Over the years, people, as resourceful as they are, have found a lot of uses for Duckweed. For small pond owners, it serves as a nice addition to a pond and helps keep nutrients in check. Fish eat it, and in larger quantities, it’s even helped feed livestock. Its found to be useful in biopharmaceuticals development and who know’s maybe one day they’ll make energy out of it.
For many large pond owners however, duckweed is often an eyesore that can end up covering a pond’s surface in a very short amount of time. Duckweed doesn’t really hurt anything, and in fact, it can help clean up some nutrients in a pond. Phosphates and nitrates can both be lowered because of the presence of the plant. However that benefit doesn’t appease everyone.
For those that have wanted to treat duckweed, the process has usually involved chemicals. The best known treatment involves using Fluridone with the well known brands of Sonar, Avast, or Whitecap. One problem with all of these formulas is that they are very expensive. A pint of Sonar for example can run around $ and must be used early in the growing season to work best.
You’ll find some companies touting that various forms of beneficial bacteria will help with Duckweed growth, and we’ve personally found that if you can treat a pond with bacteria before it begins to grow, it may be inhibited. However it’s harder to treat biologically once it’s underway. This is one of the reasons why chemical options, or physical removal of Duckweed(which isn’t always easy) have ended up being the most widely used methods of Duckweed control.
Today however a revolutionary new product has emerged for duckweed control, and it doesn’t include any chemicals! All ingredients are organic and safe for the environment. It’s called eLemna8, which is a catchy name based on the genus name for Duckweed called Lemna.
eLemna8 can be mixed at a rate of one gallon to 50 gallons of water and then sprayed on topically over the Duckweed. Part of the process that eLemna8 uses involves using an organic food grade oil that strips the waxy, protective coating off the Duckweed, and once this coating is gone, the plant’s defenses become very limited. Even a very low and light dose of copper on the plant will kill it quickly, or you can simply let the plant die off, although it may take longer for it to do so. The Duckweed then simply sinks to the bottom of the pond. Ideally you want to have some bacterial work going on to help process this dead material. What’s great about this process though is that you never have to suspend or worry about conflicts with an ongoing benefical bacteria program. In many cases chemical herbicides will interfere with this work, but eLemna8, well, eliminates this problem!
The product can be mixed with a very low dose copper algaecide such as EarthTec for exceptional results, although this isn’t always necessary. Regardless, when compared to other treatments like Sonar, this process will cost less, and provide very effective ORGANIC control.
If you’ve had a history of Duckweed problems be sure to learn more about eLemna8, it may very well be the answer you’ve been looking for!
A Word Of Caution: Although we mention this quite a bit, it’s always a good reminder to make sure you have very good aeration in a pond when you’re treating any kind of plant growth, and particularly with something that will kill plants more quickly. As a plant dies it will pull oxygen from the pond water. To avoid an oxygen deficit, keep aeration running continuouslly and particularly at night when oxygen levels would normally be lower, or during very hot weather. If necessary, and if the plant growth is heavy or widespread, work only on sections of the growth at a time, over a period of days to minimize the die off amount. This should help provide more safety for your fish.