02 Jan 2021

How to Identify Pond Weeds

How to Identify Pond Weeds

If you own a pond, by now you may have noticed that weeds will occasionally take root in or around it. However, you may also have noticed that many of these aquatic weeds do not resemble the weeds commonly found in your yard. Common yard weeds will occasionally take root around the perimeter of your pond, and are easy enough to spot and remove.

However, this page specifically targets aquatic weeds, which require some knowledge on your part to identify. With a little homework, you should be able to tell them apart from your other aquatic plants, and extract them.

Weeds are weeds, right? What’s the big deal?

I know what you’re thinking: “I think I can tell what a weed is. It’s any plant that I didn’t deliberately put in my pond, correct? Can’t I just go and yank ’em out?” Well, okay. However, knowledge is still power. The more you know about the species of aquatic plants you have growing in your pond the more power you have over the direction your pond takes.

There are many reasons why you might want to know how to identify weeds. Some are more invasive than others, and thus require more immediate attention. Some may have properties that can be beneficial to your pond or marine life. Others blend into your other plants so well that you won’t know they are there until you know what they look like and how to spot them. And others may have special qualities that require some care on your part in order to remove without complications. In other words, it’s time for you to learn your weeds.

What are the Four Main Types of Pond Weeds?

alligator-weedsEmergent Plants

Emergent Plants are those with roots in the soil at the bottom of the water, yet with stems that rise above its surface. Some parts of these plants lurk below the surface, and other parts float on the surface. But all are rooted below. For example, water lilies float on the surface, but their stems reach to the bottom, where they are rooted.

  • Alligator Weed
  • Blue-hyssop
  • Bog Moss
  • Bulltongue Arrowhead
  • Bulrush Species
  • Bur-reed
  • Cattail
  • Large Flower Primrose Willow
  • Pickerelweed 
  • Water Pennywort
  • Wild Taro

american-featherfoilFloating Plants

Floating Plants and Weeds are plants whose roots dangle below the surface and are not anchored to the floor below. In a relatively stable environment (such as a pond) the plant can simply drift around on the surface, living out its life cycle without major difficulty. Water Hyacinths, for example, are not rooted at the floor; they simply float around on the surface.

  • American Featherfoil
  • Azolla (Mosquito Fern)
  • Bladderwort
  • Common Salvinia
  • Duckweed (Dotted Duckweed, Giant Duckweed)
  • Giant Salvinia
  • Floating Crystalwort
  • Florida Mudmidget
  • Rooted Water Hyacinth
  • Watermeal
  • Water Hyacinth
  • Water Lettuce

pond weedsSubmerged Plants

Submerged Plants are rooted at the floor of a body of water, with most or all of their mass below the surface. Often they have flaccid stems, which prevent them from rising above the surface. Hydrilla is an example of a submerged plant; it may resemble seaweed, but it is not algae. It has roots, a stem, and leaves, and they all work just fine underwater.

  • American Pondweed
  • Asian Marshweed
  • Baby Pondweed
  • Brittle Naiad/Marine Naiad
  • Brittle Waternymph
  • Bushy Pondweed
  • Cabomba
  • Coontail
  • Curly-leaf Pondweed
  • East Indian Hygrophila
  • Eelgrass
  • Egeria
  • Elodea
  • Eurasian Watermilfoil
  • Hydrilla
  • Illinois Pondweed
  • Parrot’s-Feather
  • Variable-Leaf Watermilfoil
  • Waterthread Pondweed 
  • Widgeon Grass


Algae are simple nonflowering aquatic plants that lack roots, stems, leaves or vascular tissue. Their species form a large, diverse group, including seaweed, and can even be monocellular. They have chlorophyll and use photosynthesis to make their own food, just like other plants. Critically, when conditions are right for them, they can multiply rapidly, resulting in large clusters, or “blooms”.

Algae come in many different varieties, but virtually all of them are considered invasive and a nuisance. Because none have a traditional plant structure (roots, stem, leaves) and most are microscopic, they should defy conventional means of identification. Look instead for bright green film growing on rocks or other pond features, or for clumps of viscid material floating in the water, or simply green murky water. At this point you are ready to remove it; you can learn more about the algae removal process from our algae removal page here.

