Simply put if a plant lives under the water then it is classed as an oxygenator plant. Some species are far better than others, when it comes to the amount of oxygen they release into the pond. All good oxygenators have a root system that floats beneath the surface and the nutrition and absorption and gaseous exchange occurs on the surface of the plant directly to each cell. The species will be thin walled and have very thin leaves that allow gaseous exchange to take place easily.
Which Oxygenator Plants Are The Best To Use?
Some of the best ones include Water Crowfoot, Water Buttercup (Ranunculus aquatalis), Curly Pond Weed (Potamageton crispus), Canadian pondweed (Elodea Canadensis) and Parrots Feather (Myriophyllum proserpinacoides). Obviously certain species are susceptible to climactic conditions and this is something that needs to be considered when making your choice. Also make sure that the species you choose doesn’t outgrow your pond too quickly.
In my opinion if possible always include at least a few oxygenator plants and a waterfall or fountain. This way you get the benefits of plenty of additional oxygen along with the beauty and nitrate removing properties of the plants. If on the other hand you don’t like the idea of adding plants, as you see it as more of a hassle than a pleasure then at least utilize a waterfall or fountain for oxygenation and a UV clarifier for algae control.