Aquatic Plants for Your Koi Pond: Why They’re Important and How to Choose the Right Ones

koi pond plants

Adding plant life to a koi pond helps improve pond life for koi, as well as adding beauty to the pond itself.

Koi owners need to make sure they select the right aquatic plants that will harmoniously co-exist with their koi. They also need to ensure that their plant placement is done properly as well as not planting vegetation that will just be eaten by the koi!

 The benefits of including aquatic plants in a koi pond

Aquatic plants are considered an excellent addition to any koi pond. Aquatic plants, in fact, help increase oxygen production in the water, helping to keep the pond properly aerated for koi. Their presence also helps keep the water cool by providing shade to the koi. Additionally, around the spring breeding season submerged plants act as a critical surface onto which female koi attach their fertilized eggs.

 

The presence of plants also prevents the spread of algae from getting out of control. The shade plants provide reduces incoming light into the pond and therefore limits photosynthesis of algae. Their natural ‘filtration’ system prevents blanket weeds (string algae) from forming, mainly through absorbing harmful nitrates that lead to their formation in the first place.

 Tips for introducing koi to plant life

The best way to introduce plants into a koi pond is building a plant shelf. This shelf can be built along the edge of the pond itself. It’s a container where water plants are suitable for planting. It’s a good idea to weigh down the plants with large rocks or stone to form a barrier between the base of the  plants and koi, preventing the risk of the koi eating the plants. Pond owners should be aware that predators like raccoons may use the shelves as a tool for feeding on your koi. For more on how to prevent pond predation see this article.

 

A vegetative filter may be an alternative to introducing aquatic plants to your pond. In this system the plants are grown in a separate containment area that connects to the main pond. The plants here can serve as a natural filtration system as water from the main pond travels in and out of the contained area. This gives you all the filtration benefits of having aquatic plants without the risk of your pond plants being eaten or dislodged.

 

Of course, you can always place aquatic plants directly into the pond itself. There are several options to choose from when deciding on which aquatic plants to put in your pond.   Pond plants can be divided into 3 main categories that are discussed below:

1)      Floating plants

2)      Shallow-water marsh plants

3)      Submerged plants

 

1)      Floating Plants

This type of pond plant can be truly free floating with its main vegetation on the surface while the roots hang down, unattached or there are types where the roots are attached to the muddy bottom. The benefits are that they are easy to care for, they provide plenty of shade for koi and they compete with algae for nutrients as well as blocking light that would have otherwise helped algae to grow, all of which greatly reduces algal growth.  Additionally, they remove a lot of the existing nitrogen and phosphates in the water and thereby do a great job of filtering the water. 

 

Water Hyacinth

Some popular choices for floating plants are water hyacinth.  This species is an annual in the colder regions of North America but a perennial in the warmer parts of the States.  They bear purple or blue flowers and their roots form a compact “nest” beneath them.  These plants do a great job of filtering the water of excess nutrients. 

Pros: Grows and reproduces easily, good filtration of nutrients

Cons: Growth can get out of control so be sure it doesn’t find its way to public waterways.  Natively free floating so more difficult to protect from nibbling koi.

water hyacinth in koi pond

Water Hyacinth

Water Lettuce

Another free floating plant is water lettuce.  This is more of a tropics/warm climate plant and forms compact leaf clusters on the surface with a compact root mass forming beneath the plant.

Pros: Forms dense top cover providing shade and hides fish from predators.

Cons: Can be invasive and out of control if let loose in public waterways.

 

Water Lettuce in a koi pond

Water Lettuce

 

Water Lilies

When it comes to floating plants with attached roots water lilies are definitely the most popular choice amongst koi pond owners and may be the top choice of any of the aquatic plants.  These plants will do well in just about any region of North America in any season and can be potted and placed at the bottom of the pond.  On the surface, pond owners with water lilies will find a pleasant array of leafy covering and beautiful flowers that will nicely accent any pond.

Pros: Adds beauty to your pond, will assimilate excess nutrients.

Cons: Growth can be excessive, will need to be regularly maintained in smaller ponds.

