Why do i need Duckweed in Aquaponics?

Duckweeds is a group of aquatic plants which float on or just beneath the surface of still or slow-moving fresh water bodies, creeks  and wetlands. Duckweed has many uses in the backyard fishpond and it sure has its place in Aquaponics. Duckweed is extremely fast growing, and can double itself in just a few days. The fast growing plant utilizes excess nutrients duck weed in aquaponicssuch as nitrogen and phosphorus, thereby creating a healthier environment for pond inhabitants.

This humble plant is also a high protein plant, and make an excellent supplemental diet for aquacultures species such as Tilapia, koi, perch and even trout.  

Since the late 1960s, scientists have studied duckweed for animal and human consumption due to its high protein content. This tiny plant actually contains more protein per square meter than soybeans and is sometimes cited as a significant potential food source in many countries. Researchers are now tapping into the plant’s unique environmental benefits, from desalinating wastewater to exploring its potential as a viable starch-based feedstock for ethanol production.

Duck weed also provides shelter for timid species, and even provides a breeding medium for some fish. For all these benefits, this small plant species can also quickly become a nuisance to pond owners if its left unattended to. It’s perfect as a fish food if you have fish in the tank or pond but if you don’t this tiny plant can overtake a small pond in a matter of weeks, or sometimes, days. In this case duckweed blooms can deplete the pond of oxygen, resulting in stressful conditions for the livestock. Although propagating can be fairly easy, eradicating a population can be quite difficult.

Duckweed is also being studied by researchers around the world as a possible source of clean energy.  Yep that’s right- In the United States, both Rutgers University and North Carolina State University have ongoing projects to determine if duckweed might be a source of cost-effective, clean, renewable energy. Duckweed is a good candidate as a biofuel because as a biomass it grows rapidly, has 5 to 6 times as much starch as corn, and does not contribute to global warming. Duckweed is considered a carbon neutral energy source, because unlike most fuels, it removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This is a promising area for the humble weed types

I suggest that you try and find some for your fishpond or Aquaponics system. I have it growing in all sorts of places like unused buckets, in the sump of my Aquaponics system, in containers, you name it I’m growing it within it.  If you would like some I’m happy to post it to most states or you can collect from Cardiff NSW. Just contact me for more info.

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