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Mar 23, 2013 9:14 AM CST
|One of my biggest challenges of keeping koi and plants in the same pond involves the turbity of the water. The koi root in the waterlilies and keep the water murky. Over the years I have tried one of my hair brained ideas after another. Using tomato cages in the pots, netting off the the plant area. cover the top of the pots with chicken wire (the worst) & of course this season's idea, which I will reveal at a later date. As I was surfing the web looking for ideas, I came upon the article linked to below. It is the best information I have found on koi and water quality in ponds.
Mar 23, 2013 6:18 PM CST
|Clear water does not always mean healthy water. I have to admit that, although my water looks clear in my photos, there are bits that one can when one gets right on top of the water and looks down into it. I do use a bog garden to filter my water, which I feel goes a long way to clear healthy water for my koi - but I also do not have a bottom drain.|
Loretta - what I am wondering is what type of planting medium do you pot your waterlilies in? I know that many people use the clay unscented kitty litter and this will attract the koi to root into the pots as they love clay. Truthfully the only time I have had a problem with my koi rooting into my pots is when I tried the tropical waterlilies. The koi have not bothered the hardy water lilies. I came to the conclusion that the tropical waterlilies must taste better to the koi than the hardy water lilies.
What is your plan to keep your water clear of particulates? What type of filtration do you use?
Mar 23, 2013 10:40 PM CST
|Your water clarity looks really good. Your pond is so natural looking, very nice. I have a biological filter is made from a 100 gallon rubbermaid stock tank, scrubber pads, and pvc. My lilies and lotus are planted in our native soil which is loamy clay, is there such a thing. I want to go with simplicity this season.|
I have use a flocculent called Rapid Clear occasionally. I regularly use Microbe Lift Bio-Black. and Clarity Max, they contain good enzymes / bacteria. The Bio-Black helps with suspended algae and makes the pond reflective, which is great for photography I work all day so I grow tropical night blooming lilies but do have a few hardy lilies.. The pond is different every year & I want to go with keeping it simple this season. I have tried to grow too many lilies and lotus so this year less is more.
My favorite waterlily, Blue Gigantea
Mar 24, 2013 7:45 AM CST
Gorgeous waterlily - have you put that into the plant database? I really love the color.
Your clarity may very well be the medium you are using to pot up your plants. I know the koi are attracted to clay and will root around in the pots because they are after the clay - although, as I mentioned, my koi found tropical water lilies quite delicious and obviously you are able to get them to flower, whereas I was not able to do that.
I tried the aquatic planting medium, the kitty litter and finally ended up planting my waterlilies into washed off pea gravel. There is egg rock on top of the pea gravel so that the koi don't scatter the pea gravel all over the bottom of the pond.
We also use a bog as a giant biological filter. It is about 15' long by 3' wide and 10-12" deep. The bog is planted and we have a small pump - 500 gph Pondmaster that runs through the bog. This goes along way towards clarity.
We do put enzymes into the pond as well - Pondzyme with the barley. I buy it at the end of the season - around September or so. That way I don't have to pay full price for it as it can get pricey.
I also believe whatever works for an individual as there is no right or wrong and there are so many different ways that people have their ponds set up. I do think filtration is the answer to many problems though.
Mar 24, 2013 9:30 PM CST
|You are right about the planting medium because the water quality is good and my koi are healthy. I like the pea gravel idea, do you have to fertilize them more? The other thing about the clay is the frogs get in the lotus pots & the polywogs stir up the lily pots. I use koi clay regularly in the summer, kind of like a koi vitamin. |
I'm so glad this ATP site is here and I found it. I lost my mom 16 months ago and just did not feel like gardening last summer, wasn't too sure about this summer either. You have inspired me, your pond and koi are just perfect. Thanks !!!!!
The blue waterlily has to be one of the most awesome waterlilies that I have seen. I will post it to the plant database. What is the waterlily in your picture?
Mar 25, 2013 12:11 PM CST
|The Australian giganteas are really impressive. I've had them on my wish list for a while, but, well, the list is so long anymore that it's hard to see the bottom of it sometimes...|
Mar 25, 2013 4:30 PM CST
So sorry to hear about your Mom - I know how difficult that is myself. Makes me so glad I have my siblings.
I use the yearly plant fertilizer stakes - in all honesty, if I had to fertilize my waterlilies more often than that, I am sure it would be something that would not get done. Soon I will be lifting all my waterlilies, dividing and fertilizing them. I have 22 pots and it does become a chore.
The waterlily in my picture is 'Peaches and Cream'. It has nice huge blooms and every year, I look forward to seeing it flower.
Mar 25, 2013 8:47 PM CST
|Beautiful, you must be doing something right. Do you mean the big ones for trees and such? I'm am gonna try your system this year. |
Do you know anything about lotus? I am usually pretty successful at getting them to bloom but I one called Fenqianye-Thousand Petal that has not bloomed since I got it two years ago. The other lotus will be blooming away all around it and I really want to see it bloom.
Mar 26, 2013 2:27 AM CST
I know absolutely nothing about lotus. I had thought about having lotus years ago, but decided that I really do not have the room for them. So I admire everyone else's lotus.