 

Water lily in a koi pond

Water Lily

 

Lotus

Looking similar to water lilies the lotus is one of the oldest cultivated aquatic plants and make a great addition to any koi pond.  Their leaves are typically very large, as much as 18 inches across which is great for providing shade to your koi in the summer.  Often confused with water lilies the lotus flower is very beautiful and also fragrant.  A word of caution should be noted here as these plants have a substantial growth rate and are best planted in larger koi ponds. 

Pros: Looks great in your pond.

Cons: Requires lots of sun and low humidity.

 

Lotus in koi pond

Lotus

 

Water Poppy

Water poppies produce small oval leaves and yellow flowers and are a great choice for koi ponds.  They grow fairly quickly in summer and add a nice touch of yellow to your pond while filtering the water.

Pros: Good looking plant for margins (edges) of ponds.

Cons: Susceptible to frosts.

 

water poppy in a koi pond

Water Poppy

 

2)      Shallow Water Marsh Plants

These type of aquatic plants are typically planted on the edge of your koi pond in the shallows.  They are usually very lush and do best in only several inches of water.

 

Umbrella Plants

These tropical region aquatic plants do well in shallow water and for those living in colder climates they need to be brought in during winter.  Umbrella plants, as the name suggests, have umbrella-shaped leaves at the end of long stalks.

Pros: Very nice addition to pond margins

Cons:  Depth limitation of 6 inches or less.

 

umbrella plant in a koi pond

Umbrella Plant

 

Water Iris

A favorite amongst koi pond owners the water iris comes in several different species.  They have long, sharp leaves and depending on the species may produce flowers in colors ranging from blue, white or yellow.  These plants are typically planted in pots that are then submerged.  Most iris will do great both in full sun or partial shade which is nice for those with a lot of tree cover nearby.

Pros: Aesthetically pleasing, forms good cover for fish. Remove toxins well.

Cons: Susceptible to pests.

water iris in a koi pond

Water Iris


These pond plant references have served me well over the years.  You can learn more about them below.

Encyclopedia of Water Garden PlantsThe Water Gardeners Bible


Horsetail

This plant produces a slender green stem and is fast growing.  It is best placed on the peripheral parts of your pond and will do great in partial shade.

Pros: Great water filtration.

Cons: Can get out of control if not maintained.

 

horsetail in a koi pond

Horsetail

 

3)      Submerged Plants

 

Suberged plants are usually grown in pots then placed at the bottom of a koi pond.  Referred to as oxygenating plants this class of aquatic plants do a great job of removing excess nutrients from the water such as nitrites as well as CO2 and add oxygen to the water.  One word of caution though, these plants are often uprooted and eaten by grazing koi so care must be taken to protect them.

 

Fanwort

This submerged plant is a fast growing oxygenator (much like the similar Hornwort) and requires a good deal of light. These plants can grow up to an inch per day and can be propagated using cuttings.

Pros: Good attachment plant for koi eggs during breeding, good oxygenator.

Cons: Won’t do well in shade, needs plenty of sun.

 

fanwort in a koi pond

Fanwort

 

American Waterweed (Elodea)

These plants do well with pond substrates that are silty.  They are completely submerged with the exception of small white flowers that bloom at the surface.  It is great at utilizing the dissolved CO2 in the water and providing cover for fish, especially small koi.  Sometimes the leafy stalks will break off and float away to take root in another part of the pond.  They do very well in milder climates.

Pros: Good place for koi eggs to attach, will stay green year round (through winter), will assimilate excess nutrients.

Cons: Can get really out of control and should not be allowed in public waterways.

 

elodea in a koi pond

Elodea

 

Water Purslane (Ludwigia)

There are many species in the Ludwigia family but Red Ludwigia is a good choice for your pond as this plant grows fast and is a great oxygenator.  It can be planted as a submerged addition to your pond or you can let it float.  They produce small flowers and their leaves are a reddish or purple color.  They typically do well in a lot of direct light.

Pros: Many species exist so there will be one for your region. Generally hardy.

Cons: Edge planted forms will produce fine seeds that can blow onto and germinate in wet lawns. Submerged forms need plenty of light for ideal growth.

water purslane in a koi pond

Water Purslane

By |2018-01-11T03:13:20+00:00July 24th, 2013|Aquatic Plants|46 Comments

About the Author:

I have been interested in fish for over 25 years. I have two degrees in marine science with a specialization in fish ecology and physiology (as well as a chemistry minor). Like many kids, I had a goldfish growing up but decades later took care of several koi ponds. Koi are such great pets and very accessible for many folks wanting to get into owning koi in a pond environment.

