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Vallisneria in ponds?

KirstyF

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Just wondering if I would be likely to be able to transition some of my Vallisneria from my nice cosy aquarium to my, not so cosy, pond without it dying of shock!!

If so, any ideas on the best way to go about it?
 

Kerrycarp

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I was considering this just yesterday so I would also be interested in hearing if it would be possible.
 

MichaelJ

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Just wondering if I would be likely to be able to transition some of my Vallisneria from my nice cosy aquarium to my, not so cosy, pond without it dying of shock!!

If so, any ideas on the best way to go about it?

Hi @KirstyF, Interesting question. I figure it might depend on the type of Vallisneria. Here in Minnesota Vallisneria Americana (called wild celery or tapegrass here) is quite prolific in the shallows around clean lakes and rivers. The Americana is quite capable of dealing with the massive swings in temperature we experience around here. We live on a lake and I occasionally have to rake some of them out along our shoreline being mindful of the fact that they provide a lot of shelter for smaller fish and other critters. Surprisingly, we also have Brazilian Elodea here, which is invasive btw.

I don't think the temperature difference will pose much of a problem unless you abruptly take them from say 25 C to 5C. I guess you could try and adapt them slowly in a bucket/container outside - start out with tank water and slowly increasing the pond water to tank water ratio over a couple of days depending on the differences in water parameters.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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tam

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I had some outside in a container, it actually survived over winter (south, uk) I think it was sheltered enough it never froze. It didn't particularly take off, but to be fair it was just lose and would probably have done better with substrate and ferts.
 

zozo

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The V. spiralis is also native to southwest Europe (parts of north Africa and Asia). So it should be OK in a pond in a sunny spot preferably.
 

KirstyF

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The pond is in a very sunny spot @zozo, which is part of its problem tbf. I am currently battling blanket weed and, so far, the weed is winning 😂 Its a fairly new pond so I think I mostly need to increase plant mass and surface cover and the Vals would, I think, look lovely and meet both of those goals.

don't think the temperature difference will pose much of a problem unless you abruptly take them from say 25 C to 5C.

I think this could be the biggest challenge. I’ll check temps but I’m guessing the pond will still only be topping out at around 10 degrees at the moment (likely cooler overnight)

I guess I could try the bucket on the patio plan and if it doesn’t work out, try again later in the year when it’s warmed up a bit. I have no lack of Val’s in the tank so I’ll have spare to play with. 😊

but to be fair it was just lose and would probably have done better with substrate and ferts.

Thanks for the heads up. I’ve spare baskets so can plant up with some pond soil and pop a fert ball in.

Also planning to start doing some ‘topping up’ with tank water now the plants are starting to come back to life. Not sure how well that will work out, but it’s been a real dry winter and the pond is low so, failing all else, it’s environmentally friendly. 😊
 

zozo

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The pond is in a very sunny spot @zozo, which is part of its problem tbf. I am currently battling blanket weed and, so far, the weed is winning 😂 Its a fairly new pond so I think I mostly need to increase plant mass and surface cover and the Vals would, I think, look lovely and meet both of those goals.

Is that this green filamentous slimy stuff? Then it is pretty normal to have it this time of year, especially in a fairly new pond. It's still rather very cool, at least the nights are and also are still relatively long. The mature plants are all still in their premature startup phase, new yet not fully rooted plants are busier with surviving the cool water temperatures and are at a standstill.

I have this slimy stuff each year over again starting from April till the end of May into June, then the plants will start to metabolise at full throttle and the algae will disappear as quick as it came.

I've tried V. spiralis in the past but in my experience, it was still a much too young a plant and rather temperature-sensitive it didn't survive because I planted it too early and could be the fish loved it. I would at least wait another month for the nights to get warmer. Next year once it has a fully developed root system it could be different.

You could try a Potamogeton sp. (natans for example) these are native and pretty strong and will survive mild winters as evergreens and start growing much earlier. Also early growing marginal plants could be of great help, such as the Iris pseudacorus is an extremely early grower and already about mature enough to flower in the month May. The Eriophorum angustifolium is also a relative early starter and would be a great follow up next to Thypa minima. Finding a complete database for pond plants that also gives the flowering month, you can choose plants flowering from early to late in the year. Early flowers mean it needs to start growing early will help startup the pond. Follow-ups that start later keep it up and running and you'll have flowers the entire season. For example Schizostylis flowers very late, and also start to grow later, it will still be about dormant in May but starts growing in the warm summer and flowers in September till November... :) Choose the plants wisely regarding this and use their seasonal properties to the full extent..
 
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MichaelJ

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The pond is in a very sunny spot @zozo, which is part of its problem tbf. I am currently battling blanket weed and, so far, the weed is winning 😂 Its a fairly new pond so I think I mostly need to increase plant mass and surface cover and the Vals would, I think, look lovely and meet both of those goals.



