Aquatic Plants, Pond Predators and Power Outages – Ask T.P.D. Show 22


Hey, today we’re going to
talk about power outages, pond predators, and aquatic plants. [MUSIC] So I just got back from
Northern California. We went on a little
business trip up there. And I wanna tell you
a couple of stories. First of all,
I visited a couple people. I visited a pond store. But before I was on my way home,
I was sitting in the hotel and I was trying to catch up on e-mails
and questions and so forth. And I get this e-mail from a Bou
Tran and I watched the email pop up. I checked it out. He was upset because he thought
his pond wasn’t functioning right. He thinks he made mistakes and
he’s not sure what to do about it. He gives me a brief description and
it was pretty short so I sent him an email immediately and
I said where are you located? I had no idea where in
the world he might be and he sends me back
an email immediately. It’s almost like we were texting,
but via email on the computer. He says, I’m in San Jose,
and I emailed him back, I’m in Fremont, and I says hey,
I’m going home tomorrow, why don’t you shoot me your address
and I’ll see about stopping by tomorrow morning and
I’ll take a look at your pond. So this was a really interesting
thing because literally he’s 20 minutes from where I was
sitting in my hotel room. So the next morning I go
out to Bou’s place and I check out his pond. And I have to tell you, his pond
was fantastic, super outstanding, it was a real inspiration to me. It’s very formal, it’s above ground,
half-up and half-in. He did a great job
on the whole thing. And I think he just, he’s a little
overstocked with fish and he had just had some little routine
maintenance things that he was kinda not getting right. And I just gave him
a couple of pointers and I’m really optimistic that he’s
gonna have a fantastic success with a couple of little
pointers that I got. He was actually thinking about
filling it in when I got there. I was like, do not fill this
pond in, it is really fantastic. So a big high five to Bou Tran for doing a really great
job on his pond. And if you want to
mark your calendar, I’m gonna be back up in Northern
California on June 12th and 13th, we’re doing a little
contractor event and a retail event at Connie’s pond and
garden in Castro Valley. It’s a great store. I would highly encourage you to try
to make it out to the event and meet me there and tell me that you’ve
seen our Ask the Pond Digger show. It will be really fun for me. But let’s get on to the questions. The first question is
from Sissy Murphy. And I know her name comes
up a lot on this show. And I guess I found out that her
father, when she was a young girl, used to call her the question girl
cuz she was always asking questions. And she continues to ask
really good questions. She suffered a long power
outage at her place, and so she didn’t have any
circulation in her pond. And she was a little
nervous about it. Just got her thinking like, hey,
when is this gonna be a problem. Now at the time of filming this,
it’s still winter where she’s at and so the water temperature is low. They were in the 60s. You know 60 degrees was
the water temperature. So when the water temperature
gets really high, that’s when the oxygen
levels start to drop in the dissolved oxygen
levels in the water. So it becomes dangerous when a,
you’re over stocked, if you have too many fish in
the pond sucking up that oxygen and if the water temperature is warm. I’ll give you an example, in July,
like Fourth of July weekend, everyone’s going away, if we have
any problems with power outage in a pond,
locally here in Southern California, when it’s 100 degrees,
it is very problematic. So in the winter you don’t have
to worry quite as much, but let me give you a couple pointers. If you can get a little battery
powered air pump, it’s a little bit of air, it’s not a lot, but you can
drop in a battery powered air pump and get a little bit of
stimulation of the water column. If it’s like emergency status, what
I would recommend that you do is you turn on your hose, and
you make it like rain, you spray it. Just imagine squirting
that water into the air. And it rains down onto the pond and
when all that water starts to pound the surface of the water, it starts
to get the oxygen exchange and that’s how you can immediately
put oxygen into that water. If you’re gonna do it for very long
of course you’ll probably wanna put in some dechlorinator depending on
how your city water is and so forth. But I think that’s like
an immediate thing to do. Of course, getting a generator and
plugging in your air pump. If your life support system is down,
that’s one thing. But, air is the most critical thing
when you have a power outage. So, we do get a lot of
phone calls saying, hey, they’re gonna cut our power from 8
AM to 4 PM, and that’s when I say, you better just go get
a generator if it’s in summer. In the winter I’m not so
worried about it. So I hope that answers your
questions about power outages and gives you some feel for that. The next question I’m gonna move
on to is about pond predators, it’s from Brett Ferguson
from YouTube. It’s a pretty good thing,
he loves Koi and he’s learning the stress
signals of things. And he wants to make his pond less
vulnerable to the blue heron and the egrets because I guess
he has a water passageway or a Greenbelt behind him, and the herons and egrets are hanging
out there all the time. So, I’ll tell you that there’s
the things that I’ve seen. A lot of people say statues work
really well of a blue heron. You can move the statue around so
