Are you tired of a brownish, murky appearance in your pond? At first, you may believe a professional must clean your pond.

Pond dye allows you to obtain a crystal blue surface on your own. It will clear the unwanted plant matter and debris from your pond.

Further, it isn't harmful to humans and the environment. This article will help you determine if pond dyes are the right choices for your pond. Let's explore.


What is a Pond Dye?

Pond dyes reduce algae and plant growth by stopping photosynthesis. They're the best option for ponds receiving a low water inflow. You can also use them in stormwater ponds or excavated ponds.

With that, the ponds must have a minimal runoff.

Pond dyes aren't herbicides. Instead, they inhibit plant growth. With that, they don't stop the growth of all plants. They're effective for the following plants:


  • Pondweeds
  • Watermilfoil
  • Naiads
  • Coontail
  • Elodea
  • Algae (i.e. single cell planktonic, mat-forming, filamentous)

They also don't harm marine life. You'll see pond dyes at recreational areas like parks or golf courses. Also, some dyes will block sun penetration.


What are Some Pond Dye Color Choices?

Pond dyes come in three main colors: blue, black, and mixed. If you want to know how to make pond dye, you can mix black and blue colors.

You may come across other pond dyes, such as pink, yellow or green. Also, the colors have specific purposes.

For example, let's say you want to create a pond surface that's crystal blue. Combine the blue dye with a yellow dye to create an aqua-blue appearance.

A blue-yellow combination absorbs certain wavelength lights, fostering an aqua color. On its own, blue pond dye also achieves a bluish-blackish appearance.

The black dye will cause the lake to mirror the surrounding areas. It's also a popular choice during the winter, as the lake surface will reflect the snow.

You can also apply the black variety in a wooded area to reflect the nearby trees. However, its primary purpose is to block sunlight. The dye will give your lake a blackish hue, but the lake surface will resemble a mirror.

You can also mix black and blue to achieve a mirrored surface with a bluish color. The bluish-black combo will also give the pond a natural appearance.

Overall, the blue and black dyes add shade to your pond. Further, they will eliminate debris and plant matter that cloud pond surfaces.

If you want a pond with a green surface, apply green pond dye. You may see this type of appearance near fountain areas or amusement parks.

Green pond die will blend your pond with the surrounding greenery. With that, mixing green pond dye with other colors will change the green color. If you desire a green pond surface, apply the green dye alone.


How Do I Apply Pond Dye?

Pond dye application involves knowing the depth of your pond. Your average pond dye will penetrate up to an acre between four to six inches deep. If you don't know the pond depth, apply the following measures.

  1. Grab a boat and a weighted string.
  2. Use the boat to test different areas of the pond to read an average depth.

Apply a small amount of the dye if you cannot obtain a suitable average. Add more dye until you notice a color change. You should see a color change shortly after you apply the dye.

Don't add any more if you applied too much. Instead, wait between four to eight weeks before using more dye. Pond dye usually lasts up to two months.

You should always wear protective clothing and gloves when applying it, as the dye can stain your skin and clothing. This is especially true for undiluted dyes.


The Pros and Cons of Using Pond Dyes

  • Pros:

The most notable pro is that pond dyes will inhibit plant and algae growth without the use of hazardous chemicals. Moreover, the dye is food grade, which means it won't harm humans, animals, or marine life.

Most pond dyes are friendly to the environment and are non-toxic. If you fish in a lake with pond dye, you can still eat the fish. You can also use the pond to water crops, and you can swim in the lake.

Moreover, it's easy to apply, and you don't need to hire professionals. You only need to pour the solution into the lake, and you'll notice a change within a few hours. Also, the dye will spread on its own throughout the water.


  • Cons:

When it comes to the cons, it can be hard to manage the pond in the event of runoff or rain. Rain and runoff dilute the pond coloring, forcing you to apply more when necessary.

Also, failure to add more over time can lead to excess plant and algae growth. You must also look out for degradation, as pond dye is an organic compound susceptible to biodegradation and photodegradation.

To counter degradation, apply the dye on a consistent basis. As a result, you may incur long-term maintenance costs. To know the correct amount, refer to the manufacturing instructions.

Another problem is that pond dye doesn't work on all plants. For example, it has no effect on surface-based plants like water lilies or duckweed. Additionally, they also don't mitigate emergent plants like cattails.

Black dye is also worth noting, as it isn't effective in ponds with excessive mud. Instead, use a blue dye to break up particles that can muddy your pond.


Pond Dye: Is It Worth the Buy?

Despite the drawbacks, the pros and outweigh the cons in terms of safety and effectiveness. It's the best solution against weeds and algae that give your pond a scummy appearance. If you have fish in your pond, keep in mind that the mitigation of plant life within your pond will reduce their food source.

To get the best results, apply your pond dye in March or April to maximize weed and algae control.

Interested in reading more about pond maintenance? Click here to learn more about pond skimmers.