Professional Koi Pond Installation in Oklahoma

Getting a professionally installed Koi pond in your home is only a short phone call away. At Oklahoma Ponds, we have over 30 years of koi pond installation expertise in the great state of Oklahoma. We are Oklahoma City’s fastest growing pond contractor, and that is not by accident. We strive to be the leader in all things garden ponds and water features. Every service we offer comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Why choose us?

Specialized Company

We specialize in the care and construction of garden koi ponds. This allows us to stay up to date with the latest technology and advances in our industry

Dependable Services

Each of our technicians are throughly trained in the care and construction of garden ponds and water features. All of our services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee!

Reputable Company

Every service comes with our 100% satisfaction guarantee. Our company’s reputation is impeccable, just take a look at our Google Reviews.

Request a FREE Koi Pond Installation Quote!

16 Oct 2020

Brace the Cold: 5 Winter Pond Maintenance Tips

The Importance of Winter Pond Maintenance

Ponds serve an array of functions for pond owners. They are the habitat for treasured fishes, they are a status symbol and more often than not they beauty a residential apartment. As such it would be a major shame to see such an important facility frozen over no thanks to an adverse season.

Winter comes with its unique problems, as such pond owners must be smart enough to follow some procedures to ensure they aren’t on the wrong side of the divide. Maintaining your pond during the wintertime is very important and in the course of this discussion, we’ll be showing you just how to do it.

How to prevent your pond from freezing over

There are a few ways you can prevent your pond from becoming an unwanted iceberg. They include:

  • Make your pond deeper

The deeper your pond, the harder the chance of it freezing. It’s worthy of note that ponds which are more than 36 inches deep are easier to stop from freezing absolutely. The ideal depth of your pond should be 48 inches deep or thereabouts. If you built your pond to a particular cap, there’s no reason why you can’t contact a pond man to do the needful. This will be very helpful to your fish, pond, and also your resources before and after winter.

  • Cover your garden pond

Winter tends to be super unforgiving and does not forget that ignorance is not an excuse. Don’t wait till your treasured pond is all frozen up before you react. The smartest way to handle a potential freezing catastrophe is to move swiftly into action. Cover your pond with a suitable material such as a section of netting, tarpaulin, or bubble wrap, well-stretched over a frame. The material you use for your pond depends on the said pond, take out time, make some research, and do what’s best for your pond and its inhabitants.

  • Invest in a Pond Heater

There are as many types of pond heaters in the market as there are fishes in your pond. Okay, I might be slightly exaggerating there, but you know the drill. There are different sizes and strengths of pond heaters so it’s only right that you pick what’s best for your type of pond. They all have their unique uses. The smaller ones are nice for keeping a small area defrosted, the slightly bigger ones are adequate for filtering the pond and heating all the water while whole pond water heaters are great for mass effect and an all-round job.

Do you need to keep your pump running in the Winter?

Keeping your pump running in the winter is dependent on a couple of factors and a bunch of conditions. The main factor however is if and whether the place you’re living in is adversely affected by the winter season. This would therefore lead to a few questions which need answering. 

  • What are the Benefits of having your Pump running in Winter?

Once your pond water isn’t sitting still, there’ll be a next to zero chance of it freezing, that’s what the pump does. Also, this is extremely essential if you have aquatic animals in your pond. A frozen pond would mean sure extinction so it’s super important that the pump runs all winter to help keep the water warm enough for them.

  • What are the Benefits of having your Pump running in Winter?

The only real way you can benefit from not having a pump during wintertime is if there is no aquatic animal present in the pond. As long as there’s none, monitoring the pond to avoid it freezing shouldn’t be that big of a deal. All you got to do is Keep an eye on weather reports to know when to turn off the pump. Simple right? 

  • The Nutshell

Honestly, it seems more work to not have a pump running than have one that’s running. You’ll be perpetually monitoring temperature (such a chore), there are so many pesky conditions (why won’t I have aquatic life), and the fact that winter is one of the laziest seasons ever. You should have a steady running pond pump as this will allay your fears and keep your aquatic buddies comfortable, productive, and super happy.

