With all of the usual spring tasks in my garden, the water garden project languished. Finally, about a month ago, I got into the pond, took out all of the water lilies, drained the pond and started working on the 'new' pond.
I put in a new liner, added grey limestone 'walls' and found an antique farm grindstone to use as a feature in the middle of the pond. The project was finally ready to add water last weekend. Here is the pond, sans water lilies. I wanted to be sure everything was working right before I added the water lilies (they are in the black tubs, to the right in the picture).
I've decided I'm going to divide and re-pot the water lilies before I plant them, but we're scheduled to leave on vacation this afternoon, so it will have to wait until I return in 10 days. As I was doing a little last minute watering this morning, I discovered one of the plants, sitting in muck and mud and an inch of water in the black tubs, had bloomed. I call that one persistent plant!
My understanding is the koi are after the clay in the litter. Have you tried putting egg rock over the top of the clay or planting your waterlilies in pea gravel? The egg rock should be too heavy for the koi to pick up.
I use pea gravel with the egg rock over the top of the pea gravel so that the pea gravel stays in the pots and doesn't end up in my filters - do the koi go after the waterlilies you have planted in the rocks?
I may try that next year. I am ordering a bunch of antibiotics, natural ones, to retreat the pond prior to winter. Water is 59F so have to add it fast. I started a new thread "Fall and Winter" in the Water Garden forum. Thought it might be interesting to compare shutdowns, methods and timing, across country like we do flowers blossoming. I expect a reversal of the pattern with me shutting down earlier than most others.
I have a small waste paper can with a lid that I keep my fish food in. I dump a cup or 2 of metemormilite clay ( I know I messed up the spelling on that one!) into the feed and shake the whole thing until mixed. The oils in the food stick the clay to it. Clay keeps the colors of your koi bright and clear, as well as helping them get nutrients/minerals they don't usually get in a contained pond situation, and helps them fight off diseases too. It's a win/win. :)
Yes, I looked there. If they are willing to do USPS NOT UPS, the price is fine. I order from The Microbelab store and they ship USPS and they do have the clay. I looked around and found that some people even sell it for human consumption, as well as all sorts of critters like dogs, cats, horses, etc.
I know my fish became much healthier when I starting using it a few years back, and my water quality and clarity was excellent too! I usually don't go with a name brand, just a cheap supplier who sends so many pounds in a trash bag and then boxes it for shipment. The fishes colors are more vibrant because they get the missing trace elements not normally found in their food.
My water is crystal clear though with a greenish tint. And I have problems with a very thin veil of something on the surface. It is still very clear to the bottom and is just irritating to see. I can clear the surface with the hose spraying toward the skimmer, but it always comes back in an hour or so.
I use it quite often...it's not a chemical, it's a natural mineral compound. They use it when building natural enviroment ponds as a liner, because in massive quantities, it becomes clay like when wet. It seals the ponds so you don't lose water. I have a pond with a liner, so I don't have that problem, but as an additive to the food or water, it will clear the water, make your koi's colors brighter, and keeps them healthier. It replaces missing nutrients they don't get from fish food alone.
Nursery said to give the fish some vegetables (mixed, or fresh, lite salt or rinse) and that will keep them from the lilies and lotuses! I'll try anything! A handful 2 or 3 times a week should work he said.
I heard they liked fresh peas. I figured the larger fish could handle them but them would slurp them down then spit them out. Maybe they just need to get used to them. Haven't tried broccoli flowerets or spinach bunches yet.