Different Categories of Aquatic Plants

aquatic management servicesThe Lake Doctors strive to offer helpful aquatic services to better educate our clients on how to identify aquatic plants and possible problems associated with waterways.  When it comes to aquatic plant identification, it is important to know that there are four general categories: submersed, floating, emergent, and algae. Check below to learn more in-depth about aquatic plant categories and their species.

  1. Submersed Plants

This category of plants are entirely submersed underwater and embedded in the sediment of the bottom floor. These plants generally produce flowers and tend to be known as problematic. Examples of submersed plants are elodia, coontail, chara, and more.

  1. Floating Plants

Floating plants can either float upon the surface of the water and receive their nutrients from the water itself, or they can be embedded into the sediment of the bottom floor and have their leaves float atop of the water. Some examples of floating plants are fragrant water lily, duckweed, and more.

  1. Emergent Plants

Emergent plants grow in shallow areas of lakes and ponds and receive their vegetation above water levels. This category of plants is often referred to as wetland plants and do not always need water to survive. Examples of these plants are cattails, smartweed, and more.

  1. Algae

Algae are single-celled or multi-celled plants that have several different groups associated with their category. Algae can be characterized by being planktonic, filamentous, and macrophytic, and more.

Contact us at 1 (800) 666-5253 to learn more about our aquatic management services.

Armored Catfish

Biologist Geoff Camp with an armored catfish at a lake in Cape Coral, Florida.The Loricariids, also known as “armored catfish,” are a popular aquarium fish that use their suckered mouths to clean algae and detritus build up from the tanks. This cleaning behavior, which is helpful in tanks, is devastating to aquatic plant life since their activities erode local shorelines up to ten feet.

These prehistoric looking catfish have thick, boney plates and are also referred to as Plecostomus or Plecos. Depending on the species, they can grow to lengths up to 24 inches and can weigh up to three pounds. They are native to tropical South America and Central America and were introduced to Florida in the 1950s for use in aquariums.

In the wild, armored catfish will create long burrows along a shoreline, and the female will deposit her eggs. The burrows can collapse from the weight of a human, making them a nuisance and a hazard that can cause injury and increase the likelihood of erosion along canal and shorelines.

Armored catfish have been added to the growing list of non-native fish in local waters, and they are likely not going anywhere due to their adverse impact on the balance within the environment. Contact us today at 1 (800) 666-5253 to learn more about our lake and pond management services.

Biologist Geoff Camp with an armored catfish at a lake in Cape Coral, Florida.

Problems Associated With Uncontrolled Weeds & Algae

aquatic weed removalWhen it comes to your lakes and ponds, it is important to always stay proactive in your efforts to keep aquatic weeds and algae maintained. When weeds and algae become uncontrolled and consume your water sources, there are many harmful consequences. Below we list the many problems associated with uncontrolled water weeds and algae.

  • Ensure your water is clear of algae and weeds to help your guests enjoy their time on your lakes and ponds. When too many weeds accumulate, this can cause issues with fishing and watersports, such as wave runners, boating, and skiing.
  • Too many weeds and algae lower oxygen levels in the water which is harmful to fish and other aquatic wildlife.
  • The natural flow of water can be interrupted if weeds and algae become uncontrollable, causing harm to boaters and wildlife.
  • When waterways become overcome with unsightly algae, boating traffic can be hindered. Boaters will have to take alternate routes in lakes to avoid the weeds and could cause dangerous driving efforts.

Do you have issues with weeds and algae in your lakes and ponds? Look to The Lake Doctors for comprehensive inspections and treatments to help you control and prevent unhealthy weed and algae growth. Contact us today at 1 (800) 666-5253 to learn more about estimates regarding our aquatic weed removal.


Stay Informed on The Lake Doctor’s Blog

lake and pond managementWe are committed to helping our clients by offering comprehensive lake and pond management through a plethora of aquatic services. Check below to learn more in-depth about a few of the services that we offer.

  • Annual Management Program

Through our annual program, our knowledgeable staff will visit your lake and ponds to conduct a thorough aquatic survey that determines any potential risks and issues. We identify types of weeds, water clarity, water species, and other informative details that can affect your water source.

  • Weed Control and Algae Treatment

Through our weed control and algae treatment, we can help bring life back to your ponds and lakes. When algae and weeds become uncontrollable, they can consume oxygen levels found in the water, causing harm to fish and other wildlife.

  • Lake Fountains & Aeration Systems

We offer several different brands of lake fountains and aeration systems, while providing seamless installations for an added convenience to our customers. Our aeration systems help ponds and lakes have healthy levels of oxygen for wildlife.

We offer many more services than what is listed above. If you are interested in learning more about the aquatic services that we provide to help your ponds and lakes thrive, contact us today at 1 (800) 666-5253.

Circulators and their Benefits

Is your body of water having reoccurring algae problems that algaecide treatments just can’t seem to fix? Your answer might just be the installation of a device called a pond circulator. A pond circulator is a  simple tool where a propeller is attached to a motor and can either be mounted horizontally under a surface float or to a dock or any other hard surface or object. Providing multiple benefits, a circulator  will keep your pond or lake mixed, reducing algae and other unsightly weeds and biological contents. Circulators can also be used to push trash and sludge to the shore for easy clean-up and will greatly improve the health and vitality of  your water.

Case Study 

We’d like to share a recent success story from one of our accounts on Sanibel Island, in which the installation of a simple circulator  helped restore water quality and drastically improve the appearance of the pond.

One of the smaller ponds on the property was having reoccurring algae issues and had been having ongoing problems for quite some time. Our team used multiple algaecide treatments and even tried other preventative methods including; muck digestor pellets, beneficial bacteria, and pond dye. We even performed a physical removal of algae which helped temporarily but the algae soon returned. Each and every pond is comprised of their own unique characteristics and require different treatment plans. After further evaluation, we installed a pond circulator and within days the algae started to clear. Since the installation, the pond has maintained a healthy balance and treatment is only required 3 times per year. Our customer could not be happier with the results and thus have installed fountains and aeration systems in the rest of the account’s lakes and ponds.



Lake Doctors Attends Clemson University’s Healthy Pond Series: Pond Inspection 101

Sean Fleming – Aquatic Consultant from our South Carolina office recently attended Clemson University’s Healthy Pond Series, hosted by the school’s Cooperative Extension. The Healthy Pond Series is “a community-based discussion series for Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester pond owners to learn and share stormwater pond management solutions.”

During last month’s discussion, pond owners learned the when, where, what, and how’s of a proper stormwater inspection; therefore, resulting in accurate recommendations for proper maintenance and repairs when required. This gave attendees the opportunity to divide into small groups and have a Q&A with Sean during the mock inspection. The participants appreciated the chance to talk with industry experts, network, and share best practices as it relates to stormwater pond management.


Factors that can Cause a Pond to Become out of Balance

Now that the warmer months are behind us, ponds are beginning to “shut down” with winter finally here. For our industry, this is welcome news as the growth season was very difficult this past Summer. Warmer temperatures prevent water from mixing, causing algae and weeds to grow thicker and faster, drastically changing water quality parameters such as dissolved oxygen levels, clarity, water hardness, PH, etc.

Many factors can throw a pond out of balance such as fluctuations in fish population and bacteria levels. The more difficult ponds to evaluate are the ones in which certain water quality characteristics are not as apparent (not referring to turbidity or phosphorous, which have a directly observable effect, but the ponds that neutralize chemical effectiveness). The sneaky parameters are salinity and hardness, which can reduce the effectiveness of aquatic herbicides.

In one recent case, certain parameters were being controlled with bottom aeration and algaecide treatments; however, the herbicide treatments were not effective on the slender spikerush. The spikerush just slightly burned, but could not be completely controlled. A water sample was pulled, in which we discovered the water hardness was higher than usual.  Subsequent treatments were taken to mitigate that hardness and increase the effectiveness of our herbicides. The pond was additionally stocked with the sterile triploid grass carp to help control algae levels.

Chemical resistance aside, every pond is different and certain environmental factors cause ponds to change. Think of all the situations that can cause a pond to become out of balance such as the following:

  • Discharge from new upland construction
  • New landscapers applying different fertilizers
  • Well system introduced either directly or indirectly
  • Coastal storm flooding
  • Change in groundwater
  • Large debris discharge (seagrass or pine needles)
  • Structural changes

To help ensure your lake or pond is always in balance, it is important to conduct periodic water quality monitoring and assessments, which can help our team of experts design a custom program based on your ponds individual characteristics.

Our team of experts are ready to assist you with any of your aquatic needs. You may reach us at (800) 666-LAKE or We look forward to hearing from you today!

Welcome to The Lake Doctors Blog, your Rx for healthy lakes and ponds.

LD Fish

We’d like to dedicate our first post to welcoming you to our newly re-designed website and future blog platform. Here you will find posts pertaining to all things related to the aquatic management industry. We’ll dive into different discussions about the various types of services we offer, industry updates, helpful tips, inspiring images, behind-the-scenes peeks on new projects, current trends, and much more! 

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