I think this could be the biggest challenge. I’ll check temps but I’m guessing the pond will still only be topping out at around 10 degrees at the moment (likely cooler overnight)
Hi @KirstyF I think you just might have to transition it slowly.... also, I might have overlooked it, but what kind of Valis are we talking about here? The Americana that I mention we have on our lake comes back every late spring - after the lakes been frozen over! In the shallows (1-5 ft) where it grows, the lake is frozen to the bottom for about 3 months. - This year we had at least 3 ft of ice on the lake.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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KirstyF

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Is that this green filamentous slimy stuff? Then it is pretty normal to have it this time of year, especially in a fairly new pond. It's still rather very cool, at least the nights are and also are still relatively long. The mature plants are all still in their premature startup phase, new yet not fully rooted plants are busier with surviving the cool water temperatures and are at a standstill.

I have this slimy stuff each year over again starting from April till the end of May into June, then the plants will start to metabolise at full throttle and the algae will disappear as quick as it came.

I've tried V. spiralis in the past but in my experience, it was still a much too young a plant and rather temperature-sensitive it didn't survive because I planted it too early and could be the fish loved it. I would at least wait another month for the nights to get warmer. Next year once it has a fully developed root system it could be different.

You could try a Potamogeton sp. (natans for example) these are native and pretty strong and will survive mild winters as evergreens and start growing much earlier. Also early growing marginal plants could be of great help, such as the Iris pseudacorus is an extremely early grower and already about mature enough to flower in the month May. The Eriophorum angustifolium is also a relative early starter and would be a great follow up next to Thypa minima. Finding a complete database for pond plants that also gives the flowering month, you can choose plants flowering from early to late in the year. Early flowers mean it needs to start growing early will help startup the pond. Follow-ups that start later keep it up and running and you'll have flowers the entire season. For example Schizostylis flowers very late, and also start to grow later, it will still be about dormant in May but starts growing in the warm summer and flowers in September till November... :) Choose the plants wisely regarding this and use their seasonal properties to the full extent..

Yep, it is indeed the slimy devil! 😂

I scooped 3/4 of a bucket of sludge off the top of the pond a fortnight ago and the same again this week! 😡

The plants under water are completely coated in a blanket of gunge!

First ever pond so I ambitiously dug a 6M by 3M hole, just shy of a metre deep in the middle and with shelves all round and a shallow beach at one end. Then, feeling very proud of myself, realised I had perhaps slightly underestimated just how many plants I might need to fill it so……I’m kinda on catch up. 😂

It survived the pea green water stage and the mosquito infestation and got working on the blanket weed late summer so all round it’s been lots of fun. 👍

The host of dragonflies last year and the frogspawn I’ve had this spring make it all worthwhile! 😊

Really appreciate the plant suggestions. Some shopping is in order and I think early and fast growers would certainly pay for themselves right now and succession planting is a great longer term goal.

I’ll hold off on the Vals for another month then. 👍
 

KirstyF

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Hi @KirstyF I think you just might have to transition it slowly.... also, I might have overlooked it, but what kind of Valis are we talking about here? The Americano that I mention we have on our lake comes back every late spring - after the lakes been frozen over!. In the shallows (1-5 ft) where it grows, the lake is frozen to the bottom for about 3 months. - This year we had at least 3 ft of ice in the lake.

Cheers,
Michael

Now that’s a very good question!!

Depending on where you look Americana Natans grows to 100cm Adriatica may be only 30cm.

Valisneria just advertised as‘Spiralis’ can be 30cm/60cm or ‘may grow to 3ft but usually only in the wild’

I believed it to be ‘Spiralis’ with nothing more specific than that, but as some of my straps are heading towards 4ft long now, Americana gigantea could be a candidate!
 

MichaelJ

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Now that’s a very good question!!

Depending on where you look Americana Natans grows to 100cm Adriatica may be only 30cm.

Valisneria just advertised as‘Spiralis’ can be 30cm/60cm or ‘may grow to 3ft but usually only in the wild’

I believed it to be ‘Spiralis’ with nothing more specific than that, but as some of my straps are heading towards 4ft long now, Americana gigantea could be a candidate!

I think Spiralis might be more sensitive / adapted to a more temperate climate, but honestly I do not know. The Americana we have here grows very long - I never measured but I would bet 3-4 ft at least ... I have to get pictures next time I rake. Well, in the meantime here is a picture from last summer of a very grumpy newly hatched Western Painted turtle (native to Minnesota) making its way to our lake for the first time :lol: The hatchlings loves to hang out among the Vallis.

grumpyPaintedTurtle.jpg


Cheers,
Michael
 
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zozo

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It's always good to have plants in there as much as you can... But at this time of year even with loads of plants that slimy stuff consisting of algae and bacteria will always be there more or less... Fewer plants more slimy stuff, more plants less slimy stuff and the sooner it will be gone again. But at this time of year even with loads of plants, it's pretty normal to have it... I would say no worries, if it's planted only with marginals it will go away again.