46 Comments

  1. Nancy Schorsch May 12, 2014 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    I have a large pond with large koi in it. Every spring it gets a green alge & cant see the koi. We have cleaned all the filters and still isnt getting clear. What is the best thing to do to solve this problem?

    Thank You,

    • Koi-Care staff May 22, 2014 at 3:48 pm - Reply

      This occurrence is typical of spring time and rising water temps and longer sunny days. The condition is sometimes referred to as “green water”.
      Green water which is essentially single celled algae is often associated with spring and summer as that is when ponds begin to experience increases in sunlight and water temps.- both important elements for algal growth. However, another element that aids in algal growth is nutrients such as nitrates. So right off the bat check your water chemistry and make sure you’re not feeding to excess which can result in higher nitrate levels. There are chemicals out there as you’ve discovered that will help to mitigate for green water and those include a products like AlgaeFix and Accu Clear. To really get at the heart of the problem though your water chemistry comes first and after that the next best approach is an in-line UV light as part of your filtration system. UV is a very effective control for algae and doesn’t involve chemicals that have the potential to complicate things.
      Hope this helps

    • LJ December 23, 2016 at 11:13 pm - Reply

      We try not to use chemicals instead we made another make shift filter for more aeration We plug it in and let it run for a day and you can see all the algae start to disappear!!! ?We used a small pump we had that was used for a turtle that shoots water out of its mouth! More aeration !!!!

  2. Rodger McPherson August 5, 2014 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    What salinity level do you recommend for koi ponds with plants?
    Thanks- Rodger McPherson

    • Koi-Care staff August 5, 2014 at 6:16 pm - Reply

      Rodger, that answer will depend on what type of plants you have in your pond. Some plants have higher tolerances than others, some have lower. As far as koi tolerance goes here is an excerpt from my site:
      The use of salt in koi ponds has, for long time, been a tried and true method to deal with various water quality and health problems that arise. Some of the benefits of salt is that its a cheap way to keep some disease at bay, control algae and may also lower nitrite toxicity. Additionally, salt plays a part in the osmotic pressure between the fish and the outside aquatic environment. There is a differential between the solute concentration of the fish’s blood and the fresh water that it swims in so the addition of salt actually lowers that concentration differential and makes it easier on the fish by reducing the amount of work its body has to do. A salinity of up to 5 ppt (parts per thousand) or 0.5 % is acceptable.
      -Grant

  3. pondman August 27, 2014 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    I have noticed that my pond as gone green and my filtering system is in good nick ive tryed algo rem and it not done anything what else can I do please let me know thanks

    • Koi-Care staff August 31, 2014 at 1:33 am - Reply

      I have a new article about algae blooms with a section on green water -here is the link it will have lots of good solutions for your green water issue.

  4. lovemykoi September 29, 2014 at 5:27 am - Reply

    For years I’ve had water hyacinths in my koi pond and they’ve been so healthy and prolific that I’ve given them away by the trash bag full. This year they look awful,they are yellow and brown and burnt looking, have had NO flowers and the roots being eaten by the koi. The only difference is that I bought two butterfly koi last spring and added them to my pond. Are they more voracious? Is that why my water hyacinths are being eaten? Have they taught all the others to eat the roots?

    • Koi-Care staff October 2, 2014 at 12:54 pm - Reply

      Hi, well for starters, and like i advise many pond owners, is to check water chemistry. If, for example, your pH is high you can experience what you have going on with your hyacinth. Your problem probably doesn not stem from the roots being eaten but it may stem from the new fish. There is a possibility that your new fish, if not properly quarantined prior to letting them into your pond, may have brought in a disease that is affecting your hyacinth. I would be more inclined to lean towards a water chemistry issue though. Is there anything else that has changed? Like the weather? More hot this year than last?

