Planting new water lilies and mud..


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Sooo, I just planted 6 new water lilies into my pond and used garden soil in my pot. But when I put them into the pond it became "mudtastic". Or other words, very muddy. Furthermore the koi like to dig around looking for food or poor little earthworms that got trapped (although I did put small pebbles on top of the soil) causing more mud to be released. :( Will this clear up over time?
 
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addy1

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Slowly the mud will settle, but the koi will keep digging in it. I use kitty litter clay (the pure clay kind), some with koi just put the lilies bare root into the pond weighted with rocks. You need some good size rocks on the dirt to keep the koi from digging in it.

By garden soil do you mean dug up dirt? be careful that there are no pesticides etc in the dirt. The bagged garden soil tends to float.
 
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Yea garden soil as in dug up dirt. I hope there's no pesticides and stuff in it. Well there shouldn't be since I hope I'd know how i put into my garden =P
 

addy1

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Good, if it does not settle you may want to swap it out for clay. My dirt here is a clay plus loamy type dirt, it never really settles well, a slight touch and poof muck again. So I only use kitty litter clay or bare root.
 

taherrmann4

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If you go to the garden center and get some top soil NOT potting soil as it has vermiculite and perilte and stuff in there it will float and make a real mess of your pond. Also get something that is organic if possible I think Miracle Grow makes one and Scott's does too (not sure if you have those over there). Then put the lily in the pot and place the dirt in it, now soak that sucker really well several times then take and put gravel or rocks over the top of the dirt. Take the pot and slowly lower it in the pond and gradually let the water soak into the pot then sink to the bottom. As Addy stated if you can use dirt from your yard just be sure it does not have pesticides or fertilizer in it as this will play havoc with your water. For my lilies I just tie a rock around them and sink them to the bottom, as the pots can be very heavy to lift out of the pond when you have to do some yearly maintenance on them. I have a 10-15 gallon pot that has my cypress tree in it and this thing is going to be a real PITA to get out of the pond, might have to construct some sort of small hand crank crane LOL. It isn't bad lifting them when they are still in the pond as they seem lighter under water but getting them above water can be tough especially for bigger pots.
 

sissy

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I use a bottom of oyster shells and the put in pea gravel and then on top of that some larger chunks of lava rock and so far my koi have not dug in the plant bags I bought .Before I tried this the fish destroyed every plant I put in the pond and made a mess of the pond .If you have mud put some quilt batting in your filter to catch it and clean it up .Seems like fish especially koi have a problem with there gills in heavy dirty water .
 
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Uh oh, you guys were right. Looks like this little test ended up to be a semi-disaster :S Woke up this morning to see two water lilies floating on the pond and the water was still quite muddy( if not more). Salvaged my lilies out, took to pot out and realised half the soil was missing and the pebbles had vanished. What had happened was that the soil homogenised with the rocks and while all the rocks were still in the pots/trays they had mixed in with the mud instead of staying at the top. So i quickly jumped in (still half asleep at this time...well actually i had to jump in to get the pots out) and cleaned up as many lumps of mud as I can off the bottom and tried to fix up my pots.

Currently i've added more soil (yea i never learn =P) into the pots...left the pebbles inside and added a lot more pebbles on top...like a lot more and seriously pressed it down this time. And I also added a bunch of flat larger pebbles to keep the small ones pressured down. And...then i ran running water over it to get rid of any excess floaties. And threw it into my temporary fibre glass pond (which has nothing in it). Now I'm going to wait and see what happens and hopefully if nothing terrible happens then maybe the roots will establish properly and hold everything together...in a week or two?

Now to get rid of all the suspended mud in my pond. Maybe i'll try running the water through quilt batting. I'll probably have to wash it a few times though (lots of brown water). The koi seem to be fine at the moment, still greeting me with their hungriness =P Now for furture reference I gotta see if I can find some top soil. It would seem like my garden soil is similar to addy's.

Edit: Now that I think about it...Maybe it's a good idea if I get rid of all that 'garden soil' in the pots and replace it with top soil...once i buy some...I'm assuming it's clay particles causing the problem and I don't think they'll all disperse in my 'temporary pond'....maybe...
 

sissy

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I use pea gravel as it wieghts the plant down and fish if they do get into the plant you just have to net out the pea gravel and the oyster shells I put under the pea gravel stabilizes the water and if it gets out of the pot it just floats to the bottom also with no harm done ,much cleaner that way .No mud to deal with ,fish like to root in plants and since i did it the fish seem to stay away
 
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Yea I could do that. I have a lot of pea gravel lying around xD Do water liliest grow well though without soil?
 

fishin4cars

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I stopped using soil all together for just the reasons described, This year I mixed 100% pure clay kitty litter and sand, added 1/4 cup of osmocote and covered the top with lava rock or large river stones. Pea gravel seems to be an attractant for the koi to play in and stir up the mud more. You want to place something on top that the koi CAN NOT pick up or get in their mouths. You'll end up finding 90% of the pea gravel in the deepest end of the pond by the time the water clears, i know! Probably have 20-30# left over from last year that still will need to be removed next spring, removed about 1/2 that amount this spring and that's just from last season when most of the KOI were quite smaller.
 

addy1

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My lilies are just in kitty litter clay and they have done great. I put about 1/4 cup osmocote in the bottom of the oil pan fill it with litter, stick the plant in, sink it slowly all done.
 
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sissy

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I put lava rock on top but I had no luck with the kitty litter it just made my water cloudy and grey looking
 

fishin4cars

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Sissy, try putting a 1/4-1/2" of sand on top of the litter then put the lava rock on top, the sand helps keep the suspended particles to a minimum, the lava rocks work great in keeping the koi from digging in them.
 

sissy

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The problem with sand is that it really makes it heavy .I have the plants in those plant bags now and sorta sewed with fishing line to close some of the opening up .I saw one one you tube that used those styrofoam peanuts in what was called pea size peanuts ,not sure if it is safe or not for fish .He said he used them on the bottom of the plant basket and then pea gravel and sand
 

taherrmann4

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I get those styrofoam peanuts in my pond from my neighbors who can never seem to keep them in their garbage and blow my way. Somehow my pond is a magnet for those damn things. ARGH!!!
 

sissy

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Thats why I was wondering about them since now most of them i read are made from soy now .Do they degrade and cause water quality problems .You should have seen my chihuahua the other day he got into the box of peanuts I got from a delivery .It was funny as heck he looked like a giant popcorn ball
 
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A lot of the mud has now settled to the bottom of the pond and the water has cleared up. The problem is that the bottom of the pond now looks very brown. It could also be tannins from the fallen leaves (again from my wattle tree which i have been trying my best to clear out).I might try using some activated carbon to clear that out. Any idea how to get rid of the 'precipitated' deposits on the bottom of my pond? (If i touch it it'll probably disperse again).
 

addy1

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The only easy way to get it out is to vacuum the bottom. A net would not work the stuff will just poof up again.

If you have a bottom drain or a retrofit bottom drain you could slowly sweep the dirt towards the drain.
 
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sissy

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I use a wet dry shop vac and I bought an extra hose for the outlet part and put the outlet hose in a laundry basket filled with quilt batting and put it in my waterfall and the water gets filtered and goes right back into the pond .You may have to loosen the quilt batting up in the laundry basket to make sure it does not get clogged to fast .With that much dirt you may need more quilt batting than normal and you may have to take the quilt batting out and rinse it off and you may need to do that several times .
 
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