Care Guide : Duckweed

Duckweed is a very common pond plant, but can be a great use in your aquarium as well. Sometimes referred to as bayroot, belonging to the Arums family, it is an easy surface plant to grow and multiply. Easily identified by two to four oblong leaves with small roots growing down into the water column. Duckweed is native to continents such as Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. It is most commonly found wherever the water is slow moving – such as fresh water ponds and creeks. Due to being a fast multiplying plant, it is relatively cheap and readily found online for under $5.

Care Requirements

Care level: easy

Light: moderate to high

Temperature: 42-91

Ph : 6.5 – 7.5

Growing Habits  

Duckweed is a virtually no maintenance plant, besides thinning out excess plants every once in a while. Under high light it will grow to its full potential, displaying a brighter green hue, quickly covering all available water surfaces. Though an individual plant will not exceed one inch in width, some Giant Duckweed can grow up to 1 – 3 inches wide. Duckweed makes a very good plant for ponds or outside tubs, taking advantage of generous lighting to quickly produce babies. It can also survive in low light situations, but will remain very small and maintain a paler green coloration, multiplying less frequently. It can survive in temperatures from 42-91F, thriving best in warmer temperatures such as 60-90F. Duckweed survives in ph between 5-9, preferring water with ph between 6.5-7.5.

Propagation

This plant multiples with no help from you. When provided with enough light, it will begin cloning it’s self, quickly taking over, and possibly becoming more of a pest. This is why it is known as an invasive species in many states, and you should check your local laws before purchasing this plant.

Uses 

Being that it can survive in such a large range of temperatures, and ph, it can be used in any kind of freshwater aquarium. Some fish, such as Goldfish and Kois, find this floating plant to be a very nice snack, which helps to keep the plant population in check, while also maintaining healthier fish. Duckweed is also great for keeping nitrates under control, preventing ammonia spikes. While it is a very small plant, it can be a very strong natural filter. It can be helpful in fry tanks and shrimps tanks, providing an area at the surface for babies to hide from parents. Whether viewing from above or the sides It can even add great dynamics to aquascapes and water gardens, supplying shade for fish who don’t like bright lights, such as some cichilds, and amphibians like axolotls.

 

Warning 

This plant is considered an invasive species! Never release your overgrown plants into the wild where they do no belong. When disposing of them, bag them up for trash day, or give them away to your fellow hobbyists. You should never release them into wild bodies of water, as this plant will take precious light and nutrients away from native species.

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