The Pond and More Wildflowers

April 26th, 2007

More rain today, but it gave me a chance to catch up inside.  I did explore a little outdoors between showers… I can’t hardly stay inside during Spring.  The pond has a greenish coloration now- it’s a healthy mild bloom of phytoplankton, or microscopic algae that grow with the increased sunlight and warming temperatures.  The phytoplankton are important to the pond’s ecosystem not only for producing oxygen while consuming carbon dioxide, but also as part of the food chain.  Everything eats something else, and to maintain a healthy fish population it must begin with the smallest living things.  Sometimes the pond will develop a bloom of filamentous algae- the green stringy algae.  Filamentous algae is not desirable and can be difficult to eradicate.  If there are too many nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous entering the pond from drainage or runoff of fertilized fields, then filamentous algae may bloom excessively.  So far this year there is very little of the filamentous algae which is great.  But it probably will come in a month or so- we’ll just have to see how much we get this year.  I stocked both Grass Carp and Koi last year in an effort to help control pond vegetation.

The pod in Spring

I found another species of violet- this one is Viola pedata, or Birdfoot Violet.  The flower is slightly wilted already, but it’s neat to see the slender leaves of this species.

Birdfoot Violet on a rocky slope

I tried to identify this species but was unable so far.  It is about dime sized, with red stems- an interesting flower. It’s the only one I’ve seen of this species so far.

An unknown Missouri wildflower

4 Responses to “The Pond and More Wildflowers”

  1. Vince

    I have a Koi pond in my back yard in Miami, Florida, which is approximately 3 feet deep by 16 feet by 17 feet. It is made from a flexible pond liner and is covered all over with Honeycut large rocks. I have two water falls; one is powered by a 5,600 gph pump as well as a 3,600 ghp pump, both are submerged about 1 to 1/2 feet from the bottom. the other waterfall is powered by a 2,800 gph pump located inside a skimmer and connected to the water fall receptacle where I have lava rocks for good bacteria to grow. I cleaned the pond last week since the water was looked murky, had a lot of dead bamboo leaves in the bottom and had algae growth. Even though the water looked murkey, it was clear, but had minute particles in it. I cleaned out the bottom and replaced the fish and put new water, adding beneficial bacteria daily. Yesterday the pond started developing algae and again the water seems a little murky. The rocks lining the sides are starting to get a green color to them and the water, although looks crystal clear when it drops from both waterfalls, does not seen clear when you look down on the pond and the bottom is now difficult to see.
    Would you know what I am doing incorrectly and what should I do to correct this problem in order to be able to see the bottom and enjoy our fish? Please help. Many thanks, Vince

  2. Hi Vince- Wow… that’s a tough problem. I’m certainly not an expert, especially on your types of ponds, even with a lot of Biology, fisheries and wildelife education. The thing is… you obviously live where it is warm and sunny most of the time, and the water temperatures will be warm most of the year. With the sunlight comes the algae, and the way people control it is either with filters or chemical treatments, or both. I think part of the challenge is for shallower ponds, the sun penetrates to the bottom and the algae cycle just keeps going. But just because the water isn’t “clear” that’s not all bad… there will always be some algae and growth- you’ve created a natural environment for your fish… as much as we would like it to be a perfect and clear fish tank, I doubt that’s possible. If it becomes covered in the stringy algae, or the filamentous algae, then that is the real challenge. But if it’s just regular algae, there are a few chemicals and water treatments that could help. And one of the keys I think you have already addressed… keeping as much organic matter out of the water. Leaves and other natural debris will provide a lot of phosphorous and other elements in the water that will really promote algae growth, so you definitely have the right idea by keeping it clean. Have you consulted with any of the pond specialty shops or the internet for possible ideas? It sounds like a wonderful pond though! I wish you the best… if I see any research that might help I’ll let you know. Thanks for stopping in- Steve

  3. Greg

    Have you tried water plants as they use up nutrients from fish and other decaying items that enter your pond. Plants also add oxygen back into the water.

  4. Hi Greg- Thanks for stopping by; I have not added water plants much as I’m concerned I’ll make the wrong choice and have a different problem later… ! But it would be great if I could find a nice lily or something that didn’t become too invasive? Great point though…

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