      Thanks for responding so quickly.
      It’s spring water, just like it’s always been. When I take some hyacinths out and put them in a barrel with no fish or in with my goldfish, the color returns and and the roots grow long.
      I bought the two new butterfly koi from the same pond and garden store where I’ve bought all my fish. They do quarantine their fish before selling them.
      The only thing different this year is the two butterfly koi and the hyacinths with hardly any roots at all. Are butterfly koi more likely to eat the hyacinths than regular koi?
      I’ve heard that you can make things that float with netting on the bottom that you put the plants in so the fish won’t eat the roots. So you know how to make one of these? Or do you know where I could find out how to make one or more of these?
      Thanks,

      Given your barrel test it sounds like it is indeed your new butterfly koi (unless you have some other fish or pests that entered the system recently that are eating the roots). I don’t know butterfly koi to be particularly fond of roots or have a larger than normal appetite but your new koi may very well have a taste for it. The only other thing different with the butterfly koi is the propensity for mechanical fin damage (splitting). I assume you used the same pond water for your barrel experiment? As far as the floating netting goes I have heard of it but never seen anyone need to do it personally. I imagine it would be some pretty small mesh netting attached to a circular float ( a modified pool noodle perhaps) and weighted at the bottom.I found this on Foster and Smith (http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=16852)
      good luck

  5. Scott Guerra October 7, 2014 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    I introduced for the first time, water lettuce to my fish pond. I was thrilled on how it multiplied and covered the pond to protect the temperature of the water as well as adding oxygen to the water. Winter will be here soon. Do I leave these plants in…or take them out. If I take them out, how soon should I do this? Thanks for your time, Scott PA

    • Koi-Care staff November 4, 2014 at 4:00 pm - Reply

      Water lettuce needs to go. As far as timing of removal you want to do it before they get damaged by frost. The nice thing is, and as you’ve discovered, they multiply pretty readily so when it warms up again you can get a whole new batch going.
      -grant

  6. Robin May 7, 2015 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Hello!
    My Koi are hiding! My water is filtered, the water is clear, and the temperature is about 55 to 58 degrees.
    Last year four of the Koi were trapped by raccoons who climbed into my small pond, and feasted on my fish. I replaced the Kopi with fish that had overwintered in the pond of the garden center.
    This year I put in milk boxes so that the Koi would have a safe place to hide. they do not seem to come to the surface, and eat only a portion of the food I give them. They move very slowly, and do not come from under the milk box and swim.
    Should I wait for warmer temperatures, and the floating water plant to cover the surface? Is this normal behaviour; Do Koi prefer to lie still and gather in pods?
    Do I need to wait for later in the season, and but more active fish?
    I appreciate any response.
    Robin of Long Island, New York

    • Koi-Care staff May 7, 2015 at 6:52 pm - Reply

      Certainly if you water is still cold they will not be as active but if they have been molested in the past by wading birds or raccoons then I am not surprised that they are shy. They may still be getting “night visitors” by various animals but you may not realize it. Give it some time though and you should see some more activity as the water warms.
      -grant

  7. Carol Smith August 21, 2015 at 12:13 am - Reply

    I have a very small pond with 7 fish. The pond is about the size of a small car but not more than 18 inches deep at the deepest part. Years ago I put 3 potted water lillys in it. Some still bloom but there is now a huge amount of dirt and weeds and peppermint plants growing out of all the dirt. It looks awful. I am having someone come and clean the pond out this weekend. My fish need some shade. Is there any kind of plant that will help protect them that won’t take over the pond and get all messy and ugly? I live in Indiana, so very cold winters.

    • Koi-Care staff August 30, 2015 at 1:12 am - Reply

      Water hyacinth would be a good choice for your situation and location.
      -Grant

  8. Janet Schuler November 16, 2015 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    We have two 5-year-old koi residing for the first time in a 150 gal cattle feeder under an alder tree. They have a bio filter with a strong waterfall. Last spring we added floating plants and four potted plants. Everything thrived during this past hot summer on the California coast. With winter on its way, the plants have overgrown and there’s little sunshine hitting the water. I recently read that potted plants can steal oxygen during the winter (and we do generally get under 1en days of frost here). My question is, have we over planted this temporary pond, and how can we ensure the fish get enough oxygen and warmth?

    • Koi-Care staff December 1, 2015 at 2:50 am - Reply

      I don’t know about plant’s winter time use of oxygen but certainly they use oxygen at night when photosynthesis is not occurring but its a pretty insignificant amount. Are your fish going to be starved of oxygen because you have a ton of oxygen-producing aquatic plants? Nope. Also, keep in mind that the colder the water the greater its ability to harbor dissolved oxygen. And about warmth, these fish can overwinter under ice so they are no strangers to cold. I would certainly monitor the water temps and feed accordingly (http://koi-care.com/feeding-koi-water-temperatures-change/) though.

