Duck Weed: (Scientific name – Lemnoideae)
Overview: Also known as water lens, these aquatic flowering plants float on or just below the surface of still or slow-moving freshwater bodies. Most commonly used in goldfish tanks, the Duckweed grows naturally in marshes, wetlands, rivers, lakes and ponds. Adaptable to most climatic conditions and easy to grow, this aquatic plant helps in water purification naturally by absorbing surplus phosphates, nitrogen, and potassium from detergents, wastewater, and ammonia. Scientists are conducting experiments in U.S and Europe to find out if Duckweed’s can be used for wastewater treatment in hot climate conditions.
Appearance: Tiny floating disc-like plants with one root and 2 leaves. They are bright green in color and lie in groups on the water surface.
Hard or Soft plant: Soft plant
Ideal water temperature: Grows best in tropical climates and prefers temperatures between 5 and 33-degree Celsius. During cooler climate, it becomes dormant and sinks to the bottom of the water and waits for warmer water to re-stimulate growth.
Lighting: Prefers little or no shade. Direct sunlight is great for Duckweed’s growing in larger water bodies. For growing in closed culture vessels, fluorescent lights are a good choice. Incandescent light bulbs are best avoided as a lighting source because the infrared radiation tends to overheat the plants.
Ideal pH conditions: Prefers pH 6 to 8, which is present in lower alkaline water, but can tolerate 5 to 9 pH range as well.
Functions & advantages:
1) Ideal feed for common goldfish, grass carp, tilapia, etc.
2) Due to the high protein content, Duckweed’s are excellent feed for chickens and livestock.
3) Being a rich source of Vitamin A and B they can be used as a nutritional supplement for humans.
4) Used for the treatment of white patches on skin.
5) Eliminates water pollutants like excessive amounts of nitrogen, phosphates, and potassium and safe for wastewater treatment.
Did you know?
They are the smallest flowering plants discovered. Duckweed’s are very delicate and manual handling is not recommended. They are very compatible with goldfish. Duckweed’s are self-perpetuating plants and goldfishes love to snack on them. Therefore, the duckweed’s prolific growth rate is under control when grown in water bodies with goldfishes.