Water pond plants???


  #1  
Old 07-07-02, 02:25 PM
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Unhappy Water pond plants???

Hey everyone!

I'm experiencing a problem in our water pond. The watter lettuce in the pond is turning yellow. How do you go about fertilizing the water lettuce since it is a floating plant(not in a container). Also another quick question......Is it possible to divide the plant(water hyacinths and water lettuce) into seperate parts? Should the plant be a certain size before trying this? Any help would be greatly appreciative!

Thanks,
JosH
 
  #2  
Old 07-07-02, 07:29 PM
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Hi Josh

Our water lettuce was yellowing (as was the water hyacynth) last year, too. Couldn't figure it out until we had a major string algae bloom - seems string algae like alkaline water (among other things). Also read somewhere that higher pH reduces some nutrient uptake in plants on land, so assume it's the same in the water... (We try not to get too involved with pond chemistry, cause there's always a danger of tipping things in weird directions, but the pH thing seemed to make sense)

If you have fish in the pond, their excrement should provide enough nutrients in the water to keep the plants happy. There are low-dose pond fertilizers available - the nutrients are waterbourne, so the roots that are trailing from your floating plants feed the plants, but if you start adding fertilizer to the pond system, you might have problems caused by chemical imbalances later... If you can establish some sort of mini-ecosystem where the fish feed off the plants and algae and fertilize them in return, with snails and bacteria cleaning up the rest, you shouldn't have to fertilize or even feed the fish! (We only feed our goldfish and minnows for our own entertainment - they can live fine in our pond without the food suplements)

We bought a cheap swimming pool test kit to test for pH and found that is was up above 8.5 (as high as the comparison transparencies went on our kit). Seems that with a limestone rock, the water will pick up the calcium and raise the pH.

Bought some "bio-peat pellets" that came in a mesh bag and cost a huge $$'s for a small quantity (barley straw is the same quantity/$$ ratio and is supposed to do the same thing, but take longer). Then I figured that if peatmoss acidifies soil, it should also work in our pond. Got some old socks and stuffed them with regular peat moss and put them in the pond skimmer. With the bio-pellets and two sock-fulls of peatmoss, our pH is around 7.7 and the plants are happy and our string algae is (*keep yer fingers crossed*) under control...

Someone at a local Garden Centre said water lettuce prefers partial shade, also. We still have ours in full sun and (so far) it is the right colour...

Ours is dividing (both types of plants) quite rapidly now and we just break off the new offshoots then the 'runner' is long enough to see a new plant is on the end (or you can leave them attached to form a bit of a mat - they will eventually break off on their own).

Going to move this thread to Garden - probably a few more Ponders over there who may have other suggestions.

Happy Ponding!

Howie
 
  #3  
Old 07-08-02, 07:07 PM
BIG BLUE
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Howiek,

I really do appreciate your quick response, it helps out a TON! I didn't know that Goldfish could live off of algea though. OF course i'm not a fish expert either though! I heard from a few people at the pet and pond shop today say that in order for water garden plants to be healthy, 60% of the water surface in the pond has to be covered with green folage. I've never ehard of that either but i was just wondering. Thanks for your help again though.

JosH
 
  #4  
Old 07-09-02, 07:35 AM
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Hi again Josh

I heard that about the surface coverage, also - it will help keep string algae down as it needs sunlight to thrive. Guess it depends on how much of the underwater flora and fauna in you want to see and how much skimming of algae you can put up with. If you have trees shading part or all of your pond, you shouldn't need as much coverage.

...and it is rather refreshing to wade in and remove the algae on those all-too-frequent hot and humid days we've had lately...

You can feed your fish if you want - it DOES provide entertainment watching them come to the surface (okay everyone - so I lead a quiet lifestyle... ). But our experience here was that once the ecosystem was established, we didn't have to feed them - they all grew and even got a bit on the rotund side...

Happy Ponding!

Howie
 
  #5  
Old 07-09-02, 04:47 PM
BIG BLUE
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Howiek,

Thanks again for all your help! I guess since our pond gets 100% sunlight unless it's cloudy means we're gonna have to put up with some of the string algae until the follage spreads. Thanks again for all your help

JosH
 
 

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