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fish and scavengers for your water garden

by dig the dirt editor

Adding fish and scavengers to your water garden help balance out it's ecosystem!

 

Gone fishin'

Fish add movement, life, and beauty to your water garden. These colorful creatures are more than just ornaments—they also round out your aquatic eco-system and will happily feast on any mosquito larvae that hatch in your pond.

Probably the most highly prized pond fish is the Japanese koi. These exquisite animals have been bred for hundreds of years and come in an array of sparkling colors. Butterfly koi have long flowing fins and come in yellow, silver, gold and orange with black.

Butterfly-koi.detail

butterfly koi

Another interesting fish is the golden orfe. These fast moving fish are voracious insect hunters, forming small schools that will patrol your pond. And finally, no water garden is complete without at least a few goldfish.

 

The clean-up crew


Pond scavengers, such as snails, mussels, and tadpoles, are eager clean-up crew members and help to keep a water garden healthy and free of algae. Live-bearing trapdoor snails eat algae from the side walls and bottom of a pond. Freshwater clams filter algae from water, and tadpoles eat decaying vegetation and algae (and later turn into insect-devouring frogs, Rana catesbiana).

Image

trapdoor snails

Tags

fish, snails, tadpoles, mussels, water garden, fish for your water garden

comments

very cool stuff- how do you keep the raccoons out of your pond though?? those animals are intense and will do anything for a fresh fish!
Sprite
FigTree commented on 06/07/10
I really dont how I have managed to keep them out other than: luck, or I am out there practically all the time, or it's very well lit by solar lights, or I have a golden retriever, or the fish have plenty of cover with the water hyacinth. I do live on the very edge of town, there's a farm field edging my back yard, so I am sure the raccoons are out there...
Sprite
harry4 replied: on 06/13/10
I purchased trapdoor snails for my pond last season, and they are pretty tough. Many of them made it through our harsh Iowa winter in the frozen pond! They do a wonderful job of cleaning the place up. I have not seen any live young yet, wether that means they have not bred or my fish have eaten the young, I haven&#x27;t a clue. <br/>Also, the snails get huge! Some are as large as golf balls. =]
Sprite
harry4 commented on 06/06/10
good to know-- do they get out of the pond and invade the garden though? - or is that a different kind of snail?
Sprite
FigTree replied: on 06/07/10
I really wish I knew the answer to that! I have found empty shells...my hubby thinks sometimes they abandon their home and go off to be slugs, or maybe they just died...I have no evidence either way. I have seen no increase in the activity of slugs around my hosta, though! =]
Sprite
harry4 replied: on 06/13/10

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