Best cleaning plants


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Are there some pond plants that are better at "cleaning" the pond? Not necessarily for clarity, but for keeping the waste products like ammonia and nitrites down? Bonus points for floaty plants (raised pond, one very small low shelf). Also I've seen a few posts where someone made it sound like they took a plant from a wild pond or waterway, but is that risky? Chancing parasites or something?
 
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How much sun do you have? Where in the US are you? My vote is for water hyacinth, but depending on where you live it may be prohibited.
 
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All plants take up nutrients, so my answer would be no... none is really "better" at it. Hyacinth, water lettuce, parrots feather - all float, but as @Linus_Cello mentioned, many of these are being banned in various parts of the country. Watercress is great at catching fine debris and grows like crazy. Anything you can plant directly in the pond is better than plants in pots. Post a photo of your pond (or link to it if you have already) and we can share more suggestions!

As for "wild" plants - I've done it, but you do want to be careful. Make sure the plant is clean (I knock off all the dirt and rinse the roots until there's nothing left but plant), quarantine it for a bit to make sure you get rid of anything that might have hitched a ride, and mostly be sure it's legal to take whatever you're taking from wherever you're taking it. Far better, I think, to find other pond people who are willing to share. Craigslist or a local Facebook page are some good sources.
 
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I'm in Southern Tn. My pond is full sun. Hyacinth is sold here, I hope to pick some up this week.
 
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Here's my little pond. You can see how I need floaty plants mostly because there's one tiny little shelf and it's maybe 2 feet deep. The pond goes about another foot underground.
 

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Lisa, do I ever! o_O :LOL: And that's after thinning it by about half!
 
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They don't term it "invasive" for nothing!

I always think it's good to leave at least 30 or 40 % of your pond surface exposed. Too much plant growth can choke off sunlight to the pond and even slow gas exchange. If you want to add something for variety, I would cut back the parrots feather even further to make room.
 
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Oh yes, I plan on thinning it some more. I honestly think the explosion of the parrots feather this year is why I actually found fry in my pond this year. The little guys had an excellent hiding place.
 

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