at a few easy to apply granular aquatic herbicide options to kill whatever you find growing beneath your water. Granular herbicides are easy to apply because they do not require any dilution or spray equipment. You can simply use a broadcasting spreader, or just your hand or scoop to cast out the pellets into the water.

First thing’s first… go out and take a close look at what kind of problem or weed you have going on. Pull some out of the water for a closer look, or head over to our aquatic plant identifier tool to help you find out what you have.

If you have a common lake weed, such as milfoil, hydrilla, coontail, curly-leaf pondweed, etc., you may want to consider the following granular options for your treatment plan.

Hydrothol Granular

Hydrothol Granular is a popular option for dock and swim areas. It is good for treating a variety of weeds, such as milfoil, hydrilla, elodea and more. It also is great for algae, having a mild algaecide in its formula. A 20 pound bag treats up to 4,000 sq ft for $99.99. Pair it with Muck Maid® Muck Eliminator pellets for an all-around solution for muck, algae, and weeds.

Aquathol Super K

Aquathol Super K is another popular endothall products. It is known for its great work on curly leaf and clasping leaf pond weed, and works great on a variety of other submerged weeds, too. Ten pounds will cover up to 12,000 sq ft and is $259.

Navigate Herbicide

Navigate is a very selective herbicide for Eurasian watermilfoil. This will also control waterlilies and watershield that has not yet reached the surface. It comes in 50 pound bags and runs $235 to treat a half acre.

Copper Sulfate

Copper sulfate is a granular algaecide that is great for filamentous and planktonic algae issues, as well as chara and starry stonewort control. Large amounts of copper sulfate will also control swimmers itch and leeches. 50 pounds is $169.

Granular Dock and Swim Products

These products include Hydrothol Granular and MuckMaid®. Hydrothol will get rid of weeds and algae, while MuckMaid® will eliminate muck and sludge from the bottom of your lake. Products for 4,000 square feet are $155.

Getting rid of your lake weeds doesn’t have to be a hassle! Visit us at LakeRestoration.com for all your product needs.

 

 

Can you remove lake weeds and muck in 24 hours?

June 19, 2018

Did you know there is a way to remove unwanted lake weeds and muck in as little as 24 hours? You can do this with help from the LAKEMAID® lake weed and muck removal system from Lake Restoration!

You won’t have to strain yourself by removing weeds by raking them with a traditional lake rake. All you need to do is install the LAKEMAID® lake rake where you want it to remove weeds and muck, then sit back and let it do the work for you!

How it works:

LAKEMAID® has two arms on floats, which are connected to a pump positioned on the lake bottom. The pump takes water in and pushes it through the arms. The water propels the arms forward, dragging the hanging chains and rakes across the bottom of your lake. As the rakes drag over the lake weeds and muck, it gently breaks them up. Since weeds are mostly made of water, the weed debris will not wash up on shore after they break up, they will simply disintegrate.

The rakes also expose the sand bottom of your lake from silt and muck. It makes about 3,000 rake passes per day. Once you’ve eliminated the weeds from one area, you can pick up the LAKEMAID® and move it to a different spot in your swim area and start the removal process there. Keep moving the LAKEMAID® until you’ve reached the desired results in your dock and swim area.  

Features:

The LAKEMAID® comes in two sizes, 24 and 36 foot units. It is easy to install, is remarkably lightweight, and can be done with just one person. It only takes about 15 minutes to install or to remove, making it easy to share or move to a different location.

24 foot unit

·         Covers 450 sq ft

·         Includes a 1 Horsepower pump

·         7 chain rakes

·         Finisher rakes (1, 6ft and 1, 3ft)

 

36 foot unit

·         Covers 1,010 sq ft

·         Includes a 1 HP pump

·         10 chain rakes

·         Finisher rakes (2, 6ft and 1, 3ft)

The LAKEMAID® can help you feel the sand beneath your feet in your dock and swim area in no time!

 

If you are interested in the LAKEMAID® lake rake system, please visit LakeRestoration.com, or call us at 877-428-8898 to speak to a Lake Expert. 

 

Guide for Keeping Weeds out of Your Dock Area

June 15, 2018

How to Keep Your Dock and Swim Area Free From Weeds This Summer

Summer fun on your lake is just around the corner. If you’re like most people, you try to enjoy every last second of summer on your lake before it ends. Weeds and algae around your dock area make it hard to swim, fish, or operate a boat without getting tangled up. Weeds can really put a halt to your summer activities, and they can be hard to get rid of.

