Corralling duckweed, or any floating plant.
I added, against my original intention, duckweed this weekend past. I did not want a small floater that would be uncontrollable on the surface as I am running LED lighting and didn't want more shade on the bright side of the tank. I felt I needed a floating plant due to an addition of nine "hefty" fish on the weekend in order to help with the added ammonia production... my LFS only has duckweed. Fine, I succumbed as my fish's health is important.
I realized right away that I needed to physically segregate the surface of the water. The tank has a cross bar support which I usually bring the water level very near to, it's my level guide when filling. The bar is a "T" shape to the top is horizontal and the bottom extends down a bit. Easy fix was to raise the water level up to submerge the bottom of the "T". Downside, I can't put my arm in the tank without overflowing the tank. Not a great long term fix.
See pic one, it worked like a charm.
...Until the next morning when my daughter asks me if I put the duckweed on the other side?
Somehow the duckweed had moved over to the other side, about half and half. Watching it for a few minutes I couldn't see how it was getting over so I scooped it back again. I have since done this four times now... not something that I want to keep doing.
Today I wake to find that 80 - 90% of it is ALL ON THE WRONG SIDE!!!
Obviously it is getting jostled enough by the filter output to push it over, I noticed a slight gap at each end of the "T" bar and that is just large enough for the weed to scoot through,a few every once in a while. It all adds up.
So, I am going to do two things, I want to reduce the current in the tank so I will make a tube diffuser but I still want to reduce the water level a bit so I am also going to come up with another method of corralling the duckweed.
Option 1) a deeper T assembly.
Option 2) a rigid loop fixed to one area in the tank
Because the surface of the water is not really visible I don't mind having something else there for this purpose. I am tending toward the loop idea.
Jeff, you can buy them floating breeding nets.Using the basis of these, or indeed one of them....you could basically just cut the net off one and float it in he tank with the duckwed contained in it, or attach it loosely to each side of the tank somehow and make a ''wall''
Just an idea.
Reducing the flow in the tank would help, I want to do that as well as I like the GPH that I drive, just need to better distribute it than the stock output vent does.
styrofoam does the trick well.
Maybe I missed it in the first post but why not let it float all over? If you're doing weekly water change you can just use a bathroom cup to scoop out as much as you want. I really don't think duckweed is that hard to control as long as you don't ignore it. If you have just enough to cover 1/2 the tank letting it float all over will still let a lot of light through to the plants on the other side. Also if it starts to over grow you can just easily scoop some out like I said. Scooping out excess is an easier way to manage the population than trying to control it and constantly moving it back like you said you were doing.
The trouble is that with my LED lighting I feel that my light levels are not that much higher than required by the higher light needing plants. If I let it swirl uncontrolled I effectively cut up to half of my light off on the bright side of the tank (I set it up with a bright and shade side).
Moving it is a pain, but necessary as it ends up almost completely on the wrong side with the half way divider (go figure). I may just increase my light period and let it go and see what happens. I will still likely plan on corralling it though, as it will propagate, and I want that for now.
It is my understanding that Jeff has low light plants on the duckweed side and that is why he is keeping it on 1 side only.
I had the exact same issue on my 55 gallon. Originally I made a homemade spray bar with very large holes facing from one side of the tank to the other to replace the duckbill. Didn't work as well as I hoped...
Next I took a piece of wood I had and attached it to the middle support. That worked ok, but not great.
The best solution I found was to take air tubing and create a large area (ring) and attached it to a couple suction cups, then fix them to the back of the tank.
I never cared for Duckweed, and found my favorite floater by accident. It seems wisteria makes a great floating plant and is fast growing. In a few months it covered half my tank, just pruning it every now and then simply cutting some in half to propagate. Good luck!
Air tube sounds good. I was trying to come up with something that floats, isn't too unsightly and the fish wouldn't mind bumping into.
Thanks. Might still go with the spray bar just to reduce the water velocity at the output.
the best nitrate remover is actually water hyacinth... followed by duckweed.
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