I can't grow duckweed. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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I can't grow duckweed.

It won't grow at all! I've tried it all sorts of ways. indoors, outdoors, flow, no flor, sun, shade, warm, cool. Clean water, tank water, ground water. no matter what it just won't grow.

I actually want to grow some to work more green into my turtle's diet, and I've spent weeks trying to grow it with no luck.

Anyone know anything that might help it along? Maybe something I'm missing? What it prefer slower, still, or fast flowing water? full sun, partial sun, shade? Trying to find the right combination to get it to grow is not going well.

also, I bought an 8" water lettuce, which died, but not before sending out a lot of babies. but these babies never grow. they multiply like rabbits but stay the size of a quarter?
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 11:31 PM
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Duckweed loves water high in nitrates and other ferts. It also does better with high light and still water.

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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I've tried growing it in water with nitrates at 10, 15, and 20 ppm. I suppose it could be i'm missing some other element? I'd be feeding it to the turtles so I want it to be pretty much chemical-free..Hmm..
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 11:37 PM
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Having fish in an outside pond should supply enough ferts and light for duckweed. Works like crazy for me


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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 12:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunfoo View Post
I've tried growing it in water with nitrates at 10, 15, and 20 ppm. I suppose it could be i'm missing some other element? I'd be feeding it to the turtles so I want it to be pretty much chemical-free..Hmm..
You'll also need potassium and phosphates.

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 12:50 AM
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Is the water surface agitated? It barely held on in my 40B with decent surface agitation, but I filled a 5G bucket with water, threw in a handful of fish food pellets, and about 15 duckweed plants and put it on my porch.

In a week the bucket was choked full of the stuff.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Having fish in an outside pond should supply enough ferts and light for duckweed. Works like crazy for me
I've tried growing it in my container pond that's got guppies, tadpoles. it grows other plants just fine, like water lettuce, water cress, parrot's feather, hyacinth, etc. Just the duckweed won't grow! At least, not very fast at all. It grows just enough to seem like it's the same amount all the time. :p

(not sure how to do multiple quotes, sorry!)

@ Monster fish

My water has both, as well as magnesium, which I've heard can be a problem in growing duckweed if you don't have enough?

@BS87

I've tried growing in fast/med/slow currents as well as still water. right now it's in my container pond which has no flow at all other than what the wind/fish/temperature causes to move. I may try throwing some in a bucket with some dirts and a few fish pellet and see if an overload of nutrients will speed it up any...
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 01:06 AM
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Try growing just the duckweed by itself in a container with some fish pellets. I think it might be getting out-competed by the other plants.

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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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Try growing just the duckweed by itself in a container with some fish pellets. I think it might be getting out-competed by the other plants.

I'll give it a shot. Thanks!
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 01:51 AM
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Step 1: Acquire a water holding device.

Step 2: Apply duckweed

Step 3: Wait a month

Step 4: Harvest duckweed

If you try really hard, it won't work. IMO just set up a 5g with some gravel, throw a few plants in (like anacharis or hardy things you have in other tanks) and add a few fish like guppies. Do whatever you want to it, or nothing at all. You can overfeed, not feed at all, either works. When my water got mucky the duckweed stopped growing, but when it was nice and clean it grew well. So keep the water clean (by that I mean clear, not green, no algae) and then add some duckweed and wait.

In California around this time, guppies and everything else you want should be fine outside in a 5g for a few months. SoCal is even better than NorCal, lucky for you. If you live nearest the ocean in Inland Empire, then you should be able to everything other there for the entire year as long as it doesn't get below 50F at night. My guppies survived 40F nights, 100F days at the most extreme. The water stayed about 55F to 85F at the extremes. No food, mucky water, still reproduced.

Like seriously, if your friend has a pond on their property that they will let you put some duckweed in, then throw some in and go back to collect it in like three months lol.

ALSO, it may be the source of where you're getting your duckweed, and there may be different kinds of duckweed. Get duckweed from a few different fish stores or hobbyists and try that out.

Not sure if it matters or if you've tried it, but maybe dechlorinate the water if you haven't already. If you're using tap water, it may be something in it. Try distilled or bottled water from the grocery store.
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 02:02 AM
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I grow it for my RES also, and I noticed something with hood off my 55 g community tank I had to remove the duckweed weekly for months, I put the hood back on a few weeks ago and almost no growth. I can cover the whole top of the turtle tank with duckweed and before the day is done it's gone and that's just 2 turtles about 5 inches.

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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 02:30 PM
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Trace Elements Needed for Duckweed

Bunfoo, try throwing in a spadeful of dirt or appropriate amount for your container. This will provide trace elements that all plants need. I do this routinely when growing out duckweed in kiddie pools. Works like a charm. www.DuckweedGardening.com
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 05:28 PM
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I wish I had this problem. Used to I couldn't grow it for anything. I had to throw out about 10 net fulls of the stuff; in less than 5 days it had overrun my Xiphophorus tank. I'm concerned about lowering nitrate levels as how this will impact my swords, Vals & Sag . . . though they have read consistently low lately. Anyhow, good luck on the duckweed; you'll wish you'd have never started growing it soon enough.

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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 05:53 PM
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Water Lettuce:
Does not like too high humidity around the leaves. No droplets of water on the leaves.

I grow it in 2 places the best:
I have an outdoor pond, and it grows all summer, but frosts in the winter. Some surface movement, fair amount of shade, but it is bright shade, not dense.
I have a pond and several aquariums in a greenhouse. Very bright light, but not direct sun. Low water movement is best. In high water movement the Water Lettuce gets swept into a corner.

Fertilizing on all these set ups is fairly low. NO3 kept under 20 ppm, but generally some nutrients going in from fish food, fallen leaves, or dosing. Just not high levels.

In a covered aquarium Water Lettuce never grew into the 'lettuce' look, the vertical growth, except in one tank where the sun came in, and the Water Lettuce grew out the back of the tank. Very quickly outgrew that limited space.

It can grow really fast. Once it got going in my greenhouse pond it really took off. About a month to go from the flat aquarium style of growth to some vertical growth, then another month to almost cover the pond. I started with about a dozen little plants. The pond is a free-form with lots of curves, and fits into an area of 4' x 6', so is not large. It is now about 75% or more covered with Water Lettuce.

I have a lot of duckweed.
Reasonable light, outdoor pond, greenhouse pond, all the mid-light aquariums. Not the low light tanks.
Low water movement.
Does not seem to like ammonia (I am cycling a tank and over half the duckweed has died) and does not like salt (I have tried it in my low end brackish tank).
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 12:37 AM
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I just dumped some in my outdoor fountain in a sunny area, and in weeks they covered it fast. They are a MENACE!
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