So how do you get rid of the weeds?

Lake Restoration, Inc., located in Rogers Minnesota, has been providing weed and algae elimination products and services for 40 years. They also offer great knowledge and expertise on how to get rid of your weeds.

Which products will work best for you?

In your dock and swim area, you may find a variety of weed and algae types. Check out our Aquatic Plant Identifier on our website to identify what type of weed problem you have. Some examples are:

Floating Weeds (weeds on the surface)

·         Duckweed

·         Azolla

          Algae

Submerged Weeds (weeds underneath the surface)

·         Hydrilla

·         Milfoil

·         Curly-leaf Pondweed

Emergent Weeds (plants above the surface or on the shoreline)

·         Cattails

·         Water Lily

·         Phragmites

Muck, Sludge, and Excess Nutrients

Solutions and Products

Now that you’ve identified what type of weed you have, which solution and products will work best for you?

We recommend the following dock and swim products to eliminate weeds, algae, excess nutrients, and to keep you pond looking beautiful.

1.       Dibrox® herbicide

2.       Mizzen® algaecide

3.       MuckMaid®

We also offer granular herbicides if you prefer it over liquid, including:

1.       Hydrothol Granular

2.       MuckMaid® Muck eliminator

Dibrox® herbicide will help eliminate the weeds in your lake. Dibrox® is quickly absorbed by plants, and there are no swim restrictions after using Dibrox® in your lake.

Mizzen®, our liquid, chelated copper-based algaecide will eliminate algae around your dock and swim area. This controls filamentous and planktonic algae with no swim, fish, or irrigation restrictions following use.

MuckMaid® will erase muck and sludge by devouring organic material buildup. It will also help improve your water clarity.

Hydrothol Granular will eliminate weeds and algae on top of and below the surface.

We also recommend the TORMADA® application boat to easily apply our liquid products. You will have fun driving the TORMADA® while taking the hassle out of treating your dock and swim area.

Visit lakerestoration.com to learn more or to order products to keep your dock and swim area looking great all summer long!

 

Using Nutrient Reducers to Improve Water Health and Clarity

June 4, 2018

Using Nutrient Reducers to Improve Water Health and Clarity

If you are like most people with a pond, you may be in a constant battle with algae and weed growth during the warmer months of the year. This is because aquatic plants thrive in warm weather and the conditions that it brings to your pond. Excess nutrients can become an issue when trying to keep your pond healthy.

Lack of water movement can create a buildup of gases in the water. Gases can also come from decaying leaves and algae that don’t have a chance to be exchanged back into the air. Grass clippings, falling leaves and sticks can help add to nutrients in the water as well. Runoff from lawn fertilizer or from fields could also cause an abundance of nutrients in the water that only fuels algae and weed growth.

So what are some things you can do to control and reduce the amount of built up organic matter and excess nutrients in your pond? And how can you reduce muck at the bottom of your pond and improve pond water clarity at the same time?

Nutrient Reducers:

Lake Restoration offers two nutrient reducers specific for ponds, SparKlear® and PhosControl®.

SparKlear® contains bacteria and enzymes that work in your pond to break up organic matter (such as muck, grass, algae, and dead and decaying weeds and leaves). While reducing the amount of organic matter in your pond that algae feeds from, it also keeps your pond clear.

A pint of SparKlear® starts at $23.70, and more sizes are available depending on the size of your pond. We recommend treating once a month with this product.  Try applying it with the TORMADA® remote control application boat!

PhosCotrol® works by using aluminum sulfate to bind with phosphorus in your water. Phosphorus is another nutrient aquatic weeds and algae like (phosphorus can be from farm field or lawn fertilizer runoff). Without excess phosphorus in your water, weed and algae reproduction will slow down. Just one pound of phosphorus can produce 500 pounds of aquatic plant and algae growth, so making sure phosphorus isn’t in your water could be the key to successful aquatic weed and algae management.

1 pound of PhosControl® is $19.99 and will cover 2,000 square feet. Larger sizes are available.

Keep organic debris from getting in our pond:

You can reduce the amount of organic matter buildup in your pond by keeping things like weeds and grass clippings out of your pond. These grass clippings and weeds create food for algae.

