If you have built a wine barrel pond you may find that it quickly becomes cloudy or dirty-looking. This can be caused by different problems, but the most common is that the pond has become affected by algae or bacteria. There are a few things you can do about this clouding or dirt, including putting in algae-eating fish or snails that eat the bacteria and provide clean water, but you can also get around your problem by adding a few aquatic plants to your pond.
Adding Aquatic Plants
Most garden and pond centers sell small varieties of aquatic plant, including ones that take care of bacteria and pollutants in the water and release oxygen into the water for your fish. You should consider what plants will be best for your wine barrel pond. Ask the aquatic specialist, if possible, or ask your garden center shop assistants. They will probably be able to recommend plants that will thrive under your wine-barrel pond conditions. Take care not to buy too many plants, as this will crowd your pond, make it harder for you to see your fish, and can lead to a build-up of debris at the bottom of the pond.
Varieties of Plant
A good plant to buy for your water barrel pond may be water lilies, which allow fish to live in their stalks below the waterline. You can also add pond weed, which is a common aquatic plant for those wishing to keep the pond clean. This cheap and effective plant is probably one of the best varieties to purchase if you need pond cleaning and oxygenating. However, it does grow like the name suggests, so you will have to keep an eye on it in case it swamps the surface of the pond.
Putting Plants into the Pond
When buying aquatic plants, you should try to purchase ones that are tall and that have firm roots. Place a platform of rocks or bricks where you want the plant to go, and keep these in place with sand or soil. Your plant should be covered by the water, but may also want to have good access to sunlight, so the platform should be built with these requirements in mind. Some plants, such as pondweed, like to lie on the surface, and you will need to have a tall base on which to rest these. You should make sure that your plant is not in too much shade, as this will cause it to die. It should also not be left in very bright sunlight all day, particularly at noon.
Some plants would prefer that you make the pond ready by adding a layer of fertilizer to the area the plants will be placed. Put clay or loam soil above this, and further layers of sand or pebbles above the clay or loam, making a large pond-bed for your plants. Keep the plants in good condition by adding fertilizer or aquatic plant food to the water as and when it is needed.