5 Types of Aquatic Plants in Natural Swimming Pools

These 5 types of aquatic plants in natural swimming pools are the best filtering mechanisms nature offers. Why does this matter when you go for a swim? Because when these plants produce nutrients for other organisms in the water, it continues the microbial community’s energy cycle. This cycle is how microbes in BioNova ®’s living water out-compete undesirable bacterial growth! Let’s learn how these aquatic plant combinations work together for the clearest, most natural water possible.

Plant Purification

The increased surface area of the water provides aquatic vegetation the space it needs to flourish. Most (if not all) of the aquatic plants listed exist in any pond in a park, preserve, or forest. Here are the plant types in question:

Photo courtesy of Nano Reef forums
  • Algae – This is the most basic form an aquatic plant can take. This simple organism has been around for hundreds of millions of years. The smallest form of this organism is microscopic and referred to as planktonic algae. Its primitive nature doesn’t detract from its filtration elegance, however. In a natural swimming pool, algae is an essential part of creating what we call “living water.” The living aquatic environment we are developing relies on healthy, controlled growth of phytoplankton and other producers in the microbial lifecycle. We keep this aquatic plan workhorse under control with the other aquatic plants listed below.
Floating plants gathered around emergent plants
  • Floating Plants – Floating plants are not attached to the bottom of a water body and can be small, floating foliage like duckweed or large in diameter like water hyacinth. Most floating plants have roots that dangle in the water to absorb nutrients. Floating plants can grow out of control and clog skimmers, so it’s important that they are contained properly for maximum benefit. The right plant right in the right place is the general rule of thumb, as one plant that performs well in one area may not do as well in another in terms of sunlight availability or water turbulence.
  • Submerged plants – Submerged plants are rooted in media or pots below the water surface. Some portions may stick above the water, but most of the plant mass remains beneath the surface. Moreover, the soft, fleshy stems of submerged plants generally do not come above the water. Floating fronds offer habitat to tadpoles and other critters to mature.
Cattails are a common emergent plant that have a distinctive velvety-brown head
  • Emergent plants – Emergent plants are rooted plants often along the shoreline that stand above the surface, like cattails. These stems are a lot firmer to help stand the plant up straight. The taller types of grasses, rushes, and reeds offer habitat for frogs and shelter for dragonflies. Using these wisely in a regeneration zone adds vertical interest sightlines and even more biodiversity to an organic pool.
Marsh marigolds add amazing color to the edges of an NSP
  • Marginal plants – As the name suggests, these plants grow in a pond’s margins. They share nutrients with other terrestrial plants nearby. Marginal plants prefer to have their roots and crown wet, so they grow in continuously saturated soil. These plants have the ability to filter and clean water as well as soak up pollutants. Additionally, they are necessary for other herpetological (toads, newts, salamanders, etc.) animals who depend on them for shelter from heat and predators.

When you think of aquatic plants in a natural swimming pool, think about the different roles each type play. The BioNova® BioSwimPond design utilizes several aquatic plants types in natural swimming pools’ regeneration zones. To build an effective regeneration zone, the right quantity of each plant must be used. Let the BioNova® certified landscapers and aquatic engineers craft the perfect regeneration zone for you in a BioSwimPond!

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