Overall Solution:

If you are using an algaecide, you should also be using a nutrient reducer to help prevent prime algae conditions. We recommend using our pond products to prevent weeds, algae, and nutrients:

Dibrox® Herbicide: for submerged and floating weeds

Mizzen® algaecide: for existing algae

SparKlear®: to reduce nutrients and clarify water

Sapphire Bay® Blue Pond Dye: for a pleasing blue color

Learn more about all of our products by visiting our website at LakeRestoration.com

 

How can a floating, aerating fountain improve the health and look of your pond?

May 22, 2018

The Vitaflume® floating fountains from Lake Restoration are back for the second year, and have already found homes in lakes and ponds around the country! Pond fountains are a great way to add beauty to your pond while adding oxygen into your pond for optimal health.

Lake and pond floating, aerating fountains offer all kinds of great benefits to your pond and lake, including:

  • · Exchange of gasses trapped in your pond or lakeshore.
  • · Keeps movement in your pond and lakeshore so algae don’t settle and form mats.
  • ·Aerating fountains add oxygen into the water, increasing your pond’s overall health.
  • · Adds beauty to your lake or pond.

Pond fountains and lake fountains can be very beneficial to your water, but what makes Vitaflume® floating fountains the best option for your lake or pond? Also, what sets them apart from the competitor?

 

Water Volume:

Vitaflume® pond water fountains have a mechanism built into the pump that creates a higher volume water turn rate than some fountain pumps. The Vitaflume® ½ Horse Power pump produces 130 gallons per minute! That’s 7,800 gallons per hour. Many other pumps can only do around 2,400 gallons per hour. The larger size ¾ HP and 1 HP Vitaflume® pumps can produce 8,660 to nearly 10,000 gallons per hour.

More gallons moved per hour equals more efficient aeration for your pond or lake!

Quality Parts:

The motor is made for durability, and the stainless steel pump housing and filter creates for a high-quality fountain that won’t easily break or become clogged. The pump float is made of a hard, durable plastic. Using high quality parts makes Vitaflume® a reliable option, and one that will last for many years to come.

Options:

Vitaflume® allows you to choose the look and fit of your fountain for your water feature. The Vortex® spray pattern comes standard on the Vitaflume®. You also have the option to add 3 LED lights that attach to the float so that your fountain lights up in the dark! Choose from three cord lengths, 50, 100, and 150 foot. 1/2, 3/4, and 1 HP pumps change the amount of water produced and the size of the spray pattern. Three white LED lights are available for nighttime illumination.

Price:

Vitaflume® floating, aerating fountains are manufactured in house at Lake Restoration, making them direct from the manufacturer (which saves you money and ensures quality). You can be confident that if you will be dealing with us when in need of technical support, or any other assistance. Lake Restoration makes fountains for ponds and lakes that are affordable, reliable, durable and efficient.

Visit LakeRestoration.com, or call 877-428-8898 to talk to a Lake Expert about a fountain for your lake or pond!

 

Controlling Cattails in Your Pond

May 18, 2018

Manage Cattails in Your Lake or Pond

Cattails grow around many ponds and lakes. They can be aesthetically unappealing and inhibit the use of your swimming area. Cattails are very identifiable because of to their fruit’s unique, corndog-like shape. The fruit is called a catkin and grows at the top of the plant. The catkin becomes fuzzy in the fall when it spreads its seeds. These plants can be ugly and messy so removal is often desired.

You might have tried removing them by pulling them out by hand or cutting them down. Pulling the cattails out by hand can be a waste of time and energy since the cattails will grow back if the whole root system is not removed. Cutting down the plant below water level to drown it can stimulate growth if done too early in the season. Chemical control with an aquatic herbicide is the easiest and most effective way to deal with cattails.

We recommend using our cattail and water lily control products for emergent weed control. The product has two parts. Alligare Glyphosate is an herbicide that kills emergent weeds (weeds that grow up above the water from below the surface) like cattails. It is combined with the Alligare Surfactant, which helps the herbicide adhere to the cattails by breaking down the outer layer of the leaves. This allows the herbicide to be fully absorbed into the plant.

Once the cattails have dried up and are crispy, you can go ahead and cut them down. You’ll want to wait until they are completely dried up and dead after 3-4 weeks so that when you pull them, the seeds will not spread.

Our products are great for treating other emergent vegetation around your pond or lake, like bulrush, phragmites and purple loosestrife. Treatment should be done when the weeds are at least 4 ft tall, generally in the spring or fall.

These products are EPA approved and have no swimming or fishing restrictions. You can have a clear pond or lake shore; see results in as little as one week! 

Visit us at LakeRestoration.com for all your aquatic herbicide needs. 

