Suggestions for Pond Plants

Charlemagne
  • #1
HI everyone!
Recently my family has added a pond to our backyard. We got a Red Eared Slider turtle, and decided to build her a pond. It is our first pond, and we don't know very much about the kind of plants we should get. It is about eighteen inches deep, by three feet across, by five feet long. It is not very big, but our turtle really seems to enjoy it! We have a filter attached to a turtle fountain that spits the water back into the pond, so it does have some surface disturbance. We have a shallow step at one end so that the turtle can climb in and out.
What kinds of plants can we get to put in and around the pond? I would like to put some floating and non-floating plants in there for our turtle to enjoy.
We live in northern Texas, so the plants will have to be able to take the summertime heat. The pond is in the sun about half of the day. (I realize December isn't the best time to be planting stuff, but I'd like to find out as much as I can this winter so planting can begin in the spring.)
I also would like to know if there are some cold-water fish that we could get to help reduce algae, and prevent mosquito larvae from taking over the pond. (Since the pond was built late this summer, we didn't have much trouble with that this year. However, there were a few larvae in the pond a few weeks ago, which I fed to my fish. They loved it!)
Thank you so much for your help!
 
v369
  • #2
what planting zone are u in? texas is big and conditions vary greatly.
 
MikeNTX
  • #3
Northern TX like the DFW area? Or up in the panhandle?
 
Charlemagne
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
I'm in the DFW area. I'm not sure what planting zone I'm in. Is that something I need to know?
 
MikeNTX
  • #5
I'm not real sure what a planting zone is, but if I took a guess it would have something to do with what kind of climate we have and what plants would thrive given our conditions...ours being DFW.
 
v369
  • #6
I will check the usda zone map and then toss you some plant suggestions
 
gremlin
  • #7
Pond lilies would do fine. They can handle a wide range of temperatures (including the heat). They will help to shade the pond water in the summer. If you can get them, water lettuce and water hyacinth are both good floating plants. Your turtle may munch on them, but they are both fast growing and should be able to survive being munched. I can't get them here in Phoenix - they grow so well in our climate that they are not allowed here any more. As for plants around the pond, star grass, or any of the other ornamental grasses that are suitable for your area, would look nice and give your turtle a place to hide as well as more munchables. You could also plant some carrots, spinach, or other leafy greens. That way your turtle could forage for food. If you plant them roughly 2 weeks apart all through your growing season, they should keep up with the turtle's needs.

As for fish, Mosquito fish might be your best bet. You might be able to get them for free from your local Cooperative Extension Service. All we had to do was call them up and tell them we had a water feature that we wanted to keep the mosquito larvae out of. They gave us a bunch for free. Since your pond gets sun for a good part of the day, the Mosquito Fish should thrive and breed well for you - they are live bearers. The roots of the water lettuce and water hyacinth will give them a place to hide. You could also plant water iris. That would give them more places to hide. Bear in mind that your turtle will munch on whatever fish you put in your pond, so you will need to make sure there are plenty of places for the fish to hide from the turtle. If you give them enough places to hide, and start out with enough of them, they should be able to reproduce fast enough to maintain the population even if the turtle munches on a few.
 
Charlemagne
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Thanks a lot, Gremlin! That really helped! I will look into the plants and fish you suggested! Thanks once again!
 

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