Dec 15, 2003, 1:04 PM
Re: [pklow] KOIs Can't Go Along With Plants?
koi and plants have been getting along fine for thousands of years. Koiís that are overstocked in a tiny space and sadly lacking in decent meals will turn on plants when desperate. As a matter of routine, koi like munching on plant roots and anything else they can fit in their mouths...
With koi growth rates as much as 2ft in two years, sooner or later they will outgrow many preform tub sized ponds, it might take a well planted area 10'x10' to keep them occupied with plants growing as fast as the koi nibbles them.
There are many plants which have koi proof roots. cattails, carex, iris, nuphars are but a few varieties of aquatic plant that can cope with the worst fish grazing. Creating cordoned areas within a pond can create a 'nursery' area for small starts of plants
Aquaric iris, water mint, pickerel and reeds can cope with fish grazing at their roots... Fragile but useful water filtering plants like water hyacinth could float in 'net bags' (get some black net, fine mesh, and make a koi proof 'corral' for plants to float within it... made circular, a floating 'island' of greedy water filtering plants will create an attractive feature
Some like nymphaeas, the water lilies have brittle feeder roots, which, guess what, are sold with weave baskets often, (to make an extra buck) knowing full well your kois will destroy the roots and you will be back for another water lily (kerchung)
If you plant water lilies in solid sided containers (large shallow tubs, buckets) the koi can't get at the brittle feeder roots, they do grow fine in koi pools, unless the lily is way small and delicate. There are several 'vigorous' water lilies that can cope with koi, no problem. Gladstonia, Attraction, alba, AJ Welch, etc spring to mind
All in all, a careful selection of aquatic plants will do more for your water quality and koi than any of the way pricey filters and sterilisers ....a lot less bother....
Its not a bad idea to grow plants on, away from the koi pool, in say, large water butts, so when they have established roots and growth, they are strong enough to cope with aggresive fish....
Nicer to look at, too...
(andys aquatic plant list :)