 

What Kind of Algae do you Have?

May 8, 2018

Pond algae can come in many forms, and each pond ecosystem can produce a variety of different species of algae. Algae can form from a variety of factors, including excess nutrients, hot weather, stagnant water and gas build up, just to name a few. Once you identify your algae, the easier it is to treat. But how do you know what kind you have?

Below are several forms of algae that are common in ponds. Find which algae you have and the best way to keep it under control this summer!

      1. Chara Algae     

Chara is a form of algae that often gets mistaken for a weed. It forms a stem and leaf-like structures, but it will be free-floating in the water without roots. Chara has foul smell and a grainy texture. If you crush it between your fingers, it smells like garlic. When left in the sun and out of the water, it will turn to and ashy-grey color. 

Chara can be difficult to control. We recommend using a combination of Mizzen® algaecide with Copper Sulfate at higher label rates to kill this plant. If the plant becomes calcified, it may become harder to treat.

2.       Filamentous Algae 

Filamentous algae is often referred to as pond scum. It can form in mats on top of the water and look like thick, green slime. This algae can form on rocks and other things underneath the water as well. If filamentous algae covers the entire surface of the pond, it can block out the sunlight and deplete the oxygen in the water for fish.

Filamentous algae can be treated by using Mizzen® Algaecide every 4-6 weeks, or as needed when algae returns.

3.    Planktonic Algae 

Planktonic algae can will look like your water is changing color. It can be present throughout the whole water column. This green or blue-green algae can make your pond look like pea soup or paint. Planktonic algae will stick to things, like rocks, docks, or shorelines.

Planktonic algae can be treated with Mizzen® Algaecide.

Now that you know what kind of algae you have, it will make it easier to figure out a plan for treatment. Mizzen® Algaecide and Copper Sulfate will be the go-to products for treating any of these types of algae. We also recommend applying nutrient reducers, like SparKlear®, to help reduce the excess nutrients in your pond and help with water clarity. These can be applied once a month.

Visit our website at LakeRestoration.com to find all of our weed and algae solutions. Also, checkout our Aquatic Plant Identifier tool to help you find what kind of weed you have in your pond!

Spritflo® V.S. Dibrox® for Pond Weed Control

April 17, 2018

Spritflo® V.S. Dibrox® for Pond Weed Control

If you have a pond or small lake, chances are you’ve had to deal with some kind of weed or algae problems from year to year. It might be difficult to figure out which aquatic herbicide is best for you, your weeds, and your pond’s needs.

At Lake Restoration, we have two great options for treating ponds and small lakes for weeds (you can check out all of our pond products on our website). Spritflo® herbicide and Dibrox® herbicide will be your best options for fighting submerged and floating weeds in your pond all year long. How do you decide which one is best for you? Here is more information on both our products to help you make the best decision for your pond.

Spritflo® 101:
Spritflo® is a suspended aquatic herbicide that is fluridone-based. This herbicide is best for duckweed and other submerged weeds, like hydrilla, coontail, and more.

Control Time:

Spritflo® will work in your water for 30-45 days. We usually recommend two treatments per season when the weeds are present and actively growing at or near the surface.

Application:

Spritflo® can be mixed with water and sprayed on the pond. It can also just be poured in the water around the pond, and it will spread through the water by itself within 24 hours. Spritflo® is not a contact herbicide, so it cannot be used to spot treat an area of a larger body of water. You will need to treat all of your water with this product.

Recap: Spritflo® is great for those wanting to treat their whole body of water. It is easy to apply, since you can simply pour it in the water and it will spread by itself. It stays suspended in the water for up to 45 days for longer control.

Dibrox 101:

Dibrox® herbicide is also a great herbicide for submerged and floating weeds, like duckweed, coontail, hydrilla and mifoil.

Control Time:

It controls duckweed in 5-7 days, and submerged weeds in 17-21 days for quick control. We usually recommend using this every 4-6 weeks, or when you see the weeds present and actively growing at or near the surface.

Application:

Dibrox® is a contact herbicide, which means it works directly where it is applied. You can mix Dibrox® with water and spray it over the weeds where you want to treat. This product also works great in our remote control product application boat, the TORMADA®! Dibrox® will sink down under the water to control submerged weeds. You can treat your whole body of water, or you can spot treat smaller sections of weeds.

Recap: Dibrox® is great for anyone looking for quicker control of weeds. It also great for people who don’t want to treat their whole body of water, but only parts of the water or sections of weeds.

