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Water Garden/Pond Water Lily Problem

25 10:02:43

Hi Leigh -
The "deep" end of our concrete pond is nearly choked with water lillies. The pond is about 8 feet long, 4 feet wide, a small waterfall at shallow end and averages about 2 1/2 feet deep. The lily roots seem to be one big mass happily entwined in the (unfortunately) thick layer of sludge in the bottom. Have tried lifting up the mass of plants by hand with the idea of removing them to thin out but it weighs a ton. Thought about draining the pond so we can remove most sludge and try breaking up the plants with a shovel but concerned about our several resident mosquito minnows and large bullfrog. We appreciate any advice you have on solving this problem. Thank you very much!
Melanie Mulford
Tracy, CA

Sounds like you have a good problem. Some would kill to get the lillies to flourish like that. I think that sludge is whats making the plants work.The tangle of plants make it a good hiding spot for small fish. If you want to thin the lillies go to a website explaining how to separate lillies.
If you want to lessen the sludge try just scooping it out with a shovel or a net.Sludge in the bottom is not a big deal unless it affects the clarity.As for hurting the fish it shoudn't be a problem they will survive the distubance as long as you don't hit them over the head with a shovel.I am betting your water PH is about perfect. It is not necessary to have the pond free from sludge. Bottom line is short of draining the pond, which I wouldn't suggest because it appears to be biologically OK. You can scoop and thin. If you must clean the bottom you could drain half of the water to make it easier and refill with clean water. When you top it up use some water preperation just to help the new water blend with the old. Hope I have been some help.Keep in touch.....Leigh