John from Lemoore California writes:
You brought plants to me a little over a week ago, and I'd like to thank you. They look all look great. My mother said you told her about a plant that would do very well on the bottom of the pool, but she couldn't remember the name of it. Anyway, she said it would be about $300 to cover the bottom. I'm very interested. Also, I was wondering if you think I'd still need a bio-filter if I cover the bottom. If so, do you have any advice on how to build or buy a cheap one?
Sounds great. If you have the right balance of plants, then you do not need a bio-filter. However, you might want to vacuum the pond if you intend to swim in it. My advice is to see how well you do with the plants first and see if they will filter well enough on their own. I have been ponding for over 10 years and have never had the need for any type of filtration system. The only time I have needed one was when I had a decorative fountain. Fountains get clogged easily and their motors burn out – even if they are propped up above the sediment.
The other idea I had for your pond was a floating island. You can purchase one commercially or you can make one like I did. The design I used was fashioned after the Aztec Chinampa (east to Google). It appears like a floating island, but is actually an island for crops that is built on poles or pylons.
The plant you are looking for is called "anacharis". It is important for algae control, oxygenation, and clarifying the water. I only have a small amount of anacharis in my nursery, but can order more from a friend. His plants are high quality and will take root quickly. If you have Paypal, that would be the easiest way for me to place the order for you..."