Create a Thriving Eco-System in your Water Tank

Aquatic Plants

The growing capacity of your garden does not have to be limited to what can be grown in the soil. Aquatic plants not only add to the aesthetic appeal, they aid the overall functionality of the water tank.  Advantages of Water Plants include:

  • attractive
  • improve water quality (acts as filter of unwanted substances)
  • helps eliminate algae production
  • provide food & shade for fish
  • prevent water from overheating
  • overall less maintenance required

 

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Types of Water Plants

The advantages of investing in water plants only means that you are able to further enjoy and reap the rewards of your hard work. Keep in mind that a 60% water surface coverage is ideal for these plants. There is an array of different plants that thrive in the water and that suit different environments.

  • Floating Plants
  • Marginal Plants
  • Submerged Plants
  • Oxygenating Plants

Floating Plants

water hyacinth

  • full sun
  • tender plant
  • grow and spread rapidly
  • can be invasive to other plants (may be illegal to grow in certain locations)
  • enjoy crowded spaces, do not enjoy too much space
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water lettuce

  • full sun & light shade in warmer temperatures
  • tender plant
  • quick growth rate (good coverage for price)

lotus

  • should be grown in full sun (love sunlight)
  • slow growing perennial
  • aesthetically pleasing(may not bloom in water tank)
  • colder climates, winter: keep plant dormant and cool w/o freezing plant
  • lowered to bottom of water tank during winter
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water lily

  • full sun
  • perennial, easy to grow
  • aesthetically pleasing(may not bloom in water tank)
  • shade pond/ shallow rooted plant
  • lowered to bottom of water tank during winter

hardy water lily

  • blooms spring through fall(dormant fall through winter)
  • easier to grow than tropical lilies (require a lower temperature of 60 degrees)
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tropical lily

  • dormant in winter(can be left in water/stored)
  • larger and more extravagant, fragrant
  • bloom for longer (1-2 months)
  • flowers are in bloom for longer periods
  • have higher chances of producing multiple flowers at once

frogbit

  • moderate sun
  • perennial
  • invasive (can easily take up majority of water surface)
  • dormant in winter
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parrot feather

  • highly invasive
  • low maintenance

duckweed

  • full sun
  • perennial
  • doesn’t require much attention/care
  • difficult to control plant growth
  • heavy surface coverage
  • competes with other plants for nutrients
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floating fairy moss (azolla)

  • full sun
  • difficult to control plant growth (can double/triple its biomass in just a few days)
  • competes with other plants for nutrients
  • heavy surface coverage
  • fixes nitrogen

Fairy Moss (Azolla) and Duckweed are types of highly invasive floaters. They tend to quickly take over the water surface and may end up competing with other plants for essential nutrients. When these floaters start to take over, they can be  added to  greenhouse bedding, a compost pile, or act as food for fish and chickens.

Marginal Plants

papyrus

  • full sun or partial shade
  • perennial
  • sensitive to cold
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taro

  • partial sun
  • easy to grow
  • edible when cooked

Submerged Plants

These plants need to be planted in pots with a heavy soil mix, sitting 12″ below the water’s surface. Consequently, they require stands to hold them at the required height.  Unless you have a larger dome, the chances that you will see blooming is minimal. However, the leaf structure provides a lot of interesting surface coverage.  Do not use cement blocks for stands, or any other material that may adversely affect the Ph balance of your tank.
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Oxygenating Plants

These plants should sit at least 24″ under the water’s surface to provide oxygen to the lower water regions of our tanks.  The primary oxygenators include anacharis, hornwort, and foxtail. The preferred technique in our tanks would be to suspend them inside a mesh bag (with a rock added to keep the mesh bag hanging low in the water).
 
Water plants not only add to the practicality of the water tank, they also increase the beauty within the growing dome. Until next time, Happy Gardening!

Common Fish for the Pond

Floating plants in the pond rely on the fish for their nutrients. The freshwater species of fish listed below are the most common types of fish raised in the Growing Dome pond. Local pet stores or fisheries are the best place to get freshwater fish, but they may also be purchased online and shipped to your door overnight.

  • Goldfish
  • Koi
  • Yellow Perch
  • Freshwater Sunfish, such as Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Bass
  • Tilapia
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