Sunday, October 22, 2006

Container Water Garden

Last year I spent a month in Thailand. Everywhere I went there were these very large ceramic pots filled with water lilies or other water plants and tiny fish. They were so beautiful, and being a big fan of the water lily flower, I know I had to come home and make a container water garden of my own.

I would have liked to get a gorgeous ceramic pot, but they tend to be very expensive. So, a few months ago I was at my local home improvement store and came across a large plastic liner that would perfectly fit the half wine barrel I already had.

A friend of mine who has a pond directed me to Morning Sun Garden in San Gabriel. They had a good selection of pond plants and fish. It turns out that they only had large water lilies that would have been too crowded in my tub. I ended up getting Water Hyacinths, Fairy Moss, Anacharis, Anubius round leaf, Amazon Sword Plant, goldfish, and mosquito fish.

The Water Hyacinth and Fairy Moss float on top of the water. Water Hyacinth has a thick root mass that helps filter the water and the Fairy Moss acts as a sunshade. The fish like to nibble these two plants too. The other plants are submerged and provide habitat and oxygen for the fish. The Anacharis plant provides a lot of oxygen. I also added gravel to the bottom of the pond and a few granite boulders from my front yard to enhance the habitat.

Two other stores in the LA area that have a good selection of pond plants and animals are California Waterscapes and Sunland Water Gardens. It is a great joy to sit outside and watch the fish swim around in the water.


rachelsent/DreamWoven said...

beautiful and oh so tranquil. curious.... what about mosquitos? (not during the wintery months... but summer? water standing still and all..... i did something similiar one year with a dwarf papyrus plant.... loved it.... (in a very shallow ceramic bowl on legs)

Mienna said...

That's an awesome idea! It's beautiful. But I was wondering if you had to put a filter in there or anything? Do you refill it or just let the rain do that?

Anonymous said...

Zen in a bucket! I love the mini papyrus plants that you can grow in water gardens.


ErickaJo said...

I would love to do this... but I'm in NH. I just can't imagine my fish being ok with a good, old fashioned, New England Winter. I know larger ponds can be winterized, but with this out of the groun, I just don't know. Your mini pond is lovely, though. I'm envious :)

Ansley said...

Thanks everyone.

The fish eat the mosquitoes. I do not have a filter, but I do vacuum out the bottom every week or two that removes about ten percent of the old water. I refill the tub with filtered water from my Pur sink water filter.

If you want to make one too, I have found that books and magazines about the topic are most helpful. The net seems to have conflicting info.

As for cold winter areas, I am not sure, but I know books have info about that. If your tub is next to the house, it will get some insulation.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if you're still watching this older thread. Hope so. What about water temperature for the fish in these little containers? Doesn't it get pretty hot in southern CA? It certainly gets hot here (GA). With air temperature at 95o f, objects in direct sun can get to 130-140o, which in hotter than I can imagine fishies being able to tolerate. Do you provide any shade other than the floating plants? - Jim Fuller, Athens GA

Arnetta said...

City water has raised some concerns for many people that fear drinking contaminated water without a filter is very bad for you, your family pets and fish. Who knows what toxic material is in the water that is entering into your home; the best thing to do is to have the water filtered.

Water Filters

Ansley said...

I agree. When I change out the water, I use a Pur water filter that is attached to my tap.