You walk into a trendy restaurant. You browse the daily specials…the featured fish of the day? Lionfish. This is one creative way to fight the exploding population of these fish invading Caribbean waters and rapidly expanding north along the Eastern coast. Read More »
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Rocky is Spared: The Plight of One Family to Save their Beloved Pet
There aren’t often stories in the news about fish that give you warm fuzzies, but this one came pretty close. Fish people are passionate about their pets, and though you typically can’t cuddle them or play fetch with them, to many of us they are just as loved as the family dog or cat. Rocky’s story is an example of the love one owner feels. Rocky may not be the fish that many of us picture as a fun pet, being that he is a snakehead, and we know the trouble they cause, but I have to say that this particular fish I feel for. His responsible keeper deserves a pat on the back for fighting for his pet’s life and for being said responsible keeper. I guess we can’t let all fish fall victim to invasive species profiling.
Here are just a couple of links to articles on Rocky’s plight, there are tons more if you search:
Overgrowing Pond Plants and Invasive Species
It’s starting to get warm. Really warm in the U.S. And, for many of you, you’re starting to notice your pond plants are starting to kick it into overdrive.
Pond Plants, more than most other plants in my opinion (probably because they always have access to water) can really kick into growth once the water temperature goes up. I’ve been one of the folks who literally starts throwing away the water hyacinths I paid 4 bucks for a few months earlier because I have no where to go with them. I’ve seen the dwarf moneywort in my pond run out of room within and establish itself OUTSIDE the pond. Even hardy pond lillies, while beautiful, can go to town in a mud bottomed pond.
It is these rapidly growing plants which form some of the most environmentally invasive species available. Imagine, what’s happening in your pond allowed to carry on unabated in a large lake? Unless you can properly dispose or trade them, do not introduce them back into the wild. The threat of serious ecological impact is particularly strong from these seemingly unstoppable plants.
Many local garden clubs or websites will be happy to share and swap out plants with you. You may even be able to pick up a new species or 2 for your water garden. As in all things, consider the impact before you act…..
For more information on invasive plant species within the US, check out invasivespeciesinfo.gov.
A Word About Water Hyacinth
Patty here. Just about anyone with an ornamental pond has either heard of water hyacinth or has a personal experience with hyacinth to share. I find it to be an interesting and useful plant, and here in PA we don’t have to worry about its invasive tendencies and notorious reputation like those of you in warmer climates. I thought I’d give a little background on this floater to help you get to know it better.
Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is native to tropical South America where it forms vast mats on the water’s surface. It is sun and heat loving and can reproduce at a ridiculous rate by producing long runners and stolons, which is why it is cosidered a noxious and invasive species in many states and countries. They can double in population within about two weeks if the conditions are right!
It has unique structure. Each leaf has a spongy bulb which allows it to float on the surface, and the leaves have a waxy, waterproof feel. The root system hangs in a long-stranded cluster beneath each plant, and the roots are white to dark purple-brown and very hairy. These plants also produce beautiful flowers in the peak of summer, a cluster of light purple flowers with six petals each and a violet and yellow accent on the top petal of each flower.
Hyacinth does have its notorious side, and the reputation is well-deserved. However, in cooler climates, and with responsible management this plant has carved out a valuable niche. Because hyacinth grows and reproduces so rapidly, it makes a terrific solution to provide shade on ornamental ponds. Two to three single plants is usually way more than enough to cover a broad area of water surface within a few short weeks, ad it will be necessary to prune the mat to keep the population in check. The floating mat is a refuge for pond fish and frogs, a food source, and a form of natural, efficient biological filtration.
The foliage and blossoms are as pretty as they are useful, but the roots are the real prize. Not only do they provide a surface for fish to deposit eggs, but they serve as a safe haven for fry, tadpoles, and other organisms as they grow. They have the ability to remove toxins, excess nutrients, and other compounds from the water and have even been used in industrial water treatment applications. Hyacinth helps to oxygenate, and can even be placed in the filter’s sump as long as there is enough sun!
Hyacinth can be purchased for use in garden ponds in most aquatic garden and pond centers. We sell it out of our retail location, but do not ship it. It is actually prohibited in many southern states. If you choose to introduce hyacinth to your pond, don’t overdo it, purchase 2-3 plants, and see how they grow! Provide them with plenty of sun, and protect the plants from your fish (who will think they are delicious) until they start to reproduce. And as always, be careful and responsible if you need to dispose of extra hyacinth to ensure that they don’t find their way into natural ponds and waterways.
HR 669 Update
Hi Dave here, just wanted to post an update to Frank Indivigio’s blog about HR 669, the Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act. As many of you know, HR 669 was introduced into Congress this past January, and went to committee hearing on April 23rd.
As I listened to the hearings, it quickly became clear that the committee members had received a great deal of response from both the pet industry and pet owners regarding the bill. I would like to thank all of those who have read our blog, and contacted the committee members, and those who put a great deal of effort into raising awareness for opposition to HR 669 as it is written.
Click here to actually see footage from within the government offices in deliberation.
Collectively our voices have been heard. Marshall Meyers, Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel of PIJAC ( Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council), who was present and testified on behalf of the pet industry and pet owners before the committee, stated “It is clear that Committee members from both sides of the aisle heard from the pet owning public about their concerns with this bill.” And that the committee members received thousands of phone calls, letters, and emails from groups and individuals about their concerns over the current form of HR 669. Meyers added, “We’re extremely grateful to the thousands of groups who galvanized their members leading up to yesterday’s hearing”
Check back with us on our blogs, we will update with any new news regarding HR 669. And again, thank you for your support in opposition to HR 669