Winter Koi Pond Maintenance

Professional Koi Pond Installation in Oklahoma

Getting a professionally installed Koi pond in your home is only a short phone call away. At Oklahoma Ponds, we have over 30 years of koi pond installation expertise in the great state of Oklahoma. We are Oklahoma City’s fastest-growing pond contractor, and that is not by accident. We strive to be the leader in all things garden ponds and water features. Every service we offer comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Why choose us?

Specialized Company

We specialize in the care and construction of garden koi ponds. This allows us to stay up to date with the latest technology and advances in our industry

Dependable Services

Each of our technicians are throughly trained in the care and construction of garden ponds and water features. All of our services come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee!

Reputable Company

Every service comes with our 100% satisfaction guarantee. Our company’s reputation is impeccable, just take a look at our Google Reviews.

Winter Pond Maintenance Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How do I get my pond ready for winter?

  1. Reduce the number of leaves falling into the pond and quickly remove them with a net.
  2. Reduce significantly the dead or dying aquatic plant foliage during fall.
  3. Purchase a wheat germ-based pond food.
  4. Fully disconnect the pump, filter, and UV clarifier right before water freezes.
  5. Store ultraviolet clarifier indoors for protection.

Q2. Should I keep my pump running in the winter?

It depends on your unique situation like earlier discussed in this topic. This also really depends on just how severe this winter is. This coupled with the needs of your fishes in the pond might also sway you to keeping your pump running in the winter. Different strokes for different folks.

Q3. Do I need a pond de-icer?

Yes, it’s important especially if you care about your fishes in the pond. This is important if you stay in a place with high freezing over tendency. It might be a tad expensive, but it’s super important.

Contact us today for Winter Pond Maintenance in Oklahoma City!

Winter Koi Pond Maintenance

At Oklahoma Ponds, our mission is to be the number one garden pond contractor in the Oklahoma City Metro area. We do this by providing our customers with professional service, expert advice, and a personal guarantee that you will love working with us.

Our family has been building and caring for koi, garden ponds, and water features for over 30 years and is the premier pond care company in the Oklahoma City metro area. We aim at providing you with lasting pond solutions as well as a speedy response to all your questions about ponds and pond related matters.

We’re just a call away and you can reach us on the American hotline 405-353-6144. If you prefer a face to face meeting then that’s fine by us, you can visit our head office every day of the week from 8 am to 7 pm.

Request a FREE Koi Pond Installation Quote!

26 Feb 2020

Koi Pond in the Winter: Why Maintenance is Important

The cold winter months aren’t often associated with a thriving pond. You might think you have months to go until your pond needs your attention. But winter is the best time to schedule your pond’s cleaning and maintenance. The cold temperatures create ideal conditions for koi pond maintenance in winter. Cleaning out your pond now will help your pond prosper come spring and summer.

Does Your Pond Need Annual Maintenance?

Your pond is a delicate ecosystem that requires regular attention to thrive. We recommend an annual cleanout and maintenance every year. Not only does this maintenance clean out any debris that may have fallen into your pond during the harsh winter months, but it also protects the health of both the fish and the plants in your pond.

Springtime maintenance is also crucial to keep beneficial bacteria healthy while protecting against harmful bacteria. Keeping these bacteria at the right levels will leave your pond’s water clear and protect the health of your fish.

Why Winter is a Great Time for Pond Maintenance

While you’ll often hear about “springtime pond maintenance,” the winter months are actually a great time to schedule this service, particularly here in Oklahoma.

There are four fundamentals that keep your pond’s ecosystem healthy: filtration, bacteria, plants and fish, and additives. Each of these must be functioning correctly for your pond to thrive.

Annual maintenance is crucial to keep all four components working together successfully. While you might be tempted to wait until the weather warms up to schedule your pond cleanout, we encourage our customers to contact us well before spring hits. January, February, and March are ideal times to schedule a cleanout for several reasons.

Cold Weather is Safe for Fish

Your pond is more than just a decorative feature of your home or business. It’s also a living ecosystem that needs regular attention to flourish. Your fish, plants, and other features also represent a significant investment. Therefore, we work hard to keep every component of your pond healthy.

During the winter months, fish are much less active. The cold weather makes them sluggish. Because of this, your fish will experience less stress during a winter cleanout. During a cleanout, we remove your fish and place them in a holding tank. This process can cause undue stress during warmer weather, when the fish are more active. That’s why we encourage our customers to schedule cleanouts during winter: it’s less traumatic for your fish.

