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#542525 01/02/22 05:09 AM
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Wanting to try native eelgrass again (failed at my 2 previous attempts). Am I correct that the species should be Vallisneria americana? I tried a commercial supplier and a red variant graciously sent to me by a Pond Boss member which I tried in three different bodies of water and lost them all. I now have a pond with very clear water but a clay bottom and would like to try again. I would like to try the most aggressive and large variant. Does anyone have a suggestion for a good commercial supplier with which they have had success? This time I will fence off the planting with chicken wire in the hopes of discouraging critters from eating it. Will it survive in clay? Thank you in advance for any help.

RAH #542528 01/02/22 09:49 AM
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I got some on eBay that came in smelled horrible and melted after planting. In a five days it started growing new leaves and looking good. I left town for 10 days and no one fed the fish my pacu cleaned it out unfortunately. I was really looking forward to see its progress when I got back. They were Like 10 plants for 10.00 shipped and I got plenty of extras. Seller was in Alabama showed them in aquariums but I’m sure they were wild collected which is likely better to adapt to your pond.

RAH #542531 01/02/22 11:36 AM
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Sounds like we also need to utilize a "grow out" pond to get hard to source plants over the hump.

Can you dig a little pond right behind your shop or shed where it is easy to maintain and water your eelgrass?

How about an old plastic tote. Cut the top off and throw in some good soil and fill it with good green pond water?

After you get your eelgrass thriving there, you could have a long-term supply of cuttings to try and establish it in your ponds that could use it.

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RAH - I suspect that something such as waterfowl, turtles, muskrats, or grass carp ate your plants. Eel grass is very hardy and if planted as a healthy condition it is hard to kill; it even tolerates common herbicides. Plant the seedlings correctly and most importantly keep the herbivores away and it grows easily and well.

V. americana has a tendency to tolerate somewhat turbid, both soft and hard water. When well established it will compete with phytoplankton for dissolved nutrients and cause more water clarity which allows it to grow deeper into the pond sometimes as deep as 18ft when water visibility is 6ft+. I have seen V.americana leaf ribbons as long as 6-7ft tall in clear water ponds and some marinas of Lake Erie. IMO this is too tall of an ideal submerged plant for most ponds. Beds of ribbon leaf shaped eel or tape grass is very good fish habitat as it allows fish to hunt through the upright plant ribbons. The ribbons of eel grass are noticeably more dense compared to water lily stems which I think is better fish habitat compared to eelgrass.

For ponds I prefer the red variant that was sent to you. I call this one 'red tipped eelgrass' because the leaf ends are reddish or burgundy.. 'Red variant" does not grow as tall and leaves are not as wide as the standard V. americana. If one is in the southern states the spiral eelgrass is a short variety and grows less than 12" tall. I really like this type. I planted some of the spiral eelgrass in a northern Ohio pond and the last time I visited the pond the plants had not spread very much and were isolated to the area where they were planted. I planted quite a bit of my cultured spiral eelgrass in my pond and Chara crowded it out. I think V.sprialis is a more warmwater species that struggles to survive in ponds that get ice cover. Chara IMO is a more aggressive plant compared to eelgrass; at least the short varieties.

To reduce your chances of losses of the next planting, plant some of it in a kiddie wading pool, half barrel or similar short sided container with 1"-3" of garden soil or soil mixed with sand. An outside aquarium would also work to get plants growing & multiplying in case the pond planted plants do not survive. You would need to add a little sprinkling of fertilizer if you used all sand in the container. Garden soil or pond mud should have plenty of nutrients for growing eel grass. Initially you should probably use an aquarium aerator / bubbler to keep the pool / container water from becoming stagnant on the surface. As the plants multiply and spread during the summer water quality in the tub should improve and aerator would not be needed. Transplant the eel grass into the pond in fall. I grew several sprigs of seedling spiral eelgrass in shallow pans and tubs that were set into the beach bluegill spawning area. By fall the containers were full of green luscious plants.

I think one of my client's all perch pond has lots of the standard V. americana eel grass. A few years ago he tried to kill it, the curly leaf and the water lilies with herbicide and eelgrass gradually regrew. Note in IA, IL, IN OH, PA region eel grass is a warm season plant and does not produce leafy ribbons for transplant until sometime in June. By mid-late August it produces the corkscrew stems of the flower and seed heads that reach the surface

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/02/22 02:15 PM.

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RAH #542539 01/02/22 04:47 PM
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Look on page 47. Cardno Nursery in Walkerton, Indiana https://online.fliphtml5.com/xlwfp/ozdt/?1629130720648#p=47


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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I have bought plants from them, did a search of "cardno" and "eelgrass" finds nothing useful. Sometimes I wonder who they hire to help them online.

Last edited by RAH; 01/03/22 06:44 AM.
RAH #542561 01/03/22 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by RAH
I have bought plants from them, did a search of "cardno" and "eelgrass" finds nothing useful. Sometimes I wonder who they hire to help them online.


They don't sell online - you have to physically go there to pick them up I believe. Their business model is wildlife habitat restoration and they cater to companies that spend 1,000's of dollars for plants. They are not in the market to sell to individuals, nor is the underwater plant business a large percentage of their business. They also have no wholesale price sheet, or rather I could say they have no retail sheet. What price you pay is what everybody pays. You do NOT have to have a sales tax number to purchase from them.

I am only about 5-6 miles from the nursery, so I never inquired about shipping plants or seeds, I just go there to pick up.


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I am really just looking for 5-10 plants which I will try to fence in this time. I also want the regular eelgrass rather than the corkscrew or red types so it will be as hardy as possible. As a kid in the northeast, it was everywhere in streams and creeks, but I have not seen it around here in central Indiana. I am afraid that not protecting it on my last 2 attempts might have lead to my failure to establish the eelgrass. Trying to find a retail source that is adapted to the north rather than the south.

RAH #542566 01/03/22 05:25 PM
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FWIW, we have a place here not too far south of here, Missouri Wildflowers Nursery, that has a ton of water plants and grasses that I have bought from on several occasions to populate a wetlands onsite sewer system. I dont know if they have that particular variety but it may be worth checking into, they have tons of exotic plants.


All the really good ideas I've ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.
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No Valisneria eelgrass in the Missouri Wildflower Nursery price listing.
I called my perch pond neighbor and he said he still has lots of eel grass Vallisneria americana in his pond. Contact me for more information.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 01/03/22 09:05 PM.

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PM sent

RAH #542658 01/06/22 09:59 AM
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I have not used them, but this is who I looked at for a potential order this coming spring:

https://www.habitatnow.com/store/shop/shop.php?pn_selected_category=19

Located in Minnesota. $140 for 300-350 tubers.

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Originally Posted by lmoore
I have not used them, but this is who I looked at for a potential order this coming spring:

https://www.habitatnow.com/store/shop/shop.php?pn_selected_category=19

Located in Minnesota. $140 for 300-350 tubers.

Thanks! That looks like a good resource. I never thought about doing the paper bag thing, but I can see putting some dirt in the bag with the tuber planted in that dirt, then dropping the bags over the side of the boat. A lot easier than swimming and planting the tubers.


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