How to dispose of duckweed responsibly?

Crimson_687

They're great as a nitrate sponge, but I've about had it with duckweed. They're successfully outcompeting my red root floaters and amazon frogbit, which I need for root growth. My frogbit has lost the long, flowy roots they used to have, plus it's hard to see the fish when the light is mostly blocked. I know it's impossible to completely get rid of, and as much as I hate it, it's nice to have around. However, I need a way to cut this thing back. It's grown so much it's actually acquired a thickness to it, like a layer.

Duckweed is an invasive species, so I cannot simply throw it down the drain or in the trash. I want to dispose of this plant responsibly, or better, find a productive use for it. Maybe find someone who would like a large quantity of duckweed for their tank, pond, or to cultivate as food for their pet ducks. I also understand this plant is edible and highly nutritious. Has anyone prepared this plant for consumption? What's the best way to do it? I use water conditioners and fertilizers (seachem flourish and API root tabs) in the tank, are they still safe to eat?
 

AggressiveAquatics

Let it dry out then throw it away. And if you want to go extreme then crumble it up when it dries
 
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Fishnturtleguy933

Dwarf gourami in my experience will eat it up. Not sure if the one i had just took a liking to it or if all dwarf Gouramis do this but mine would destroy it before it had a chance to take off. Or you could try composting it.
 
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Kribensis27

I just dry it out so it’s completely dead and then compost it. The nutrients make my garden grow like crazy. My isopod colonies also love to eat it.

A more unusual approach that I also use is putting it in a blender and then mixing it with agar as snail food. It’s super good for them and my mystery, bladder, ramshorn, apple, and trumpet snails love it! I’ve even seen my assassin snails going in for a little bit!
 
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Crimson_687

Dwarf gourami in my experience will eat it up. Not sure if the one i had just took a liking to it or if all dwarf Gouramis do this but mine would destroy it before it had a chance to take off. Or you could try composting it.
Can't really have a dwarf gourami with a betta fish. My fish do nibble on the duckweed, but no single fish would be enough to actively control this thing. Goldfish might have worked, but I cannot have them in a tropical tank, nor is 36 gal big enough for them

I just dry it out so it’s completely dead and then compost it. The nutrients make my garden grow like crazy. My isopod colonies also love to eat it.

A more unusual approach that I also use is putting it in a blender and then mixing it with agar as snail food. It’s super good for them and my mystery, bladder, ramshorn, apple, and trumpet snails love it! I’ve even seen my assassin snails going in for a little bit!

by agar, you mean the same stuff that's in a petri dish? Or am I thinking of something else?
 
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APColorado

An alternative would to make duckweed salad It is edible
 
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Crimson_687

An alternative would to make duckweed salad It is edible
How do you prepare it so it's safe? Or is a rinse and wash enough?
 
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APColorado

How do you prepare it so it's safe? Or is a rinse and wash enough?

I think are some recipes on youtube
 
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SouthAmericanCichlids

Would it be possible to make it into a fish food?
 
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Mudminnow

Are you sure duckweed is an invasive where you are? Here in the US, it is native to just about every state, except maybe Hawaii. Simply throwing it away would be responsible enough.

Just check plants.usda.gov to verify this.
 
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Crimson_687

Alright, I'm in the rabbit hole now....

I'm pretty sure the duckweed I have is lemna, which has a high concentration of calcium oxalate, the same stuff attributed to causing kidney stones. Dry heat is used to breakdown calcium oxalate, meaning I will have to cook the duckweed. This should take care of bacteria as well. It's not as nutritious as the wolffia type but still has a high protein content.

Are you sure duckweed is an invasive where you are? Here in the US, it is native to just about every state, except maybe Hawaii. Simply throwing it away would be responsible enough.

Just check plants.usda.gov to verify this.

Just double checked our Texas invasive exotics list... you are right, dotted duckweed is invasive, but not the duckweed I have (unless I'm just misidentifying it, honestly the two look alike). However I also have dwarf water lettuce, that plant is on our invasives list. If a bit of it is hiding in the duckweed, that's not a chance I want to take. I suppose I could just be careful when scooping the duckweed though, surprisingly it outcompeted the dwarf water lettuce as well.
 
