Tetra have been innovators in the world of aquatics for over 60 years, and Ellie Goodall has been reading a research survey they have recently published proving that keeping a pet is good for your children.
As Monty Don pointed out on a recent edition of TV's Gardeners' World, blanket weed is almost inevitable if you have a pond. Dan Everton reports on a natural method that really works.
Crystal clear water can become choked with what can only be described as green gunk. It's unsightly and, because it removes oxygen from the water, will be detrimental to any pond life.
What causes the problem? Monty explained that 'a combination of warm water, sunlight, andnutrients from decomposing organic matter, provide the ideal conditions for the growth of algae'.
Poor filtration and shallow water make matters worse.
Preventative measures can be taken. Your pond may be positioned where leaves collect in the autumn, so either relocate the pond or use netting to prevent them entering the water.
Shade is important, make sure that plants such as water lilies cover 50% of the water surface, but don't forget to collect the dying foliage of aquatic plants before it falls to the bottom.
Ideally the water should be 3- 4ft deep and not overstocked with fish. To prevent the build up of nutrients, make sure that filtration is adequate and well maintained.
What Monty prescribed was a simple solution that would be a surprise to many. Instead of a chemical based water treatment, his 'magic ingredient' is barley straw.
First you have to clear as much blanket weed as you can using a net or a stick. Then place the straw in the water.
Prepacked straw is available from aquatic retailers. Alternatively fill some net sacking or even an old pair of tights and weigh them down with a stone.
You'll need approximately 2oz of straw to 10sq ft of surface area (50gms for every sq metre).
The gardening guru then explained the process, 'as the straw breaks down it releases a chemical that inhibits the growth of the algae'.
But don't expect miracles overnight. The effect can take over a month to begin, however your blanket weed will then be kept at bay for around six months.
Create a Halloween party in your house or garden with ideas and suggestions from David Coton that will keep your children and neighbours thrilled and spooked on the 31st October.
Looking for some advice on how to decorate your garden for halloween? David Coton has some great ideas to help you create a horror themed garden to scare your neighbours and any trick & treaters who come to your door.
To grow the biggest, scariest pumpkin in time for Halloween isn't easy as they take some time to mature and prefer a warm climate. To have the best chance of success Martyn Loach recommends sowing seed indoors during April and then planting out in late May or June.
Used originally to frighten away evil spirits, now placed near the front door to deter trick or treaters, carved pumpkins have been part of Halloween for a very long time. Here Martyn Loach explains the process of creating the scariest pumpkin in your street.