Aquatic plants do magic to your Oklahoma pond in the most natural way. In a balanced eco-system, aquatic plants are irreplaceable and yield many benefits. Not only do they beautify your pond, they help to limit the growth of algae, filter water, break down pathogens, offer bigger surface area for good bacteria to grow, provide shelter for the animals living in the pond, and increase oxygen levels. If you are worried that your pond does not have space to house them, there are four types of aquatic plants that grow in different ways and places of the pond that you can choose from.
Marginal plants thrive in shallow water which are around the margins of ponds. Not only adding color and beauty to your pond, they extract harmful nutrients from your pond water before these nutrients accumulate and cause a much bigger and serious problem. Some examples are Cattails and Irises.
Submerged Aquatic Plants
Submerged plants grow underwater and are also called oxygenating plants as they are very effective at removing carbon dioxide from the water and releasing oxygen which is needed for fishes. Although they cannot be seen at first sight, they add color and life to the pond, and are natural preventive measures from fish diseases. Fish care can be done by adding oxygenating plants as they contribute to a healthy living environment for all pond creatures. Some examples of submerged plants are Fanwort and Eelgrass.
These plants float on the surface while their roots are in the water that improves clarity of water in the pond. They also are shading and resting spots for fishes. On hot days during the summer, they help to lower the temperature of the pond, which prevent the water from heating up and risking the lives of living creatures and the quality of the pond water. You can add Water Hyacinth and Giant Duckweed to your pond for variety.
Emergent Aquatic Plants
Emergent plants are deep water plants that grow deep roots right at the bottom of the pond, with their flowers and leaves growing and spreading towards the surface of the water. These flowers and leaves provide shade and relief for fishes and other animals living in the pond on hot days. Some emergent plants are beautiful and common, such as lotus and water lilies.
These four types of aquatic plants are extremely essential for a balanced ecosystem pond. Without plants, there will be no eco-system and living creatures cannot grow. Plants help with biological filtration, while small creatures like snails will help to breakdown waste, followed by small fishes, and then larger fishes like koi and catfish. Over time, plants and creatures create a cycle where they feed off each other, reproduce and grow, forming a sustainable eco-system. If you are interested in building an eco-system pond but unsure of where and how to start, Continental Ponds is a pond specialist that is highly experienced in building and maintaining ecosystem ponds!
Tim Trammell has been building, designing, servicing and maintaining pond in the Oklahoma City Metro area for over 20 years. His company Continental Ponds, is Oklahoma's first Master Certified Aquascape Contractor and is an national award winning pond and water feature builder.