-- Lemna minor
Pet World Visit
Little bit o' duckweed.
Outdoors. In ponds, duckweed grows fast. You’ll see it in every outdoor pond that contains no goldfish, koi, or carp.
Duckweed Takes Over. With nothing in the pond eating it, duckweed will cover the surface of any body of water.
Biggest Enemies. Goldfish, koi, and carp love duckweed. They eagerly consume every leaf and root of it. Plant-eating snails such as apple snails and Borneo ramshorns also love it. They have a smaller mouth but eat it 24 hours a day.
Easy with a Capital "E." Can’t grow aquatic plants? Correction! You can grow duckweed. If you have several tanks, you will find it leaps from tank to tank on your net. (Fishnet not Internet.) Just a few starter leaves will soon carpet your tank’s surface.
Surface Plant. Floating at the top, duckweed gets first shot at your aquarium lights. It will screen and thus reduce the growth of rooted plants. Duckweed will usually out compete algae. You rarely get green water in a tank covered with duckweed.
From Whence the Name? Ducks love the stuff, hence the name. You rarely find it in duck ponds because they eagerly eat every shred. Ditto geese. Duckweed is quite high in nutritive value -- especially fat and protein. All the duckweed species make an excellent animal and poultry food.
Goldfish, too. Goldfish (and koi) also love duckweed. They inhale it like a Hoover. You will not keep duckweed in a goldfish tank.
Laxative Powers. Nothing gets a goldfish “moving” like duckweed. It cleans their intestines overnight. You’ll see a few remnants that tell you they love the taste of duckweed.
Healing Powers. Orandas (and other squished up goldfish varieties) will occasionally turn upside down and swim around that way for months on end. No one wants to throw away a fifty dollar fish. Here’s where duckweed works miracles. Add duckweed to your goldfish tank and the upside-down oranda will devour it. The laxative powers kick in and all of a sudden your upside-down oranda starts righting itself and swims normally. If it flips again, repeat the dose. No need to take two aspirins or call us in the morning.
Other Health Benefits. Duckweed grows fast, therefore it needs lots of nutrition -- exactly the same things your fishes give off -- ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, phosphates, and carbon dioxide. Oscars, and other lunkers, stay healthier when they live under a thin carpet of duckweed. We say “thin” because duckweed will grow an inch thick if you let it get out of hand. Too thick a layer makes it hard to see your fish. It darkens your tank.
Water Cleaner. Duckweed thrives in manure-rich waters and in excessively warm waters. It doubles in leaf area in three to four days. Duckweed grows incredibly fast.
Odd Benefit. Jumpers kept under a layer of duckweed are less likely to bail. They think it’s a solid ceiling. We still recommend solid lids. However, the duckweed makes them less likely to try to escape. You need more than duckweed to contain jaguar cichlids, pike cichlids, arowanas, rope fish and other likely leapers. LA
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