it doesn’t say hey that’s obviously a statue,
that same blue heron hasn’t moved. Some people use alligator things and there’s not many
alligators in California. It might work for you in Florida, I think the animals are a little
bit smarter than you might think. So if you’re in Florida,
you put some alligator stuff around the pond, might keep them away,
but not in California. I think they’re onto you. I remember this one time,
there was a kind of courtyard, and he was having
trouble with herons, and he strung piano wire up pretty high
in like this cross hatch pattern. And you didn’t really see it because
the way the yard was designed and there’s a lot of trees and so
fourth but that piano wire that you stretched really tight around there
kept the birds from coming in. You see if you have
a cover over the pond, when the bird might land over here
and walk under the cover, but as soon as you come up on them,
they’re very scared. So they want to take off and
go straight up. So, they’re not likely to hang
out under a cover because they can’t just take off. If you have no cover,
then they can just swoop right away. So, a cover is really good. There’s a motion sensor sprinkler
device called a scarecrow, and they work really well. The biggest problem I see with
scarecrows is you gotta change the batteries, you gotta stay on top
of that, and if the pond’s very big, you might need two or three
scarecrows to manage the pond I do have a pond on our service route
that is about probably 30 feet long. And we have three scarecrows on
there positioned at different areas, so if the bird comes in, it’ll
blast him with a blast of water. Probably the best thing I can
advise you on is if you have a dog. If you have a dog that
patrols the backyard, then the bird’s really not gonna
hang out and I know that’s not for everyone, but that’s probably
the best thing you can do. Or maybe the best thing you can do
is a combination of all the things, maybe some piano wire, maybe some
kind of cover, have the motion sensor and have a dog and
then you’re probably pretty good. Of course, the blue heron,
specifically, they’re professionals at catching ugly brown fish and
dirty green water, so when you have a beautiful crystal clear pond
with these amazing colorful fish they are subject, so you should
take some of these things and work them into your plan to protect
your pond from pond predators. We’re gonna move on to
the final question. It is from Ricardo Lemeli,
I think I said that right and he wants to know what’s the best
aquatic plants that he can use in his bog filter to remove
nitrates in the pond. So, what I wanna tell you is we want
aquatic plants that grow very fast. Rapid growth is what is gonna
consume those nitrates. If they’re growing fast that
means that they’re pulling nutrients from the pond. So think along those lines. Louisiana iris, pickerel. A lot of the low growing
like let’s say, pennywort. I know pennywort’s a very
fast-growing, invasive plant. You don’t want it to
get into your lawn. You don’t want it to get into
your garden on the outside. But, if you have it controlled
in a bog filter where it can grow very fast and you can thin it
out as it starts to take over in certain areas, very easily. It’s a fantastic plant for
consuming nitrates in a bog filter. So as I said, pennywort, parrot’s
feather, and things like that. One plant that I think is highly
underused, even by my own self, my own company. We don’t use this plant enough,
is the lotus. Now the lotus is a fantastic plant
for consuming nutrients in a pond. And I’m gonna pause there
while I talk about lotus, because I cannot talk about lotus
without thinking of a very good friend of mine, Kelly Billing. She’s out of Maryland and
I just opened this last night, I wanna show you this cool
little gift she sent me. These are lotus petals,
or leaves I should say. And they’ve expired, and
so she cut them out and made this beautiful pattern with it. And she’s colored them, and they’re on canvas, so
I’ll be hanging this on my wall. I think it’s really a great gift. Thank you very much for that, Kelly. And I want to tell you
something else about Kelly. We’re gonna have her a guest on one
of our tutorial series this summer. So we’re super excited about that. I’m gonna tell you
what we’re going to do. We’re bringing her out there to
show you her qualifications. She’s co-author of a book. She’s been specializing in lotus as
long as I’ve been in the business. I mean,
she’s really dedicated to this. Her company is called
after the genus. Nelumbo, I think that’s how you
say it, if I remember right. That’s the genus of the lotus. And so her company is called that,
aka The Lotus. And so we’re bringing her out
here to Southern California, and we’re gonna film some different
types of ways that you can introduce lotus bogs to an existing pond. We’re gonna do a specialty
tutorial video on you know, how to do a bog garden or
just maybe only a lotus bog. And we’re gonna go step by step and
show you a tutorial and it’s really fun for me because
she’s gonna come out there and it’s gonna help me grow
my lotus knowledge. And I’m super excited about that. So I’m gonna end today with
the question of the day for you guys on what do you want to
learn about the lotus from Kelly. She’s gonna be here in a couple
short months, and if you put down your questions about lotus into
the comment section down below, we’ll do the best to compile them
all, and work very hard to make sure we answer the questions
in that tutorial series. And the tutorial videos, okay? So that’s it for today, and
we’ll see again real soon. Thanks for watching. [MUSIC]

