Life in the Bowl: Duckweed

Duckweed, a small floating flowering plant, is highly recommended for fish. It's not only considered extremely healthy for many types of fish in their diet but the roots attract other nutritious microscopic foods for smaller fish and fry. These plants grow floating in still or slow-moving fresh water around the globe, except in the coldest regions. The growth of these high-protein plants can be extremely rapid, so much so that even if a few of these plants remain after a water change they will quickly repopulate the surface. I've read that environmental scientists are using duckweeds to remove unwanted substances from water. All in all a very good addition for a bowl.

I will rarely have just one type of plant with a betta. Here we see my sons betta building it's bubble nest among three types of plants, salvinia, duckweed and below anaracharis. Duckweed (for me) is almost like an accessory for the other plants I use.

similar to salvinia and frogbit but much smaller. These small pads hang a single root into the water. to gather nutrients. Almost inseparable to it's cousin salvinia the two are rarely seen apart.


A close up of the pads. One thing you'll soon realize after keeping duckweed is it is extremely prolific. So much so it's usually fine to loose most of your pads during a water change and they will quicly come back to cover the surface.

A closeup shot of several pads and it's single nutrient gathering root.



The top leaf here is just staring to divide. We can see top and bottom leafs just starting to grow. When they get big enough (a matter of days) the plant will divide.


Possible sources for duckweed: