Another elephant ear question

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plants' started by JustJack, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. JustJack

    JustJack Jack of all trades

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    Are elephant ears poisonous to fish? I didn't know they were poisonous at all until just this month, so I tried to find info on whether they are poisonous to fish and got conflicting reports. There is a gigantic elephant ear plant growing at the edge of my ponds and it has roots growing in both ponds. Do I need to pull it out?
    JustJack, Dec 1, 2010
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  2. JustJack

    stroppy stroppy

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    stroppy, Dec 1, 2010
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  3. JustJack

    JustJack Jack of all trades

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    Then that's the second site I've found this week that says they are. Here's another: http://www.bonniesplants.com/how_to/poisonous_plants_to_fish.html

    The reason I ask is because these ponds were here when we bought the house last year and the previous owner had told me that he let the koi eat all the elephant ear leaves, but then just this month a neighbor told me they were poisonous and I should get the roots out of the pond. The koi are fine, but my catfish died this weekend and I'm wondering if those elephant ear roots had anything to do with it.

    Would the poison build up in their systems or pass through? I won't let any more leaves fall in the pond, but I don't want to wake up to dead koi one day because they ate too many elephant ears the last couple of years.
    JustJack, Dec 1, 2010
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  4. JustJack

    JustJack Jack of all trades

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    I just read through that list again and saw oak on there. The ponds are directly under 3 large oak trees and are constantly full of leaves and acorns. Am I going to lose all my fish? I keep the ponds clean but the acorns fall to the bottom and I don't know how to get them out. They're Florida live oak trees and the acorns and leaves are small.
    JustJack, Dec 1, 2010
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  5. JustJack

    stroppy stroppy

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    i have never grown it in my pond and i know others on the site that have and they will tell you that there fish are fine, but if yours are eating it and you have had a fish die, it might have been the plant, so if it were me i would get the roots out of the pond or protect the fish from getting to them
    stroppy, Dec 1, 2010
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  6. JustJack

    stroppy stroppy

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    oak leaves are well known to kill fish yes can you put netting over the ponds while there falling ? i would also try netting the ones out that have got in the bottom if i were you
    stroppy, Dec 1, 2010
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  7. JustJack

    JustJack Jack of all trades

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    These ponds are turning into a nightmare and the ironic thing is that they are the only reason we bought this house in the first place. Now my favorite fish is dead and I'm finding out that the ponds are surrounded by poisonous plants (which the previous owner was also feeding them) and one of them has a major leak that we've isolated to a pipe underneath the deck. We just had to remove the deck's roof because of rat nests and now we have to pull up part of the deck to try to find the leaky pipe. I'm sure he didn't insulate them since he didn't insulate anything else. I've also just the past few days been told to get the ponds off the well water, but I don't know how and I don't know that we can afford to do that.
    JustJack, Dec 1, 2010
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  8. JustJack

    stroppy stroppy

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    sorry to hear your having such problems i cant help much with your leaks or your well as i dont have one here in the UK but i hope someone else can help you more .... since you said about the oak leaves its more possible that there the reason for your dead fish .. do you do water changes often because that would help
    stroppy, Dec 1, 2010
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  9. JustJack

    JustJack Jack of all trades

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    stroppy, thank you so much--you solved the mystery. I couldn't figure out why my channel cat died until I read about the acorns. His pond is full of them and he's a bottom feeder so that's what he ate. We moved here almost exactly a year ago and we didn't have any acorns last year so I never had to deal with them before. But that has to be the answer because it's the only thing I know of that changed.
    JustJack, Dec 1, 2010
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  10. JustJack

    JustJack Jack of all trades

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    I actually have been changing the water but I was told to stop doing that because it was stressing the fish, but the water quality tests fine and the koi are fine so I knew I didn't cause it by changing the water. It has to be the oak--even the leaves are much worse than last year.
    JustJack, Dec 1, 2010
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  11. JustJack

    stroppy stroppy

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    right well you are going to have to get them out of there and put some kind of netting over them till they stop falling
    stroppy, Dec 1, 2010
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  12. JustJack

    stroppy stroppy

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    but you do need to do water changes weekly and add decolar when refilling but you only take out about 20% of the ponds volume
    stroppy, Dec 1, 2010
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  13. JustJack

    JustJack Jack of all trades

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    I'm ordering a net now. Most of the acorns are in the catfish pond because his pond is right under the oak trees so I'm sure that's what did it.

    Do I still need to dechlorinate well water? How do I do that? I've just been adding well water the same way the previous owner did.
    JustJack, Dec 1, 2010
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  14. JustJack

    stroppy stroppy

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    sorry im not sure about well water
    stroppy, Dec 1, 2010
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  15. JustJack

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    Well water does not contain chlorine.
    DrDave, Dec 1, 2010
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  16. JustJack

    JustJack Jack of all trades

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    Thank you! I didn't think so but I kept having people insist that I need to be removing chlorine. That's a big relief!
    JustJack, Dec 1, 2010
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  17. JustJack

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    Not everyone here understands Chemistry. Too bad since it sometimes leads to bad advice.
    With well water, you have other concerns, PH, Hardness, TDS levels and more. Maybe one of our well water experts can chime in here.
    DrDave, Dec 1, 2010
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  18. JustJack

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    Jack
    Elephant Ears, AKA Taro, is one of my top cash crops here. I have sold hundreds to pond owners and I have always had them both in and around my ponds.

    Maybe if Koi had teeth and a notion to eat the leaves, somehow, they might be a problem. Otherwise, I see no issue with them. They are a lovely addition to any pond.

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    DrDave, Dec 1, 2010
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  19. JustJack

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    We use well water justjack, ours is acidic (ph reads around 5 straight from the well) so buffering with baking soda until I can get some oyster shells going.
    Check your well water as it comes out of your well, see where it is in ph hardness etc.
    That will let you know what you need to address after you use the water for your pond.

    Well water is fine as long as you know how yours reads. And no dechlor needed.

    Need hardy taro here...........lol cold front came threw went from 61 this am to 37 this pm.
    addy1, Dec 1, 2010
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  20. JustJack

    JustJack Jack of all trades

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    That's very helpful advice. My ph is slightly low right out of the well, but everything else is good.

    Dr. Dave, my koi do eat the leaves of the elephant ears. In fact, the previous owner (who put in the ponds) used to feed them the leaves. I think after they go dormant this year I'm going to move them so the roots aren't in the pond anymore. We're about to get another blast of freezing temps so they might not last much longer this year anyway.
    JustJack, Dec 2, 2010
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