Winter Pond Maintenance Protects Beneficial Bacteria

Beneficial bacteria are a crucial part of a healthy pond ecosystem. These bacteria help improve water quality and increase the health of both fish and plant life.

During the winter months, these beneficial bacteria are dormant. When we do a winter cleanout, we can clean your pond without disrupting the beneficial bacteria. If we wait for warmer weather, those bacteria begin to colonize, and a cleanout can cause harm.

Get Your Pond Maintenance Scheduled and Out of the Way

Besides protecting the health of both fish and beneficial bacteria, scheduling your annual cleanout now means you’ll have one less thing to worry about when spring arrives.

Our schedule often fills up quickly as the weather heats up. But customers who schedule maintenance in January, February, and even March won’t have to wait for an appointment.

Plus, once the first blooms of spring start to show, your pond will already be clean, healthy, and ready for you to enjoy all season long.
Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Koi Pond Maintenance in Winter

Ready to get started? Give us a call at 405-353-6144. Our Pond Pros will be happy to answer your questions and give you an accurate price estimate.

24 Jan 2020

What Are Tannins and How Can You Prevent Them

We’ve officially reached the time of year when the leaves have mostly fallen off of the trees. Inevitably, at least a few of those leaves have found their way into your pond or water feature. For most ponds, a few leaves getting past the net or skimmer and making their way to the bottom of the pond is no big deal. Your pond is a thriving ecosystem, after all, so surely it can handle a few leaves, right?


Your pond ecosystem can indeed handle some leaves. However, letting too many fall into your pond, or letting leaves from certain tree species (like pecan) collect in the water can leave it with an unsightly brown or yellowish tint in the autumn. The tint is from tannins, which are an organic, carbon-based substance. Tannin buildup can be frustrating if you don’t know what caused it or how to fix it.


In low doses, tannins are not dangerous to your fish or your plants. They’re essentially a stain in the water that can, at times, be as dark as a cup of tea! So, what do pond owners need to know about tannins, and how can they get rid of them once they buildup? Read on to learn all about tannins.


What You Need to Know About Tannins


Imagine that your pond is a cup of tea and that the leaves are the teabag. The longer you let the leaves “steep” in your pond, the more tannins you’ll have staining your water and potentially knocking your ecosystem out of balance.


The most common cause of tannin buildup is leaves collecting in the pond in the autumn. However, a pond can develop tannins year-round if it has an excessive buildup of decomposing organic material. All organic materials release tannins into the water as they breakdown, but some release more than others. Pecan leaves and nuts, for example, create more tannins than some other tree species.


If your pond begins to develop tannins and you leave it untreated and let it progress, it can lower the pH in your pond. Too many decomposing organics can also overwhelm your pond’s beneficial bacteria, which allows ammonia and nitrite levels to climb. All three of these conditions can be dangerous for your fish and plants.


If you leave the tannins in your water during fall and winter, the bacteria in your pond will continue to decompose the organic materials in the warmer months. Bacteria use a lot of oxygen to breakdown organics, but the spring and summer are when dissolved oxygen is in the highest demand for your fish. When your fish have to compete for limited oxygen, it harms their health.


The good news about tannins? They’re easy to prevent, and they’re treatable!


How to Prevent Tannin Buildup


The best way to prevent tannin buildup is to address the problem at its source: leaves! Before autumn progresses and the leaves really start to fall, you should tightly cover your pond with a protective net. If you don’t already have a skimmer, you should invest in one. Skimmers are amazing filtration devices that mechanically remove solids from the surface of the water.


After installing a skimmer, or if you already have one, it’s really helpful to make sure that it is clean. If you live in an area with dense foliage near your pond, you may need to cover it with a net AND check your skimmer a few times each week as the leaves fall to keep the tannins in check. If you have questions about skimmers or would like to have one installed in your pond, give us a call.


Another quick, easy strategy to prevent tannin buildup is to rake the leaves in your yard to keep them out of your pond.


What Should You Do Once You Have Tannin Buildup?


Cleaning out tannins takes some effort, but it is possible, and it is worth it for the health of your pond. When we come across a pond that has a tannin problem, our first step is to remove the source: decomposing organic materials.

