Which Plants are Used in Purifying Pond Water
It is a great injustice to think of aquatic plants as being mere ornaments in a pond. The sheer value they provide is indispensable. Whether we are talking about submerged, floating, or emergent plants in a pond, plants provide several functions:
- Providing a natural habitat to several microorganisms and insects in a pool. This function is vital because it is vastly responsible for creating a natural and balanced ecosystem inside a pond.
- Being a source of food for fish and insects, hence aiding the natural nitrogen cycle.
- Allowing fish and other species inside a pond with access to shade, mandatory hiding spaces, and a complex structure.
- They act as natural filters inside a waterbody, pond. How? Plants perform the vital role of absorbing and transporting nutrients from the bottom of the waterbody, from their roots, to all the way up. Through this process, plants dispose of harmful toxic materials and chemicals from inside the pond. Moreover, this intake of nutrients by plants is vital as, if the nutrients become excessive, it may cause a fatal toxic environment to develop.
- Plants also help fight algae blooms as they constantly compete with algae for space.
- Lastly, they provide the waterbody with precious oxygen, which is necessary for the survival of the pond’s entire ecosystem. This is done through photosynthesis.
Talking about the indispensability of plants to a pond, we can go on for pages and pages. As of now, it must be clear to you that plants are necessary for your pond. But, which ones are the best? Let us find out.
This fully submerged, aquatic plant species is one of the most popular plant options within aquarium and pond owners because of its alluring physical features and attributes. Firstly, the plant is exceptionally cost-effective as it requires almost zero care. Instead of you providing it with care, it is an excellent oxygenating plant as it provides your pond with vital oxygen needed for its survival.
Its fully submerged stems can grow up to a mindblowing 3 meters in length. Within no time, the stems will rapidly grow to form an underwater mesh in your pond; the mesh provides a substantial nutrient output which ensures that the health needs of every species are being met.
Its rigid leaves are excellent for housing microbial colonies. The leaves also play a major role in acting as a nursery for newly-hatched fish. Known for its resilience, the Hornwort’s various body parts will still survive even after being cut off from the main plant, hence it can be easily used for propagation elsewhere.
You should ensure that you keep their growth levels in check because mature Hornworts are known to compete with other plants for nutrients from the substrate. The Hornwort also excretes biochemicals that encourage phytoplankton and algal growth, hence you should always keep an eye out for any unwanted algae blooms surrounding the area.
Growing on the shallow banks of a pond, being partially submerged, the Water Iris is known for its mesmerizing purple color which serves to be an impressive ornamental piece as well as a highly practical option.
Since it is situated on the banks, its root system prevents surface soil erosion. Moreover, its roots absorb excess nutrients that would have otherwise caused toxicity. Its emergent stems offer protection to newly-hatched fry from pond visitors.
Since the Iris plant requires high nutrients to grow, a fish pond is an ideal place for their cultivation because of high waste and debris content. Apart from providing handsome filtration to your pond through its roots, the plant’s attractive color is its main feature as it attracts abundant opportunities of pollination.
Water Hyacinth’s provide exemplary water filtration through its ability to absorb excess nutrients from ponds at a rigorous rate. According to several scientific studies, it has shown promise for being an effective natural solution to treating wastewater. Its strong organs are well-equipped to bioaccumulate the harshest and nastiest of waste substances, such as:
- Other inorganic compounds
However, its downside is highly alarming. The plant spreads like wildfire on the surface of a pond, completely covering it in a matter of a few weeks. Therefore, it has been labeled as an aggressive weed due to its rapid growth when it has no competition in a pond.
Water Hyacinth’s physical appeal is tremendous. They graciously float on the surface of a pond, providing the viewer with a pleasing sight. And, there is always a solution for every problem. The rapid growth of the Water Hyacinth can be regulated through physical removal of a handful of plants in each removal by hand.
Taro is an economical and profitable aquatic plant that grows on the banks of ponds and other water bodies. It is known for its distinctly large leaves and tasty corms, which also makes it a crop vegetable.
It is culturally relevant in several tropical countries, hence its popularity is massive. Since Taro is a relatively enormous water plant, it requires an extensive amount of nutrients, waste material, minerals, toxic pollutants, and organic matter from its vicinity, which consists of wet and nourished soil as well as shallow water.
Harmful toxic compounds, such as nitrates and phosphates, have been proven to be removed by Taro. This means the semi-aquatic plant acts as a remarkable natural filter. Given its might, Taro’s bioaccumulating properties are also worth mentioning. It is strong enough to capture the heaviest of metals, including cadmium and lead.
