What do to with lily root mass in rubber-lined pond


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If this is a rerun of an oft-asked question, please feel free to link to a similar topic. I dug around some, but without success.

I have a smallish above-ground pond - maybe 600 gallons - rubber lined - a few dozen goldfish live there along with a couple of bull frogs.. Central Indiana, so the winter isn't too bad here. Wintering the pond hasn't been an issue in the past. Last year we dropped in a little dirt-ball in a bag that grew into a few lily pads. It had quite a root mass by spring, but a quick visit from a Muskrat took care of the roots. This year the lily pads went nuts, and we've had lovely blooms all summer/fall. The deepest area of the pond is where they are rooted - maybe 40" of water at the most.

We also have some cat tails that have broken through the walls of their pot in that area of the pond.

I love having all the thriving plants in the pond - the water quality seems to be the best we've ever had, and there were survivors from the spawn this year.

I'm not sure about the best way to handle the accumulated root mass and associated muck in the pond. I think it will be fine for the winter, and probably a great place for the frogs to try to winter. Frogs have had limited success wintering in our pond, but we've never had much of a place for them to hide.

I think I need to do something with it before next summer, however, as if we get the same sort of accumulation and growth next year, our pond will be 1/3 full of roots and muck and so full of lily pads the fish will have no place to swim.

Here's my thought - cut back the lilies and cat tails when they start to die back. Let it all be until spring. We stop feeding the fish and keep a heater in the water to keep a hole open in the ice. We run the main pump all winter to keep things moving. A smaller pump for a waterfall gets shut off in the coldest months as the waterfall ices over and water can start running out of the pond. We only get a few inches of ice.

In the spring, once the frogs have come out (fingers crossed), pull out the plants, cut back much of the root mass, clean out much of the muck (but not all), and drop the plants back in for another growing season.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan?
 
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j.w

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Howdy-frog--11-1.gif
zemlin

Here is a discussion on muck on your pond bottom that may help you http://www.gardenpon...h__1#entry91647

On the trimming of plants, cut back any dead stems and pull out from cat tails, water lily pads/blossoms that are dying. Wait til Spring to divide the water lilies which can be divided easily and cut to make more plants to keep or share/trade w/ others. Use a net.........fine screened pool net will work to get out any floating gunk or muck from bottom to top of pond. Less debris the better for your fish.
Stop feeding the fish at 50-55* and heater is fine for keeping a hole in the ice. Some run their pumps all year, some don't. Up to you. I turn mine off or move it up to a higher ledge so fish can find some warmer water on the bottom. Fine to turn off falls. Happy Pondering!
 

addy1

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This is interesting about frogs and how they survive the winter.......from the net

"Overwintering or winter dormancy, also referred to as hibernation or brumation, is accomplished in various ways by frogs. Adults of many species avoid freezing temperatures during the winter by selecting hibernation sites that do not freeze. Some overwinter on land, buried beneath vegetation or in burrows, and some stay under water and bury themselves in the mud at the bottom of ponds. A frog's metabolism is very low at cold temperatures and its oxygen requirements are minimal. Because the oxygen available in cold water is relatively high, many frogs are able to survive under water during the winter with only the dissolved oxygen that diffuses across their skin. Some species, including bullfrogs and green frogs, overwinter as tadpoles in the muddy bottom of lakes or ponds. Even when ice is on the surface, water temperatures at the bottom remain above freezing.
Another mechanism used by some species of frogs to deal with cold temperatures is to produce antifreeze in the body; this allows them to survive temperatures several degrees below freezing. These species still seek out areas that protect them from severe cold, but they live in cold climate regions where winters can be especially harsh so that antifreeze measures are highly adaptive. Most produce glucose in their blood and other tissues to provide protection from freezing at temperatures in the 20s. Many of these species actually do partially freeze, and wood frogs can withstand freezing of up to 70 percent of their total body water. One native species, the gray treefrog, avoids freezing by producing glycerol in its tissues instead of glucose."
 
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When its mild and frost free next spring, drain the pond so the plant mass is much less weight, set aside fish and frogs that you want to keep in a paddling pool.

When the foliage mass is well drained it will be much lighter, easier to heave out and dispose of.

Consider pitching the plants which choke the pond too fast beyond the point where its obvious they are a nuisance and phase in better behaved plants...

Cattails and waterlilies which are of a monstrous growing habit, while obviously they are cheap and easy to find (wouldn't you be glad, nay desperate to get rid of such a nuisance) are a liability, when you could look forward to varieties which have far more suitable growing habit and much less trouble to maintain

It goes without saying, darling little pieces of the brute pond plants tend to be pushed out and its all too easy to end up being stuck with a monster from the lagoon. Instead of a perty nice plant.


Regards, andy
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