The water feature in our garden is a large ceramic container that I lug in every winter and bring out again in the spring. Last week when it looked like it might finally warm up I filled it with water and got a couple of floating plants. Water lettuce and water Hyacinth do well in the bright morning sun and afternoon shade. They also have extensive underground rhizine systems that provide plenty of habitat.
After I had plants floating in the water for a few days I noticed that the container was full of mosquito larvae. I rode my bike quickly to the local pet store and bought 80 cents worth of minnows and black goldfish. The larvae were gone in two days.
Now the fish patrol the water for whatever falls in. Sometimes I see them break the surface as they capture something. As much as I love the plants in my garden the most intriguing and peaceful spot seems to be next to the water. Here I sit on the front step on a rare warm morning looking into transparent water filled with shadows and movement.