Water plants play more than one role in an aquatic ecosystem.
- First, they consume the same nutrients as algae. The more aquatic plants in an aquatic ecosystem consuming nutrients, the less nutrients are available to feed algae. The result is less algae - naturally.
- Second, by consuming various metals and other compounds, they help stabilize pH - again, naturally.
- Third, they provide shade. Algae grows especially fast in direct sunlight. Shade providing aquatic plants help deprive algae from its required sunlight.
- Fourth, aquatic plants are natural "sun blockers" for fish. Fish can get sunburned from exposure to direct sunlight. Aquatic plants, while shading algae from sunlight, also shade fish from sun light.
The fact that aquatic plants are stunningly beautiful is arguably the best aspect of them!
Blooming aquatic plants such as Lotus and Tropical water lilies consume huge amounts of nitrates from pond ecosystem water. In an ecosystem, the bacteria inside a biofilter converts the ammonia released from the fish to nitrite, then nitrite to nitrate in what is known as the "Nitrification Cycle".
The best approach to having water plants in your pond ecosystem is to have plants in bloom from spring till fall. The first to bloom is Marsh Marigold, and some of the last to bloom in the fall are Tropical water lilies, Marsh Aster, and Society Garlic. Its also good to have a mix of non-blooming aquatic plants such as Cattail, Rush, various types of grasses and sedges to consume other nutrients and metals that the bloomer may not consume.
The best way to achieve this goal is to go to your local nursery every month from May through September and purchase what water plant is blooming at that time. Then the next year you'll have something blooming in your pond ecosystem or water feature every month from spring into fall!
No Water Garden Pond, Hybrid Pond™, or CrossOver Pond™ is complete without water plants.
Water plants "naturalize" the pond into the landscape, give it quick "maturity", and help to discourage algae growth.