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Removing Duckweed (Lemna minuta) - any natural solutions?

Onoma1

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12 Aug 2018
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Location
West Yorkshire
I have infestations of Lemna minuta in my three tanks. The smallest I can strip down, bleach and then restart, however, the larger tank and the paludarium are just starting to develop as more balanced ecosystems. Even if I wanted to since I am not physically up to stripping these two down atm.

I wondered if anyone had any information on natural ways of controlling Lemna minuta?

My paludarium is the key one that I want to sort out. It's full of small tetra's, shrimp etc and the planting is primarily robust plants such as Anubias, Cryps etc. I know that goldfish love duckweed and will eradicate it from a tank (along with anything else that moves) and wondered if anyone knew of a smaller plant eating fish that would ignore the tougher plants, however, munch on the duckeweed?

I understand that buenos aires tetra eat plants, however, also like the odd shrimp or small fish!
 
It really sucks as a solution but a little net and time is the easiest way. I had a bad infestation of both riccia and duckweed and it's wasn't fun but it eventually worked.
A surface skimmer might help if you have one. I made one out of a bowl for my pond when it was covered in duckweed and managed to eradicate it with a combination of disturbing the waters surface and netting.
 
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Hi all,
but a little net and time is the easiest way.
That one unfortunately.
I wondered if anyone had any information on natural ways of controlling Lemna minuta?
If you have hairy arms, they really stick to them. You still have the issue of getting them off of your arms, but they are out of the tank.

cheers Darrel
 
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Thank you all for the advice. Given both tanks have significant amounts of emergent plants it sounds like I need to learn to live with it.

Darrel, it sounds like there could be a use for a hairy arm duckweed removal index as a corollary to your duckweed index?
 
Use a net for 98%, then use whatever you can to move surface water around, perhaps a toothbrush to get in all the tricky bits. You certainly can remove 100% from a relatively small pond 👍
 
Hi all,
hairy arm duckweed removal index as a corollary to your duckweed index?
I like your thinking.

I'm just worried that there are too many variables: Hair length, hair curliness, hair density etc.

But a thought occurs, it might be a business opportunity, the "Duckweed Duster Buster" an artificial arm hair sleeve with optimal nylon hair parameters, possibly a really super-duper one by ADA and a cheaper version by somebody else?

We might be able to get a <"Celebrity endorsement">, Rob Delaney might be available?

5769.jpg


cheers Darrel
 
If all you have is duckweed, elimination is easy as you can net them out followed by automatic surface skimming or hand spooning. If you have other desirable floaters you want to keep, it’s a tough call. With salvias, you have no chance eliminating duckweed without also eliminating salvius. For frogbit, water lettuce or red root floater, you have to take them out and rinse in multiple bucket of water, before spooning out the left over duckweed. But one duckweed left will multiple to reinfect the desirable floaters. I am still doing it after many rounds of elimination effort each time thinking it’s over but not.
 
Hi all,
But one duckweed left will multiple to reinfect the desirable floaters. I am still doing it after many rounds of elimination effort each time thinking it’s over but not.
Difficult to get rid of <"Lesser Duckweed (Lemna minor)"> and even more difficult to totally remove <"Least Duckweed (Lemna minuta"> which has the "advantages" of being both smaller and shade tolerant, allowing it to hide, even more successfully, in among the other floating plants.

The Duckweed Index is called the "Duckweed Index" <"because originally it used Lemna minor">.

I stopped ,"using Duckweed">, because:
  • People have an (irrational) hatred of it.
  • I found that it doesn't do well in soft water,
  • or under low nutrient conditions,
But give it hard water and plenty of nutrients? It grows like wild fire.

cheers Darrel
 
When I managed to eliminate duckweed from my tanks it was because I took all the surface plants out and qt'd them in a bucket for several weeks to make sure no new duckweed formed in the main tank or in the buckets before they were returned. Luckily most floaters spread like wildfire so you only need to make sure a few are duckweed free.
 
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