Top Six Best Oxygenating Pond Plants – Keeping a Clear Pond

Top Six Best Oxygenating Pond Plants – Keeping a Clear Pond

Are you on the hunt for some vegetation that’ll clear up your pond or lake water? Whether it’s for a pond, lake, or backyard water feature, “oxygenating pond pants” can be quite affect when it comes to improving water quality. 

In this article, we cover all you need to know when it comes to oxygenating plants – plants capable of quickly improving both water quality and clarity. Let’s take a deeper dive into what oxygenating pond plants are and find out which ones will be best for clearing up your water. 

What are Oxygenating Pond Plants? 

Oxygenating pond plants are given their name for the way they release oxygen into the water during photosynthesis. These plants grow partially or completely underwater and can add both functionality and beauty to any landscape. 

Homeowners or property managers may consider adding pond plants for number of different reasons, but most commonly for the water clarity that comes with oxygenating plants. 

Guide to Plants that Oxygenate Water 

Not only are oxygenating plants the key to keeping crystal clear water, but they also improve the aesthetics of any water-centric space. You may want to consider each of the four pond plant types (bog, marginal, floating, and submersed), but stick with submersed if you are adding plants for the purpose of oxygen. 

Pond plants will be either perennial or annual. Certain species of pond plants may support flowers or leaves that form above the surface of the water. Submersed or submerged pond plants are also known as macrophytes. 

Benefits of Adding Oxygenating Pond Plants 

  • Deter algae: Perhaps their most common use as a pond plant. Oxygenating plants produce oxygen year-round through photosynthesis and consume minerals such as nitrogen from the water, outcompeting the algae. 
  • Support other plants: Because oxygenating pond plants do such a fantastic job at cleaning the water, many people choose to include them in their water feature for the sole benefit of keeping the water clean for other popular pond plants like Water Lily or Pickerel Plant. 
  • Dissolved Oxygen for fish: Most fish species have a minimum oxygen concentration requirement to survive. Adding pond plants may improve the oxygen content in the water enough to support a healthy population of fish. 
  • How do I make my pond water clear naturally? 

    For pond or lake water to be clear naturally, the water must find a nutrient equilibrium with all of the organisms that live in and around it. These organisms can influence levels of sunlight, oxygen, and nitrogen, alongside other elements and minerals in the water. Any fish, aquatic insects, birds, and vegetation in the water may be considered part of the many organisms that influence a body of water’s nutrient equilibrium. 

    The presence of certain organisms and microorganisms – such as algae – may knock the nutrient equilibrium in your pond off balance. Algae blooms can take a pond over in a matter of weeks. If algae is the reason for your pond’s unbalance and lack of clarity, pond plants are a great way to clean the water up naturally. 

    Most Effective Oxygenating Plants

    Are you looking for the best oxygenating plants to improve your pond’s water clarity and quality? Maybe you are hoping to improve your fish habitat, or add to your pond’s array of blossoming flora? The following list of pond plants includes options that are sure to satisfy any reason you might have for needing oxygenating plants. 

    1. Eelgrass (Vallisneria) 

    This durable, wavy grass plant is a great first choice for any pond. Eelgrass is easy to plant, and even easier to maintain. A plant that’s known to spread quickly, eelgrass can be easily maintained by cutting or raking the plant away. 

    The tall wavy leaves of the eelgrass plant can grow upwards of two feet in length. This plant comes in multiple varieties – each offering different colors and visual profiles. When eelgrass reaches maturity, it can turn a section of scummy pondwater into a flowy underwater meadow. Be sure to consider eelgrass if you are looking to improve both water quality and fish habitat! 

    2. Fanwort (Cabomba)

    This common oxygenating pond plant is known for it’s bright green, fan-shaped leaves – a popular plant profile seen in many aquariums and home fish-tanks. Like most pond plants, fanwort prefers to root in soft, muddy soil. Certain species of fanwort may also grow small flowers. 

    Fanwort’s broad leaves provide ample oxygen supply to any pond, but they are delicate in comparison to eelgrass. This oxygenating plant is best suited for depths of three to eight feet.  