Finding a pond herbicide can be difficult. Knowing the kind of control you want can help you narrow down a product that will work great for you. Now that you know a little more about our herbicides, you can be one step closer to controlling your pond weeds all season long.

Visit our website at LakeRestoration.com for more information on products for your pond or small lake.

7 Spring Backyard Cleanup Tips

April 10, 2018

Spring cleaning can be a dreaded task, especially after a few months of neglecting your outdoor areas and spaces. Now that spring has sprung, take a walk around your yard, garden, and patio areas to assess what you’ll need to get done before summer hits.

Get a jump on the project so when the weather warms up, you’ll be able to enjoy your yard and begin planting, landscaping, hosting parties, and more without having to do last-minute cleanup!

 1.) What’s Your Plan?
When you first walk into your yard, you might notice you haven’t taken a good look at your backyard in a few months. There may be more to be done than you expected. Walk around and make a list of the small and large tasks that can be taken care of right away. Plot a course of action for what can be done first, then think about what your overall goal is for some of the larger projects that arise. Also, make sure you have tools and equipment for repairing and cleaning.

  • Broom
  • Garbage bags or wheel barrel for debris
  • Tree and plant trimmers
  • Hammer, screw driver, and nails for small repairs
  • Wash cloth and water
  • Hose
  • Touch-up paint for buildings 

2.) Garbage and Debris
As you’re walking around, you’ll notice any garbage laying around that may have blown into your yard. Take time to clean up any trash. Leaves and brush may have been left behind from fall. Rake any plant debris lying around and bag to use in compost or save as insulator for prepping plants for winter next fall. Do you have pets? Clean up any messes they’ve made that may create obstacles later on. 


3.) Assess Your Plants and Trees
How are your annual plants looking? Take time to trim and clean up their appearance, as well as the area surrounding them. Did the wind and storms damage any trees or plants? You may look around and see broken branches or a newly planted tree leaning slightly. Make sure you take any clearly broken parts of trees or plants off the plant, or pick them up from the surrounding area. Give your trees proper support (you may have to wait until the ground warms up to apply stakes for support if you live in a cold climate). Make note of any plants and trees that look like they won’t make it another season, and note where to remove and re-plant.


4.) Structure Repair and Cleanup
If you have a barn, pole barn, shed, lean-to, dog kennel, or any other type of structure in your yard that has been neglected in the last few months, check them out. Look for damage, areas to be cleaned out, and the overall look of the outside (if it will need a good washing), especially if it is an older structure.  If you live in a cold climate, winter can be tough on buildings, so make sure you know of any repairs that need to be taken care of before they will need to be used for summer. Take time to clean out cobwebs, dirt and dust, or rodent-takeover. Wash windows, re-paint siding, and fix leaking roofs.


5.) Pond and Backyard Water Features
Once the ice comes off your pond or water feature, it’s time to start thinking of how you are going to prevent weeds and algae from taking over this summer. Pondproducts are a great way to combat your problems with floating or submerged weeds. Use a pond herbicide, such as Dibrox®, to tackle duckweed, milfoil, or hydrilla.  Dibrox® is quickly absorbed by the plants and you will see fast results.
If you have algae in your pond or water feature, using a chelated copper based algaecide will quickly control the filamentous algae.  As the temperatures start to climb, algae can return quite often.  Continue to use an algaecide, such as Mizzen®, to keep your water looking crystal clear. Lake Restoration, Inc., offers solutions to help you see clear and beautiful water in your pond or water feature all summer long.


6.) Patio Condition
      If you have a porch, deck, or patio area, you probably need to clean and repair anything that needs some T.L.C before you host any summer get-togethers. Clean and wash any patio furniture you have (chairs, tables, umbrellas, cushions, etc.). Sweep and pressure wash your concrete surface, or sweep and wash your deck. If your deck looks like it could use a fresh coat of paint, plan on doing so when the weather warms up and becomes slightly more stable (avoiding rainy days). If you have plants around your patio area, make sure they are in good condition and trim them if needed. Plan where to re-plant or add to your plant area.


7.) Till Your Garden
Soil can be tilled in the spring. You must wait until the soil is dry and warm enough. You should till your garden when the dirt crumbles in your hand (indicating it is dry) and when it reaches 60°. You can also get bean stocks and tomato cages ready for when it’s time to plant.

Spring cleanup can be a bit of work depending on the amount you find needs to be done, but once you have a plan, your yard will be looking summer-ready in no time at all! 

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