Aquatic Plants for Your Koi Pond

Aquatic Plants for Your Koi Pond

Why They’re Important !

Aquatic Plants for Your Koi Pond Why They’re Important

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Aquatic Plants for Your Koi Pond: Why They’re Important and How to Choose the Right Ones

Adding plant life to a koi pond helps improve pond life for koi, as well as adding beauty to the pond itself.

pond plants largeKoi owners need to make sure they select the right aquatic plants that will harmoniously co-exist with their koi. They also need to ensure that their plant placement is done properly as well as not planting vegetation that will just be eaten by the koi!

The benefits of including aquatic plants in a koi pond

Aquatic plants are considered an excellent addition to any koi pond. Aquatic plants, in fact, help increase oxygen production in the water, helping to keep the pond properly aerated for koi. Their presence also helps keep the water cool by providing shade to the koi. Additionally, around the spring breeding season submerged plants act as a critical surface onto which female koi attach their fertilized eggs.

The presence of plants also prevents the spread of algae from getting out of control. The shade plants provide reduces incoming light into the pond and therefore limits photosynthesis of algae. Their natural ‘filtration’ system prevents blanket weeds (string algae) from forming, mainly through absorbing harmful nitrates that lead to their formation in the first place.

Tips for introducing koi to plant life

The best way to introduce plants into a koi pond is building a plant shelf. This shelf can be built along the edge of the pond itself. It’s a container where water plants are suitable for planting. It’s a good idea to weigh down the plants with large rocks or stone to form a barrier between the base of the plants and koi, preventing the risk of the koi eating the plants. Pond owners should be aware that predators like raccoons may use the shelves as a tool for feeding on your koi. For more on how to prevent pond predation see this article.

A vegetative filter may be an alternative to introducing aquatic plants to your pond. In this system the plants are grown in a separate containment area that connects to the main pond. The plants here can serve as a natural filtration system as water from the main pond travels in and out of the contained area. This gives you all the filtration benefits of having aquatic plants without the risk of your pond plants being eaten or dislodged.

Of course, you can always place aquatic plants directly into the pond itself. There are several options to choose from when deciding on which aquatic plants to put in your pond. Pond plants can be divided into 3 main categories that are discussed below:

1) Floating plants

2) Shallow-water marsh plants

3) Submerged plants

Floating Plants

This type of pond plant can be truly free floating with its main vegetation on the surface while the roots hang down, unattached or there are types where the roots are attached to the muddy bottom. The benefits are that they are easy to care for, they provide plenty of shade for koi and they compete with algae for nutrients as well as blocking light that would have otherwise helped algae to grow, all of which greatly reduces algal growth. Additionally, they remove a lot of the existing nitrogen and phosphates in the water and thereby do a great job of filtering the water.

 

Water Hyacinth
Water Hyacinth
Some popular choices for floating plants are water hyacinth. This species is an annual in the colder regions of North America but a perennial in the warmer parts of the States. They bear purple or blue flowers and their roots form a compact “nest” beneath them. These plants do a great job of filtering the water of excess nutrients.

 

 

 

 

 

Water Lettuce
Water Lettuce

Another free floating plant is water lettuce. This is more of a tropics/warm climate plant and forms compact leaf clusters on the surface with a compact root mass forming beneath the plant.

 

 

 

 

 

Water Lilies
Water LiliesWhen it comes to floating plants with attached roots water lilies are definitely the most popular choice amongst koi pond owners and may be the top choice of any of the aquatic plants. These plants will do well in just about any region of North America in any season and can be potted and placed at the bottom of the pond. On the surface, pond owners with water lilies will find a pleasant array of leafy covering and beautiful flowers that will nicely accent any pond.

 

 

 

Lotus
Lotus

Looking similar to water lilies the lotus is one of the oldest cultivated aquatic plants and make a great addition to any koi pond. Their leaves are typically very large, as much as 18 inches across which is great for providing shade to your koi in the summer. Often confused with water lilies the lotus flower is very beautiful and also fragrant. A word of caution should be noted here as these plants have a substantial growth rate and are best planted in larger koi ponds.

 

 

Water Poppy
Water Poppy

 

Water poppies produce small oval leaves and yellow flowers and are a great choice for koi ponds. They grow fairly quickly in summer and add a nice touch of yellow to your pond while filtering the water.

 

 

 

 

 

Shallow Water Marsh Plants

These type of aquatic plants are typically planted on the edge of your koi pond in the shallows. They are usually very lush and do best in only several inches of water.

 

 

Umbrella Plants

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These tropical region aquatic plants do well in shallow water and for those living in colder climates they need to be brought in during winter. Umbrella plants, as the name suggests, have umbrella-shaped leaves at the end of long stalks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cyperus papyrus

cyperus papyrusCyperus papyrus is a species of aquatic flowering plant belonging to the sedge family Cyperaceae. It is a tender herbaceous perennial, native to Africa, and forms tall stands of reed-like swamp vegetation in shallow water. Papyrus ranges from subtropical to tropical desert to wet forests, tolerating annual temperatures of 20 °C (68 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F) and a pH of 6.0 to 8.5. Papyrus flowers in late summer, and prefers full sun to partly shady conditions. Like most tropical plants, it is sensitive to frost. In the United States it has become invasive in Florida and has escaped from cultivation in Louisiana, California and Hawaii.

 

 

 

Alanka KOI has all the Aquatic Plants that will meet all your Koi Pond needs and requirements.

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