water-gardeningA water garden is basically an outdoor aquarium, where the gardener manages the nutrients, plants and animals in the system.

You need to take a little extra care when you stock the water feature. Invasive plants or animals can be ordered and delivered to you or purchased locally. Invasive plants and animals are often part of plant orders in the water or solid plant medium. Therefore it is required that the plants should be inspected carefully and cleaned before being added to a water garden or water feature.

Any hardy, non-native plant or animal species might become the next problematic invasive species. Several plants can hybridize with the native species, often passing on aggressive traits. Ergo, while choosing the plants, always prefer species native to the region. In case of choosing the exotic plants, you need to manage them carefully and dispose of them properly.

Prior to buying plants from any nursery or garden store it is always better to do a little research and know the scientific name for plants you want to buy or avoid. Do not get misled by the common names.

Snails, by their nature, are generally easily moved or move themselves under moist conditions. They often are intermediate hosts for parasites and have a large appetite for vegetation that we don’t necessarily want eaten. For this reason, buying them for water gardens is not recommended.

Fish are sometimes added to water gardens for visual interest. Fish will add nutrients to the system that you will have to remove with filters or balance using plants. The fish commonly used in water gardens are goldfish and koi, both of which are carp from Asia. Fish should never be released or allowed to escape. They consume water plants, and can make the water cloudy as they feed. Better to hold fish for two weeks before adding them to ensure they are healthy. Add the fish to the garden but not the water they came in. The water can carry disease.

Amphibians like frogs, toads or salamanders might decide your water garden is a good place to reproduce or hang out. Fish are competitors that eat their eggs. Turtles also might move into your water feature, and birds and butterflies will come for a drink.

Always prefer proximity to natural water bodies or storm drains that might connect to your water garden. Ensure that nutrients are properly balanced and filters are working. Never ever over-fertilize any plant.

Clean and inspect everything before placing it in the water garden. Plants should be rinsed in clean tap water in a light-colored vessel so you can see they are clean. Avoid snails. They are very easily spread by moving themselves or being picked up by wildlife.

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