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Duckweed

DuckweedDuckweed, from the plant family Lemnaceae is a family of flowering plants, known as the duckweed family, as it contains the duckweeds or water lentils. The duckweeds are now known to be a branch of the arum or aroid family (Araceae), These plants are very simple, lacking an obvious stem or leaves, but consist of a small 'thalloid' or plate-like structure that floats on or just under the water surface.

In the photo to the right, the larger Duckweed is surrounded by its more prolific cousin, Watermeal To give you example of the sizes of each plant, the smaller watermeal shown in the photo is about the size of corn meal. Which makes Duckweed about the size of a pencil eraser. Duckweed is commonly a secondary, less prolific infestation but just like Watermeal, indicates declining pond health due to an overabundance of nutrients.

3 Step Process

Just because your pond is green, does not indicate an algae problem. Every day, many pond owners mistake duckweed infestations as being algae infestations and become frustrated when over-the-counter algaecides fail to rid their ponds of the green invaders. Telling Algae from duckweed is pretty simple; Algae is microscopic and looks like green slime, duckweed looks like small green leaves.

What very few people understand is that watermeal and duckweed infestations are a "symptom" of larger problems. These infestations are commonly found in smaller ponds because only deeper, larger ponds can "turn over". Turning over is essential for ponds because it releases the nutrients and gasses that are trapped at the bottom of the pond that come from decaying plant and animal matter. The trapped nutrients and gasses are what duckweed and watermeal thrive on.

We have found that the very best way of getting rid of duckweed is a 3 step process. Remember that especially with ponds the saying "one size fits all" couldn't be farther from the truth! Every pond is unique from the next and there are many variables associated with a ponds geographical location, local weather conditions, watershed, pond ages, depths, and water chemistry. That being said the following plan would be the average prescription for a watermeal and duckweed infested pond:

1. Calculate exact acreage and depths to properly design a complete pond aeration system. An aeration system should turn over the complete volume of water in the pond at least once every 24 hours. Properly designing the aeration system with the correct type and size of compressor is just as crucial as diffuser placement.

2. Implement a nutrient reduction program by changing your land use practices around the pond; by applying natural bacteria to eat up decaying organic matter; or by physically removing the decaying organic matter from the pond.

3. Apply an appropriate aquatic herbicide to kill the duckweed that is present. Oftentimes aquatic herbicides are needed for the first 1-3 years to completely eliminate all of duckweed for the future of the pond.

We have created this website to not only educate pondowners about watermeal and duckweed, but to provide them with the very best tools available for cleaning up their ponds and eliminating watermeal and duckweed for good! We highly recommend Vertex Aeration Systems for aeration, White Cap for herbicide treatments, and Cygnet Bio Blend for nutrient reduction. Please feel free to CONTACT US with any questions you might have about your pond or any of these products

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