  9. snguyentran January 9, 2016 at 2:42 am - Reply

    Im planning on building an above ground koi pond about three to 4.5 feet deep in my screen house. I live in FL and already have established lotus and lily plants. How well will they do if I pot them? The article suggested the lotus for larger ponds; will mine be big enough?

    • Koi-Care staff March 28, 2016 at 7:42 pm - Reply

      Just don’t use commercial soil to do so -it floats. You want to get a soil that is a decent mixture of clay and sand (kind of heavier). You may not want to go all the way to the bottom in your situation. I wouldn’t put more than 20 inches of water over the top of the soil.

  10. Kathy Bamber January 15, 2016 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    Just starting a Koi pond and found this site to be so helpful.

  11. Cody March 23, 2016 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    So I have a 800 gallon koi pond and about 48 inches to its deepest point. With about 12 inches at its most shallow point, this is technically my hand made ledge. It has a hollowed out turtles log the koi use some times. It has great shade from my trees and a large purple azalea. I have a large water lily but was looking to get some oxygenating plants as well that are submersible. I saw the three that had been listed the hornwart was my first option but i was curious on “rotala” plants? Would this be a suitable submersible plant? And i was wondering where I could find some type of bamboo plant as well.

    I’m constantly manipulating the pond every year to make it better. I wanted to ask about adding in a bottom drain. I know I have the room and can make a slight slant as well so there’s some form of runoff to help get waste into the filter I was curious how cost effective the pump is and if it’s even worth putting one in.

    Finally my last question, I have never had any issue the past 2 years with any critters attempting to get my fish, birds or any four legged animals. I have four outdoor cats that love my pond and in a sense protect it. My question is i was thinking of putting up my netting agian this year. I had stretched it between my trees and about 8 feet up above the pond. I pulled it down because sadly there were a few incidences involving birds becoming snared and dieing. It was not my intentions to kill any animals but I also had an incident where my cat was tangled up with netting when I would lay it over the pond and I could not risk having my cat fall in and drown. Any way I can work around keeping leaves out of the pond with out negatively effecting the wild life around my house as well as protecting my own pets.

    Thanks so much for your feedback

    • Koi-Care staff March 28, 2016 at 7:15 pm - Reply

      Hi, sorry -you’re question somehow slipped past me and am just now seeing it. So to answer your question about rotala , the rotala rotundifolia is a great submerged plant and will even break the surface.
      As far as pumps are concerned the cost to run them will depend on the RPM’s, if you are running them 24/7, how big the pump is, the wattage, your kilowatt price per hour, etc. roughly $50 to 80 per month but again there are quite a few variables involved. If you already have a pump then it (bottom drain line) should simply hook into your pre-existing pump. They typically run from the bottom drain to a settling chamber then on to your pump. I am in the process of adding more to my store but I began by carrying Performance Pro pumps -they are American made and have a solid reputation.
      Now on to keeping birds and cats out of your pond. Thats a tough situation: one thing you could do is put an angled barrier of netting that originates near the water-land interface and angles in towards the center of the pond. Maybe something like a 45 degree angle and I believe that will keep the wading birds far enough away that they cannot strike at fish and the cats won’t get caught up in it. Sounds like your shelf is too deep for wading birds to land on anyway so I think the angled netting could work. Maybe make the fence something like 2-3 feet high? Though as i write this you could probably make the fence net vertical too.
      Hope this helps.
      -Grant

  12. mariehelene moreira April 29, 2016 at 1:19 am - Reply

    How to assure that the Koys don’t eat the water Lilies. And there is a plant they dont eat?
    thanks

    • Koi-Care staff July 11, 2016 at 3:48 pm - Reply

      They eat just about anything in their pond that is growing. You can protect your plants with a floating plant protector.

  13. cpv May 21, 2016 at 1:43 am - Reply

    I have put water lilies, lotus, water hyacinth, water lettuce and others. The koi eat and or damage all of it.