    3. Arrowhead (dwarf sagittaria)

    Arrowhead is an excellent beginner pond plant and gets its name from its arrow-shaped leaves.  In comparison to some of the others on our list, this plant is durable and versatile in its habitat. Also known as dwarf sagittaria, the arrowhead plant can grow fully submerged or partially submerged. If you live in a variable weather environment, arrowhead may be a good choice, as it grows well in temperatures between 59°F and 84°F. 

    Arrowhead grows best in water no more than two feet deep. This powerful oxygenating pond plant is easy to take care of and effective at keeping water clear of sediment and algae buildup. 

    4. Hornwort (Anthocerotopsida)

    Similar to fanwort, hornwort has frilly, fingerlike leaves that provide great cover for fish and other organisms living in the pond. From a cultivation perspective, hornwort isn’t too difficult and requires several weeks of attention before it starts to sustain itself. 

    Hornwort thrives in water with a pH level between 6 and 8. The plant itself will grow to around 24” tall and may grow in water of variable depths up to seven feet. The most popular way to introduce hornwort in your pond is by weighting it and dropping it to the bottom. Once on the bottom, the roots of the hornwort can take hold and the plant will slowly spread over time. 

    5. Red Ludwigia (Ludwigia Repens) 

    This vibrant oxygenating plant will add color to any pond and grows best in shallow waters. As it thrives in depths less than three feet, Red Ludwigia is one of the most popular oxygenating plants for a small pond. 

    The colorful Red Ludwigia has slightly tighter growing conditions than other pond plants: 72°F-82°F for water temperatures, and pH levels between 6.5 and 7.5. With ample amounts of sunlight, the characterizing color of the Red Ludwigia can add some pop to any outdoor area. 

    6. Water Lettuce (Pistia Stratiotes) 

    Also known as water cabbage, this incredible plant can add desirable beauty to any setting. Alongside it’s utility as a fish habitat provider, it’s use as an oxygenator is frequently brought up in discussion among scientists. 

    To answer the question, “Is water lettuce an oxygenator?”, yes, not only is it an effective oxygenator, but also a great habitat addition to any koi, cichlids, or snail pond. The plant is named for its cabbage-like leaves that grow on top of the water. Beneath the surface, water lettuce is a tangle or roots and stems – a place for oxygen production and aquatic habitat. 

    Other Popular Oxygenating Pond Plants 

    There are too many effective and beautiful pond plants to put on this list, so here are a few more if you are looking for some variety. 

    • Mermaid Plant 
    • Creeping Jenny (Moneywort)
    • Water Wisteria 
    • Water Sprite
    • Red Rotala

    How to Plant Oxygenating Pond Plants (Step-by-Step) 

    Choosing your pond plants is the most exciting part of updating your outdoor area with new life, Planting your new oxygenating friends might seem intimidating at first, but don’t fear. Planting oxygenating plants in your pond is a simple process, and can be achieved in a few straightforward steps. 

  • Plant Location: Finding a suitable location for your pond plant will be determined by a few factors. Most importantly, keep sunlight levels, water depth, and soil quality in mind when choosing a spot. Also consider the plants that are nearby. The last thing you want is for your new oxygenating plant to overcrowd and outcompete other plants around it. 
  • Gather Materials: Besides your chosen new plant species, you’ll also need a pot or container to put the plant in and some added weight (usually gravel or rocks) so it can all be secured on the bottom. 
  • Plant! Secure your pond plant in the soil within the basket, pot, or other container. Add your gravel or other weighted material to the container and drop your plant securely on the pond bottom. 
  • Watch it Grow: Given enough time, the roots of your pond plants will naturally take hold on the bottom. With each passing day, your plants will continue to stretch their branches, oxygenate, and clean the water. 
  • Best Way to Clean/Oxygenate Pond Water

    There’s no doubt about it, updating your pond or home water feature with oxygenating pond plants is an effective way to clean and clear up your water quality. With that being said, pond plants aren’t the only way to clean up mucky pond water. Many home and property owners choose to supplement their pond plant growth with a few fast-acting solutions. 

    Our most popular cleaning solutions for ponds include the Beneficial Pond Bacteria and Muck Assault to control algae growth. If you are looking to ensure your water quality clears up sooner rather than later, coupling the addition of your new plants with these powerful products is a must! 

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