April 8, 2016
Beneath the Water’s Surface – Keep your Ponds and Water Gardens Crystal Clear
Published by Bucks Country Gardens in Bucks Country Gardens
Unlike natural ponds, man-made water gardens and koi ponds require proper care and maintenance to remain healthy and beautiful. Although they may look natural, there are a few necessary pond maintenance products you’ll need to utilize to allow your pond to thrive. Here are a few products to help properly open and maintain your pond throughout the season, as well as some popular aquatic plants to keep your water garden looking beautiful.
This is an all-natural product that helps keep your pond looking clean and clear by creating a healthy pond environment. Microbe-Lift PL is the perfect product to add to your pond when you first start it, or open it after winter, to get the environment ready for aquatic life. One of the most important things Microbe Lift PL does is it feeds and maintains the biological filter with beneficial bacteria. This bacterium helps eliminate toxins from the water like ammonia and nitrogen, breaks down dead algae, improves oxygen levels, and digests organic sludge.
Simply-Clear is a great, fast-acting bacterial pond clarifier. Similarly to the Microbe-Lift, it consumes waste products, like phosphates and nitrates, which cloud the water. This product works through natural bacterial action by feeding on microscopic organic materials that cause cloudy water. It is fast acting and will quickly dissolve and eliminate floating particles. Since Simply-Clear is an organic product, it would also be safe for cloudy fountain or bird bath water and to use around pets.
Aquatic plants serve a much greater purpose than just making your water garden look pretty. These plants feed on the organic waste material in your pond and help to oxygenate the water. They also give the fish a place to hide from predators and areas of shade to give them shelter from the hot summer sun. By properly planting your pond, it will allow your water garden to resemble an environment like those truly found in nature. In fact, we suggest covering about 50 percent of your pond surface with aquatic plants. Generally, the more plants that you have in your pond, the better your water clarity will be! The good news is that there are three different types of aquatic plants that you can mix and match to reach that coverage percentage with optimal visual interest.
The first category embraces floating plants. There are two different types of floating plants that are easily distinguishable from where their roots are. The first has its roots dangling in the water with the entire plant at the surface. Examples include Water Lettuce, Hyacinths, and Salvinia. The second type of floating plant are those in which their roots are embedded in the soil, but the leaves are at the water’s surface. Examples of this type of floating plant include, Water Lilies and Water Poppies.
Submerged aquatic plants are the next category. These plants grow entirely below the water’s surface. Examples include Anacharis, Cabomba, and Hornwort. A great benefit for putting these plants in your pond is they provide a safe haven for fish to spawn and stay out of harms way. Small fish will use these plants as shelter. Submerged plants will aid in the improvement of water quality and are efficient at keeping algae blooms to a minimum due to their nutrient absorption.
The third and final category is bog or marginal plants. You will find these beauties growing in the shallow or bog areas, of your pond. Typically, they prefer to be in two to six inches of water and make great accent plants to along the bank. Like most perennial aquatic plants, they do require regular fertilization throughout the year and enjoy a great deal of sunshine. Examples include Iris, Cattails, and Sweet Flag.
We have everything you need for pond startup and maintenance. In addition to chemicals and plants, we also have pumps and filters to keep your pond clean and clear. We offer pond water testing as well where we can quickly diagnose issues you may have with your pond water on the spot. We can answer any questions you may have and get your water garden started on the right foot!
Originally published in Picket Fences Spring 2016 Issue.
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