Tag Archives: Pond plants

Used flowerpot WARNING

25 Jan

A Spring ritual is putting aquatic plants in clay flowerpots and placing them in my small outdoor pond.


A few years ago this killed some of my fish.

I start with flowerpots plus some clean sand and gravel.


Gravel goes on the bottom.

Then the plant, maybe a little soil, then sand on top.



As I mentioned,  a few years ago there was a problem. I had fancy goldfish, platies and swordtails in the pond. Everything seemed fine but after a week the goldfish were dying and the small fish had quit eating and were sitting at the bottom.

I captured the remaining fish, then completely cleaned the pond. I still had no idea what had happened.

It was a year later that the president of the local fish club (Mr. LVH) said something about pesticides in used flowerpots. It became clear as a bell.

I had bought some used flowerpots at a garage sale. My first use of them was in the pond. Things were fine for a week but then the poison began leaching out.

Another week went by and I had dead fish. The ones that were brought inside were thin and disfigured but, if they could be induced to eat, recovered quickly.

So if you buy used clay flowerpots soak them for several days in a bucket of water. Pour out the water and do it at least 3 times over a week.

Also in Springtime I put Water Lettuce outdoors that has been growing in an aquarium.


First, I put the plants in a plastic container and tuck it in a shady spot to avoid sunburn.


If I move it into sunshine too soon it looks like this.


Water Lettuce can recover and eventually gets accustomed to bright sun, but I think it does best in partial shade.

Partway through summer I have to remove handfuls of Water Lettuce from the pond.


I also have flowerpots in several of my aquariums.

Amazon Swords do best growing in soil.

The only problem growing aquatic plants in pots is that the plants grow too fast.  The tank becomes a jungle. Not a bad problem  to have.



Water Lilies in the aquarium

24 Nov

For the past several years I have brought in a tropical Water Lily into my 55 gallon aquarium. I put it into a clay flowerpot, add some soil and cover the surface with sand or gravel. The lily does well for awhile, dies back for awhile,   and I put it back outside in the Spring.

I was just given a few tubers from some native Water Lilies (thanks, CG) and I haven’t put them into pots yet.  Within a day of being dropped into the water, the young reddish leaves came springing out. SPRING!

They look so natural in an aquarium but I know that they are too big for the small tank I have them in now.

Water Lilies look fantastic in an indoor aquarium but I suspect that they require intense lighting and a nutrient -rich substrate. When I see them on a lake or river they are growing in the stinkiest, most fertile ooze you can imagine.

These native lilies are probably “programmed” to rest at this time of year . These were outside for a few cold weeks and maybe they have been fooled into thinking (the wrong word for a plant) that it is Springtime, and will do OK in the aquarium. We’ll find out.