Duckweed? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 15 Old 09-10-2011, 06:18 PM Thread Starter

Does anyone out there have Duckweed in their tanks? I got some today at the LFS. I liked the look of it and I was in the market for a floating plant. After reading a little about it on the net, I am getting some mixed reviews.. If I regularly remove it as it gets thicker, will my rooted plants get enough light and nutrients?
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post #2 of 15 Old 09-10-2011, 06:24 PM
zof's Avatar
You gota keep up on it, but it is a great nitrate sponge. I can remove about a third of it and by a week its pretty much all back. At most it will diffuse the light getting into the rest of the tank, not an issue unless you are trying to get tons of growth out of your other plants or have a plant that requires really high light.
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post #3 of 15 Old 09-10-2011, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
This is a low tech planted tank, so I guess that will not be much of an issue I will just remove it as needed with my weekly water changes. I just did some more reading though and found that some people have trouble keeping it alive with HOB filters. Is this going to be a problem for me? I try to keep the water level high to minimize surface agitation, but there is some.
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post #4 of 15 Old 09-10-2011, 07:47 PM
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As with most floating plants surface current of the water will hinder growth, this is because they are always moving around so are not under the light consistently. Which from a duckweed perspective is good, it will keep it under check.
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post #5 of 15 Old 09-10-2011, 10:17 PM
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i noticed with my surface plants that when i reduced teh flow of my canister, they really took off! the frogbit which has barely grown at all in a week was all over the place

not to highjack the thread, but when you "trim" the surface plants im not sure how to do that? do you just shorten the individual growths or take out whole pieces?
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post #6 of 15 Old 09-10-2011, 10:32 PM
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I usually take out whole pieces if they are prolific enough, otherwise trimming them if they dont detach.
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post #7 of 15 Old 09-11-2011, 03:32 AM
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I had duckweed and I didn't really like it. Couldn't reach the hand in my tank, fish things out, etc, without duckweed getting all over.

Is it really that great of a nitrate sponge? If so, it's tempting. lol. But I really still don't like it. I removed seriously like a couple cupfulls every couple weeks in just my 10 gallon tank. But maybe that's why I could keep so many fish in a 10g.... (platies had babies and just ended up with a lot)

I'm sure u can keep it under control, but it's messy and can be irritating. Especially if you're tired of it and want to get rid of it all. It's pretty hard.

None of my tanks had a HOB filter so idk how it'd go with a HOB filter. Those aren't very good for any plants.

"He situates himself in relation to time. He takes his place in it. He admits that he stands at a certain point on a curve that he acknowledges having to travel to its end. He belongs to time, and by the horror that seizes him, he recognizes his worst enemy. Tomorrow, he was longing for tomorrow, whereas everything in him ought to reject it."
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post #8 of 15 Old 09-11-2011, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
I think I may have to get rid of it. The current from the HOB's is making a mess of the tank. The fish seem to like it though. I think they must think it is food they keep chasing all the pieces that the filter pushes down in the water.
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post #9 of 15 Old 09-11-2011, 11:45 AM
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Duckweed is ideal in "pond" or flooded forest aquascapes, and better in smaller (10g, 20g, 30g) tanks than larger (4+ feet). I find it especially useful as a second floating plant mixed in with Water Sprite, Amazon Frogbit, Brazilian Pennywort.

Like all floating plants, it assimilates a lot of nutrients from the water, including ammonium [this is why your nitrates are lower, the ammonia is being utilized up front so there is far less nitrite and thus minimal nitrate] because it has the advantage of assimilating CO2 directly from the air rather than the more laborious process from water like submersed plants, and the light is obviously brightest at the surface.

It is not difficult to keep in check; growth will fluctuate due to seasonal factors, and regular (weekly) removal of some of it will keep it where you want it.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #10 of 15 Old 09-11-2011, 12:55 PM
Strand's Avatar
The HOB theory is interesting.

Must be some truth to it because I added some to my 12g and it hasn't really grown at all in 4+ weeks.
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