I have several tubs in the garden, here is one that is loaded with plants surviving the winter. Water lily, Potamogeton gayi, Hydrocotyl sp., Water mint and Bog Fern and mosses all over.

Hard to take a picture from submerged plants under a reflecting surface, but this tub is bursting with plants. But yet they are not really metabolising that much.
IMG_20220425_095742969.jpg


It's mainly littered with Potamogeton.
IMG_20220425_095808560.jpg


Bog fern just starting up and coming back from winter sleep. This will be 10 x this size within next month.
IMG_20220425_100751205.jpg


And Slimy algae stuff all over the place, each year again at this time of year.
IMG_20220425_095752895.jpg


It's too slimy to get my hands on it. but it's in there and a lot...
IMG_20220425_095757691.jpg


And that's only 1 tub, there are a few more, there also is one with just a few plants but no submerged plants only marginal and that one looks similar to what you describe as one giant green slimy blob.

If it would be a rough and gritty feeling thread algae, like Clado that's something to worry about, but that slimy stuff is harmless and actually a startup help that only looks awful. :)
 

killi69

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I have giant Vallis (V. Americana) in my ponds all year round and have grown them in tubs outside for many years. They grow long leaves over the summer and in winter become much smaller. They have not really grown since the winter, so like @zozo suggests, it would be good to get a variety of plants in there, including those which grow earlier on the season. As @zozo mentioned Potamogeton gayi is excellent, and also P. crispus.
I wound down an aquarium last October and moved a basket with giant vallis straight from the tank into the pond and it survived without any problems. But best to wait for a few weeks I think, especially as I assume you will be transplanting the Vallis bare root, rather than move them in a pot/ basket.

I would not mind giving V. spiralis a try later this summer though🤔
 

KirstyF

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@zozo @killi69 @mort @MichaelJ

Thanks so much for all your comments. This is all looking rather more promising than I thought it would be! 😊

So……wait a month or so before trying the Vals, do some plant research, go plant shopping (oh such a chore 😂) and stop scowling so much at my green gunge, it’s not so bad as I think!!!

Also…..I was planning to lift my current plant baskets and add some fert balls this weekend, which will give me a chance to clean up winter debris as well. This will likely stir up some muck and I have a filter running on the pond at the moment.

The problem with the filter is that it creates enough flow to always keep the middle area of the pond clear of surface plants, which somewhat defeats the object of trying to create more surface cover.

Do you think it’s worth just switching the filter off, after it’s cleared any stirred up muck for a couple of days, to allow any new floaters etc to do their job better?
 

mort

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If its a wildlife pond then turning the filter off is fine.

I setup a wildlife pond in my brothers back garden about 4 years ago. The first year there was lots of algae, the second hardly any and last year I stripped to many plants (it had gone a little crazy) in spring and got an algae bloom so this year I left it alone and there is no algae whatsoever apart from on the frogspawns dicarded jelly.
The pond had a pump with filter sponge for the first two years but after I found so many tadpoles stuck to it I swapped it for a air powered sponge but only because we had algae. I took the sponges off and left it just bubbling because he likes the movement but it's not been on since last autumn now. It might get put back on in the summer but I'll leave it up to him.

I think wildlife ponds really get going after a couple of years and it takes ages to reach a stability. The weather can definitely mix things up but they should right themselves in time. Don't worry to much, it will come good.
We are lucky that he has a garage near by and I diverted the downpipes so they fill the pond (one straight to the pond, the other fill two 300 litre water butts first for top ups and my blueberries) with rainwater, keeping nutrients nice and low.
 

KirstyF

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Hey @mort

Yes, it’s a wildlife pond. No fish. We have lots of herons in the area and I don’t want to net the pond. One stops by quite often, eyeing it hopefully, so I’m pretty sure any fish would not last past lunchtime!

Great idea with the down pipes. I also have a (now converted) garage just about 5 feet from the pond and need to replace the wooden gable ends this year so might just add a little down pipe re-direction to that project. Would certainly save on top ups and I’ve got sandy, free draining soil so the surrounding planting would be more than happy to take up any overflow!

Getting all sorts of bonus tips from starting this thread. 👍😊
 

KirstyF

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Well the first few Vals are in. If they survive the next couple of weeks or so, I’ll add some more. 🤞

The longest came in at 140cm . This is one plant that appreciates my hard tap water me thinks 😂 Let’s see how much they sulk in the likely somewhat softer and certainly somewhat cooler pond!!

Not massive root systems interestingly, considering the size of the plant. Who needs roots if you have EI eh! 😉

4B9BA553-7FB5-4C88-BECF-0A47E395CF4C.jpeg
2FCF0100-D8C3-4311-95DD-4E66FB9BA23E.jpeg
9EDAD5A1-2C24-4B06-8D2D-B53F0CD16896.jpeg
 
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