duckweed not growing to maturity

silver9July 12, 2013

i have been developing a duckweed aquaculture project in my greenhouse for 8 months coupled with feeding that plant to Tilapia fish. we grew duckweed all winter with excellent results and fed all the plants to our ducks and chickens. then 3 months ago we bought and stocked Tilapia in 100 gallon tanks but as they became 'needy' of the food the duckweed just stopped maturing. i makes millions of what we call babies but doesn't develop the mature leaves it used to. the pH and temperature is fine and since we monitor the Nitrogen levels for our fish find that the duckweed ponds are rich in nutrients. we have not harvested the young plants now for two weeds having been recommended that perhaps they needed to be more dense and that the young are not nutritious enough for the fish. we have millions of babies in our multiple tanks and have even removed 50% to lower the density and also left other tanks to just fill up with the babies thinking that they needed to be piled on each other. any ideas.

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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Its hard to tell without seeing your set up. Since you obviously monitor the water and most variables I could suggest two things to check. The first thing is seasonal variation. I don't know enough about duckweed to say if that is a factor but it might be a possibility.

The second thing is light. I use reflective mylar to increase growth rate. The difference is amazing under artificial lights. It is a particular interest of mine. Even standard inexpensive fluorescent tubes become great grow lights and are even better than the expensive bulbs. Old bulbs of any type lose their effectiveness over time. Manufacturers usually advise replacement after a year. The mylar extends that time.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 6:02PM
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