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Kribensis27

by agar, you mean the same stuff that's in a petri dish? Or am I thinking of something else?
I think so. It’s that seaweed/algae based gelatinous stuff. You can buy it online for fairly cheap.
 
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Infamousj25

Let it dry out then throw it away. And if you want to go extreme then crumble it up when it dries
BURN IT. BURN IT ALL XD lol
 
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Crimson_687

BURN IT. BURN IT ALL XD lol
As much as I love fire and setting things on fire in general (safely of course), this plant has a high water content (it’s literally like over 50% water) and liter fluid and gasoline are both VERY precious.... for lighting other things on fire.

Also I don’t think I can consider that a “responsible” way to dispose duckweed... it’s more a “fun” way to dispose duckweed.
 
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Infamousj25

As much as I love fire and setting things on fire in general (safely of course), this plant has a high water content (it’s literally like over 50% water) and liter fluid and gasoline are both VERY precious.... for lighting other things on fire.

Also I don’t think I can consider that a “responsible” way to dispose duckweed... it’s more a “fun” way to dispose duckweed.
Ah, I do often confuse the words "fun" and "responsible". Drats lol
 
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V1K

You could just throw it out in a forest or other dry outdoor place. It's not litering because it would just dry out and decompose. Or you could give it to someone as goldfish food, if there are any takers in your area.
 
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Crimson_687

Ah, I do often confuse the words "fun" and "responsible". Drats lol
don't we all...

You could just throw it out in a forest or other dry outdoor place. It's not litering because it would just dry out and decompose. Or you could give it to someone as goldfish food, if there are any takers in your area.
My mom knows someone who has pet ducks, maybe I can reach out to her.

I'm in the works of trying my hand at selling it. I know the best way is priority, but I don't think I'd be able to sell a cheap plant with $8 shipping behind it. I've currently got it packed up in a 4-7 day shipping option, which will cost $3 shipping. I'm leaving it outside and I'll check on it at the end of the week to see if it's still alive. This week we have a cold front coming in, so hopefully, it'll get a taste of unpleasant weather. If it doesn't live, I'll either test out another with a heat pack or opt for priority shipping.

If that doesn't work out, I'll grind some up for fish/snail food, the rest can go to compost. I'm not sure if I'm comfortable eating a plant from an aquarium just yet.
 
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V1K

don't we all...


My mom knows someone who has pet ducks, maybe I can reach out to her.

I'm in the works of trying my hand at selling it. I know the best way is priority, but I don't think I'd be able to sell a cheap plant with $8 shipping behind it. I've currently got it packed up in a 4-7 day shipping option, which will cost $3 shipping. I'm leaving it outside and I'll check on it at the end of the week to see if it's still alive. This week we have a cold front coming in, so hopefully, it'll get a taste of unpleasant weather. If it doesn't live, I'll either test out another with a heat pack or opt for priority shipping.

If that doesn't work out, I'll grind some up for fish/snail food, the rest can go to compost. I'm not sure if I'm comfortable eating a plant from an aquarium just yet.
I doubt someone will buy something as trivial as duckweed with shipping. Usually you can get stuff like that somewhere within 15 minute drive radius. So I'd try to sell (or, more realistically, give it away) locally, so that someone can simply come and take it. I don't know how things work around your parts, but one guy who tried to sell duckweed in our local facebook group was ridiculed by everyone, because duckweed is a trash plant that you can always get for free. There are people who'll take it off your hands but they won't pay for it.
 
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Kribensis27

I doubt someone will buy something as trivial as duckweed with shipping. Usually you can get stuff like that somewhere within 15 minute drive radius. So I'd try to sell (or, more realistically, give it away) locally, so that someone can simply come and take it. I don't know how things work around your parts, but one guy who tried to sell duckweed in our local facebook group was ridiculed by everyone, because duckweed is a trash plant that you can always get for free. There are people who'll take it off your hands but they won't pay for it.
Yeah, everyone who wants duckweed here walks to one of the nearby lakes or ponds or a ditch and gets it for free. If someone tried to sell it, I doubt they would ever make a sale. Our state’s nickname is literally about how many lakes we have! And that’s not even taking into account all the millions of little streams and ponds either.
 
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veggieshark

Composting, fertilizer, fish food are all good uses, but I would be reluctant to make a salad with DW coming out of a fish tank.

