Plants, through chlorophyll, and with the aid of sunlight, use water to convert base chemicals, the nutrients in the pond into living tissue.
In doing so, during the hours of daylight they give off oxygen as a by-product. Unfortunately during the hours of darkness they re-absorb some of the free oxygen in the water and in turn give off a corresponding amount of carbon dioxide.
It is this action that causes Green Water to be a problem to fish by producing too much oxygen in sunlight causing "Air Embolisms" by day or "Asphyxiation" at night by absorbing the oxygen in the water and replacing it with carbon dioxide. Plants then have both a clarifying and purifying effect on a pond by taking up the waste products, the nutrients in the pond; the fertilizers that the feed Green Water and Blanket Weed algae thereby starving them out.
Plants, however, can also be great carriers of problems.
Therefore you must disinfect all plants before introducing them into a pond, stream or aquarium. Carefully examine them for snails, snail spawn and other nasties and remove these.
Pay particular attention to the underside of the leaves, as this is where most creatures hide and most deposit their eggs.
DISINFECT Alum (Aluminium Potassium Sulphate).
COMMERCIAL TREATMENT Pond Disinfectant.
SNAILS Eradicate using a 9v Bell Battery or Commercial Treatments.
Aponogeton distyachos Water Hawthorn
Long oval leaves float on the water surface. White flowers smell of vanilla.
Will flower repeatedly through the year.
Ceratophyllum demersum Hornwort
A native British plant with whorls of short dark green fine brittle leaves on long stems very small white flowers which rise 2-3cm above the water on thin stems. A good oxygenater and as a native plant it will survive our winters.
A South American plant fast growing with 1-2cm whorls of light green leaves on long stems very small white flowers at water surface. A good oxygenater but half hardy, will not survive below 18oC, a sample should be removed from the pond and protected for the following year.
Lagarosiphon major Elodea occidentalis
Hottonia palustris Water Violet
Branches of feathery light green foliage from a central stem. Pale violet/lavender flowers on stems 2-3cm above the surface.
A European plant that should over winter.
An Africa to Asia plant with groups of 6 to 8, 2cm whorls of green leaves on long stems; Leaves have a slight saw edge. Small white female flowers lay on the water surface; the smaller male flowers float free to the surface and explode ejecting pollen into the air.
Half-hardy, it will not over winter or survive below 18oC; a sample should be removed from the pond and protected for the following year.
Myriophyllum brasiliense Parrots Feather.
Has a feathery mid-green submerged foliage growing tips rise 15-20cm above the water in summer with stronger blue-green dense and thicker foliage producing small white flowers.
This plant will not over-winter; take cuttings and protect inside in a tray of mud.
Myriophyllum spicatum One of the Water Milfoils
A feathery light green submerged foliage,
the yellow or red flower tips rise 10-15cm
above the water.
A good oxygenater half-hardy,
Protect in winter conditions.
Myriophyllum verticillatum Another Water Milfoil
Has feathery yellow-green to bronze
submerged foliage, the bright red flower
tips rise 10-15cm above the water.
A good oxygenating plant half-hardy.
Protect in the winter.
Potamogeton crispus Curly Pondweed
A central stem plant with many branches.
New leaves light green in pairs every 2cm along the stem and branches turning to a coppery brown with age. Quickly forms foliage just below the surface sending small white or pink flowers just above.
A hardy plant, which dies back in late Autumn and over winters by producing a perennating bud, known as a Turion, which detaches from the plant, sinks to the bottom and remains dormant until Spring.
Ranunculus aquatilis Water Crowfoot
A central stem with 1-2cm branches ending in mid-green whorls of fine pinnate foliage, floating leaves narrow 1cm and elongated 3-5cm. Small white flowers with yellow base. Temperate plant, that prefers a constant flow of water, so place near the outfall of a filter system. Will only tolerate a very mild winter.
© FBAS 2004 RCM/RDE Pond Care Sheet 5 1/1