 What’s a Tannin, and Why Should You Care

Our pond experts begin by cleaning your pond’s skimmer and manually removing as much decomposing organic material as possible from the bottom of the pond. Next, we do a 25% water change twice a week to freshen the water. We also install a protective net to keep the pond from filling back up with leaves.


If the first steps aren’t quite enough, we add a water treatment called Clear by Aquascape. Pond owners usually see great results within 48 hours.


Another common and effective strategy for treating the water is to use activated carbon. As the water flows over or through the carbon filter, the carbon removes most natural pollutants, leaving clear, tannin-free water behind.  


Struggling with Tannin Buildup?


If you’re struggling to get the tanning buildup in your pond under control, or you’d like to prevent tannin buildup in the first place, get in touch. Your pond is our art, and we’re passionate about helping you maintain the most beautiful water garden possible. 

22 Nov 2019

Be Spring-Ready with Fall Koi Pond Maintenance

As you know, your pond is a full, thriving ecosystem. It includes plants, fish, and bacteria. Yes, your pond is full of good and bad bacteria. The good bacteria keep your pond balanced and help your koi stay healthy. However, there are two types of bacterium, Aeromonas and Pseudomonas, that can be deadly to your koi if the population grows out of control. Thus, it is important to understand good koi pond maintenance!

As a pond owner, knowledge is your best defense against koi illnesses. Knowing what causes Aeromonas and Pseudomonas to flourish and how to keep the population as small as possible is key to maintaining a healthy home for your koi. In this article, we’ll explain koi pond maintenance on how to manage the bacteria in your pond to keep your koi well.


What Are Aeromonas and Pseudomonas?

Aeromonas and Pseudomonas are harmful bacteria that flourish in cool water, usually from 42°F – 62°F. Your koi live side-by-side with Aeromonas and Pseudomonas year-round, and there’s really not a way to completely rid your pond of them. Most koi have some amount of the bacteria on their bodies and can even have them inside their intestines.

When your koi are healthy, their natural slime coat and immune systems protect them from the bacteria. However, in the spring, when your pond water temperature is ideal for Aeromonas and Pseudomonas, your koi’s immune systems are weak. After a dormant winter without eating, your koi are stressed and especially susceptible to parasites and bacteria.

Aeromonas and Pseudomonas cause ulcerative illness in your koi, such as mouth rot, fin rot, dropsy, and more. If left untreated, these ulcerative illnesses will eventually kill your koi.


Preventing Bad Bacteria Overgrowth

Heat is one of the best defenses to Aeromonas. However, most ponds rely on the sun for warmth, which is why the bacteria thrive in the cool spring water.

Aeromonas and Pseudomonas bloom in ponds that have a lot of decaying matter and fish waste after a long winter. One of the best things that pond owners can do is control the amount of waste that gets into their ponds. The less organic matter there is decomposing in your pond, the less food there is for Aeromonas and Pseudomonas.

You should also introduce good bacteria into your pond to fight the bad bacteria. Good bacteria blends include enzymes, natural microbes, micronutrients, and probiotics. The good bacteria eat the same thing as bad bacteria — decomposing organic matter and fish waste. Having a healthy dose of good bacteria means that bad bacteria have competition for their food. The result is that the good bacteria end up starving the bad bacteria so that they cannot bloom out of control in your pond.


Fall Maintenance with Oklahoma Ponds

Your pond is a magnet for falling leaves and blowing grass, which is exactly the kind of debris that Aeromonas and Pseudomonas love. The key to a successful spring and keeping your koi healthy is preventative fall maintenance. If you plan ahead and keep your pond water from getting too full of organic waste, then your koi will have less to fight against in the spring as they’re coming out of dormancy.

Oklahoma Ponds offers a fall pond service to preserve your ecosystem and protect your koi from Aeromonas and Pseudomonas. Our pond experts will trim aquatic plants to prevent decomposition, clean your pump, and check the filtration system to ensure that it is operating well. We’ll also introduce essential cold-water bacteria to help starve the Aeromonas and Pseudomonas throughout the winter. Finally, we’ll add a protective net to keep debris out of your pond.

By taking just a few steps to shut down your pond for the winter properly, your koi have a much better chance of getting through the tough spring months in good health. Give us a call right away to schedule your fall koi pond maintenance appointment.