If your pond is situated in a tropical climate, and you need to further solidify your filtration system, you can plant Taro at the banks of your pond, and let it do the rest. Within a few weeks after the plant has fully grown, you will certainly see a visible change.
Since Watercress is nutritionally rich, it has a rich history of cultivation. Nowadays, it is grown through hydroponics. However, a Watercress plant can thrive in a pond because the waste produced by fish and other species is sufficient enough to fulfill the plant’s nutritional needs.
The Watercress plant is specifically competent in absorbing nitrogen and phosphorus from the waterbody. Its high intake of excess nutrients can be evident from its rapid growth at a particular point in the plant’s lifespan.
Cattails is a wild plant that avidly grows on the edges of almost all water bodies in the Northern Hemisphere, so it needs cooler climates to survive. Its sausage-shaped tubular protrusion opens up to display numerous cotton seeds, creating a distinct and beautiful visual sighting.
Their stems can either be fully aquatic or semi-aquatic. Cattails is a rigid plant, as evident from its growth in almost every region of the Northern Hemisphere. This is because it spreads through: rhizomatous growth or through seed dispersal. Moreover, the aquatic plant species is known to survive in the toughest of circumstances, including muddy water.
Since they grow rapidly, they are efficient in removing nutrients from the water. Bulrush, a form of Cattails, is a common plant that has been tested to absorb phosphorus and nitrogen from pond water. This vital absorption, coupled with its rapid growth, has made it a promising contender for an eco-friendly solution for wastewater remediation.
If you want to supplement your pond’s filtration power, you can simply plant these leaves on the banks of your pond.
Water Lilies is probably the most widely pictured plant when one thinks of an aquatic plant. Its popularity and remembrance is unparalleled because of its impact on pond maintenance and beautification.
These floating ornamental plants are known for their practicality as well. Water Lilies provide pond owners with several solutions, including the solution to keeping the tedious water body clean. It is astonishing how a small and fragile water plant, such as a Water Lily can have such an acute impact on keeping a pond healthy and clean.
A Water Lily will keep your water column clean through two ways. Firstly, its large lily pads situated under the plant and flower have a vast surface area, which allows the water body underneath to remain cool and protected from intense sunlight. This shade and control in temperature will decrease the growth of algal matter since it needs warm temperatures and sunlight to intensely grow. Secondly, in terms of filtration, the Water Lily is right up there at the top as it can easily absorb nitrogen and phosphorus from the substrate. Some species of the Water Lily have been known to absorb other toxic materials from effluents as well. However, the floating aquatic plant’s absorption rate depends on other climatic and environmental factors as well.
Alongside an appealing appearance, this fully submerged perennial is known for its ability to oxygenate a water column and remove carbon dioxide from it. Moreover, it also has the ability to absorb nutrients and other waste matter, as well as possessing sheer power to bioaccumulate the heaviest of metals found in water bodies.
Its submerged roots are known for their distinct beauty, as they form a unique mesh that supports and facilitates several insects, hatcheries, and microorganisms, making it a key player in a pond’s ecosystem.
In terms of its appearance, the plant possesses a distinct style as its floating leaves ensure that the shoots underneath remain upright. This creates a unique visual, seemingly defying gravity.
The plant can also be easily propagated as its shoots can easily regenerate. Hence, the Fanwort is truly a magnificent aquatic plant option for your pond because it is the complete package.
Not only does it aid in oxygenation and the removal of carbon dioxide, it also enables and supplements the pond’s filtration system through its ability to absorb nutrients and other waste compounds, such as nitrogen and phosphorus. This is not the end of its glories. The plant is an exceptional bioaccumulator as it can easily leach any heavy metals present in the water body through its sheer power. To put the icing on the cake, Fanwort is one of the most distinct and beautiful aquatic plant species to be found anywhere in the world.
The plant can be grown in tropical climates, however you can also grow it in colder climates, but at a stretch.
Water Mint is an exceptionally low-maintenance and robust aquatic perennial. Since it is a flowering plant, it can be used to attract pollinators. If it is planted in large volumes it can also be used to supplement the filtration of wastewater.
As seen above, every aquatic plant has a distinct attribute that allows it to specialize in serving a particular purpose in the betterment of your pond. Whether it is to treat wastewater through the absorption of nutrients and waste compounds, leaching heavy metals, pollination, and even oxygenation, every plant offers all of the above, more or less.
It is simply mandatory to equip your pond with aquatic plants, otherwise, there will be no natural ecosystem formation and your pond will deteriorate.