Duckweed And Tilapia

Duckweed — a potential high-protein feed resource for domestic animals and fish”, by R.A. Leng, J.H. Stambolie and R. Bell, Centre for Duckweed Research & Development University of New England Armidale, NSW Australia, Livestock Research for Rural Development, Volume 7, Number 1, October 1995 — “… duckweeds yield 10-30 ton DM/ha/year (dry matter per hectare per year) containing up to 43% crude protein, 5% lipids and a highly digestible dry matter.


Duckweeds have been fed to animals and fish to complement diets, largely to provide a protein of high biological value. Fish production can be stimulated by feeding duckweed to the extent that yields can be increased from a few hundred kilograms per hectare/year to 10 tonnes/ha/year.” The Integrated Tilapia & Duckweed Farming System — The fish and the waters of the tilapia growout ponds provide the nutrients upon which the duckweed will thrive. In turn, the duckweed removes unwanted nutrients and waste products from the system, converting the nutrients into plant biomass.


This plant biomass, in turn, becomes a high protein food for the tilapias. While all this is going on, water within the integrated system is conserved and purified. The entire system is a natural and sustainable approach to aquaculture.


Duckweed Aquaculture — A New Aquatic Farming System for Developing Countries, Paul Skillicorn, William Spira & William Journey, (1993) The World Bank — “The PRISM Group initiated a pilot project in Bangladesh to develop farming systems for duckweed and to test its value as a fish feed. The results of the pilot operations were extremely promising; production of duckweed-fed carp far exceeded expectations, and dried duckweed meal provided an excellent substitute for soy and fish meals in poultry feeds. Duckweed could be grown using wastewater for nutrients, or alternatively using commercial fertilizers. Duckweed-fed fish production does not depend on mechanical aeration and appears to be significantly more productive and easier to manage than traditional pond fish culture processes.”


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

August 24, 2009 at 04:08 PM

Excellent info!

August 24, 2009 at 06:08 PM
– In reply to: jagrm


Duckweeds have the ability to rapidly remove minerals necessary for their growth from the water on which they float. When present, duckweeds also can remove many organic nutrients. These mineral and organic nutrients are converted into the substance of the plants, that is, their biomass. Research has shown that duckweeds are especially adept at removal of phosphates and nitrogen, particularly ammonia. For those of us who raise Tilapia it’s great but not so good for ponds that can be overtaken by the rapid growth, duckweed in an invasive plant. This is why many people buy Tilapia in the spring to help keep their ponds clear all year.

May 04, 2012 at 04:05 AM

Do you also get to train how to grow Duckweeds. Is it necessary that duckweeds are available in every fishes diet?

Leave a reply