Gardening Tips and Tricks : Are Aquatic Herbicides Safe For Your Fish?

As the term indicates, aquatic herbicides are chemicals specifically prescribed for use in water to kill or control the growth of aquatic plants. These herbicides can be sprayed directly on floating plants or can be applied in conjunction with the water. To reduce their need, individuals needs to implement best management practices for their property.

Two types of herbicides are mostly used- Systemic herbicides that have the ability to kill the entire plant. Contact herbicides-it only kills the area where the herbicide is applied, leaving other parts of the plant alive and allow them to re-grow. Additionally, they can be further bifurcated as selective and non-selective herbicide.

Now let’s look at some of the pros and cons of applying herbicides and whether their application is safe for the aquatic species.


• Cost effective technique: Application of aquatic herbicide is economical in comparison with other aquatic plant control methods, especially when used in controlling wide-spread infestations of lethal aquatic weeds.

• Easy application: It’s easy to apply aquatic herbicides even on the most difficult to tackle plants and weeds


• Safety: There are certain type of herbicides which are not safe to be used in ponds where swimming, fishing, irrigation is conducted

• Certain type of herbicides are fatal to the environment, hence one should be selective while applying herbicides.

• Mostly herbicides do take time to kill plants, though it all depends on the kind of herbicide used, it can vary from few days to few weeks depending on the nature of weed that need to be tackled

Application of Herbicides in Ponds

If herbicides are not used properly it could lead to low oxygen levels inside the lake or pond resulting in death and decay of many plant and aquatic species. Hence to ensure right application of the pond area, its best to call an expert who will consider many factors like temperature, herbicidal mode of action, time of treatment, quantity of herbicide to be applied, etc before applying.

You can also add proper aeration devices that will ensure continuous flow of oxygen. Proper application of herbicidal treatments will essentially provide good control of weeds even in the long run and prove to be much more effective for the treatment.

So if we need to decide whether application of herbicides Is safe for fish or not? In a nutshell, the answer is “yes”. If they are properly applied as per given recommendations, they pose no threat to environment.

Source by Peter Van Smith

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