With the right landscaping and proper maintenance, even the most basic koi pond can be beautiful. However, if you really want your backyard pond to make a statement you should consider turning it into a water garden. Though it may sound like a complicated project, transforming your existing pond into a water garden can be as simple as adding a few potted aquatic plants. Not only will these plants enhance the appearance of your pond, but they will also benefit your koi and make your pond a healthier environment in which your fish can thrive.
Types of Pond Plants
When it comes to aquatic pond plants there are a variety of options which can generally be divided into four different groups. Oxygenators are the category of pond plants which grow entirely beneath the surface of the water where they help to increase the oxygen content and provide cover for your fish when they need it. Floating plants are those that do not need to be rooted in a pot or planter. These plants float on the surface, providing shade which helps to reduce algae growth in your pond. Deep water pond plants like water lilies and lotus are largely ornamental. Some of these plants produce beautiful blooms which serve to add color to your water garden. The final category of pond plants includes bog plants such as cattails, grasses and reeds. These plants grow best in shallow areas and are most often used to blend the pond into the rest of the landscaping in your yard.
The Benefits of a Water Garden
The benefits of transforming your koi pond into a water garden extend far beyond the aesthetic. By adding live plants to your pond you will not only be making the pond a healthier environment for your fish but you also will be decreasing the necessary amount of maintenance as well. Aquatic plants use the waste produced by your fish as fertilizer and, in exchange, produce the oxygen your fish need in order to breathe. This is an extremely important benefit because koi require highly-oxygenated water in order to thrive. Live plants will also compete for nutrients with pond algae, thus reducing the amount of unsightly algae growing in your pond.
How to Add Plants to Your Pond
Before purchasing your pond plants, perform some basic research to decide what type of plants you want. As you research, determine what the potting requirements are for each type you have chosen. Fabric pots and plastic pots with no holes are the most common types of pots used in water gardens because they keep the potting soil contained and they can be moved easily. For those of your plants which need to be rooted, fill your pots with clay soil and anchor them with sand or gravel. Place the pots in the desired location within your pond, positioning your plants in the arrangement you find most attractive. Floating plants do not require pots – they can be left to drift along the surface of your water garden.
If you want to get the most out of your water garden, try adding a few EcoBio-Blocks to your pond. The EcoBio-Block nsM is a four-pack of water-clarifying stones made from natural zeolite and infused with beneficial bacteria. The special nitrifying bacteria infused in the EcoBio-Blocks will multiply rapidly once you have added the stones to your pond. These bacteria will clarify the water, remove odor and help to decrease the frequency of necessary pond maintenance. If the water in your koi pond is kept clean and clear, it will be a better environment for both your fish and your aquatic plants.