How to Deal With Duckweed in Your Pond

Duckweed or Lemna minor is a really small, free-floating plant with three 0.06″ – 0.125″ long leaves known as fronds and one hair-like root. They make slow-moving or stagnant water as their habitat. Their rapid propagation attribute results in mass coverage of the pond. If their ideal conditions are provided, they can grow exponentially in just a few days. consequently, this is a menace that needs to be managed. So before finding its ways for prevention, one needs to understand the cause of its growth.

Introduction of Duckweed in a Pond

The introduction of duckweed is unknown to the human eye. The large ponds and small man-made lakes are most hit with the duckweed. Since the water is comparatively stagnant in both of them, it takes keep up and becomes quite difficult to get rid of it. The visiting waterfowl leave behind because duckweed sticks on their feathers and feet.

The presence of excessive nutrients and sunlight are the other two major causes behind the notorious duckweed growth. While penetration of sunlight can be controlled to a certain degree, what one can essentially do is limit the nutrient level in the pond.

Control & Prevention of Duckweed

Duckweed elimination can be done using marine herbicides in the right proportion. But, this shouldn’t be your first step. As a preliminary step, you should always go for a manual removal. You may use a pond skimmer or a pond net and skim out as many weeds as you can. If possible, do this activity on a windy day because the plants (that you want in your pond) will compress on one side and you will be able to remove a lot. Once you have done this part, it’s time to take the next step so as to prevent its future growth –

1. Installation of a fountain

As already mentioned above, the reason behind its growth is the stagnant water and to curb this menace, install a simple fountain. There are chiefly two benefits of having one in your garden pond –

A. Agitates the water surface: The fountain interrupts the water stagnancy and makes it difficult for the weed to spread and survive.

B. Water oxygenation: In a pond, there are two types of algae – aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic is a healthy alga and one of its main responsibilities is to remove the excess nutrients from the water – the food on which duckweed thrives.

2. Installation of Bubble Aerator

A bubble aerator is good for eliminating duckweed infestations and keeping the pond healthy. It provides both surface agitation and thorough aeration in a large lake or water body. So if your pond sees a lot of commercial or agricultural runoff, the healthy algae produced by bubble aerator will fight back.

3. Add Koi or Grass carp to the Pond

One of the highly recommended solutions for duckweed control are the addition of these marine grazers. They love duckweed and will consume it as their main source of food.

4. Chemical elimination

Fluridone is a very effective long term solution.

Hence, prevention and control of duckweed is not possible with just a single method alone. You need to use the aforementioned solutions in conjunction to see effective results. consequently, these control measures will prevent your pond from turning into a green one.

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