    • Koi-Care staff July 11, 2016 at 3:21 pm - Reply

      Check out this product.
      -Grant

  14. Arlene May 27, 2016 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    I have two ponds, adjacent to each other, both getting the same water at fill up time. One pone has a perfect ph of 7.8, the larger pond 10,000 gallons has a ph of 9. How do I lower the ph of the larger pond effectively.

    • Koi-Care staff July 11, 2016 at 3:14 pm - Reply

      Hi, the time of day that you test your pond is important due to the natural pH swings that occur throughout the day in relation to the photosynthetic/respiration process of aquatic plants and algae. You may have a 1.0 swing in pH in a day due to these processes. 9 is not terrible as long as you don’t get pH changes over a small amount of time. Keep an eye on it and look for big shifts and if you want to add some acid there are products like this you can use. In the meantime, in order to buffer shifts in pH its always a good idea to have some calcium carbonate material in the pond. Add some calcium carbonate gravel or small rocks of the same material to give you long term buffering capability. This gravel or rock might be sold under the name “Agricultural limestone”.
      As far as keeping out mink and other would-be predators there is a koi pond netting you can get or you could set up some sort of net barrier that rises up from the water’s edge -it can either be vertical or set at an angle towards the center of the pond where if one tried to climp on or over it they would have a hard time of it (animals hate to step on perforated things like grates or netting where their feet can fall through)
      -Grant

  15. Dorie Long June 12, 2016 at 11:31 am - Reply

    We have a pond which holds approximately 700 gallons. Whatever weed we have tried the fish eat the lot, we have Koi and one additional large fish which a big bird dropped out of the sky, but it survived,we wondered if it could be the culprit. Is there any plant that the fish won`t eat? Thankyou

    • Koi-Care staff July 1, 2016 at 8:04 pm - Reply

      No, they eat most plants and anything else they can get their fins on. Certainly your sky fish could be a species more prone to eating plants. There are net shrouds you can buy for plants to protect them though. I can send you a plant netting if you like.
      -Grant

  16. Barbara July 18, 2016 at 2:23 am - Reply

    Very useful info here. Our pond is 2000+ gallons, 3-4 ft deep, 25′ long. We have 4 koi about a foot long and 3 yrs old. Also have about 70 2yr old gold fish from a few that spawned.

    Question is, we are going on a 2 week vacation. Bought a feeder programmed to deliver 3x day. Won’t be running the big filter but have a smaller floating one which will give some aeration. Have lots of floating plants. Hope to give away half the goldfish before we go. Any tips on how to keep the koi healthy while we’re gone?

    Also is there a feeding guideline other than the 5 min rule? Fish are eating 9 Tbls of food a day in 3 increments. Always act hungry. Too much or too little? My fish also eat a grapefruit a day. I quarter them and remove skins next day. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to fruit feed while in vacation.

    FYI, I solved my heron issue with fruit tree netting 2 ft above pond surface. It’s almost invisible, and I can hunch wade under it.

  17. Carl August 8, 2016 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    Hi, I’m new to the pond world, I have a small 700litres pond, my question is do I need to have oxygen plants at the bottom of my pond.I have a air pump with two air stones, one on either side of the pond.adding oxygen.

  18. Anthony Jensen October 27, 2016 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    I just put in a pond (preformed liner without soil or gravel) that measures about 20sq ft of surface area. I would like to have some goldfish and plants and am thinking that I could support about 5 goldfish with proper filtration. My question is if I put 3 lilies and some water hyacinth in the pond, would I need to also add submerged plants? I have a water fall that helps with aeration. Also, if I had the lilies and hyacinth, do you think that I would need to feed the fish or would they be self sufficient with the vegetation? I live in San Diego, so the weather is fairly mild all year.

    • Koi-Care staff February 3, 2017 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      Anthony, it really can’t hurt to put in some submerged plants -it makes the fish more comfortable as they will want places to hide/hang out. If you happen to have koi fry (babies) that is where they will take refuge. You may get away with not feeding your fish at some point down the road when your pond is established and seasoned but more than likely you will have to supplement (just don’t overfeed because that is where pond owners run into trouble).
      -Grant

  19. Irma G Fiametta March 22, 2017 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    I would appreciate if you can help me with this concern.
    We have a large pond, 6000 gallons or so. For now, we only have goldfish but would like to add Koi. But, I have read in so many different sites, where they say Koi are messy and they dig out and eat the plants, especially the submerged plants.
    We just dropped submerged Hornwort, Cabomba and Anacharis with a lead weight instead of planting them. Will they Koi eat these plants left submerged without planting? Thanks so much for your help!

