Would my filterless pond be harmful for my lotus?


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My pond I built late last year does not have a filter of any sort and collects a lot of leaves and dirt. I almost want to make this pond exclusively a garden with plenty of plants in it. No fish. One of them would be my 3 potted lotus that are currently overwintering in the pond now. If I don’t constantly clean my pond, will that harm my lotus?
 
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I would say no. I have a 75 gallon preform pond with a large lotus in it and currently it is full of fall leaves plus the leaves from the lotus. The leaves etc protect the roots during the cold weather. You just want to make sure the roots do not freeze. I use the rotted leaves and debris as compost!
 

addy1

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My lotus tub, 300 gallons, gets only dirty water, any plant matter gets to land in the water and dissolve. They do great, I don't even fertilize them and they bloom beautifully.
 
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Thanks. I guess then filters are only for ponds with fish and people who care about the aesthetics of the pond.
Do you guys drain your pond and clean the bottoms every spring? Or just leave it alone and let nature do it’s thing?
 

addy1

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Thanks. I guess then filters are only for ponds with fish and people who care about the aesthetics of the pond.
Do you guys drain your pond and clean the bottoms every spring? Or just leave it alone and let nature do it’s thing?
I have never drained and clean and never will.
 
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Well that’s one less thing I need to worry about then :)
Btw, I remember one of you stating in one of my other threads about planting marginal plants in gravel for shallow water. Would that eventually cause nutrient deprivation for the marginal plant since gravel has no organic matter in it? I have some acorus gramineus and others like houttuynia cordata and petasites japonicus I’d like to use as marginals but worried they won’t grow to their full potential without proper nutrients. I see some garden centers selling aquatic soil, is that worth investing into? They say it stays compact and won’t wash away in the water. Another thing I am concerned about is the shallow depth of the shelves which won’t allow the roots to go deep enough.
 
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Why no aquatic soil? Won’t that allow me to skip the step of fertilizing?
 

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Use kitty litter, works great, the natural pure clay type. If the plants need to be fertilized stick some osmocote in the litter. Walmart sells it.

My lotus are planted in litter, actually all my plants are except the bog plants.
 
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Ok yea I remember you mentioning kitty litter too. As far as depth goes though, how deep is the litter? I want to know how much root depth you allow for your plants.
 

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They are in a 300 gallon stock tank, around 1.5 to 2 feet of litter plus minus, around 8 ish inches of water over the top of the litter. The tub is theirs I never clean, purge or divide the lotus.

Lilies are in a walmart oil pan, think around 3 inches deep? maybe
 
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Oh that is pretty deep. My shelves for the marginal plants aren’t even a foot deep. My lotuses are in containers so I can easily maintain them. I thought of the idea of planting directly in pond with kitty litter but pond liners have a lifespan and I don’t want to deal with the nightmare of having to dig out and divide them 20 years later. Also so that if the liner were to ever break or get punctured and starts leaking I can easily remove the lotus and fix the pond.
So then would my marginals be ok with just like 6 in depth of kitty litter?
 
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They are in a 300 gallon stock tank, around 1.5 to 2 feet of litter plus minus, around 8 ish inches of water over the top of the litter. The tub is theirs I never clean, purge or divide the lotus.

Lilies are in a walmart oil pan, think around 3 inches deep? maybe
@addy1 , are you saying you let your tubers freeze then? Or do you never get 8" of ice?
 

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@addy1 , are you saying you let your tubers freeze then? Or do you never get 8" of ice?
The tubers are down deep in the litter which is 1.5 -2 feet or so deep. I have had the water freeze solid on top of the litter and the tubers do fine. There are no fish in that pond unless eggs make it in.
 
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Oh that is pretty deep. My shelves for the marginal plants aren’t even a foot deep. My lotuses are in containers so I can easily maintain them. I thought of the idea of planting directly in pond with kitty litter but pond liners have a lifespan and I don’t want to deal with the nightmare of having to dig out and divide them 20 years later. Also so that if the liner were to ever break or get punctured and starts leaking I can easily remove the lotus and fix the pond.
So then would my marginals be ok with just like 6 in depth of kitty litter?
My marginal shelves are all in the 4 - 6" depth range, give or take. I don't use kitty litter directly on the pond shelves (IMO, it is a heavy, slimy mess to work with...OK in containers, but not to pour onto a planting shelf in the pond.) , but use a combination of pea gravel, maybe some commercial aquatic planting medium, all topped up with some slightly larger river rock (say, 1/2 - 2" diameter) Maybe a few larger (fist sized) rocks to hold things in place if necessary. For those marginal plants that prefer to have their crowns at or slightly above the surface of the water, I fill the shelf in with the gravel/planting medium mixture & then put them in. Those that can tolerate more depth, I just anchor them with the gravel a few inches below the surface. Any plant that wanders outside of the depth or area I planted it... I leave until it wanders too far - then I pull, yank, divide, etc... & start it back over where I want it. Remember, most pond plants have roots that run wide, rather than deep, and they will compensate for the lack of depth with further running laterally. That's how they work to suck up so many nutrients.

PS - I have never had a lotus, and probably never will, so all of this is related to marginal or 'bog' type plants.
 
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Thank you! Exactly what I wanted know :D I will do exactly what you suggested.
 

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I have never had a lotus, and probably never will, so all of this is related to marginal or 'bog' type plants.
If you put lotus in the pond uncontained, they will do a take over, eventually. I had one that jumped its pot, in my big pond, next thing I knew I had tubers everywhere. It spread faster than the lilies. So I put them in their own container, no chance of jumping the pot.
 
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Thank you! Exactly what I wanted know :D I will do exactly what you suggested.
I couldn't tell if you have fish in the pond or not, but they are what provide the "fertilizer" for your plants. If this is a fishless water garden, then you'll need to fertilize the plants occasionally yourself for optimal growth even if you do use planting medium. (sort of like having to routinely fertilize houseplants even if they are in professional potting soil)
 

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