New Koi on sale. Water Lettuce in stock.

This week at the shop we have been preparing for a busy Bank Holiday Weekend.

The ponds have been stocked up with new Koi. No outlandish prices. Just great value for money quality fish.

A lot of people have been asking about floating plants. Owing to the poor weather at the start of this year they have been slightly delayed.  However the good news is water lettuce arrived at the store on Thursday.

Water lettuce is the ideal plant to introduce into your pond or water feature. In warm bright conditions they multiple quickly by sending runner plants.

Water lettuce are not potted in soil they simply float on the surface of your pond. When establishing your lettuces in a pond with strong water flow you can tether them to rocks or wedge them into a corner of the pond. 

The dense cover provided by the plant creates welcome shaded areas for the fish. Water lettuce will absorb large amounts of nitrates and phosphates from the water and help reduce blanket weed and green water algae issues.

It has often been said that plants can not be incorporated into a Koi pond. Large Koi can uproot delicate marginals and chew through lily pads. They will bury their noses into the pots, dump mouths full of gravel and soil over the bottom of your pond and give you nothing but work.

However it certainly is possible to incorporate plants into Koi ponds, you just need the right plants and you need a strategy for keeping them Koi proofed. 

If lilies are suitably dressed, most small to medium Koi will not be a threat. I made a video explaining how to do this a year or so ago and you will find it helpful.
This is a video I made a year or so ago. It has some tips on choosing and potting lilies. Please help support the channel, post a comment, thumbs up the video and subscribe to the channel. Thank you.

Another obstacle with a Koi pond is they can be deep and lack shelves suitable for planting. 

You can buy floating plant pontoons, that you tether to the pond bottom or side. The plant’s roots hang down into the water and the foliage grows up and hangs over the side hiding the pontoon.  

Floating pontoons are also great DIY projects. You can use 4” thick sheets of polystyrene and chop out holes to drop the plant pots in.

Sturdy baskets can be hung from chains or brackets. It is even possible to attach baskets directly to the wall of the pond. With care you can screw through your pond liner and hold it securely with wall plugs and stainless screws. To make it watertight a thick splodge of aquarium silicon will be all that is needed.

If the thought of piercing holes in the liner sends shivers down your spine there are many other possibilities.

You can buy marginal plant bags that you stuff with soil and plants. They have a large flap on the top which is used to hang over the pond edge. You stack rocks or pebbles on the flap and the plants are supported of the bottom.

Plants will grow on waterfalls or stream sections. You might decide to build an entirely separate pond that is fed with water from your main pond and returns over a cascade. If the fish can’t get near them, you’re safe.

I am very surprised that more people with Koi ponds have not embraced the aquaponics movement that emerged a few years ago. Aquaponics systems grow food based plants and vegetables without soil, fish provide a source of nutrients and the plants help filter the water for the fish.

How about a vertical living wall rich with plants and a cascade back into the pond? There is a multitude of options, limited only by the imagination. Thinking outside the box can lead to some amazing displays.

A quick search on YouTube will soon give you lots of ideas about how you could design a system. 

Plants, water and fish go together well. The combination can have positive effects on pond keeper too. Lots of research has demonstrated how exposure to nature improves your mood, reduces stress and anger and so on.

Now it’s not all perfect, I know. You may have decided that plants are just not right for your pond and I totally understand. 

Plants can be a problem when you need to treat your pond for parasites for example. The plants will absorb a percentage of the treatment and they can be a harbor or breeding ground for more parasites. Many plants can start to take over and have to be trimmed back, during winter when plants die back the resulting sediment will have to be processed by the pump and filter system or manually removed.   

However I personally believe there are some real benefits if you can incorporate them into your pond in some way or another. 

The next time you’re in the shop take a look at the bio falls filter.  It’s a versatile stand alone filter that can be daisy chained onto an existing system.

Water drops in at the back and falls to the bottom of the filter it then rises up through media such as Alfagrog or gravel then the water spills back into your pond. On top of the filter there is plenty of room for growing plants and the water cascade serves to re-oxygenate the water.

The shop currently has an extensive selection of pond plants. We have various marginals, floating water lettuce oxygenators etc.  
Take a look at this amazing pond. Customer invites me to have a look at his 30ft Koi pond. He has built his own filter and skimmer system. The plants and Koi are living in perfect harmony.

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