Aug 19, 2009, 5:39 AM
Post #25 of 112
Here is an interesting write up by Jim Reilly on the subject of plants in the water, as lifted off Koi-Bito forum. His words are worth a lot more than my own..
No plants in a koi pond! Just like we have no gravel in koi ponds, the scale of koi in a closed system does not make for a healthy environment. The simplest way to cut to the chase on plants in koi ponds is to say that the premise for using plants in a koi pond is flawed.
In the majority of cases, plants are used with one of two things in mind, 1) that plants make for a balanced system like in nature. And 2) that plants remove nitrate do that they are a form of filtration. As I said, both there beliefs are incorrect.
A closed system in which you place an ungodly amount of fish, by body weight to water volume, can never be viewed as a 'natural system' and will NEVER work that way. Just as we have to create an artificial zone for massive bacteria proliferation, we would need to create a major plant bed (remote) for plants to make a meaningful contribution to water quality. And even then, the massive chamber would also be adding more water , but non stockable water, to assist in the illusion that plants were a real benefit. To point #2, plants remove nitrate from water. But koi produce 10X - 100X what plants need in this regard. The selling point that plants are nitrate removers is they grow so well in the presence of fish nitrogenous waste. But that is a tribute to the powers of the nitrogenous waste to benefit plants- not that plants are living sponges that remove all the waste koi are producing. A simple water change will remove more nitrate more efficiently than a section of plants will, and add back more benefits than plants do in the process.
Lastly carp are not ideally found where water plants grow. They go to planted areas to feed and spawn but LIVE in faster moving water situations. The best plant environment is a slow moving warm water environment. Koi like and flourish in the opposite. Plants need shallow water, koi need deeper water. Plants like nutrients, koi need to be protected against progressive nutrification in their environment. Plants like carbon dioxide and neutral to acidic water conditions, koi like neutral to slightly alkaline systems and low carbon dioxide.
I do appreciate that a very stable water garden with a few tosai can have benefit for that stage of life. Lots of food, shade, low stress- all good. But the scale can be disrupted as the fish grow or additional individuals are added. this is a 'situation' of success and not a 'formula' for success. IMHO JR
And here is another interesting thread to read, also on Koi-Bito forum.
I think most parasites carried by plants come in the soil/roots. Anchor worms, argulus, even leeches and snails. Strange as it may sound, plants must be quarantined/treated before adding to koi ponds too.
There's a whole debate out there on the international forums on water gardeners vs serious koi keeping, which Brother Larry is very in tune with . By and large, you will be very hard pressed to find any serious hobbyist who has plants in his koi pond. And there are reasons why this is so. Very generally speaking, and without prejudice or offence to anyone, the WG group tends to look at his pond as a beautiful water feature (the beauty of the koi is peripheral) whilst the serious koi keeper looks to his KOI as the works of art, and not the pond per se. To each his own, I guess.
(This post was edited by PH8 on Aug 19, 2009, 6:01 AM)