Duckweed Plant

Duckweed Plants For Goldfish


If you are interested in owning fish as pets and would like to provide live plants for them, then there are details that you should take into consideration.

Origin of Duckweed:

The precise source of the first Duckweed plant is nearly impossible to identify. This plant has been found in almost every continent around the globe (with the exception of Antarctica). That being said, no one quite knows where or when Duckweed first appeared.

How to identify Duckweed:

Duckweed comes in many different varieties and subspecies. It is a small floating plant that has an under root growth but, seems to lack a true stem. The body of the plant is round and often referred to as a “frond”. These fronds are not very large, usually as small as 10 milliliters. The fronds can attach to one another and create a thick blanket of Duckweed along the water’s surface. Duckweed fronds can be seen in a reddish-purple coloration; however, it is most commonly a pale green coloration. The plant is easy to identify on a water source by its size as well as its “overgrown” appearance.

Where does Duckweed grow?

       Duckweed can grow in lakes, slow-moving streams, ponds, and marshes. They have been found in every continent in the world, except Antarctica. If the water source is not freezing and continues a slow current (or is completely still), the Duckweed will likely grow. The plant begins to bloom in July and August. Duckweed also requires high levels of phosphates, nitrogen as well as ammonia in order to feed and grow.

            *Note: Duckweed will not do well in habitats with fast currents or powerful filtration systems. The currents created do not allow for Duckweed development nor would these tiny plants survive the filtration system.*

Who is it beneficial to?

     If you have a large pond in your backyard where Duckweed grows naturally, then you may see this plant as a nuisance. However, it is extremely beneficial to various forms of life. Animals such as ducks, geese, snails, turtles, carp, and beavers find Duckweed as an excellent source of food and essential nutrients. They rely on it for a tasty meal as well as a never-ending smorgasbord. Other animals rely on Duckweed as a source of shelter and protection. These animals include snakes, frogs, fish, toads, water fleas, newts, and muskrats.

            Duckweed is even beneficial to humans. Duckweed thrives on nitrogen and phosphates which are considered pollution to human beings and other animals. This is also why Duckweed is recommended for goldfish ponds (not aquariums). It can help create a safe environment for them to live in by controlling the ammonia, nitrogen and phosphate levels in the water.

            Duckweed plants are very nutritious as a result of the high levels of protein, lipids and other nutrients. It is said that Duckweed plants contain up to 43% protein and 5% lipids which are levels not commonly found amongst plants.

The negative aspect of Duckweed:

            Duckweed is loaded with positives such as its nutritional value and plentifulness. However, there are negatives to this plant that you should take into consideration before you start growing it. Duckweed is difficult to control. Once it starts growing it begins to spread rapidly along the water’s surface until it has completely consumed the surface area.

How to grow Duckweed:

          The water temperature should range from 42ºF (6ºC) and 90ºF (33ºC) and the water’s current should be slow or still. Duckweed feeds off of ammonia, nitrogen, and phosphate levels in the water. Water that has been treated and cleared of these chemicals will not produce Duckweed. Other details to know before growing Duckweed include:

  • The water’s pH level should read between 6 and 8.
  • Duckweed reproduces and doubles in size very quickly. Within 24 and 36 hours the plants will at least double in size and continuously do so.

This plant will naturally grow in water sources that provide these conditions. If you are interested in growing Duckweed in your goldfish pond then create the necessary water conditions for growing Duckweed and allow it to grow before adding your goldfish. Goldfish cannot survive in the conditions that the Duckweed plants require to begin populating and would be better off waiting until the plants have become established. Discuss your plans with a goldfish specialist before beginning. If the specialist gives you the green light to move forward with your plans then feel confident about adding it to your goldfish pond for a natural food source, shelter, and water purifier.