Fish Pond

Water Hyacinth Take Over

My fish pond or is it water hyacinth pond?

I can’t say that too much of anything is a good thing, I’d never have thought that I would have a problem with the Water Hyacinth, this water floating plant is spreading at a very fast pace, practically taken over my pond. Water hyacinth are free-floating perennial aquatic plants native to tropical South America. One of the fastest growing plants known, water hyacinth reproduces primarily by way of runners or stolons, which eventually form daughter plants. They provide a food source for gold fish when used in man-made ponds, also help to keep water clean, and provide oxygen.

Water Hyacinth
Water Hyacinth

Although I do have to say that the flowers are beautiful but usually last only a day or so, and the leaves are glossy green, the air pockets in the bulbous areas keep the plant afloat. I think the problem is that my pond is too small and this is spreading too fast, I gave some of them to my second sister but hers are not doing well at all, they’re yellowish and her fish apparently ate all the roots. My roots are still intact, and the long thick black roots provide spawning and hiding places for my fish, I now have at least 6 to 7 new baby fish. Of course another benefit is the nutrient absorbing qualities of the plant, they help to control the algae in the water.

Koi fish, gold fish, and baby fish
Baby fish

In some areas, these are used as cattle food and in biogas production. Recently, they have also begun to be used in wastewater treatment due to their fast growth and ability to tolerate high levels of pollution. Parts of the plant are also used in the production of traditional handicrafts in Southeast Asia, some samples of mats, baskets, and sofa below.

Water Hyacinth Mat, this is natural flooring water hyacinth rug / mat / carpet with plaited style. It makes your room warm and nice looking. Made in Vietnam.

Water Hyacinth Basket. Made in Vietnam.

Water Hyacinth Mat. Made in Thailand.

This is a Water Hyacinth sofa, corner unit, selling at $951.00. Made in Thailand.

This is an interesting read by morungexpress, August 26, 2008: Water hyacinth turns into exotic handicrafts

Entrepreneurs producing handicrafts from water hyacinth at a training programme organised by NEDFi
Entrepreneurs producing handicrafts from water hyacinth at a training programme organised by NEDFi

Of course, this is one way of controlling the Water Hyacinth, and I do have to say that it’s a very creative way of doing it by turning them into handicrafts. Another way is to Bamboo stakes placed to control water hyacinth at Lake Tempe.

Photo taken by Rhett A. Butler
Photo taken by Rhett A. Butler

These bamboo tripods form bungkas, large man-made circles of floating vegetation. These serve as fish traps, attracting fish during the rainy seaons. As water levels drop towards the dry season, a fine bamboo fence is built around the bungka, trapping the fish.

11 thoughts on “Water Hyacinth Take Over”

  1. Glass Tiger is one of my favorite 80’s band. Good song too. 🙂

    Don’t your area get snow or cold enough to freeze the water? Just wondering what do you with the fish in the Fall/Winter.

  2. The water hyacinth really looks great, but I’m like you. Too much of a good thing may not be so good. I can’t believe how much it has grown since earlier photo’s you posted this summer.

    The explosive growth indicates that the conditions within the pond were evidently perfect for the plants. It would seem, however, that if and when they cover the entire water surface they may potentially upset the balance of the water for other life forms by completely blocking the sunlight from the water. I don’t know that this is the possible situation, but it may be something you want to look into.

    You have such a beautiful little pond. I know you enjoy it daily.

  3. Dallas, it’s not that cold here, and the fish can survive the cold or icy water. They stay dormant, so I don’t have to feed them during winter time, I give them a special food now to prepare their body for the winter months.

    The song is from my old CD, we seem to like the same type of music.

    Baker, it’s actually not good to have them covered the entire water surface, and I’ve to weed out the old ones, Max (my puppy) has been helping me some. I want to give them away, but most people are afraid of them, I do wish that I have a bigger pond.

    They will not survive the winter months, so I have to bring some inside for next year.

  4. this is awesome
    i never never knew that the expensive sofas / furnitures in Bangalore can be actually made in assam

  5. Humm, maybe you can give me some of your water hyacinth?? That is if i can buy some from you, if it’s possible to send it. I would love to have some..

  6. mozemoua, we can give it a try, I’ll email you beginning of next week to see how I can do this. You don’t have to pay me, it’d not cost that much, and by the time you get it, I’m not sure what condition it will be in. 🙂 I hope it’d be okay because you’re not too far from me.

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