I collect the excess and dump it in my mystery snail tank. They go away in a short time. DW I put in my minnow tank does disappear as well. In fact, they disappear in most of my tanks, other than the one producing them

I used gelatin and agarose when I used to make fish food for omnivores and herbivores, respectively. Including plants without processing them (blanch, steam, etc) did not work out very well with my herbivore fish food. Softening the DW before putting in the blender may work better, but I didn't try that.

I suspect the DW that is native now may be a result of invasion. There is nearly no lake without it around here, either. No matter how responsibly we are trying to act, we are likely to introduce some DW during our water changes. The tiniest bit of the darn thing has potential to propagate,
 
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V1K

Yeah, everyone who wants duckweed here walks to one of the nearby lakes or ponds or a ditch and gets it for free. If someone tried to sell it, I doubt they would ever make a sale. Our state’s nickname is literally about how many lakes we have! And that’s not even taking into account all the millions of little streams and ponds either.
And even without ditches, you can always find someone with too much of it on their hands just giving it away. And besides goldfish owners there are hardly any takers because there are a lot of prettier and easier to control floating plants - most of which you can also get for free, since they all multiply like crazy. It's like trying to sell bladder snails .
 
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Crimson_687

I doubt someone will buy something as trivial as duckweed with shipping. Usually you can get stuff like that somewhere within 15 minute drive radius. So I'd try to sell (or, more realistically, give it away) locally, so that someone can simply come and take it. I don't know how things work around your parts, but one guy who tried to sell duckweed in our local facebook group was ridiculed by everyone, because duckweed is a trash plant that you can always get for free. There are people who'll take it off your hands but they won't pay for it.
I haven’t seen any pet stores around here sell duckweed or any other floating plant, either their suppliers are in states where the plant is illegal or they just don’t want to deal with them in general.

I don’t plan to make a substantial amount from this, just to cover shipping cost and make it somewhat worthwhile to go through the effort of shipping it. Even if one person buys it I can get rid of a good amount of the stuff.
I’ll see if anyone on Facebook wants. If it’s pick up I won’t even have to ship it, that would be easy to give it away. I don’t have a license yet so I don’t like making my parents drive.

Edit:

Thought twice about it. Meeting with people just for duckweed during the pandemic is just an unnecessary risk. Better to just compost the stuff or use for fish food. If I’m feeling adventurous in the kitchen I might give it a taste, but after reading about bacteria I’ll pass for now
 
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mimo91088

The only correct answer is to buy a goldfish obviously
 
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veggieshark

Don't ducks eat it?
 
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Crimson_687

Don't ducks eat it?
They do, only domestic ducks though.
The only correct answer is to buy a goldfish obviously
Lol, while I would love to have a goldfish pond or an otherwise absurdly large tank full of goldfish, I think that would overstep my family’s tolerance for my aquarium shenanigans....
 
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mimo91088

They do, only domestic ducks though.

Lol, while I would love to have a goldfish pond or an otherwise absurdly large tank full of goldfish, I think that would overstep my family’s tolerance for my aquarium shenanigans....
Can easily do it in a 40 breeder.... just saying.
 
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Kribensis27

They do, only domestic ducks though.

Lol, while I would love to have a goldfish pond or an otherwise absurdly large tank full of goldfish, I think that would overstep my family’s tolerance for my aquarium shenanigans....
You don’t need a very big tank for fancies... only 20g for one of them.
 
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Aprilbeingbasic

Just got to share this YouTube video on alleopathy. You can literally kill off your duckweed naturally and it will not come back

 
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Crimson_687

You don’t need a very big tank for fancies... only 20g for one of them.
Not a huge fan of fancies, they always seem to move awkwardly or aren’t as healthy as they should be. It’s also a personal thing. I’ve seen goldfish in tanks before, even when the tanks were the size you said or larger. I’ve always felt an inclination to see them in a pond, or just in an extremely large tank. Such an intelligent, social fish doesn’t deserve to be kept alone or in a small tank. Not saying all fish aren’t intelligent, just that goldfish are quite big. Also I don’t have resources or permission for a 3rd tank atm
 
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MasterPython

by agar, you mean the same stuff that's in a petri dish? Or am I thinking of something else?

You can get it at a health food store or maybe an Asian food stoore for making vegan jello.
 