    • Koi-Care staff August 8, 2018 at 1:09 pm - Reply

      Irma,
      hornwort is probably the most koi resistant of them all, not sure about Cabomba though it should grow fast enough that it shouldn’t be an issue. Anacharis, yes they will eat that. Some folks will cover the roots or pot with rocks heavy enough that they can’t mess with the root area.

  20. Terry April 30, 2017 at 12:04 am - Reply

    Our water lilies are now maybe 4-6 years old and several have grown out of their containers (maybe 2-4 feet away). Since it seems like they are doing well can we just leave them? Will it affect our liner and could they root THROUGH the liner? We had koi, but something go them this spring. We’ll probably get a whole bunch of peanuts (baby koi) this year. We have a 3,500 gallon.
    Thanks!

    • Koi-Care staff August 8, 2018 at 1:01 pm - Reply

      Hi, the short answer is that roots CAN go through liners. Some plants, depending on the size if their roots, have a greater probability of penetrating than others but it can happen. Kerping them in pots makes it easier to move them when cleaning the muck from the bottom etc.
      Grant

  21. Gai macpherson May 28, 2017 at 8:30 am - Reply

    I put plants in like water poppies iand the kids( fish) ate the soil and made our new pond very cloudy.
    I have removed the plants and the the water is once again clear.
    We are novices with our new pond .
    We have 4 big koi’ s
    I would like to have plants to make their home nicer .
    I need to know how to add plants .
    Can somebody advise please

    • Koi-Care staff August 8, 2018 at 12:57 pm - Reply

      Hi, yes they can be pretty destructive. There is a product out there that you can shroud your plants with that will keep curious koi out of your plants. Just click the link in the last sentence to see how they work.

  22. Thomas Delgado July 6, 2017 at 2:23 am - Reply

    Hello! I have a rather small above ground pond of about 160 gallons in a 4 foot diameter round water container. The container is 2 feet tall. The temperature of the water in my pond here in South Texas gets to be around 82-86 degrees F in the middle of the hot day. I currently have 2 small koi and 3 shubunkins in there now. Is this temperature tolerable for them? I offer shade in the way of a lot of floating hornwort and water lillies. Does hornwort or anacharis go bad after awhile and how will I know when it’s time to replace them? Thanks for the advice and great site!

    • Koi-Care staff August 8, 2018 at 12:51 pm - Reply

      Ideally, 65-75 is best.Though they can handle temps of up to 85 it should be for short periods. Have you looked into chillers for your pond? I can’t say that personally i have ever had to employ them so i can’t help you too much but I know that some pond owners have to resort to using them. The other thing you can do is have a deeper pond that allows for cooler areas at the bottom. You really want to make sure you have plenty of aeration in those kinds of temps. too.
      -Grant

  23. Joo October 3, 2017 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    Thank you grant for the info. Where can one go to buy water purslane?

    Also, I bought some water lettuce and they grew very well for a few months to the point where it took over the entire surface of the pond. Over time they started to look yellow and the leaves are breaking off. The pond is in direct sunlight and it grew well for sometime. So I’m thinking the koi have gotten a taste of the lettuce? Can I have them recover by taking them out or are they shot? I bought a few plant protectors online and should be coming soon. Anything suggestions would be great. I have two large koi and about 10-15 fry.

    • Koi-Care staff August 8, 2018 at 12:34 pm - Reply

      Purslane? not sure about that one. I might call my local plant and shrub shop and even if they don’t have it I bet they would know where to find it.
      The dangling root structure is probably getting torn up by the koi. My feeling is that they are probably done but fortunately just a few new ones will set you on your way to lots more! There is a floating plant protector that I sell on my site that a few folks have used with good luck.
      -Grant

  24. Franz December 30, 2017 at 10:41 am - Reply

    I have a 6ft (depth) i pond WHAT plants (submersible) can I safely put in my pond?

    • Koi-Care staff August 8, 2018 at 12:26 pm - Reply

      Elodea is a good but it can get thick. Dont let it get out of your pond and to a public waterway.

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