Plants are an integral part of a fish pond because they keep the water aerated, help prevent excessive algae growth and add shade for fish. By picking suitable water plants, you can foster a healthy environment for fish and your pond as a whole.
Choose plants based on a few specific criteria. Plants serve a number of purposes and as a result, you should not skimp on plants in a fish pond. You need a multitude of plants to use nutrients from the pond water to keep it clean, plants to provide surface shade to shelter fish and deter algae, and plants to add decoration to your pond.
Use multi-purpose plants when necessary to cut down on the amount of plants you have to buy and ultimately save money. Plants like water lilies can grow to be quite large and they clean the water, add shade and serve as decoration when they flower.
Buy marginal plants to occupy the edges of your pond. Marginal plants are specifically suited to shallow water, so they work nicely in shallow inlets and shelves in pre-shaped ponds.
Add floaters for interest. A wide variety of floating plants that don't require any potting are available to fish pond builders. Water hyacinths, fairy moss and water lettuce are inexpensive and keep excessive light from penetrating the water, thus keeping algae at bay. Floats are also a supplemental food source for fish, as koi and goldfish like to snack on the floating roots.
Select submerged plants when adding foliage to your pond. Submerged oxygenator plants are the most efficient at adding oxygen to the water of your pond. They release oxygen as a part of photosynthesis, and they also add hiding places for fish and cover for them to spawn.
Perform regular plant maintenance. Plants like water lilies, various grasses and irises, require pots to grow. Like land plants, they are planted into soil in basket-like pots. As a result, these plants need to be repotted periodically. Some plants, water lilies especially, require fertilizer pellets pressed into the soil to grow abundantly.