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Thread: looking to add plant life to koi pond :-)

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    likoi is offline
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    looking to add plant life to koi pond :-)

    Hey all, this is my first time posting on this forum, so far I have found it very helpful so thanks! :-)
    I have a nice medium size pond, about 1500 gallons with a variety of kois, golds, and chubs. Looking to spice up the scenery with some nice aquatic plants..unfortunately at the moment I don't have much to trade. Though here in the north east we still have snow on the grounds, my mind is already at spring... looking for some help in getting a plant habitat starred; primarily interested in hardy lilies , iris, taro, coattails, and anything else you think would create a nice looking environment..i am happy to pay for shipping and a reasonable margin..please see attached a pic to help portray the environment.thanks in advanced for the help!
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    First of all, welcome to Koiphen!!! Your pond is really beautiful. How deep is it? Do you have to cover it during the winter (you're probably having a real storm there about now, from what I am reading here).

    I don't know how large your koi are at this time, but as you likely know, koi will be hard on plants in the water...they may eat them, or churn through them during spawning (tearing them up), or just "dig" in the gravel/soil, sifting through it and scattering it all over the bottom of your pond. Goldfish have far better plant manners.

    I tried putting a tupperware container (maybe 4 inches deep by 10 inches wide by 14 inches long) up on concrete blocks off the bottom, so that the lip of the container was just about 1 inch below the surface of the pond water, and sometimes, when the water was down, it was about even with the surface. It contained water iris. Anyway, during spawing season, the koi practially waited in line to push up out of the water, "beaching" themselves in the middle of that planter, wiggling through it, and then slipping into the water on the other side. I'm pretty sure the females were first, followed by as many males as could fight their way up there! But the koi would often be 3/4 of the way out of the water during this daily, ongoing ritual, and it was the only plant I tried to put in my 4500 gallon koi pond (I have a number of plants in the "upper" pond, leading to the koi pond, and the upper pond contains goldfish). Just a story to help you learn from my situation...I decided it might be better for them to focus on the plant container during spawning time instead of the rocks at the edge of the pond, hoping they would be less likely to end up on the ground (and I never did have that happen), but as you can imagine, the iris plants were in ribbons by the time the season was finished!

    I am not sure how deep your upper basin is, and I'm no landscape expert, but you could possibly gain some of the value of plants by including some kind of fast-growing, draping style plant in the upper basin, letting it drape down over the stone wall...or you might be able to utilize some kind of planters near where the statues are sitting on the wall to include draping plants there. A lot of it is personal taste, of course, but I think that plants help "soften" the edges of rocks, and make the rocks look more natural if the rocks "show through" plants. The same could be said for adding edge-type, low, creeping plants in the areas around the rocks where you have white gravel right now.

    There are also floating-style planters that would keep the koi away from the plants if you want a "floating island" in the pond, but personally, I that that would eliminate precious surface area in your case. If course, to add variety, you could plant something like "elephant ears" or some other tall, palm or exotic looking plant, maybe near the back corners of the rock wall or on the opposite shore of your bench...

    And if you haven't already, consider trying different effects with low voltage lights...they can be submersible (but usually cover with algae soon) or placed on the edge near the surface and point at rocks just across the water, or in your case, mounted on the overhead structure and aim straight down into the water to "light it up" at night. I'd focus light on the waterfall for sure...

    It looks like you've got a beautiful pond going already...please post pics later to show what you decided to do!

    Jeff

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    Windsong Acres's Avatar
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    Here are a few pics showing plants around our ponds. There are a lot of other really beautiful ponds and plantings that people have posted on Koiphen...a rich storehouse of ideas. I actually just handle from the shoreline in (fish, plumbing, construction of ponds, etc.), and my wife handles the shoreline out (plants, decorations), but from her thought process, I believe she tries to get a mixture of tall/vertical plants and low, horizontal plants, and make a variety of types/colors of foliage and blooms.

    Hope you enjoy adding the plants to yours!
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    I live in a terrible dry windy part of Texas, so I really don't have any suggestions for you about pond plants, but some hanging baskets full of annuals could add lots of color.

    Jeff, your wife has a wonderful eye for detail.
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    Windsong Acres's Avatar
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    Thanks Sue!

    I should add that in the last picture, all the corn plants in the background were planted by our neighbor, a farmer...Shelly probably shouldn't take credit for that part of it. :-)

    I do like your suggestion about hanging baskets of plants, too...the structure is in place for that already (a few heavy-duty screw-in eyelets is all it would take to add a lot of color and an extra layer of interest).

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    likoi is offline
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    Jeff and all, thanks for the commentary and input! I should have mentioned, this pic was taken a couple yrs ago when we first constructed the pong but it has seen some 'improvements' since. Its nice to see we think a like as most if not all your suggestions have been addressed. For example, the vines in the background have grown out and now cover most of the surrounding rocks creating a softer look. Additionally, not sure if you can tell in the second photo, but there is a shelf around the outer layer of the pond which is about 12 inches deep where I plan to keep most of my plants. Currently I only have an iris setup in the same manner you describe re Tupperware.

    The pond is 4 feet at its deepest, no need to cover it over the winter, I just keep an aerator going (i had pump going as well until the water running through the filter froze up).

    What I plan to do is brick off the shelf so that the larger koi cant penetrate and tear up the area (I learned this the hard way). Any help you guy can provide in offering to sell any tubers or bulbs I cant plant come spring time it would be greatly appreciated! I will have to get updated pics once spring arrives. I need to run off for now but will address the other comments later. Thanks!

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    Windsong Acres's Avatar
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    Hi Likoi,

    I don't sell any kind of plants, but I know there are others on Koiphen who do, or who know of good sources...

    Send an updated pic when you have a chance...yes, great minds think alike! :-)

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    When I had Koi, I got some hardy water lilies. They looked great....for about a month...then every time I got a nice bloom it looked like a lawn mower went off in the pond. Koi never let another bloom come to the top. I planted Creeping Jenny and Blue Moneywort in these floating baskets. http://www.amazon.com/Hagen-Laguna-F...aguna+floating They have different sizes. Both of those plants flow over the edge. Looks nice. I cut down the styrafoam so they don't float quite as high. Protected from the fish, except they munched on the parts that reached the pond. Now I have goldfish. Hoping I can have more plants now.
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    The goldfish I had in the past thought the plants were a buffet for them, so good luck!

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