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Jilly92

They're great as a nitrate sponge, but I've about had it with duckweed. They're successfully outcompeting my red root floaters and amazon frogbit, which I need for root growth. My frogbit has lost the long, flowy roots they used to have, plus it's hard to see the fish when the light is mostly blocked. I know it's impossible to completely get rid of, and as much as I hate it, it's nice to have around. However, I need a way to cut this thing back. It's grown so much it's actually acquired a thickness to it, like a layer.

Duckweed is an invasive species, so I cannot simply throw it down the drain or in the trash. I want to dispose of this plant responsibly, or better, find a productive use for it. Maybe find someone who would like a large quantity of duckweed for their tank, pond, or to cultivate as food for their pet ducks. I also understand this plant is edible and highly nutritious. Has anyone prepared this plant for consumption? What's the best way to do it? I use water conditioners and fertilizers (seachem flourish and API root tabs) in the tank, are they still safe to eat?
Put it in oven to dry out then burn it lol that stuff is next level haha
 
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Spudsssy

I just dry it out so it’s completely dead and then compost it. The nutrients make my garden grow like crazy. My isopod colonies also love to eat it.

A more unusual approach that I also use is putting it in a blender and then mixing it with agar as snail food. It’s super good for them and my mystery, bladder, ramshorn, apple, and trumpet snails love it! I’ve even seen my assassin snails going in for a little bit!

Using it for snail food is great idea!!!
 
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Crimson_687

brought in the duckweed sample today, just to see if it survived. It lived, unsurprisingly. It actually snowed yesterday (not the abundant kind, most of it melted once it hit the ground. Still nice to see it, we hardly get the stuff here), so I guess I'm adding snow to the list of things duckweed can survive. Cleared out a bunch of duckweed, letting it dry out before composting, will keep some for snail food. The tank already looks so much better with the improved light exposure.

Thank you everyone for the help, enthusiasm, and amazing suggestions! I would have never thought to use this stuff for snail food
 
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Kribensis27

brought in the duckweed sample today, just to see if it survived. It lived, unsurprisingly. It actually snowed yesterday (not the abundant kind, most of it melted once it hit the ground. Still nice to see it, we hardly get the stuff here), so I guess I'm adding snow to the list of things duckweed can survive. Cleared out a bunch of duckweed, letting it dry out before composting, will keep some for snail food. The tank already looks so much better with the improved light exposure.

Thank you everyone for the help, enthusiasm, and amazing suggestions! I would have never thought to use this stuff for snail food
Not just snow, solid ice as well. Every year, it freezes completely solid in around 4-18 inches of ice, for 5-6 months, AND SURVIVES. I once collected a chunk of ice with duckweed frozen inside, thawed it out, and stuck it in a jar. It started growing as duckweed usually does, and filled the whole jar! That stuff is unkillable.
 
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The2dCour

My duckweed dies off and regrows sporadically, weird. Also my java moss. Probably revolves around using baking soda to adjust my water chemistry.
 
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CHJ

I throw my extra in the koi tank. They eat it.
I also throw it in my worm bin.
I have stopped throwing it in my snail/scud pail as I pitched a tank's worth of nattans in there so I'm waiting for it to kill the duck weed.
 
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Fae

I have nothing to contribute that hasn't already been said, so I will -whoops!- just drop these here

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MasterPython

Not just snow, solid ice as well. Every year, it freezes completely solid in around 4-18 inches of ice, for 5-6 months, AND SURVIVES. I once collected a chunk of ice with duckweed frozen inside, thawed it out, and stuck it in a jar. It started growing as duckweed usually does, and filled the whole jar! That stuff is unkillable.

I think I will try drying some out and mailing it to see if it stays viable. Maybe put it into capsules with some live food eggs for instant pond cultures.
 
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CHJ

Not just snow, solid ice as well. Every year, it freezes completely solid in around 4-18 inches of ice, for 5-6 months, AND SURVIVES. I once collected a chunk of ice with duckweed frozen inside, thawed it out, and stuck it in a jar. It started growing as duckweed usually does, and filled the whole jar! That stuff is unkillable.
While duck weed kills frogbit, nattans kills duckweed. I used to bring a gallon bag of frog bit to the LFS every week or two, now there is no frogbit in my house. All of it was killed by the duckweed.
However in a fight between the duckweed and nattans there is no duckweed in those tanks.
 
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