05 Feb 2019

Time for Spring Cleaning, Especially for Your Pond

Winter is winding down. The days are getting longer; the weather is getting warmer. Now is the time to get your koi pond ready for summer with spring cleaning!

Proper garden pond maintenance is essential to the health of your fish, plant life, and your pond’s ecosystem overall. A thorough springtime cleaning is the number one way to keep your pond looking beautiful well into autumn and to prevent serious issues with water quality or fish health.

Warm Weather and Your Pond

Hot Oklahoma summers can wreak havoc on a neglected backyard pond. As the temperature heats up and the water warms, your pond comes back to life! But the heat also causes faster decomposition of sludge, fish waste, and debris on the bottom of your pond and between the rocks and gravel. Without manual removal, these can overwhelm both your biofilter and the awakening beneficial bacteria. With your biofilter and beneficial bacteria overworked, unsafe levels of ammonia and nitrites begin to form, leading to unsafe levels of algae or worse – killing your fish and plants. A thorough springtime cleaning can prevent biofilter overload, keeping your pond healthy all summer long.

Why Koi Ponds Need Spring Cleaning

Backyard water gardens thrive on a balanced ecosystem. Springtime cleanings are a critical component to keep your garden pond thriving.

A healthy pond ecosystem relies on four factors working together in harmony. Here’s how spring maintenance affects each of these factors:

  • An effective filtration system. Everything starts with your pond’s filtration system. The biofilter pulls particles from the water and hosts beneficial bacteria that eliminate and convert toxins in the water.  A professional pond cleaning service will clean all filters and check that your filtration system is working correctly.
  • Beneficial bacteria. Fish waste, decomposing plant life, and other debris in and around a pond cause an increased level of ammonia. Beneficial bacteria work to convert waste into nitrates, an element that is essential for healthy plants and clean water. As a garden pond matures over time, more and more of these beneficial bacteria occur naturally. However, newer ponds need a little help. Springtime pond maintenance should include adding beneficial bacteria to your pond to jump start this conversion process. Ask your pond cleaning technician which product and dosage is best for your pond.
  • Fish and plant life. A pond’s ecosystem relies heavily on plants and fish. Aquatic plants work in conjunction with your pond’s beneficial bacteria to eliminate harmful elements from the water, prevent algae growth, and add oxygen that is vital to the survival of your fish.Koi not only look beautiful and add color to a garden pond but also give the beneficial bacteria the “fuel” it needs to work properly.

    As summer approaches, plants begin to grow, and fish become more active. Spring pond maintenance will check the health of your plants and fish, fertilize plant life, and start proper fish care. It’s an annual check-up to make sure all pieces of your pond’s ecosystem are healthy and ready for the hotter months ahead.

  • Pond additives. Newer ponds benefit from chemical additives that help the entire ecosystem function more efficiently. Over the years, as your pond matures, it should become mostly self-sustaining. But a springtime clean-out is an excellent time to assess a pond’s overall health and determine if any additives are necessary.

What’s Included in a Springtime Pond Cleaning Service?

We suggest pond owners schedule service as soon as the weather begins to heat up – usually between now and June here in Oklahoma. If you have larger koi then the sooner the better. Larger koi are at a higher risk for stress and changes in their water chemistry, the colder the water the calmer they are through the cleaning process. (If your pond has koi over 14” and you would like more information on how we specially care for them, please call 405-473-2042 and speak with a Pond Pro).  At Oklahoma Ponds, our springtime pond maintenance includes the following:

  • Carefully remove fish and plants, placing them in holding tanks with oxygenating aerators.
  • Drain all water, vacuum out any debris or waste, and pressure wash all surfaces.
  • Inspect and clean the filtration system to ensure proper functioning, and introduce beneficial bacteria as needed.
  • Inspect any installed lights and clean lenses.
  • Test existing water for harmful elements. Introduce additives as necessary.
  • Inspect hardy water plants for overgrowth and potential issues.
  • Reintroduce and acclimate fish into the freshly-cleaned pond and examine them for any health problems.

Garden ponds should be enjoyable, beautiful additions to your space. A thorough spring cleaning will help your pond flourish all year long.

Contact the Pond Pros at Oklahoma Ponds today to schedule your cleaning.

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