Comments 54

  • Eric,  what is the best cage to protect my lotus roots from being eaten by my Koi

  • http://www.bookmasters.com/marktplc/images/BiolFiltration_BookWebsite.pdf 

    this will help people choose some types of plants to help filter the water

  • Hi Eric,
    We've had lotus plants in our CA ponds in the past, and loved them. My question for Kelly is;
    What, if any, special treatment is required to over-winter a lotus in the extreme weather of the Black Hills region of South Dakota? I'm curious if we should drop the lotus to the bottom of the pond or leave it in place as they do tend to get large and heavy to move around. Another option that I wonder about is what is your opinion on planting a lotus (or water lilies) in the bottom of a gravel bottom pond?
    Thanks for any help,
    Loyda

  • How is it that a lotus grows in the wild and when we grow lotus we need to grind the shell from the seed so that the seed won't rot?

  • Eric, love your series. I do have a comment about predators: Don't use piano wire. It will injure whatever runs into it. Use mono filament fishing line. Cheap and it will break if something hits it. I also use red and silver foil tape and attach it to the fishing line. At night my pond lights reflect off the tape and seem to deter other four legged pests, which brings me to them. Scarecrow sprayers: expensive, hard to plumb properly (no hoses) a pain if you have guests, don't work in the dark. Fun to watch if you have a problem with golfers, not gophers. The ONLY the thing we've found to deter four legged critters is an electric wire using a pulse type current on a timer for night time operations. Don't use a "always on" type transformer or you'll find squirrels, etc hanging dead on your wire. Pulse type you won't. We have a floating alligator (you're right, no gators in California) we've named Just-for-Grins as that's all he's good for. I've seen blue heron walking across bird netting to stand on Just for Grins.

    Haven't lost fish in three years.
    Greg in Morgan Hill, Ca.

  • Hey Eric, I love your videos. I'm setting up a new fish pond this summer and am using cement for some rocks and the waterfall, is there anything I need to bear in mind when using cement around the pond thanks

  • I would like to discover some new species resistant to winter or species that are good for small and large ponds and of course the ones most beautiful for cloder areas.

  • My question 2 ??  I'm in Columbus, Ohio and Im buying my first lotus 1st week of may and going to use a cat litter box to hold it and my koi are small what size gravel on top to hold the dirt in place? 2nd in the winter what to do with my lotus? Thanks Eric you saved my pond, I was a weekend warrior that could not cycle right. My wife gave me a year or it had to go, so thank you!!!!

  • what is needed to keep Lotus in indoor pond

  • I have looked through the comments already made.  All of my questions on Lotus have been asked.  Can't wait to watch the tutorial series.

  • #asktheponddigger  Eric do you have any shows with Shawn and his amazing Koi planned for the future. My family misses those shows

  • I have 2 lotus tubers but have them in a lotus ,lily pond because I heard they can take over a pond .They busted out of there pots the first year .So can I leave them out of a pot or should they always be in a pot .My lilies are not in a pot .My fish also destroy every plant I put in the pond .Right now they have anchored them selves to kitty litter bottom with gravel also in there .

