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A Natural, Ecological Pond

An ecological pond has diversity. It contains plants that oxygenate the water as well as provide food for the fish. For example, grass carp and tilapia feed on algae, rooted pond plants.

Grass carp fish are beneficial because they are known to favor the plant foods American elodea, hydrilla, naiad, and muskgrass, or chara. They have moderate inclination for duckweed, pond weeds, bladderwort, fanwort, coontail, water pennywort, and water primrose. Part of their downside is that they do not care for water lily, sedges, cattails, water meal, and water hyacinth (Georgia Cooperative Extension Service).

Beneficial pond bacteria are more effective in controlling the floating, filamentous algae and the microscopic, suspended algae, which the grass carp don't like or cannot eat.

Laboratory-cultured, beneficial bacteria have been designed to alleviate nutrient overload by consuming those nutrients that are released by carp and processed by native pond bacteria. They also can improve the bottom environment by taking over the decay process from anaerobic bacteria, and thus, they can eliminate bad odors and improve public relations. Plants that oxygenate as well as take up nutrients that would otherwise putrefy the water are reeds and cattails. Their success is dependent on several factors, however. First) the bacterial formula must contain those species of bacteria that consume nitrates, turning them into nitrogen gas, which is harmless and represents about 80% of the air we breathe. Secondly, the bacteria must be able to bind up the phosphates and render them available as plant nutrients. Thirdly, the formula should contain facultative aerobic bacteria, which can operate with or without oxygen. Fourthly, the formula must contain sufficient concentrations to be effective. And finally, the cultured bacteria must be suited to the pond's environment, with regard to its temperature and pH.

Information about the use of sludge to fertilize water plants comes from projects to treat waste water in run-off areas or "sewage lagoons" (Ref. 61, 62). Some plants, for example water hyacinth, Ipomoea repens (water spinach, swamp morning-glory) and some cool season pasture grasses such as rye, fescue and canary grass, have the ability to grow well in waste water and to take up great amounts of nutrients efficiently, thus helping to control polluted waters. These crops have the added advantage that they are easy to harvest for livestock feed, thus giving an efficient method of converting sludge nutrients into animal protein.

Clams or mussels also make good scavengers for your Koi fish pond. the Water Buttercup (Ranunculus aquatalis) and the Curly Pond Weed (Potamageton crispus) are three of the best. and oxygenate the water. The floor should be covered with an aquatic ground cover of oxygenating aquatic weeds which also absorb the nutruents found in decaying waste. Guppies and other small feeder fish eat insect eggs and are in turn eaten by larger fish. Above the clay a layer of sand and above that some gravel. In a pond environment the oxygen is beneficial to the pond fish and nitrifying beneficial bacteria. including pond plants during daylight hours produce oxygen in a process known as photosynthesis. These scavengers clean up algae and spent vegetation and detrititus in the pond. The gravel should be inoculated with beneficial bacteria and enzymes which will aerobically decompose fish waste and rotting vegetation into nutrients for the plants. have the plant in a choir container and embed this choir container in the sand layer by brushing the gravel aside. Above this should be a very thick layer of clay. The Water Crowfoot. All plants. cattails and other plants that purify water as well as provide craft materials and/or fodder. native frogs to colonize your pond. saprophytes. They act as . toads. A side effect of the breakdown of ammonia is the resultant level of nitrate produced. Cover roots again with gravel to prevent fish from munching at roots. Snails. A pond should be long in the direction of predominant wind to ensure proper aeration. This nitrate is used by aquatic plants and algae alike At night time however pond water plants stop producing oxygen and start to consume it. The pond should be deep to prevent freezing in winter. It should also have an outlet that passes through reeds. living in your Bio Filter to successfully convert ammonia to nitrate during the nitrogen cycle. Water violet. This is why it is important not to have too many aquatic plants. and other algae eating tropical fish are useful. If you have a creek or stream present. So the pond water can be self changed gradually without the need for mechanical aeration. Plecostomus. like a beach. Water crowfoot. This helps small animals get in and out. a non permeable and non toxic flexible pond liner should be layed out. Wait for smaller. saprovores. Any pond environment can never have too much oxygen as this is the basic requirement not only for your fish to be able to breathe but also for the beneficial aerobic bacteria. The pond itself should be deep. Your fish feed upon insect eggs.An aeration pump which pumps water up and out of the pond. They utilize sunlight (UV light) and carbon dioxide to produce carbohydrates and Oxygen. Flowforms should be used since they are a super efficient and intelligent way to aerate the water. saprophytic plants. and betas are known to eat snails. snakes. When planting. it can feed a pond and the pond can irrigate your garden as well as be a source of drinking water for the animals. such as Malaysian trumpet snail devour algae and green scum at the bottom. Frogs live off of insects. This should eventually connect back to the sptream. 1/3 – ½ of pond surface covered in plants should be enough. and it should have shallow areas with gentle slopes leading into the water. then sent crashing down a series of flowforms can filter. and into a sand/gravel bed (to breakdown and make available for plants the fish’s waste). Monkey tail. Hornwort and Parrots feather are examples. Clown Loach. Enough cannot be said in favor of scavengers. and after the site is excavated. smaller fish. and dentritivores for your pond. small turtles and clams or mussels continuously filter the water to keep it clear. They are the houskeeper of the pool and water garden. sometimes endangered. and also aerate it by digging through it. Tadpoles eat decayed matter. Smallmouth bass eat frogs.

org/wiki/Live_rock http://en. Snails are often offered by water-garden suppliers to help keep ponds clear of algae.html http://www.natural http://www. and wasted fish food. This helps control algae growth. and the black Japanese or trapdoor snail. the trapdoor is preferred because it won't snack on your prized You will need to provide them with a shallow bed of sand for them to burrow http://www.bestfish. Weigh down large barley bales to the pond. They also are fish http://www.php http://en.php Shade the pond with evergreens to prevent too much algae buildup. Of the two. Excess algae growth robs the pond of oxygen. such as http://www.php http://flowform. A variety of snails should be selected since each has a different appetite and function.wikipedia. The most commonly offered are the ramshorn snail which has a spiral shell.wikipedia.wikipedia. http://www. decaying vegetation. Amphipods. are small crustaceans that are dentrivores. and red cherry shrimp are good scavangers.php .org/wiki/Forage_fish#Use_as_animal_feed http://en.environmentalsolutions. Ghost shrimps.wikipedia.