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The benefits of Duckweed

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plants' started by Craig, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. Craig

    Craig Founding Member/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Hi,

    If your turtles don't fancy Val, try them on Duckweed. After doing a lot of research I have found that Duckweed's nutritional value is as good as Val, if not better. They are calling Duckweed a 'Green' wonder food for all forms of livestock, birds, fish and other animals, and even humans.

    I have been feeding my turtles both Val and Duckweed and they have a distinct preference for Duckweed. In fact, they go nuts over it.
    Duckweed can sustain a turtle for its whole life without any other food because of its nutritional value, although we all know that variety is the best thing we can give our hard-shelled friends. It also has protein, is high in Calcium and is at the perfect Calcium to Phosphorous ratio (Ca : P) that is required by turtles for shell and bone development.

    I wish I had investigated Duckweed nutritional value years ago.

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    Role in the habitat: Duckweed is an important food for wild waterfowl and fish both directly and as a source of food for small creatures that are in turn eaten by the birds and fish. As it grows, Duckweed absorbs nutrients from the water. Thus it has a useful role in controlling the growth of algae, both by removing nutrients and by shutting out sunlight as the Duckweed covers the water surface. Algae absorbs oxygen and as it decays, it further reduces oxygen levels. Algal blooms can thus severely affect aquatic life. By shading the water, Duckweed also keeps it cool and thus allow for more dissolved oxygen. And by covering the water surface, it minimises water loss through evaporation.

    Uses as food: Because Duckweed floats and require little structural fibres (5-15%), it has more nutrition by weight compared to other vascular plants: protein (15-25% in natural conditions, 15-45% when cultured under ideal conditions), fat, nitrogen, and phosphorus. It also contains higher amounts of essential amino acids than most plants. In fact, it most closely resembles animal proteins. It also contains large concentrations of trace minerals that make Duckweed good supplements for animal feed. In addition, they are easily cultivated on small strips of wasteland and easily harvested. In fact, Duckweed is eaten by people in Thailand. There are also projects to look into the cultivation of Duckweed as feed for fish (carp), poultry (chickens, ducks), livestock (pigs). Duckweed is also an effective "crop". For the same amount of nutrients, Duckweed grows on 10% the area needed for soyabeans, and 20% that of corn. Because it has such low fibre, the whole plant can be used, unlike other crops where only a small part of the plant can be eaten.
     
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  2. Ausage

    Ausage Sub-Adult Turtle

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    Duckweed is a particular favourite of our turtles. Everytime I have introduced it into one of our habitats is has been consumed within 24 hours. One of my projects for the new year is to set up a "food" tank where I can grow duckweek, anacharis and hornwort.
     
  3. Rowena

    Rowena Juvenile Turtle

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    Fascinating information. Topaz doesn't seem to be interested in plants at the moment but when he finally does I'll definitely have to get some duckweed growing again.
     
  4. Nev&Nora

    Nev&Nora Juvenile Turtle

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    My turtles love Val, but after reading this I will try them on duckweed. However, I have just googled for where to buy it, & coming up with zip!! eBay only has Duckweed killer!! So can you help me with where to get some from please?
     
  5. Craig

    Craig Founding Member/Administrator/Public Officer
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    You can buy it from Watergarden Paradise Aquatic Nursery for only $4 a tub

    [​IMG]
    .............. [​IMG]
     
  6. Andiroo

    Andiroo Sub-Adult Turtle

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    I'm very happy to hear duckweed is so good for the critters.
    I have been feeding it to turtles for years, along with Salvinia, the Macleays particularly just scoff it down.
    Our Blue Tongues and Central Beardies eat it like fat kids in a lollie shop and my (skinny) kids feed it to their Guinea Pigs.
    Have two tubs out the back (380L t and 100L) with it growing...only difficulty is keeping it going over winter.

    Andrew
     
  7. Rachael T

    Rachael T Sub-Adult Turtle

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    There is duckweed available on eBay at the moment. It's something like 300g for about $5. I was looking at it the other day. Search eBay for fish tank plants, that's how I found it.
     
  8. cris

    cris Sub-Adult Turtle

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    I use duck weed as the primary vegetation in the diet of my turtles and also feed it to various other critters that will eat it. I can't remember the details but I thought it had a some sort of quality that reduced calcium absorbtion or something and it reduced egg hardness when fed as a large part of a quails diet (obviously a turtle is not a quail).

    If duck weed is constantly available is it worth getting other plants if a variety of critters are also fed to the turtle?
     
  9. Andiroo

    Andiroo Sub-Adult Turtle

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    Cris,

    Interesting about the calcium absorbtion...I hope it is only for quails.

    Regarding variety...it's the spice of life!
    I always have Val, water hyacinth, water lettuce and salvinia to compliment the duckweed. Different turtles like different weed.
    I find it easier to provide them with vegetarian variety than non-veg (as my Indian relo's call it) variety.

    If I keep on buying turtles, I'm sure I'll be eating duckweed pretty soon! Lucky I don't lay eggs.

    Andrew
     
  10. lordsword49

    lordsword49 Sub-Adult Turtle

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    Anyone in Cairns want Duckweed just PM me, I am more then happy to give some away got a tank full of them
     
  11. john.p

    john.p Egg

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    Hey, I just got myself a turtle from Allan. Thanks Allan. :)

    Had a question about duckweed. My turtle doesn't seem to eat the leaves. Do turtles normally eat the leaves of duckweed? Or do they just eat the root part?
     
  12. Cadmoon

    Cadmoon Senior Turtle

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    What species of turtle did you get off Allan? Also it will take a while to settle in and may not feel like eating much.
     
  13. rianti

    rianti Sub-Adult Turtle

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    My two Macleays also love it, glad to hear it's good for them! Acting on Andiroo's advice when I got the turtles a year ago, I have a dedicated tank at the back for duckweed! :D

    If you're around Sydney inner west, the pond at Sydney Park in Tempe is covered with duckweed (and heaps of Gambusia.) Thanks to Craig for this info!
     
  14. Bj_101

    Bj_101 Juvenile Turtle

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    Will duckweed in an aquarium stop the UVB rays from penetrating the water?
     
  15. Cadmoon

    Cadmoon Senior Turtle

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    Yes it will but UV does not penetrate water very far anyway.
     
  16. Bj_101

    Bj_101 Juvenile Turtle

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    15cm I thought? Duckweed is tempting, I'm not sure if I would add it if it makes my UV light almost useless.
     
  17. Cadmoon

    Cadmoon Senior Turtle

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    The point of the UV light is provide UV on the dock not in the water.
     
  18. Bj_101

    Bj_101 Juvenile Turtle

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    Oh OK. I have a 4ft UVB light running the length of the tank for when they're relaxing near the surface. I have a 75w light above their dock.
     
  19. john.p

    john.p Egg

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    A little Saw-shelled turtle. I've put some Val in now too to see how that goes.
     
  20. cootakat

    cootakat Hatchling Turtle

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    Oooopies I have a stack of duckweed only I tied it to a gorgeous piece of soaked river wood and popped it on the bottom of the tank (feeling a little silly) its seems to be doing ok but I guess I'd better untie it and let it float ..so far the fish have been burrowing into it but Touché and Terra2 (yes finally named) haven't really been interested although Terra2 is a shy little tyke mostly hides ..