  • Thanks (; Here in Indiana. We have a native lotus. With a beautiful yellow flower. Because lotus get so large in pots. We have made separate small lotus ponds. They overwinter well. Could you ask? Why water balls up on lotus leaves. (So cool) and what does lotus smell like. (Have a funny on that)

  • We recently created a eco-pond in our backyard (still working on it) and I have to say that I was more than surprised when a grey heron came out of the blue and ate two of our goldfish.

    I had never seen one before and had no idea that they passed through here. Then I say this video and I became aware of the fact that this problem is quite real and more common than I had first realized!

    We were thinking of setting up a Shade Sail above the pond to keep it cool during summer (it gets pretty hot here), so let's hope it works against these predators as well. Maybe adding Kois is just not meant to be.. We'll see… Until then, goldfish it is!

    Love your series by the way! Keep it up!

  • I have lotus, now is second year, but rhizome is thin, what fertilizer is needed to be big and fat? And is every rhizome eatable or just some special cultivars for consumption?

  • Would love to have some real basics, how to treat them in our area (PNW, zone 8), and planting, whether in bag/cage/gravel, bog vs in the pond, and sizes available.

  • Hi,
    As for great plant I have notice that papyrus plant is a rapid grow one. Also I would advise not to try to adapt a plant which was growing on ground then put it in a bog filter as it will take time to do it's job in there, so just get one at a nursery or  some already growing in rivers, lakes. (hope I am not annoying anyone with this) another great water plant is the water hyacinth.

    What I want to know about lotus or water lilies are:
    1- is it possible to plant them with just soil without the use of fertilizer for it to have flower
    2- what is the adequate size pebble to use to cover the soil?
    3- Is it common the leaves get some holes?
    4- What do you prefer lotus or water lily and why?
    Think that all for now, by the way I only have water lily and live on a tropical Island.

    Thanks

  • How hardy is lotus? NYS has harsh winters!

  • Good videos with good information, but you gouge on your shipping charges. Why does it cost $26.00 to ship filter media? It weighs nothing!

  • Hi Eric,
    We are planning to make a DIY Pond filter for our Koi Pond (2000 litre). What are your suggestions for this filter? What are the essential features that must be included in the filter? #asktheponddigger

  • Kelly! Lotus! BOOM! Looking forward to it…

  • Can you have too much aeration in the pond, bubble machines? Thanks

  • While you're waiting for Kelly's LOTUS tutorial, be sure to get regular doses of lotus inspiration and information on her other FB page — About The Lotus.

  • Eric, you missed the easiest, most effective and passive predator control: pond design.  We have both Herons here (near the river) and raccoons.  We designed the pond with sheer sides, so there's no place for the raccoons to get at the Koi without falling in and drowning, and raccoons are too smart for that.  Herons can be most easily deterred by making the pond deep.  Herons are wading birds.  If the pond is deeper the 3 feet, their legs are not long enough, so they can't wade.  Yes they can float, but that's not how herons hunt.

  • Hey Eric  i have one question for you   i start clean my ponds and when i start split lotus I was surprised how big are roots here is link to my pics.  in one pond i have in basket  but the other i have in between the stones on the bottom two shelves in the pond  any advice how to plant wather plants without basket? 
    http://www4.slikomat.com/13/0425/awt-150926.jpg
    http://www4.slikomat.com/13/0425/hlp-190843.jpg

  • Planting of hardy waterlily and tropical waterlily ant the storage of the tropical waterlily during the winter.

  • Herons do not land directly in the water – they land on shore and walk in. I have an almost invisible "fence" of 50# mono fishing line strung tightly from stake to stake around my pond about 18" above ground – when heron feels it against his leg he gets nervous and leaves – it has work for me for 3 years, with zero fish lost to herons.
    Kerry Swain

  • Dear Eric,
    What is the best way to protect water turtles from predictors in a pond? I am in the process of building my 2 level pond for my turtles and  I want to make sure they are protected .     I enjoy all your videos and  have learned a lot  while I am building my pond from them.

  • As always I really enjoy and find the information you provide helpful in having a koi pond. I love the idea that a plant segment will be done soon. My question is, is the lotus a plant that my koi won't eat faster than they grow? I have irises and lilies now and I can barely get a few leaves float the the surface before they eat them; the irises do a little better. I four 5 gallon pond planters in the pond for lilies covered with stones to protect the roots and approximately 6 irises planted on the shelfs.

  • Penny wart in my pond took over the whole pond ,I don't have a bog, Even thinning it out it just grew faster lol.looked very natural and nice ,but to invasive ( at least in south FL) for the pond itself, I ended up draining the pond ,moving the rocks to get it cleaned out.

  • I love this ask T.P.D. shows I can go back and pin point answers to questions I have. So a s to my questions are, How deep on hardy and tropical lotus can you plant. When to fertilize, how to store Tropical lotus for the winter?  Did a filter up grade on my mom's pond the unsafe one. by the way my mom fell in her pond while I was working on it. had to help her out, that is why the re dig next spring. I use a planting style from a lotus farmer in Texas where you plant in soil in solid containers  worked fine with a low water flow about 550 GPH with the filter & pump up grade  2100 GPH My mom now has a brown pond. hope it settles out before the alge bloom. My have to make a impromptu trip to fix my bad.

  • I would have two questions: 1 – what is the difference between a water lily and a lotus, and 2 – if said lotus overgrew its pots and the tubers got growing in the gravel, would they damage the pond lining and thus should be removed, or can they be left to grow on.

  • Great tips about what to do when you lose your power. People talk a lot about whole house generators, but they can be VERY expensive to run if they're gas or propane and if your power goes out for very long periods of time (about $2000/week here in Maryland… and yes… we have had our power go out that long.) One of the other options I often recommend is an oxygen tank. They're not that expensive to rent and you can keep them in a standby position with a 12", super-fine, air stone. I slow bubbler can last 2-3 days and when it's done, run it out for a quick recharge.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DeA-XDv1zw
    thank you Eric…you're the best dude….

  • Could a Lotus survive in western Washington state, on the Olympic Peninsula? It can get pretty cold up here, and I would love to have some Lotus flowers, but not if they are going to suffer so quickly.

  • For Lotus, what are the climate and sun requirements. Cheers

  • I have a question, is Water Hycaniths and Taro toxic to koi? Also will mu turtle leave my pond, I am quite worried. All I have is a large basking spot and I am afraid that the turtle might escape the pond and I will never find him again. Is this something to worry about?

  • Did you ever do the video tutorial with Kelly the lotus lady?

  • hello I was wondering if u can give me some advice ive got koi carp I was wondering if I can have a waterlilies in with koi as my job r eating them or can I have advice on what plants can I have thank u and I'm in UK if that helps

  • do you know the way to san jose?

  • do you have any video on the best way to fold pond liner at straight edge corners?

  • #asktheponddigger
    I may have a interesting project for you to think about. And would like some tips. I think it would be really cool to have a saltwater pond….of course it would have to be covered but what plants could a person use?

  • 2 words Solar power…….

  • I know this is off subject but I just lost a fish that had what looked like white fuzz on both sides. I have gold fish and 2 koi together in about a 300 to 500 gallon pond. Help please..

  • +ThePondDigger where's the promised follow-up with Kelly about lotus? I scoured your channel but couldn't find it!

  • how to take care of them

  • I got a pond predator problem recently, stay all night ony to find out it was a quite large size buffy fish owl and they only come at night, stealth, highly efficient and deadly to the poor koi…

  • electric fence 2 bares wire running to a light bulb of course no children no pets you will need a 50 volt transformer

  • Unable to contack you by email, your system blocks it because of my telephone number. What I want to know, is can I buy your equipment in Ireland.

  • power outage: I am installing a 100 w solar cell to charge a marine battery, which will in turn be hooked up to a 2000 watt inverter to supply 120 volt power to a good size air pump. In case of a power outage to my 2 circulation pumps, at least the fish will have air bubbling. Will it work, we'll see. I hope.

  • like everything you share, except pennywort, i used to work at a exclusive yacht club in fla, and that stuff is absolutley horrible in a lawn, it was already established there before i came, and even using round up at max strength, couldnt even keep it contained, if it was my pond, ida had a fit, if i was the neighbor, id a shot you if you didnt kill it right there, thats how bad it can be

  • How do you become an expert, like yourself, in this?

  • I miss your YouTube presence

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