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HOW TO OBTAIN A NATURAL POND BALANCE

 

Sun, depth, dimensions, water movements and temperature, differ between each pond.

The following example will be helpful in achieving a natural balance for your pond. 

The recommendation for each square metre of surface area:

  • Two bunches of oxygenating plants

These help in maintaining water clarity, and reducing the proliferation of green algae.

  • One medium to large water lily

These help to provide surface coverage preventing evaporation and for the fish to hide.

  • Two fish - Gold Fish or Native Rainbows

These control pests such as aphids, flies and mosquito larvae and other insects.

  • One bog plant or small marginal plant (per two square metres)

These help to consume excess pond nitrogen and phosphates.

  • Do not feed fish in the pond

Fish are algae, larvae eaters and by feeding them you are adding more nutrients into your pond that will make algae grow.

 

CARING FOR YOUR WATERLILY

 

Upon arrival of your water lilies, take care of taking them out of the bag and ensure they are placed in your pond immediately.

  • Unfold the leaves and ensure the leaves are turned upright and sitting flat on the water.
  • Your water lily must be in at least or greater than 30cm of water.
  • Your water lily must be in full sun for at least 4 hours of the day to flower.
  • Do not put your water lilies near fountains they do not like continuously water splashing on them.
  • This causes the leaves to rot and the water lily will eventually die.
  • Water Lilies need feeding at least every 4-6 weeks during their growing season.
  • To fertilise water lilies, you must first remove the pot from the pond and push your finger or a stick into the potting mixture and place about 1 teaspoon of slow releasing fertiliser into the hole and cover it. Then carefully place back into the pond.
  • Remove spent leaves and flowers from your water lilies; this will encourage growth of new leaves and flowers.
  • If you do not wish to remove the spent leaves and flowers, they will naturally sink beneath the water and compost.
  • If you wish to re pot your water lily, use a clay mix (do not use potting mix) and then top with sand to keep the clay from coming out of the pot and fertilise.

 

COMMON PROBLEMS:

 

ALGAE - Naturally occurs in pond water. If excess greening occurs, adding more Oxygenating plants will reduce algae growth to an acceptable level. If the Algae becomes stringy (blanket weed), it may be that the pond water is alkaline. Check the PH of the water (a PH tester can be purchased from any aquarium) it should be in between 6-8. Remove the stringy algae by hand or by twisting a stick through and removing as much as possible.

 

AQUATIC PESTS

CADDIS FLY - is a small white moth like insect that will pupate under water and usually it will pupate in the stem or under the leaf of the waterlily. They will eventually rot the stem of the waterlily. Adding fish such as rainbow or gold fish to your pond will control some of the problem and they are also good in controlling mosquito larvae. The only other thing you can do is to remove the caddis fly by hand or removing the infected leaves.

 

CHINA MARK MOTH The larvae of the china mark moth is the one that attacks the waterlilies. They often cut pieces of the waterlily pad and attach themselves between two layers. There are several forms of damage. Rounded pieces cut out of the pads are most obvious. When the caterpillar grows larger, they are most often found around the under edges of the pads and can also be found attached to the stem. Hand picking them off will control some of the problem.

 

The Good

The Bad

The Ugly

 

SNAILS - there are good snails and there are bad snails. The bad snails are grey roundish that cause all the problems. These snails will over populate and start eating your water lily. To fix the problem scoop out as many snails as possible or clean out your pond and add FISH they will eat the jelly eggs that the snail lays under the leaf and control the population.

APHIDS - What a pest these little buggers are. If the leaves on a water lily are turning yellow, take a good look and you will see tiny Aphids. These buggers really suck the life out of plants. A good way to eradicate them naturally is to dunk the leaves under water, or use a high pressured hose to wash them off into the pond. The fish will love them. Remove yellow leaves as they seem to be more attacted to If the infestation is severe, a little trick is to wipe the leaves with a very small amount of olive oil and hose them off and then scoop them out with a net. Be sure not to use any insecticides as these chemicals will kill your fish .

 

   
   

 

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