- Scientific name: Lemna minor, Lemnoideae
- Common name: Lentils
- Temperature: 10ºC to 30ºC
- pH: 6 to 7.5
- Difficulty level: Low
- Height growth: Medium-fast growth, height 1 cm
The duckweed plant, also called Lemna minor, has been developing a very important and significant role in aquatic ecosystems, since these floating aquarium plants offer great protection to the ecosystem and also act indirectly or directly as food for the organisms that are around them where they reproduce.
However, the growth of duckweed sometimes, due to its easy reproduction, can affect the environment where they are, causing problems by hindering the continuous flow of water.
This botanical family is made up of plants that are free floating plantsThis is why they do not cling to the muddy or sandy beds of the ponds among other wet areas that may be stagnant. When this lentil plant germinates, a tiny green sheet is formed, where tiny roots form at the bottom that makes contact with the water.
This cultivation of lentil plants in natural areas reproduce in abundance , they are very useful for feeding red fish found in cold water among others, they also help to filter the light in tropical ponds that offer this dim lighting. Let’s look at some important factors associated with duckweed Lemna minor:
Duckweed – Characteristics
- The duckweed plant has the scientific name Lemna Minor.
- Their common habitat is swamps, lazy rivers, lakes, and freshwater pools.
- These floating plants have oval green leaves, measuring 1 to 4 centimeters. Each leaf has its own root that hangs in the water and measures approximately 1 to 2 centimeters in the water.
- These floating plant crops are made up of 3 or 4 individuals that rarely produce flowers , and when they rarely do, they are very tiny, reaching 1 mm in diameter.
- The seeds of duckweed plants are very small, measuring only 1 and 8 millimeters.
- These floating plants are perfectly adapted to any lighting , however when they are in the development process of their life cycle they need a medium-high light for many hours a day.
- Duckweed growth can withstand pH levels well below normal. And it can be produced in temperatures between 5º and 30º, however the best for its good life cycle are between 15º and 18º
- This floating plant helps reduce nitrates , as well as can help reduce the appearance of algae.
- It is a monoecious plant that has unisexual flowers.
- Male plants are made up of a single stamen and female plants are made up of a pistil made up of only one carpel.
- Its asexual reproduction is by division , although it can also occur by germination.
Distribution and habitat
The lentil plant has a universal distribution. It is a plant that occurs in the regions of America, Australia, Asia and Europe, tropical and subtropical regions.
These floating plants can be formed in varied temperatures, the optimal conditions being ranges from 15º to 18º, adapting to any lighting.
In a calm habitat, with high nutrients of phosphate and nitrogen it can grow very fast. Its development can be slowed down by iron, however, the best pH that they can tolerate is between 4.5 and 7.5. It should be noted that they are found in swamps, nutrient-rich waters, puddles and rivers .
The aquarium does not have specific conditions to its pH and water hardness, since among the benefits of duckweed is that it supports the lack of filters that purify the quality of the water.
- Temperature: 10ºC to 30ºC
- pH : 6 to 7.5
- Hardness : 3º dH to 15º dH
This plant can also be kept in tanks that do not have a filter or aerator , but it is recommended that they receive natural light.
The lighting should preferably be intense, it should be abundant throughout the day from twelve to fourteen hours. Duckweed helps to sift light from fish tanks that need dim lighting.
Substrate and Compost
This water plant does not require a substrate since it is a floating plant that forms and grows on the surface.
It is always advisable to have a separate crop where it can be drawn according to how we need it.
This type of water plants have very small simple floral organs, and it is common for their reproductive propagation to be via germination.
But it can also be reproduced asexually, this means that small shoots very similar to the mother plant develop that are detached from it, immediately forming a thick green wool. Its reproduction is extremely fast.
Duckweed needs very little care in ponds, in many places it can be considered an aquarium pest due to its very rapid reproduction. But with the same speed that it reproduces it is also just as easy and fast to remove from the water, and the way to prevent it from reproducing is to clean the area very well to prevent it from spreading again.
The lentil plant is recommended because it is floating ; it remains on the surface and the fish can make nests, however it is not recommended to offer floating food to the fish, because it gets caught in the lentil and is damaged.
Ecologically, duckweed is beneficial due to its adaptability and interaction with other species, being a positive point for the habitat where it develops, since it helps to keep the light dim in tropical ponds. It also benefits the environment, since it helps to treat wastewater by absorbing pollutants and is part of the food for domestic animals.
All this brings great benefits, in the environmental and ecological part, this is how duckweed play a very important role.
Not sure where to buy water letejas? Don’t worry, here you can get duckweed for your aquarium: